All Saints


The medieval church of St Peter in the Rushes became so dilapidated that it could not be repaired. The steeple, aisles and porch had been repaired c1730 and the Rector, Edward Bell, in his terrier of 1770 had reported that the church had ‘three useless bells’. The site of the church, close to the junction of the boundaries of Costock, East Leake and Rempstone, was now a mile away from the village to the inconvenience of the parishioners especially in winter time and in bad weather so that when the village was enclosed in 1769 an acre of land was set aside for a new church and burial ground nearer to the village centre.

A brief to enable funds to be raised was issued on 26 June 1769 to remain in force for one year from 29 September. The cost of taking down the old church and rebuilding was stated to be £1099 11s 10d, not including the old materials. The salvaged materials were valued at £408 giving a total estimated cost of £1427 11s 10d. Masonry from the old manorial chapel was also to be used.

A petition to build a new church at Rempstone was made to the archbishop of York in 1771. Therein it was stated that:

… Your Petitioners applied for and obtained a brief the better to Enable them to take down and rebuild the said Church, and part of the Money Collected by Virtue of the said Brief is already paid … and the Remainder is Expected to be soon received …

A Faculty was granted on 4 May 1771 to take down and erect a new church ‘upon a piece of ground late allotted by virtue of an Act of Parliament for that purpose.’ Shortly afterwards the church was built. On 6 October 1773 the archbishop with his retinue arrived and after a church service the new church and burial ground were consecrated. The church was dedicated to All Saints.

The west gallery

The church consists of a nave 45 feet long and 28 feet 6 inches wide, with a small semi-hexagonal apse at the east end and a western tower 12 feet 6 inches square internally. It is built in quasi-classical style with high pitched slated roof and flat ceiling and has a western gallery and south door. The tower is in three stages with an embattled parapet and four pinnacles and has in the south wall a small stone inscribed, ‘Built in 1771.’ The staircase to the belfry is in the south-west angle.

The church, which has no aisles or chancel, is smaller than the old church, although limited seating was available in the singing gallery adjacent to the tower, where an organ has now been placed. The pews of the squire and rector were retained but the three stage pulpit was replaced.

In 1703 the advowson of the church had passed to the Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. All rectors from 1748 to 1943 were presented by the Master, and they were frequently connected with the College. Several of them are likely to have played little part in the life of the community.

The Rev Edward Bell was instituted at the old church on 7 February 1748/9 and was closely involved with the changes from the old to the new church. In his terriers of June 1777 & 1781 he mentions that, ‘In the church are 5 bells, the other necessary furniture and utensils but only one piece of plate being a silver cup marked Rempston 1732 … ’. Throsby stated in the 1790s that the annual supposed income of the rectory was £260 with great and small tithes amounting to £14 8s 9d. Payments of 4s were due to the archbishop and 6s 8d to the archdeaconry.

On the death of Edward Bell, Edward Pearson was instituted 1 November 1796. Pearson gave up his tutorship at Sidney Sussex on becoming rector of Rempstone. Morning and evening services on Sundays were usually followed by an evening lecture. The rector attended the school each weekday to read a portion of the scripture and to instruct the children and was readily available and valued for his advice. Pearson died suddenly of a stroke on 17 August 1811, and was buried at Rempstone on 21 August.

In April 1812 Pearson’s successor, Thomas Hoskins, obtained a licence of absence for nine months while the rectory house was repaired. He commented on this when he replied to the Articles of Enquiry sent to him in 1822. In answer to question 25 which asked about the gross amount of yearly payments, he wrote:

When I entered upon this living I found a Debt upon it of £120, borrowed by my Predecessor (who was insolvent) under [the] Gilbert Act, which I paid off & also laid out of my own Pocket between six & seven Hundred Pounds besides in repairing my House & outbuildings, which were in a sad dilapidated state. … [Now] There is not a farthing of debt upon the Living.

Elsewhere in these Articles of Enquiry he stated that his net income was about £473 3s 11d. Hoskins died on 8 July 1839 and was buried on 12 July at Rempstone.

Richard Newton Adams DD was instituted on 18 December 1839. The living at Rempstone was valued at £478 together with a house. At that time the population of the village was 377. In 1841 because of incapacity of mind and body which prevented him from residing in the proper house of the benefice he had to petition the bishop of Lincoln for a non-residence licence. The curate, the Rev James Parlett Deacon who undertook his duties, received £100 a year and surplice fees. The rector was still absent in 1843. He died 16 March 1867 and was buried on 22 March at Rempstone.

The Religious Census of 1851 recorded congregations of 47 and 78 at the morning and afternoon services, with 65 Sunday Scholars present on each occasion. The church had a total of 237 seats, of which 57 were free and 50 were for children. The corresponding returns for the Wesleyan Methodists, whose chapel had been opened only the previous year, were 24 in the afternoon and 70 in the evening. The chapel had 178 spaces, of which 130 were free.

George Pope MA was instituted on 2 July 1867. In his testimonial sent to the Master of Sidney Sussex College from a Paris hotel he wrote that ‘he lived piously, soberly and honestly and by his moral conduct was worthy to be admitted to the living.’ The church glebe was 276 acres and a house. The church accommodated 160 with a village population of 314.

An ecclesiastical dilapidations surveyor’s report dated 5 October 1893 instigated an order from George Ridding, the first bishop of Southwell, for ‘… the repairs of the Buildings of the Benefice of Rempstone … for which the representatives of Reverend George Pope, the late incumbent are liable … [and they] amount to £115 13s 10d.’ This sum was for repairs to the rectory house, boundary wall, carriage house and adjacent farm buildings, field hedges and gates. However the late rector’s estate was bankrupt so that recourse was made to the Queen Anne’s bounty for a loan. The repairs were completed by 25 August 1894.

George Pope was followed by John Rhode Hughes. On 30 September 1893 he was instituted as rector of Rempstone church. At that time the rector’s gross income was £320, net £260 and house. The village population was 302. The glebe was 184 acres; about 97 acres of glebe had been sold to Sir Glynne Earle Welby Gregory for which he made a down payment of £116. Two years later the whole amount paid came to £431 13s. This was invested in the name of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Bank of Ireland stock.

The rector’s house was a cause for concern for on 4 February 1895:

The Bishop this day issued a Commission … in pursuance of 1 & 2 Victoria chapter 106 section 62, addressed to the Reverend Charles Sutton Millard BA of Thrumpton, Rural Dean, the Reverend Caspar Lewis Vashton Baker, Rector of Stanford on Soar and the Reverend Sidney Pell Potter MA Rector of East Leake all in the County of Nottingham to enquire into the state and condition of the Benefice of Rempstone in the said County of Nottingham and particularly whether there was a fit house of residence within such benefice and what were the annual profits thereof and if the annual profits thereof exceeded £100 whether a fit house of residence could be provided on the glebe of such benefice or otherwise.

John Rhode Hughes was buried at Rempstone on 2 November 1906.

Edward Tomson Hartley was instituted in March 1907. The glebe was 183 acres; by sale of glebe land £128, fees £1.The income was unchanged from that of the former rector but the population had fallen further to 270.

On 3 December 1909 a licence was obtained ‘to hold Divine Service in the building known as the Church School room in the parish of Rempstone for the convenience of inhabitants during the closing for additions, alterations and improvements of the Parish Church of Rempstone.’ A faculty had been granted on 13 November 1909 for these. The pews to be replaced with hardwood pews and the pulpit and reading desk moved. The roof was stripped and re-slated and the timber work and gutters repaired. Worn flooring and window frames were replaced, the latter with plain leaded lights. The existing gallery, which was in a poor state of repair was removed and replaced slightly lower.

At the time of Bishop Hoskyn’s visitation in 1911, Rempstone had a population of 257 and the church could accommodate 160 people. There were 46 children on the role of the church day school, and 42 on the Sunday School roll. There had been seven baptisms and five confirmations in the year to 30 September 1912. The school as in such a condition as to be ‘condemned, and perhaps justly. It should be possible to build a new school.’

During a visit on 6 June 1919, Edwyn Hoskyn, bishop of Southwell, noted that Hartley made telescopes; he was told that the vicarage was ‘500 years old with many additions and the kitchen garden, added at time of Enclosure, was in an old marl pit.’ The rector was buried on 5 March 1923 at Rempstone. In his memory a series of carvings were placed along the west gallery with the 1773 Royal Arms as a centre piece.

Cyril Claude Lambert BA was instituted rector of Rempstone on 26 July 1923 on the presentation of George Arthur Weeks MA, clerk of Sidney Sussex College. On 13 January 1926, £1000 was given from the Chafy Fund to Sidney Sussex College to augment the living. In August £200 from this fund was paid to the rector.

On 24 October 1927 an addition to the churchyard was consecrated. At this time the rector’s gross income fell from £418 in 1926 to £375 gross and from £396 to £350 net and a house. However in 1932 his income increased to £399 gross, £374 net. The church accommodated 160 people with 32 attending Sunday school. The population had declined to 248. The rector left on 21 October 1935 for the benefice of Croxton with Kirmington in Lincolnshire.

Percy Livingstone Dickson became rector at Rempstone on 22 December 1935. The glebe was valued at £244; Queen Anne’s Bounty £1 and investments £135 giving a gross income of £380, net £367 and house. The population was 240.

The rector was visited on 13 May 1936 by Henry Mosley, bishop of Southwell who was taken to see the old graveyard of St Peter in the Rushes where the bishop decided ‘to leave as found as cattle keep the grass down.’ He asked that Marsden’s tomb be cleaned of bushes and put straight. The bishop was told that the old font was recovered from a farm. In 1943 the rector moved to Norwell.

Harold Curling Dunn came to Rempstone in May 1943. His gross income was £448, net £333 and house. The population was 230.

A faculty was obtained in 1952 to provide a bell chiming apparatus in the vestry as the bells were declared unsafe to ring. In 1954 the rector retired. He was buried at Rempstone on 7 December 1961. He was the last rector to be instituted under the patronage of the Master of Sidney Sussex College.

The Reverend Victor Sidney William Mitchell, late incumbent of St Saviour, Nottingham was instituted on 20 May 1955 by the Bishop of Southwell to the benefice of Rempstone in plurality with Costock. He chose to reside at Costock rectory. The large rectory at Rempstone then passed into private hands.

A faculty of 13 December 1958 enabled electric heating to be installed in the church. A small bronze tablet was placed on the oak panelling of the church wall at the end of the pews with the inscription:

The electric heating of this Church was installed by his wife in memory of William Alexander Buchanan. Sept. 1958.

A faculty, dated 12 May 1966, was obtained to alter the churchyard to facilitate mowing. In 1974 another faculty provided for the five bells to be restored and shortly after for the addition of a sixth bell.

In the 1980s the condition of the windows in the nave was causing concern and it was decided to replace them. The architect who designed the new windows was Michael Fuller of Gardener’s Cottage, Rempstone. They were made and fitted by Sherriffs of Rearsby and glazed by Norman and Underwood of Leicester. The cost of the glass was donated by friends of the church and the names of the donors are recorded in a special book kept in the church. The coloured glass diamonds were removed from the old windows and incorporated in the new windows. On 28th June 1987 the Ven Clive Handford Archdeacon of Nottingham dedicated the windows.

Also in the 1980s new seating was provided for the choir. Until then the choir usually sat up in the balcony at the sides of the organ. It was decided to use the pews used by the residents of Rempstone Hall and the family of the clergy to re-seat the choir. Seventeen choir seats made of brown oak were made by Brian Crump, a former treasurer of the church and friends of the church again donated towards the cost of the chair materials. Brian Crump was also responsible for making the new altar rail in memory of Robert Sharp, a former churchwarden and the cabinet to hold a memorium book of recent deceased.

In 1969 the incumbency became vacant and from this date no further independent rectors have been appointed to Rempstone church. For a time the rector of East Leake was also priest-in-charge of Rempstone. In 1992 the five parishes of East Leake, West Leake, Stanford on Soar, Rempstone and Costock were joined as a united benefice.