St Modwen


The permanent St Modwen’s Church building succeeded a series of temporary mission buildings in this area of the town which were located close to the junction of Station Street and Reform Street. The first Mission was opened by the then Vicar of the parish church of St Mary Magdalene. In the early part of 1879 the Revd F Brodhurst opened a Sunday School with Sunday evening services in the Hardwick Street Infant Council School. These services were eventually transferred by the curate, Revd F T Marsh, to the Ebenezer Meeting House. This was licensed for worship in 1881. It was dedicated in honour of St Modwenna, a 7th century hermit at Andressey near Burton on Trent.  

The number of services and church groups grew rapidly until in 1886 the congregation moved again, to a specially-purchased iron church which was erected on Hardwick Street adjacent to the school. This was known locally as ‘the Tin Tabernacle’. The Bishop of Southwell refused to license this building and the Mission’s work was terminated. In 1893, the Revd F R Pyper became the vicar of the parish. He re-opened the Mission.  

As was the case elsewhere, the tin tabernacle was regarded as a temporary church, and efforts were made to raise a fund for replacing the iron church by a more fitting permanent building. Eventually in 1932 a new site, which could be seen from the old site, was acquired. The frontage portion of the site, which formed the means of access, was purchased. The rear part, on which the church itself stood, was given jointly by the owners, Mr F W Beeley and Messrs C M and P M Heathcote.

The foundation stone for the new church was laid on 15th July 1936 by His Grace the Duke of Portland, and the Right Revd Neville Talbot, Vicar of St Mary’s, Nottingham. Bishop Talbot also officiated at the consecration of the church on 15th July 1937. He praised ‘the tremendous efforts, sacrifice and enthusiasm displayed by the local people --- in this great adventure of faith’.

Over the next fifty years the congregation took a full part in the life of the town, particularly in the annual Procession of Witness on Whit Sunday.   

However, by 1980 the congregation had seriously diminished and despite opposition the decision was taken that it should be closed. The last Evensong was held on 12 July 1987, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the church’s consecration.

The church was declered redundant in 1989 and sold to the Nottingham Co-operative Society. The building was demolished in October 1991.