The Old Saint Aidans Church.

Saint Aidans was also known as The Chapel of Ease, and being an offshoot of Saint Marks, was also known as The Daughter  of Saint Marks. I do not know how or why the association with Saint Marks began, for in the first years of the 20 century, the church was always well attended. As with other communities, the church lost many of it’s flock to the First World War, in fact the total number who lost their lives fighting for world peace, who came from Saint Aidans, numbered 26 dead. 

Although as a small boy I used to attend this church, I have never seen a picture of it..I suppose the old church could have been known as ” The Poor Mans Church “, for it was like no other I have seen in my lifetime..The whole church was made from Corrugated Iron..Of course the inside was lined and fitted throughout in beautiful wood, with a central isle and seats either side…There was an organ at one side which I believe was at the rear of the inside…The outside of the grounds consisted of iron railings  that enclosed this unique quaint little church…

Saint Aidans was a Daughter church of Saint Marks Church situated at the junction of Quarry Lane and Nottingham Road. Mansfield. It was also known as Saint Aidans Chapel of Ease…It was I believe sold for an industrial site, sometime in the early 1950’s…Some of the wooden interior was saved and placed in Saint Marks Church, including the Roll of Honour  for the 26 local men of Saint Aidans who were killed in the first world war…I haven’t seen the plaque, but I believe it is a wooden board with the names of the fallen written in gold leaf’

The address was Saint Aidans Chapel of Ease, Moor Lane. Mansfield. Nottinghamshire…  

l  don’t suppose many folk will remember this church, let alone have seen it.. The church stood at the top of Victoria Street, proudly overlooking the Brickyard from the embankment upon which it had been built…It was built to serve the people of Moor St. Victoria St. Princess St. Cambridge St. Bradder St. Victoria Terrace, and people also came from Sutton Road..All to serve God, and change out of their daily working, or school clothes, and wear their better ones..

The vicar was a man named Father Oliver, a lovely man who always practiced  what he preached , and always had a kind word for all…If a Parishioner or any local person, whether a church goer or not , had a bereavement   , or any other problem, he was knocking on their door with a listening ear and a helping hand…

Saint Aidans Church was unique in many ways, not only was it not a church made from stone, it had iron railings all around the perimeter of the ground it stood on…An iron gate in the railings to the left of the church on the sketch , gave access to this beautiful little church at the top of Victoria Street..The entrance to the church was through the double doors in the shed type building on the left of the church, turn right , and through another set of double doors into the church itself…Walking through these doors gave one a warm , I don’t know, a special feeling that one had entered a house of God…One has also to remember , that in those days,  it appeared  that every house had religious christian leanings. Most families had pictures and sayings on the walls such as ” Bless This House “. N o matter how rich or poor people were, they all shared the same belief… I believe there was no burial ground to the church, for the area of the grounds were not large enough….

On the opposite side of the church, the side nearest to the Brickyard, there was another shed type building…This gave a special Footprint of the church from above, likened to the cross that our Lord died upon….The room on this side of the church I recall was used as a changing room for the Choir …

I cannot ever remember seeing a Wedding at Saint Aidans Church, although I guess over the years there must have been weddings there….

I feel it was sometime when I was in the forces when the old church was demolished and a new one built opposite the Moor Lane School Children’s playing field. Very close to the junction of Sutton Road on Moor Lane…

I cannot say how long the new church lasted, I do know there is no church there now.

Comments about this page

  • Alan!! Do you remember the Salvation Army Songsters?? You had a choice, The Empire St Pentecostals with their Harp accompanyment or the Songsters or Henry with his Evangelical Bus recruiting sinners!! All this entertainment and all free to us.

    By Tom Shead (03/12/2013)
  • Tom, you have a habit of jogging my memory…I have a faint recollection of the Songsters…I do remember the Bus. Always felt he was looking at me….Can’t think why ! But you are right Tom, all for free…I bet you marched behind the Band when they were marching through town ?

    By alan curtis (03/12/2013)
  • I was baptised at Saint Aidans in 1943.

    By Martin Gorner (01/12/2013)
  • I remember the Salvation Army going round the streets when I was little Alan, but I don’t recall the chap on the bike it might have been a bit before my time, and you’re right about the Salvation Army it’s a very worth while charity I always put a couple of quid in their tin when they’re collecting.

    By P.Bowler (29/11/2013)
  • You’re right Alan, every household in the 1950s were Christian and regular worshipers but what a variety of Christian sects, my parents married at St.Johns but as a family we went to the Methodist chapel on the corner of Byron St. and Rosemary St. I remember going to the market place on a sunday evening with my dad in the 50s and there was always the Salvation Army band playing hymns and sometimes the Penticostal church people would be there singing, I liked them best they were really happy clappy Christians, they really livened the place up. Do you remember those sunday evenings Alan?

    By P.Bowler (28/11/2013)
  • Sure do Peter, and even before that when the Salvation Army Band went round the streets playing hymns, and then they went around the street knocking on every door with their collection boxes. I loved the Salvation Army Band, still do! We always give to the S.A. Do you remember the chappy that used to do tricks on his ” Sit Up And Beg Bike ” on the Market Square every Sunday evening ? Sometimes he fell off…

    By alan curtis (28/11/2013)
  • Hello again Alan, if the church closed as you said in 1955 I must have seen it when my friends and myself walked that way to the two dams at the rear of Matlock Mill and forgotten about it. I remember when I was at junior school in the 1950s someone, probably my grandmother, referred to a place of worship somewhere around as The Tin Tabernacle, could it have been St. Aidans? If anyone is interested there is a preserved corrugated iron church at the Midland Railway Centre at Swanwick Junction, this was a sectional building and as a line progressed would be moved up to the new railhead.

    By P.Bowler (25/11/2013)
  • Cannot really say Peter….But it could well be the one your Gran spoke of…In those days , just about every household were Christians with christian beliefs..All God fearing people so to speak…Tabernacles were built in their own compounds, so I guess the rail compound of Saint Aidans church is the reason why your Gran used to use that term….Nice hearing from you.

    By alan curtis (25/11/2013)
  • I now understand this old church closed down and was sold off in 1955. Please don’t confuse the above with it’s replacement church of Saint Aidans, which was built on the opposite side of Moor Lane,across from Moor Lane School and close to Sutton Road. The more precise position being across from what was originally the schools playing field, where races such as the egg and spoon, sack race, and skipping races took place. Later,the field was to be built upon with Kitchens to provide dinners for the children at a cost of one shilling and eightpence per week for the five dinners…

    By alan curtis (23/11/2013)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *