Burton Road Methodist Church

Ashby de la Zouch

Window in memory of Nancy Bell


Burton Road Methodist Church Jubilee 1906 – 1956  

(From a booklet specially produced  for the occasion).

George Ree William Smedley
James Ellis Ernest Smedley
William Buck Hector Smedley
William Thornley William Moore
Thomas Hood William Haywood
George Dixon Frank Ree
Thomas Richards Wilmot Haynes

Trust Secretary…… George Ree
Trust Treasurer…… George Dixon
Society Steward……George Trussell

Herbert Cooper Kenneth Cox
Ronald Winfieldale Ronald Baker
Walter Ward Lena Smedley
Horace Gilbert Joan A. Smedley
Wilmot Haynes

Trust Secretary……Kenneth Cox
Trust Treasurer……Percy Sewell
Society Stewards….E. Hiley, R. Winfieldale and J.J. Baker, O.B.E.,BA


1897 Rev. J. W. Gregory
1908 Rev. G. T. Fawcett
1913 Rev. J. Blayney
1920 Rev. W. Hughes
1930 Rev. A. B. Gowers, BA
1933 Rev. G. T. Chappell
1937 Rev. C. Wacey
1941 Rev. W. Killcross
1948 Rev. S. McCutcheon, M.M.
1955 Rev. W. J. Tubb
1956 Rev. A. H. Kobish

“What God hath wrought”

Primitive beginnings

When the Methodist Churches united in 1932, the Primitive Methodist Church in Ashby had been established for almost a century.
In 1818, Ashby was missioned by Primitive Methodists from Loughborough, who were very well received. From time to time, during the next fifteen years, further missions were held, until in 1833, under the ministry of the Rev. Wm. Antliff, a Chapel was built on the Green (near to Smithard’s shop) part of which remains to-day.
Thus began the story of the Primitive Methodist Church in Ashby.
The fellowship of the Church was such that the membership grew too large for the building and in 1862 a Chapel in Mill Lane was purchased from the Baptists.
Again the Church grew in numbers and in the Power of the Spirit, and we understand that members in their turn went out missioning for Primitive Methodism around the Church Gresley and Coalville areas.

A new chapel

As the years passed by, it was borne upon the Ashby members that no longer should they worship in a side street, but that ground must be purchased for a new Chapel and Schools in a more prominent place.
Thus, during the ministry of Rev. J. W. Gregory, in 1905, a plot of ground in New Burton Road was purchased at a cost of £250.
Then began a great work through sewing meetings, teas, suppers and family offering boxes. The generosity of folk who had large families and so little of this world’s goods cannot be measured. His Kingdom must be furthered, whatever the cost!
A member of the Church, Mr. Harry Smedley, was chosen as Architect of the new buildings. He designed a Church in the Gothic style, adapted to modern requirements, 53 feet by 35 feet and 8 inches, and 40 feet wide at the transepts; the internal wood-work being all of varnished pitch pine, and the windows, buttresses, etc., being all of buff terracotta from the Coronet Works, Measham. (These latter having been designed by the architect, and made under the direction of Mr. George Ree.)
The tender of Messrs. T. Orton and Son of £2,175 was accepted by the Committee.
The Schools were built first, and opened at the end of December, 1905.
The Stone-laying Ceremony of the new Church took place on 7th March, 1906, before an illustrious gathering, under the chairmanship of the Rev. J. W. Gregory.
The first stone was laid by Sir Chas. McLaren, Bart., and M.P. for the Bosworth Division. Other stones were laid by representatives of various Churches and organisations in the area.
At the evening meeting, under the chairmanship of Mr. J. P. Adcock,J.P., the speakers were Rev. J. D. T. Humphries and Mr. Moses Bourne.
Mr. Gregory announced that the sale of the old Chapel bad realised
£380 (out of this an old debt of £170 had been paid off), and that so far£1,150 had been raised towards the new building.
On that day a further £450/11/- was gathered in, and still more on the following Saturday, when bricks were laid by the scholars.
The great day came when the work was completed. On the 22nd August, 1906, the Chapel was opened for Public Worship.
At 2.45 p.m., Mr. Gregory conducted a short service at the front, then Mrs. Stubbs (Lemington), an old scholar, performed the Opening Ceremony, and the doors were opened to the Congregation.
The first service was conducted by Rev. J. H. Saxton (Leicester). After tea, the Public Meeting was addressed by Mr. Saxton, under the chairmanship of Councillor G. Hilton (Leicester).

The life of the new Church

It was not until 10th January, 1912, that the first “At Home” to raise money for Trust Funds was held. This was introduced by Mrs. Jabez Bell, and she and her brother, Will Smedley, were host and hostess. The grand sum realised was £4/13/-! Now the Annual “At Home” is the Trust Effort of the year.
In April, 1913, individual Communion glasses were introduced in place of the communal silve

Comments about this page

  • I was at Burton Road CofE Junior School opposite the chapel from 1964 to 1968. The chapel schoolrooms at that time were used as an extension to the school during the week. I remember the Sunday School Anniversaries where we children took over the service and performed hymns old and new. We had numerous rehearsals led by Joan and Lena Smedley and were expected to learn everything by heart. We had morning Sunday School before the church services led by Joan where the few of us that went took it in turns to choose readings and hymns and to make up our own prayers. Sunday School in the afternoon was more traditional where we sang a couple of hymns from the Methodist School Hymnal (I still have a words copy of this passed down from my aunt), and then we would split up into the various age groups for classes. The Youth Group was a joint one with the Baptists in Mill Lane. Monday night was at the Baptist Chapel and Friday in our top schoolroom. In the 1970’s we had a small drama club formed by a retired actress and put on a number of plays, usually farces, and also did sketches in the church. I was married in the chapel in 1981 by Revd. Kenneth E.N. Garrard. It was raining outside so the photographer took a group photograph from the balcony above the pulpit of everyone in the chapel.

    By Carole Sherratt (23/05/2013)
  • A member of my family, William Palmer, was commissioned as one of John Wesley’s travelling preachers in 1783 and is recorded as being stationed at Ashby de la Zouch in 1809-1810 Best wishes.

    By Les Button (23/03/2013)
  • In 2006 Ashby de la Zouch Methodist Church celebrated 100 years of ministry and mission from her present building at Burton Road.

    By Andy Cadman (04/03/2013)