When erected in 1793 Long Whatton Baptist Chapel consisted of a simple single storey building. But soon the growth and expansion required a bigger building and an extension was built in 1838. The resulting building now provided the main church, a kitchen and schoolroom and a balcony to provide extra seating bring the number of seats to approximately 160.
In those early days the site was open and included the three cottages on the Smithy Lane side. These were later sold off and also a plot on the opposite side near the street. A shop was built on this. It is now a private dwelling.
Long Whatton in 1793
30 trades people in the village
1 school, privately owned, with a schoolmaster
6 grocers, 3 bakers, 3 tailors 3 milliners & dressmakers, 2 wheelwrights,
2 butchers, 2 maltsers, 2 blacksmiths, 2 coal merchants, 2 carriers,
1 hosiery manufacturer, 2 hosiery agents, 1 needlemaker, 1 bootmaker,
1 builder, 1 surveyor.
Also farmers, graziers and a miller.
Slavery was legal in Great Britain
The Penalty for sheep stealing was hanging
There were no railways
A considerable benefactor to the church was one of its pastors, Thomas Cooke. He was Honorary Minister from 1910 and in 1923 he presented the church with two stained glass windows which were situated on either side of the pulpit. The inscription reads:
To the Glory of God; The two adjacent windows are presented by Mr Thomas Cooke; Hosiery Manufacturer of Loughborough, on the 13th Anniversary of his honourable ministry. As a memorial of gratitude for divine blessing and as a tribute of devoted praise and thanksgiving for the peace and concord of the church and congregation. 6th October 1923
Photograph Marie Kirkland
Photographs Ursula Hyde
The Sunday school became a very important part of the life and function of the church. Apart from classes that were held on every Sunday, there were also several annual special events, one of the most important of which was the Sunday School Anniversary. Held in June each Year, all the scholars would perform singing, recitations and solos and prizes would be presented to each scholar.
Another event was the annual Sunday School outing
Baptist Church Parade
photograph Marie Kirkland
In 1994 at the 200th meeting held at the chapel in June, the leadership recommended and the Church agreed to change the name to the Long Whatton Evangelical Baptist Church. The church closed in 1996 and was reopened in 1998 as the Long Whatton New Baptist Church. This was only possible with the support of the Barrow upon Soar Baptist Church, which continued with Support and funding until the Church finally closed in 2016