St Aidan’s Mission Church


The mission church of St. Aidan’s Mansfield was dedicated and opened in February 1908. It was a daughter church of St Mark in Mansfield, and was erected to serve the miners and their families who had moved into the newly built streets close to their work. It was built on a green field site at the top of Victoria Street at its junction with Moor Lane. Moor Lane was a much older thoroughfare serving the quarry to the rear west elevations of the new Mission.

Little is recorded of the early days of the church, but in 1911 the then Bishop of Southwell Edwyn Hoskyns visited the building and a record of his visit shows that a curate of St Mark’s church, the Rev. A.H.M. Hope MA, had been actively working in the area since 1907, one year prior to the opening of St Aidan’s. The speed of the growth of this part of Mansfield can be seen by the fact that St Mark’s church had been in existence for only eleven years when St. Aidan’s Mission was opened.

In March 1917 an outdoor 'war shrine' to those serving their country was erected on the wall of a nearby shop. The shrine was made by Harold Wyld, a member of St Aidan's congregation, and contained a crucifix with a list of all those from the district who were serving in the armed forces with flags of the allied countries above it. On 4 March 1917 a service of dedication was held at the shrine.

A war memorial in the form of a reredos was installed at the church in 1919.

In March 1928 the church introduced 'Pulpit dialogues', a new approach to preaching. Two preachers occupied pulpits on opposite sides of the church. One preached the sermon and after he had briefly outlined the subject the other asked questions and raised questions which may have occurred to the congregation. Thus the sermon proceeded in the form of a dialogue. The curate in charge, the Rev H W Quarrell, stated 'we want to show the pulpit is not the coward's castle'.

The next record discovered was in the Parish Magazine dated May 1941 listing Baptism, Funeral and Marriage numbers for the previous month of April:

Baptisms 9 (average year to date five per month)
Funerals 6
Marriages 5

A newspaper cutting of 1947 recorded the leaving ceremony of Father Hardman who had served St Aidan’s since 1936. Included in the text is mention that plans for the building of a new St. Aidan’s were being discussed; however this was not to be, and in 1956 the mission was closed. In 1958 the building was in use as offices, but in 1960 it was demolished and the site sold for £800. As a result, all traces of the chapel were lost. The site was occupied in 2018 by a poorly constructed brick and concrete block, and a cement-rendered single storey building used as a scrap metal and car and machinery breakers’ premises.