St Paulinus


The church was built by the Butterley Company. It was built deliberately at the geographical centre of the New Ollerton colliery village as a ‘cathedral for the new coalfield’. It was the intention of the company that: ‘if this was to be done it would be done properly’. On 16th April 1926 Eustace Mitton, the mining agent, wrote to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of Liverpool Cathedral, asking him to submit plans for a church and vicarage at Ollerton. On 9th July Sir Giles was brought by company car to survey the site at Church Circle which had been chosen as the focal point and centre of the new colliery village. Sir Giles submitted plans, but the company, with boldness verging on the foolhardy, rejected his designs and dismissed him as architect. Ultimately the church was designed by Messrs Naylor, Sale, & Woore of Derby and built by Messrs Greenwood of Mansfield at a total cost of £8000 of which the Butterley Company contributed £5000. A further £500 and the land for the site was donated by Lord Saville of the nearby Rufford Estate. The church was consecrated on 1st October 1932.

Although New Ollerton has subsequently expanded as more housing has been built, the church has always retained its position as a focal point in the community and continued its close links with the mining community as long as mining continued in New Ollerton.

The church was much affected in the miners’ strike of 1984/5 when there was considerable hardship and suffering in the village. The then Vicar, Dennis Hibbert, ensured that striking miners were provided with food and cigarettes to try to alleviate suffering, and specifically to show that the church was with the miners in their time of need.

Ollerton Colliery closed in 1994 but a number of the congregation thought it appropriate to recognise and remember the ties there had been with the mining community. Funds were raised by members of the congregation, among who should be named Geoffrey Wright and Joan Seagar. These funds were used to provide a stained glass miners’ window in the west wall, made by Reg Pritchard of Blyth, Nottinghamshire and smaller stained glass windows, also in the west wall, made by Geoffey Wright himself after he had been trained to do the work. In addition there was provided a book in commemoration of the mining community. This is a leather bound volume containing the names of all miners in the community. It is on display in the nave in a glass-topped, white oak desk. At the same time a new cross was installed above the altar, from a design of Geoffrey Wright, based on a cross he had seen in the chapel at Bassetlaw Hospital, Worksop. Very great effort was put in by those involved to raise such funds.

A new community centre was constructed and opened in 2005, consisting of a large hall, reception area, kitchen and toilets. It extends north from the eastern end of the nave. It has its own entrance but also has direct access from the nave. It is used for social and group activities on behalf of the church but also for other community activities, such as a polling station.