The Church was built in 1840

Designed by Mr Fenton of Chelmsford (1) who possibly was given the commission because of his links to the non-conformists, and built by Messrs Ward, builders of Lincoln. The school was also built in 1840 on what is now the site of Alive Church. Newland Congregational Church was meeting in Tanners Lane Lincoln (2). They had been meeting there from 1819 when the chapel was built. A number of prominent people in Commerce in Lincoln attended the church and they contributed to costs of the building which was about £4,000. 

A Sunday School was started in June 1821 in Tanners Lane but insufficient space and the desire to have a non-conformist school led to the move to Newland. The Opening ceremony was reported in the Stamford Mercury Friday Nov 13th 1840 (3) The Foundation stone for the School was laid on Wednesday the 27th of May, 1840. The last meeting at the 1840 chapel was on 19 October 1873, after which the Freemasons’ Hall was used regularly until the new building was ready. 

Location

Located on the corner of Newland and Beaumont Fee. The Roman wall ran alongside what is now the front of the church and the Newland Gate was on the corner.

Architectural features

Regency Gothic style and characterised by the arcading which has a three bay entrance and loggia. This is still retained on the Newland frontage. It was built in grey brick not stone.

It has lancet windows not tracery windows and is quite plain (4). 

The Foundation Stones were laid by Sir Culling Eardley Smith and the Earl of Yarborough in 1840.

  • The Church was built in 1840

    Designed by Mr Fenton of Chelmsford (1) who possibly was given the commission because of his links to the non-conformists, and built by Messrs Ward, builders of Lincoln. The school was also built in 1840 on what is now the site of Alive Church. Newland Congregational Church was meeting in Tanners Lane Lincoln (2). They had been meeting there from 1819 when the chapel was built. A number of prominent people in Commerce in Lincoln attended the church and they contributed to costs of the building which was about £4,000. 

    A Sunday School was started in June 1821 in Tanners Lane but insufficient space and the desire to have a non-conformist school led to the move to Newland. The Opening ceremony was reported in the Stamford Mercury Friday Nov 13th 1840 (3) The Foundation stone for the School was laid on Wednesday the 27th of May, 1840. The last meeting at the 1840 chapel was on 19 October 1873, after which the Freemasons’ Hall was used regularly until the new building was ready. 

  • Location

    Located on the corner of Newland and Beaumont Fee. The Roman wall ran alongside what is now the front of the church and the Newland Gate was on the corner.

  • Architectural features

    Regency Gothic style and characterised by the arcading which has a three bay entrance and loggia. This is still retained on the Newland frontage. It was built in grey brick not stone.

    It has lancet windows not tracery windows and is quite plain (4). 

    The Foundation Stones were laid by Sir Culling Eardley Smith and the Earl of Yarborough in 1840.

1840 Newland Congregation


Architect and Builder

James Fenton, Architect

He was interested in clean water supplies and was an architect/social reformer. James Fenton was a very well-regarded architect and surveyor, based in Chelmsford from 1830 until he moved to Croydon in 1857. He designed many projects in Chelmsford, including a bridge, a new water supply and sewerage scheme, and the NonConformist Cemetery. He is not known to have had other commissions in Lincoln (5).

Builders: Messrs Ward

The builder was Charles Ward, who was active in Lincoln c.1820-1859. He built up quite a strong business in the city and also owned one of the brickyards in the vicinity of Carholme Road. He is notable for being the building contractor for the new Lincoln County Gaol in the castle grounds (1845-48); this is where the Lincolnshire archives were kept until 1991. He also built the Militia Stores on Burton Road, now the Museum of Lincolnshire Life. Ward was a plastering contractor for the Tanners Lane chapel in 1819/20. 

Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 01 May 1840 

The tender of Messrs. Ward, builders, of Lincoln, for erecting the new Independent chapel Newland, has been accepted. The tenders were from Mr. Ashton, of Binbrook, for Mr. Broadgate, of Horncastle, 2540/.; Messrs. Hartley and Wray, of Lincoln, 2447/.; and Mr. Ward, 2410/. The first stone the chapel will be laid by Sir C. Eardley Smith, in the last week of May (6). 

Tanners Lane and Non- Conformism in Lincoln (7)

The origins of the Congregational denomination can be traced back to several different strands of Non-conformity which developed in 18th century Lincoln. A Presbyterian congregation had been formed by John Disney in the late seventeenth century, with a meeting house in the lower High Street followed by a new chapel built in 1707. This building was later taken over by members of George Whitefield’s group, the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion, a denomination having a parallel development with Wesleyan Methodism. The Wesleyan tradition only started up in Lincoln in the late 1780s. There was also a Baptist Chapel situated to the rear of St Benedict’s parish church. 

Between 1780-1820 there was a certain amount of movement of membership between the various churches, and congregations began to think of opening up new premises in the central part of the city. The Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion decided to erect a new chapel (Zion) in Silver Street (later Silver Street UMFC), near to the site of the Catholic church. The Wesleyans moved from Gowts Bridge c.1796 to take over an outbuilding near Waterside South (itself replaced in 1815 by a new chapel in Bank Street). In addition, the Baptists moved to a new site in Mint Lane in 1818. A new Unitarian congregation developed at the 1707 chapel. These movements left room for a new development in the High Street area. 

The main building in Tanners Lane was approximately 65ft x 48ft. There was also a burial site behind the building, although only 2 burials were recorded. In 1836 a front gallery opened. In 1838 another gallery behind the pulpit was built to accommodate the choir and Sunday School. However, the additional space created still proved insufficient for the needs of the chapel, and this is one of the reasons which led to the move to Newland. The other main reason was that they wanted to set up a non-denominational school. This was not possible in the High Street area but was more suited to the central part of the city. 

Regular expenses at Tanners’ Lane were met by seat rents (c.£140 in the first year), sales of hymn books, collections and donations. The Reverend Benjamin Byron was paid £100 in his first year, later raised to £150. A Sunday School was begun in June 1821. An Auxiliary Committee was formed in conjunction with Zion to support the London Missionary Society, and there was some outreach, with weekly services at the Poor House in Washingborough. A Chapel Management Committee was formed in September 1823, and Deacons appointed later on. John Hayward was Church Treasurer but resigned in 1826 when his brother William was excommunicated for ‘factious conduct, greatly aggravated’: there were frequent disagreements among the members, and this eventually resulted in Byron leaving to take up a position in South Wales. 

In 1831 the Revd S.B.Bergne arrived. New members were being welcomed on a regular basis, and space in the chapel became scarce. 

After the move to Newland the Tanners’ Lane premises were transferred to Mr Campbell, an agent of the Home Missionary Society, and the chapel remained in use until about 1885. 

Prominent people in Commerce in Lincoln

Foremost among the congregation were: 

- Richard Coupland of Waddington, 

- John Coupland of Lincoln, merchant and partner in a milling concern with Messrs Keyworth and Seely, together with William Knight Hayward and his brother John, - Francis Mansford 

- Bartholomew Flintham 

Foundation Stones

Sir Culling Eardley Smith

Sir Culling Eardley Smith (1805-1863) was the founder of the Evangelical Society and was a great supporter of nonconformist congregations. He had property interests in Nettleton and frequently stayed in Lincoln. According to Sir Francis Hill he attended St Peter in Eastgate parish church. He and his wife once toured Ireland with Maria Edgeworth, the noted author. He donated a tent to the Independents in Lincoln for use in open-air meetings. 

Earl of Yarborough 

Charles Anderson Pelham, 2nd Lord Yarborough and was created 1st Earl of Yarborough in 1837. He was a keen subscriber to a wide range of worthy causes in the county. The family home was at Brocklesby Park, in the north of Lincolnshire. He was active in county and national politics. He had no specific nonconformist membership, as far as can be ascertained. Why he was chosen to lay the foundation stone is uncertain but one possible thought is that the 'celebrity factor' was perhaps why he was chosen and it appears the two men were probably friends. 

Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 22 May 1840 (11)

This report states that the first stone of the new Independent Chapel in Lincoln is laid on Wednesday next by Sir C. E. Smith, Bart., and on the same day that the Earl of Yarborough is to lay the first stone of the new school to be erected in connexion therewith. 

The Cost

The first £500 was given by Francis Bristow, who lived near to Newland and was a member at Tanners' Lane. Thirteen other major donors are named in the church records, giving a total of £605. These included Richard Coupland (£120), the Rev S.Bergne (£100), Mr T. Wilson (£100), the Earl of Yarborough (£50) and Sir CE Smith (£25). Smaller amounts came in quite quickly, adding another £545 before the scheme had gone public. The Committee of Council on Education, a Government body, gave £212 towards the school premises; the school, when built, had more pupils than the Silver Street National School. 

New hymns were also written and sold to raise money. 

Opening Ceremony

Stamford Mercury Friday November 13th 1840 (8)

New Independent Chapel, Newland, Lincoln. 

The services connected with the opening of the above edifice will be held follows: On Thursday, November 26th, 1840, three sermons will be preached in the morning, at eleven o'clock, by the Rev. A. Reed. D.D., of London; 

In the afternoon, at three o'clock, by the Rev. John Sibre. of Coventry; in the evening at half past six o'clock by the Rev. T. LL. of Liverpool. On Sunday, November 29th, three sermons will be preached in the Morning, at half past ten o'clock, the Rev. R, Vaughan, D.D., London; In the afternoon, at half past two o'clock, the Rev. E. T. Phust, of Northampton; in the evening, by Rev. R. Vaughan, D.D. 

On Monday evening. at seven o'clock, a sermon will be preached by the Rev. E. T. Prust., collections will be made after the services. 

Original Hymns, composed for the occasion by Mr. Jas. Montgomery and Mrs. Gilbert, may be had of the publisher, Mr. J. Drury, Stone-bow, Lincoln.

Any profit arising from the sale of the Hymns will be devoted to the Chapel Fund.  

The School

Stamford Mercury - Friday 22 May 1840 (9) British Schools and New Independent Chapel, Newland, Lincoln.

The first stone of the above buildings will be laid on Wednesday the 27th of May, 1840, at Half past Three o'clock in the Afternoon. An Address will be delivered by the Rev. J. Leifchild, D.D., of London. In the Evening of the same day, a Sermon will be preached in the Independent Chapel, by the Rev. Dr. Leifchild. Service to commence at o'clock. Oj- A Collection will be made on behalf of the Building Fund. 

Reference also in: Nos. 14-15: Conveyance 14/15 August 1835 from George Cavill, blacksmith to Thomas Bainbridge, schoolmaster of the future site of the school and chapel. It mentions the ‘newly erected messuages and premises’ of Cavill adjoining the site on its western boundary. Cavill also owned a piece of ground behind nos. 4-7 Steep Hill called Cavill’s Yard (10).

References

(1) Further information - Lincolnshire (The Buildings of England) by Nikolaus Pevsner; https://arcade.lincoln.gov.uk/ 
(2) Further information - Lincolnshire Archives Office 
(3) British Newspaper Archives 
(4) Sir Francis Hill “Victorian Lincoln”
(5) Further information - Pevsner 'The Buildings of England'(Lincolnshire) updated by Nicholas Antram) 
(6) British Newspaper Archives 
(7) Further information - Lincolnshire Archives
(8) British Newspaper Archives 
(9) British Newspaper Archives 
(10) Further information - Lincolnshire Archives 
(11) British Newspaper Archives

The Buildings

As the current church was becoming too small, it was decided to build a larger church to accomodate a congregation of between 1000-1100, and new school facilities.
The new church was to be built on the site of the school and the old chapel to be turned into the school.
Messrs Bellamy and Hardy were appointed the architects. Mr Lovelee of Branston was the contractor. The cost was between £8000- £10,500.
The Church was opened in 1876.
The previous place of worship was converted into the school.

Architectural Features

The facade of the church is in the style of Transitional Early English.  There are two main entrances at the front of the building. The facade is built of stone. 
The Spire is a broach- spire, rising to 125 feet. 

Interior Features

The downstairs auditorium was divided into a nave and side aisles by pillars and moulded arches.
The pews were arranged around a platform in a semi-amphitheatre style.
The floor sloped downwards from the rear of the church to the pulpit.
Electric lighting was installed by Robeys of Lincoln. 
Using moulded arched ribs and carved corbels, the ceilings were formed into panelled compartments. At the top of each cast iron pillar were foliage made of plaster.
The organ was placed above the pulpit. It was replaced in 1892 and was the first one powered by electric bellows in the country.
The pulpit was built on a level with the balcony. It was known as a preaching theatre as the speaker could be heard throughout the whole building. 
In the balcony the pews were arranged to form a semi-amphitheatre, as on the ground floor. 

  • The Buildings

    As the current church was becoming too small, it was decided to build a larger church to accomodate a congregation of between 1000-1100, and new school facilities.
    The new church was to be built on the site of the school and the old chapel to be turned into the school.
    Messrs Bellamy and Hardy were appointed the architects. Mr Lovelee of Branston was the contractor. The cost was between £8000- £10,500.
    The Church was opened in 1876.
    The previous place of worship was converted into the school.

  • Architectural Features

    The facade of the church is in the style of Transitional Early English.  There are two main entrances at the front of the building. The facade is built of stone. 
    The Spire is a broach- spire, rising to 125 feet. 

  • Interior Features

    The downstairs auditorium was divided into a nave and side aisles by pillars and moulded arches.
    The pews were arranged around a platform in a semi-amphitheatre style.
    The floor sloped downwards from the rear of the church to the pulpit.
    Electric lighting was installed by Robeys of Lincoln. 
    Using moulded arched ribs and carved corbels, the ceilings were formed into panelled compartments. At the top of each cast iron pillar were foliage made of plaster.
    The organ was placed above the pulpit. It was replaced in 1892 and was the first one powered by electric bellows in the country.
    The pulpit was built on a level with the balcony. It was known as a preaching theatre as the speaker could be heard throughout the whole building. 
    In the balcony the pews were arranged to form a semi-amphitheatre, as on the ground floor. 

1876 Newland Congregational Church


The Buildings

Newland Congregational Church 

In 1872 the church leadership decided that a new build was necessary. This was due to the school facilities which were now subject to Government inspection and because the church itself was too small for the congregation.

  • Jan 6th 1873 the first meeting of the newly formed New Chapel Committee was held and Messrs Bellamy and Hardy, a local firm, engaged as architects. 
  • The Committee consulted widely on the requirements of the scheme and during January and February, Rev Clarkson, Henry Newsum (a timber manufacturer), Mr Caswell and Mr Bellamy visited various chapel buildings in Lancashire (1)
  • They reported back in March and Bellamy prepared three sets of plans for a scheme to seat about 1100 people: (A) with side facing Newland; (B) with front to Newland; (C) as (B), but with transepts at the pulpit end. 
  • The plans (B) were chosen and agreed at a meeting on 17 March 1873 (2).
  • 9th May 1873, plans were agreed and alternative estimates considered - with or without a spire. The spire caused much debate, mostly about the extra cost. Joseph Ruston offered to pay the interest on the necessary loan for a period of 10 years. 
  • They had already raised  £2,700 (£300 short of a starting point) and at a meeting on May 28th with the church and congregation, various other promises were made which covered a further £169 12s 6d. 
  • June 1873 the Trust Deeds of the Chapel and Schools were discussed as the Government’s Education Department needed to approve the transfer of the existing school to the Chapel Trustees. A meeting on 18 August suggested an Infants’ Room for the new school.
  • 4 October 1873 the tender from Mr F. Lovlee of Branston for £6836 7s 2d was accepted. This was for a new church with spire and alterations of the old chapel to adapt it for school use. The estimate was now between £8,700 and £9,000.
  • Messrs Rainforth and Jekyll were to sign the building contract, and the expected completion date was 31 December 1874. There was a penalty clause at £5 per week over estimated time.
  • The Freemasons offered to let their Hall to the Church for one guinea per Sunday, gas and heating included, for the duration of the building work. 

The Site

They knocked down the four houses (3) fronting the road, the old chapel and the old school house.  It appears these four houses, which fronted Newland, were owned by George Cavill. Mary Dawber, who appears to have been a member at Tanners' lane Chapel, lived in one of the houses. Her family owned various breweries in the city (4).

The Freemasons building was on one side of the new Church, and the school on the other in the newly converted old Chapel (5).

Architects

Bellamy and Hardy were the architects. The plans for the church are housed in the Archives office.

Other buildings by the architects at that time in the Lincoln area include:

  • Bailgate Methodist, Lincoln
  • the Corn Exchange in Lincoln
  • South Barr and Congregational Church and Far Newland Congregational Church
  • The Female Penitents Institution, Carline Road 
  • They were also experts in cemetery design and designed the layout for the Lincoln Cemetery on Canwick Road. William Mortimer, another Lincoln architect, designed the chapels (6).

The Contractor

The contractor for the works was Mr Lovelee of Branston. He was often criticised for not putting sufficient workers on the job and thereby delaying the scheme. The minutes complained about “gross negligence by the contractor” (7). He promised completion by the end of May 1876 but this was subject to further delay. However, the church did open before the end of the year. 

There were also problems with a neighbour on the north side who complained of trespass and the projection of an eavesdrop and window ledge. This resulted in an arbitration award (8).

Cost

The Great Bazaar of 1875, raised over £1200 towards the building fund, and was followed by a second Bazaar which raised £2003. This was “A Grand Fancy Fair and Bazaar” held in the Cornhill, Lincoln, 1882 (9). There were a variety of unusual attractions and stalls, including: 

  • Refreshments and Amusements
  • Swiss Chalet style stalls with stall holders dressed in Swiss and Italian costumes
  • Goods for sale from around the world
  • Flower stalls
  • The First Lincolnshire Volunteer Rifle Band

Special attractions included:

  • Electric Light
  • Punch and Judy and dog Toby shows
  • Concerts
  • A fully operational telephone         

The Opening

The Foundation stones were laid by Joseph Ruston (10) and Alfred Allott (11) using engraved silver trowels and special mallets, on 17 September 1874. The foundation stones were originally due to be laid on July 1st 1874 but problems around the conversion of the old chapel for school use delayed work on the new building (12).

The Reverend at the time of the opening was  Rev W. F. Clarkson.

The Deacons were Messrs. W. Caswell, H. Newsum, W. Rainforth, and Joseph Ruston.

There was a final drive to clear the debt:

  • Joseph Ruston gave a blank cheque
  • Bell generously contributed
  • Jekyll - proprietor of the guano factory situated on the West Common
  • Rainforth-owned a factory,  generously contributed

A number of services were held celebrating the Opening of the Church from June 3rd 1876 with the last one on (13) Wednesday June 21st to continue to raise funds for the building.

The debt was paid off by 1884 (14).

The School

The Lincolnshire Chronicle reported on the building of the school:

“The Boy's school or lecture-room, 60 feet long by feet wide, and is used for tea meetings, lectures, &, as well as for school purposes. The gas and ironwork have been creditably executed by Rainforth and Son the heating apparatus H. and F. Bailey, engineers, Retford ; and carving by Moore and Son, Grimsby; the chief contractor being Mr. Lovlee, builder, Branston, who has carried out the works from designs and under the superintendence of Messrs. Bellamy and Hardy, architects, Lincoln.” (15)

The School received an annual payment of £10 per annum from the City Council, but the payment was stopped in 1882.

The school closed on 11 January 1895. Government grants were withdrawn because regulations became too difficult for the school to comply with.

Architectural Features

The facade of the church is faced with Yorkshire parpoints and Bath stone dressings in the style of Transitional Early English. The street frontage was to be in masonry and the rest of the building in brick (16).

Central gable with perforated parapet and a large five-light tracery window. 

Underneath are single-light traceried windows.

Stained glass windows: the five- light window and the wheel-window at the north end.

Remaining windows have Cathedral tinted glass margins and glass from Hartley’s quarries (17).

Gothic style with tower and broach-spire. This is a spire atop a square tower. Broach spires are usually octagonal, and each triangular face of the spire is termed a 'broach' (18). The tower and spire are one hundred and twenty feet in height. The octagonal broach spire has a single tier of lucarnes with shafts and gable finials (19). 

The Interior

Downstairs Auditorium

The pews were made of pitch pine and built by Jewsons - Mr Jewson was a member of the congregation. They were carpeted and cushioned, the work being done by Mr. McKerchar draper, and Mr. Curtis, cabinet maker

The decorations were plain and simple, the pillars painted in peagreen and maroon with only a touch of gold. 

The aisles and galleries had leaded windows and lean-to-roofs with struts.

The stairwells to the east and west had wooden cantilever dogleg stairs with turned balusters (20).

The Ceiling

The Lincolnshire Chronicle reported that “The ceilings are formed into panelled compartments by moulded arched ribs rising from richly-carved corbels.” (21)

The panels in the ceilings were stencilled. 

Organ and Pulpit

The organ was built by Jardine and Co., Manchester, at a cost of £857. In 1903 it was equipped with the first model of the recently invented Kinetic Fan Blower, introduced by Cousans of Lincoln. It was maintained by Cousans (22) the organ makers and repairers whose workshop was opposite Newland Congregational Church.

References

(1) New Chapel Committee minute book records 
(2) Lincolnshire Archives: original architectural plans from 1873
(3) 
Willson and Betham Survey of c.1830; Lincolnshire Archives
(4) 
British newspaper archive: Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 02 June 1876 Opening of the  Lincoln Congregational Church and School.
(5) British Newspaper Archive:Grantham Journal - Saturday 03 June 1876 Opening of the New Congregational Chapel, Lincoln 
(6) Pevsner: Buildings of England: Lincolnshire
(7) New Chapel Committee minute record book
(8) Lincolnshire Archives
(9) British Newspaper Archive: Lincolnshire Chronicle Tuesday 06 June 1882
(10) Joseph Ruston - engineer and manufacturer; head of the firm of Ruston, Proctor and Company makers of agricultural implements and engineers - ref  Ray Hooley's - Ruston-Hornsby- Engine Pages
(11) Allotts were bakers in Lincoln, originally from Sheffield
(12) Lincolnshire Archives
(13) British Newspaper Archive: Grantham Journal Saturday June 3rd 1876
(14) British Newspaper Archive: Grantham Journal - Saturday 03 June 1876 Opening of the New Congregational Chapel, Lincoln 
(15) Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 02 June 1876 OPENING OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH AND SCHOOL AT LINCOLN, British newspaper archive
(16) Sir Francis Hill “Victorian Lincoln”
(17) Lincolnshire Chronicle Friday June 2nd 1876, British Newspaper Archive
(18) Ref: Illustrated Dictionary of British churches 
(19) Historic England
(20) Historic England
(21) British Newspaper Archive: Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 02 June 1876
(22) Further information on Cousans 


1878-1970s NEWLAND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH


1878 - 1974

Newland Congregation Church (1)

1878 The Rev. J. Williamson was appointed minister of the church (2). He served until 1885 (3).

Rev Slow was the minister when the church merged in 1974 with the Presbytarian Church in Lincoln.

Many of the congregation were working people with many being foundry workers (4). However, through the years there have been people of note who attended the church, including:

  • Joseph Ruston
  • Jewsons
  • Henry Newsums
  • Rainworth

Sir Harold Banwell who was involved in the organisation of the transfer and unification of the church with the Presbytarian Church. He was a lawyer from London and a town clerk during World War 2. He received his knighthood whilst in London and retired to Lincoln. He was responsible for the closing of the church and the move to St Andrews Church. 

  • Sir Francis Hill - local solicitor (5) and friends with Sir Harold Banwell
  • Flora Murray

There is evidence of a variety of groups and organisations within the church including the Sunday School, the Choir, Literary Society, the Band of Hope, the Missionary Society (6), Youth Group (7).

The large hall - what is now the Brayford Suite - was used for a variety of purposes. During the war it was used by the Forces club for meetings for servicemen (8).

The congregation was a gathered church from across the city. As Lincoln continued to expand, the decision was made to plant into other areas of the city - Far Newland was a plant from Newland Congregational Church as the West end was expanding and so the idea was for Far Newland to serve that area. There was also some exploration of another chapel south of the city (9).

Ongoing repairs were made to the building during these years, for example in 1947 during the bad winter, a piece of plaster fell from the ceiling in front of the front pews and the ceiling had to be replastered. Whilst that happened the service was moved to the Hall upstairs for six months.

Four pinnacles and pillars on the facade of the church which were crumbling had to be repaired (10).

1974 - late 1970s

During these years, decisions about what to do with the building had to be made. For a while, after the merger, Rev Slow continued to use the vestry as his office. It was hoped that the City council might take it over, and there were discussions with them but they did not come to fruition (11).

References

(1) Lincolnshire Archives: original architectural plans from 1873; plans for the ceiling and roof at 4’:1” scale (ref. 4 Congre 7/9/3)
(2) British Newspaper Archive: Finch Hill Congregational Church [Douglas, Isle of Man] Isle of Man Times - Saturday 10 August 1878
(3) British Newspaper Archive: Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 03 July 1885 Lincoln Congregational Church
(4) Lincolnshire Archives: Sir Francis Hill’s notes on the history of the church (ref. 3 Cong 8/1)
(5) Memories from Rev Slow
(6) Congregational Church Lincoln, Manual for 1899
(7) Memories from Barbara Moses
(8) Memories from Mr Scully
(9) Memories Rev Slow
(10) Memories from Mr Scully
(11) Lincolnshire Archives: 3 Congre 2/1A/7

1878 - 1974

Newland Congregational Church continued to meet throughout  these years until they merged with the Presbytarian church and in about 1974 moved to the United Reformed Church in St Martins Square.

The building was then eventually put up for sale.

1974 - late 1970s

Following the merger with the Presbytarian Church, the vestry in the Newland Congregational Church was used by Rev. Slow until a decision was made about the building.

  • 1878 - 1974

    Newland Congregational Church continued to meet throughout  these years until they merged with the Presbytarian church and in about 1974 moved to the United Reformed Church in St Martins Square.

    The building was then eventually put up for sale.

  • 1974 - late 1970s

    Following the merger with the Presbytarian Church, the vestry in the Newland Congregational Church was used by Rev. Slow until a decision was made about the building.


Evangel Church


Evangel Church bought the buildings in the late 1970s for £40,000, moving from their premises on Newark Road.

More Information

Evangel Church bought the buildings in the late 1970s for £40,000, moving from their premises on Newark Road. An immediate payment of £6,000 was paid, followed by six annual payments of £6,000. 

The boilers at the time of purchase needed replacement. 

The Ministers were John Shelbourne and John Phillips. The Worship Leader was Chris Bowater. The Church used the main building for worship and the Newland Chambers (Brayford Building) building housed a large space upstairs now known as the Brayford Suite and downstairs were the offices and other smaller meeting rooms (1).


New Life Christian Fellowship

Alive Church


In 1983 Evangel church and Lincoln Free church joined together to form New Life Christian Fellowship. The name was later changed to Alive Church.

More Information

Around 1981 Evangel and the Lincoln Free Church (meeting in Newport Hall in Lincoln) were in talks about a possible merger of the two churches. Lincoln Free Church was pioneered by Stuart and Irene Bell and the Pastors of Evangel Church were John Shelbourne and John Phillips. 

In 1983 the two churches came together and formed New Life Christian fellowship. As an agreed condition of the merger, Evangel Church left the Assemblies of God Fellowship, and the Newland building became the home of the two merged churches. John Shelbourne died suddenly 14th May 1989 (1). Stuart Bell then led the church, along with John Phillips (2).

The two buildings are listed on the Historic England register as:
New Life Christian Fellowship Grade II*
Newland chambers Grade II (3)

Since the merger, there have been interior alterations to both buildings as the church has continued to grow and develop. Today, it is known as Alive Church (4). The church buildings are used by a variety of organisations throughout the week, not only by church groups but also by organisations from the wider community of Lincoln. The Rising Cafe, run by Betel is open to the public 6 days a week. The reception area has moved from its location at the side of church along Beaumont Fee to a new space accessed through the Rising Cafe entrance on Newland. The stage has been reconfigured, and new PA equipment and screens installed. 

The balcony remains unaltered from when it was built in 1876 and is still used today. 

The internal structure of the auditorium remains unaltered, but instead of pews, chairs are used to allow a more flexible seating configuration. 

The Church has planted out into various locations within the city and beyond. 

Stuart and Irene Bell are the Senior Pastors, with each location led by Location Pastors (5)

Alive Church continues the heritage of the church by being a vibrant, expanding church reaching out to meet the needs of the community of the City of Lincoln. 

References

(1) John Shelbourne
(2) ‘Accolade’ introduced by Stuart Bell. Pub 2019 River Publishing ISBN 978-908393-89-0
(3) Historic England listings 
(4) Alive Church Website
(5) Alive Church Website

Join a life group

As a Church, we gather in smaller numbers called life groups. We do this in many ways, including online. We value relationship and would love to get you connected today.

Stay in touch

Registered Office: Alive Church, Newland, Lincoln, LN1 1XG  |  t: 01522 542 166  | e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registered Charity No: 1140435. Registered Company No: 7494717. A company limited by guarantee having no share capital. A member of the Evangelical Alliance. Part of the Groundlevel Network of churches.

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