Desford Free Church
The building in Chapel Lane was built in 1866 as one of a group of General Baptist Churches set up by Barton Fabis Baptist Church.
For about 5 years before this, services had been held in private houses and the National Schoolroom (now Anson House). Initially, two ministers looked after Barton, Bagworth, Barlestone, Desford and Newbold Verdon. Later Congerstone and Market Bosworth were added, with licensed cottages at Odstone and Nailstone. In 1872 a pastor was appointed for just Desford and Newbold. Robert Carr Chawner and Elizabeth were the first couple to be married in the church.
The first organ was purchased in 1887 and was replaced in 1905. Over time it developed various problems and the cost of repairs was high. It was removed in 2014.
The church was altered and extended in 1905 after it became the Free Church. The porch and vestibule were added and stairs to the gallery. A coke fired heating system was installed, benches and a new baptistry. In 1961 the boiler was replaced by an oil-fired boiler. In 1973 a new kitchen and toilets were built, to replace a dilapidated outbuilding. A gas boiler was installed at some stage. The benches were replaced by chairs in the early 2000s. The latest alteration in 2021 has been the ramp to enable disabled access to the main door and the creation of the Community Café area.
Desford Free Church
Robert and Elizabeth Chawner
LIST OF MINISTERS:
1872 Rev James Brown.
1881 Rev E Gilbert
The Free Church was formed in 1904 and in between pastors there were periods when lay preachers kept the church going.
1905 – 07 Rev Kenneth Bond
1909 – 17 Rev EA Martin. He left to become an Army Chaplain.
1919 – 24 Rev John Evans
1929 Rev AG Blenkin (a retired Congregational Minister had oversight)
1930 – 35 Rev Barton Turner
1943 – 46 Rev AN Geary (a retired Baptist Minister had oversight)
Rev Garnham at Barton had oversight after this, with local preachers from Leicester.
1979 – 89 Rev Peter Farrands
1990 – 2000 Rev Jeff Blunt (part-time)
2000 – 03 Rev Bill Kirk
2004 – 15 Rev David Alderson (part time student minister)
2018 – present: Rev Jim Mullin (shared ministry with Market Bosworth)