Brief History of St Mary's
The Church of St Mary in Charnwood Nanpantan was built as a mission room in 1888 by EH Warner, then owner of Nanpantan Hall. In 1896 it was conveyed to Trustees “for the purpose of conducting Church of England services and promoting religion within the Ecclesiastical Parish of Emmanuel, Loughborough”.
The church was dedicated as St Mary in Charnwood in 1957. As a result of increasing congregations the church status was changed in 1995, from a chapel of ease and daughter church of Emmanuel to that of joint parish church, sister to Emmanuel within a new Team Ministry of Emmanuel and St Mary’s. For the first time the church had its own Team Vicar, responsible for St Mary’s.
In 2012, the church was reordered, taking out the choir stalls and wooden pillars to make a flexible and open space in the chancel area. The old pipe organ was removed and replaced with a digital organ. On 1st January 2015, St Mary in Charnwood became its own parish and continues to grow, flourish and serve God and the local community.
In the 1960s a new, granite walled, flat-roofed vestry was built where the current Chapter House stands but suffered from damp and a leaking roof. In 1999, work commenced on a larger Chapter House, adding kitchen and toilet facilities as well as a ground floor and first floor meeting room, both of which are well used by church and community groups.
In 1998, the church was gifted the 1 acre of woodland which is adjacent to the church buildings most of the maintenance of which is undertaken by church volunteers. There is a walkway through the woodland which offers tranquillity as well as beautiful views over Nanpantan reservoir. The war memorial and memorial garden were recently sympathetically refurbished.
Roll of Honour
In 2010, St Mary’s embarked on a project, to find out some background on the 63 named men who went from Nanpantan to serve in World War 1. Their names appear on a framed illuminated list at the back of church. Originally sited on the West wall, the Roll of Honour was reframed and moved to the South wall, out of direct sunlight during church reordering in 2013.
The top of the Roll reads: “Your prayers are asked for those who have gone to serve our King and Country by land and sea and air”.