Our History

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If you are looking for information about people who have been buried in St Thomas’ churchyard please visit https://burialrecords.org.uk/

A Potted History of St Thomas’

1830 (2nd February)

As Chesterfield expanded to the west a ‘Commissioners’ church was planned to serve the growing population. It was designed by John Woodhead and William Hurst in the Gothic Revival Style. The government gave a grant of £2,063 towards the building costs. The Foundation Stone of St Thomas’ was laid by William Spencer 6th Duke of Devonshire.

1831 (27th July)

St Thomas’ Church opened for services by Henry Ryder, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. St Thomas’ Parish was part of Lichfield Diocese at this time.
First Incumbent Rev. Matson Vincent (Perpetual Curate).


St Thomas’ Schools (a National Day School) was opened at Brampton Moor.

1832 (9th August)

St Thomas’ Church and Churchyard were consecrated by the Bishop of Lichfield (tickets 1 shilling!).

1841 (October)

St Peter’s, Holymoorside, combined Church and School opened.


Rev. John Beridge Jebb (Perpetual Curate July 1846 to November 1862).

unknown artist; John Jebb (1808-1863), Vicar of St Thomas', Brampton, Derbyshire (1846-1862); Chesterfield Museum & Art Gallery; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/john-jebb-18081863-vicar-of-st-thomas-brampton-derbyshire-18461862-61443

unknown artist; John Jebb (1808-1863), Vicar of St Thomas’, Brampton, Derbyshire (1846-1862); Chesterfield Museum & Art Gallery.


Rev John Magens Mello (Perpetual Curate and then Rector in 1867).

1867 (16th August)

The Parish of St Thomas’ Brampton was declared a Rectorial Benefice.


Parish Magazine first published.


St Thomas’ Brampton now part of the new Diocese of Southwell


Rev. Charles Edward Little (Rector)


St Thomas’ closed for re-seating and other alterations (services held in St Thomas’ Schools); old ‘high back’ box pews with doors removed and pitch pine pews installed (removed in re-ordering of 1999).

1887 (13th October)

The ‘Maithouse Mission’ (fore-runner of St Mark’s Lower Brampton) opened in Brewery Yard.


Mr G M May resigned as organist.
Mr J S Lancaster appointed organist and choir master.


Brass Eagle Lectern presented by Philip Henry Chandler.

1887 (25th December)

Oak pulpit installed at St Thomas’ (gift of Mr & Mrs Frederick Stanton).

1888 (29th August)

Foundation stone for new Chancel laid by Mrs Alfred Barnes.


Two cottages on the corner of Holymoorside Lane (now Walton Back Lane) acquired for a Mission Church at Walton.


Rev. Edward Starkie Shuttleworth (Rector).


Walton ‘Cottage Mission’ opened.
Prior to this the congregation met in a room provided by Mrs Jebb, widow of St Thomas’ second Incumbent.

1891 (7th July)

New chancel and extension to the churchyard consecrated by George Ridding, Bishop of Southwell.


East window installed – gift of Philip Henry and Ann Elizabeth Chandler in memory of Susan Marsden (former Sunday School teacher).


Lower Brampton Mission Church was built on the foundations of two cottages on Hipper Street West. The ‘Maithouse Mission’ was closed.


Rev. Henry Edward Ferry (Rector).


Rev. Edward Charles Stukeley (Rector).

1903 (2nd September)

Church reopened after removal of West gallery. The Church was restored, structurally improved and decorated at a cost of £1,500. The ceiling was decorated as it today.


Rev. Frederick Herbert Burnside (Rector).


The organ was rebuilt and considerably enlarged at a cost of £534.


First mention of St Mark’s as the title of the Lower Brampton Mission Church.


Burial ground added to St Peter’s Holymoorside.

1916 (27th May)

St John’s new Mission Church dedicated by the Bishop.

1919 (20th April Easter Day)

The ‘May Window’ was installed. A stained glass window in south aisle installed (depicting St Thomas in the centre with King David to his left and St Cecilia to his right) gift of Mrs Frances E S May in memory of her husband Godfrey Melland May, one time voluntary organist.

1920 (October)

A representative from the Midland Clock Works, Derby, assisted by Mr William Rhodes fixed the new clock in the church tower. “It should strike the hours and should be heard from a quarter of a mile away. The erection of this clock will satisfy a need that has been long felt, for there is no public clock that strikes the hours nearer than the Market Hall, and the whole Brampton district will be deeply grateful to the donors”. The weight of the bell it will strike is between 4 and 5 cwt.

1920 (24th October)

Dedication of Church Tower clock given by Mr Thomas Scott and erected at the cost of Mr Joseph Haslam as a thank offering for the safe return of his sons from the Great War.

1920 (December)

“….the present state of our chancel is a reproach to us …” The chancel floor was replaced, new steps at chancel arch and altar rail within sanctuary. The stones removed from the Chancel were used to form part of the platform and base for the War Memorial.

1921 (1st June)

Re-opening of the Chancel.
Sir Edwyn Hoskins, Bishop of Southwell dedicated the high altar, and the oak reredos in memory of Captain Thomas Greaves, 18th Sherwood Foresters, who died of wounds in France, July 1918 -gift of his parents Mr & Mrs T Greaves. The new glass mosaic chancel floor was also dedicated.

1921 (18th September)

The Duke of Devonshire unveiled the granite War Memorial to 210 Brampton men who gave their lives during the Great War. The War Memorial, (erected at a cost of £900), a Granite Cross was made of Cornish Granite (“preferable to Derbyshire stone as it would weather better”).

1921 (November Armistice Day)

The first service of Remembrance was held on the steps of the War Memorial.


Mr J C Simon appointed organist and choirmaster.


Rev, Hubert John Sililtoe (Rector).


The new parish of St Augustine, Birdholme was instituted. This affected St Thomas’ Parish boundaries as the Boythorpe Estate became part of the new parish.

1926 (4th April Easter Day)

Tabernacle, crucifix and candlesticks for the. Lady Altar (in the south aisle) given in memory of Mr & Mrs Oliver W Plowright.


The tower vestry and stairs to the tower top installed.

1927 (7th July)

The Diocese of Southwell was divided and a new Diocese of Derby, founded by an Order in Council, came into operation. It consisted of the Derby and Chesterfield Archdeaconries.

1927 (26th October to November 4th)

The Hallowing of the Diocese and Cathedral of Derby. The Reverend Dr Edmund Courtenay Pearce, Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge was consecrated first Bishop of Derby on 29 October.


St Mark’s Mission Church extensively altered.


St Thomas’ Schools closed.


After refurbishment, the Schools buildings opened as the Parish Hall.
St Thomas’ organ was cleaned and repaired and new stops added.


St Mark’s Mission Church was designated a ‘Conventional district’. The Rev John A Pittman was Priest in Charge of Lower Brampton (6,000 people).

1935 (December)

Dedication of oak canopied panelling (in memory of Miss M J Haynes) in the chancel and sanctuary and two new priests’ stalls. Oak panel on south side details names of Vicars and Rectors of this parish. The oak panelling of the Sanctuary and the Chancel was erected in memory of Mary Jane Greaves.

1936 (August)

8 bells installed in the Church tower by Messrs Taylor & Co. Loughborough. Given in memory of Stephen Melland and Godfrey Melland May.

1936 (12th September)

Bells blessed by the Bishop of Derby.

1936 (30th September)

Bishop Jackson Rector of Astbury, Cheshire and formerly Bishop of the Windward Islands dedicated the window set in the south east corner of the nave in memory of members of the Scott family. The Scott window (depicting the Virgin and child surrounded by several Saints) was installed in memory of Thomas Scott, Emma Scott and Sarah Ann Scott.
The Bishop also re-dedicated the portion of the Douglas memorial window which was reset in the north west corner of the nave.

1938 (18th September)

The George V Memorial Window at the west end of the church was unveiled by the Duke of Devonshire.

1939 (6th December)

The ‘first sod’ was cut by Rev E Gardin, Priest-in-Charge on the Springfield Avenue sight for the foundation of St Mark’s Church. 1940 (21st December) St Mark’s Church, Springfield Avenue, Lower Brampton was dedicated.


Rev. John Dawson Hooley (Canon and Rural Dean Rector).


Land owned by the church forming part of Wash-House Farm was exchanged with the Corporation for land in Quarry Lane with a view to building a future Church Hall there.


A new boiler was installed at St Thomas’ along with additional radiators and new electric wiring


The Rector was appointed Rural Dean of Chesterfield.


Mr J C Simon retired from the post of organist and choirmaster at St Thomas’.


A Scout Troup was formed for the first time.


The Rector was installed as an hon. Canon of Derby Cathedral.
The organ was restored and repaired.


Rev. Lionel William Daffurn (Rector).


£630 was raised to paint St Thomas’. The ceiling was treated with a special varnish to preserve the new paintwork.


An appeal was launched to raise £7,500 to buy a Curate’s house and construct a sacristy and vestry adjoining the chancel and choir vestry. Thanks to the immediate response, number 558 Chatsworth Road was purchased in August. 1961.
The deaths occurred of Mr Percy Shaw a chorister for over 80 years and Mr J F Biggin, verger for 25 years.


A very significant event in the history of the parish took place during this year when St Mark’s was designated a Statutory District with a population of around 4000 people. This measure had the effect of reducing the size of the parish to about three quarters of its’ previous population and with a geographical centre now moved further west.


In February a great gale blew 8 stone pinnacles from the tower. One pinnacle came through the church roof  causing much damage to fabricand furnishings. One pinnacle was completely renewed and the rest
 restored and fitted with steel retaining rods.
A new boiler with automatic stoker was installed. This work was the result of a five year project and was dedicated in 1967.


Chesterfield was now beginning to expand into the open country side to the North of Ashgate Road with the building of the large Loundsley Green Estate. This was to include a new church and the plans for  thiswere published in October and together with a model were put on national exhibition.

1963 (Good Friday)

A real landmark event was a United Service, possibly the first in parish history, at Mount Zion Church.


A new curate was appointed with special duties in the expanding Loundsley Green area.

1964 (7th June)

The new vestries were finally dedicated -76 years after the first proposal to build them along with the new chancel and indeed they were built with stone taken from the walls of that very chancel.


St Thomas’ Parish Hall (formally St Thomas’ Schools) were compulsorily purchased and demolished to make way for a road improvementscheme. This left the Church without a Parish Hall.

 1971 (28th November)

A new Meeting Room, adjoining the north side of the church was dedicated and opened by Cyril Bowles Bishop of Derby.


The Church of the Ascension, Loundsley Green became part of the Parish of St Peter and St Paul, Old Brampton. Although this reduced the area of St Thomas’ parish it had little immediate effect on the populationsince Loundsley Green was mainly housing which was occupied by people coming into the area. The population of St Thomas’ was rising, however, due to the expansion of private housing estates in Walton.


Rev. Vyvyan Watts-Jones (Rector).


A re-ordering scheme was proposed in 3 phases: Phase 1: The altar in the chancel was moved forward from the east wall so that the Rector could celebrate Communion facing the congregation. Phase 2 dealt with the removal of plinths underneath the pews and therefore levelling of the floor. Phase 3 had to do with improvements to the west porch which had formerly been the Baptistry.


Phases 2 and 3 of the re-ordering were completed.

1981 (19th September)

The west entrance was restored for the celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of St Thomas’ Church.


Rev Christopher John Cokayne Frith (Rector collated Canon in 1999).


St Peter’ and St John’s churches licensed for marriage.


The PCC appointed Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams as architects to prepare a scheme for the re-ordering of St Thomas’. This scheme also had 3 phases: An extension to the Garden of Remembrance. Re-ordering of the interior of the church. A new foyer, meeting rooms, toilets and kitchen facilities (Phases 1 and 2 of these plans was not undertaken until 1999 and phase 3 was postponed until later).


Libby Lane (nee Holden) served in the parish as a Pastoral Assistant. Libby later went on to become the Bishop of Stockport, the first female Bishop in the Church of England.

libby lane


The building of St John’s Church Centre took place.


A Gift Day raised money for the re-ordering of St Thomas’ first mooted in 1989. Many months of detailed discussions with the Diocesan Advisory Committee and a Consistory Court followed. The hearing was largely concerned with objections from the Victorian Society over the removal of furniture and fittings from the chancel. The outcome of this hearing was that the chancel was not to be involved in the re-ordering scheme. However the rest of the scheme was allowed to go ahead.

1999 (February)

St Thomas’ Church was closed for 8 weeks while the interior of the church (with the exception of the chancel) was reordered. The church was re-opened on Easter Day April 4th. The Bishop of Derby, Jonathan Bailey, officiated at a service of re-dedication on the same evening.

2000 (1st August)

St John’s, Walton, became the first new parish of the new Millennium. Once again the parish of St Thomas’, Brampton, has been reduced, this time in both geographical area and population size. The Mission Church at Walton was demolished in 2005 and was replaced by a larger building in 2006.


St Thomas’ organ was shut down for several months for cleaning and refurbishment.

2003 September

The Reverend David P Mouncer was inducted Rector of St Thomas’.

 2008 June

The Reverend Matthew Barnes was inducted Rector of St Thomas’ (Canon & Area Dean).

2011 September

St Thomas’ Church Centre was opened on 24 September by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

 2013 September

The 1971 meeting room was completely modernised and remodeled and renamed ‘the suite’.

2016 June

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby visited St Thomas’ and chaired a meeting for local business leaders.