Records of Friary Congregational Church (from 1972 Friary United Reformed Church), West Bridgford, and its predecessor Friar Lane Chapel, Nottingham, 1827-1997

Scope and Content

Most of the records relate to the administration of the Church following the transfer to West Bridgford. They include minutes of various committees, accounts and routine correspondence. A small number of items date back to the formation of Friar Lane Chapel: the record book (1827-1865) that includes minutes and registers is of particular interest.

Significant records feature Church Rolls and lists of members dating from 1827-1905, along with Communion and Baptismal Registers (1862-1968). Minutes and service books from the Sunday School, 1896-1963, are also present. Some printed matter is included in the form of church newsletters (1931-1975), year books and Church Bazaar Guides. There are some photographs of the Church and Ministers.

The collection also includes several minute books and a register relating to Queens Walk Congregational Church, in the Meadows area of Nottingham.

Friary also had close ties with Paton Congregational College, and it is no doubt as a result of this connection that a minute book and papers concerning the College (Fy X 2/1-2/2) have 'strayed' into the Friary Church archive.

There is a selection of material which relates to the Church's Centenary Celebrations in 1997 (Fy X 3/1-8).

Administrative / Biographical History

Friary Church was established in September 1897. Its original twenty-five members came from a number of Nottingham Churches, including Castle Gate and Park Hill (see CU), but mostly from Friar Gate Chapel. It was from the latter that the church took its name.

Friar Lane Chapel had been formed in 1827 and, as with other city churches, suffered a decline in numbers attending towards the end of the nineteenth century. This can be attributed to the migration of town dwellers to the suburbs.

Friary's new premises on Musters Road, West Bridgford were opened for public services in March 1899. During the interim, services were held in the luncheon room of the Trent Bridge Cricket Pavilion.

Queens Walk Congregational Church in the Meadows area of Nottingham, which was formed in 1874, amalgamated with the Friary in 1970.

In 1972 the Congregational and English Presbyterian Churches joined to form the United Reformed Church.


Material is listed chronologically within series subdivided by form (e.g. minutes, accounts). The Queens Walk material is listed at the end of the catalogue as Fy Z.

Access Information

Catalogued material is accessible to all registered readers. Access is restricted to documents less than thirty years old.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript Catalogue, 30 pp

At the National Register of Archives, London:

Typescript Catalogue, 11 pp. This is an out-of-date version of the typescript catalogue in the King's Meadow Campus Reading Room and the current online catalogue.

On the World Wide Web:

Catalogue accessible from the website for Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

Separated Material

Pre-1837 registers from Friar Lane Chapel are held at The National Archives: Birth and baptism register, 1804-1837 (RG 4/1407); Burial register, 1827-1836 (RG 4/1408). Microfiche copies of these registers can be seen at The National Archives and at Nottinghamshire Archives. The website offers paid access to digital images of the registers via a subscription. It is free to search the registers on this website. Indexes to the registers are also available as part of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and can be searched for free on

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The records came to the University Library from the church in 1985. Material relating to the Centenary was added to the collection in 1999.

Related Material

Reports of Paton College, 1911-1959 (CU/V/4/1-2)

Most of the records of Paton College, dating from 1899 to 1968, are held at the John Rylands University Library, Manchester.