Protestant Nonconformity in Skeffington

Skeffington is a village in East Leicestershire, near the village of Billesdon.

No illegal religious meetings were noted in 1669,[1] and no nonconformists in 1676,[2] or in 1706-9.[3] There are no early meeting house registrations. The first, and only, denomination with a recorded presence in the village are Independents, who appear in the records from 1842.


The earliest evidence of Independents is of a chapel they erected in 1842 near Leicester and Uppingham Road. This was a small chapel containing 40 sittings, all of them free. The Religious Census of 1851 records two services on census day, held in the morning and evening, with attendances of 26 and 13 respectively. The corresponding figures for averages attendance were 20 and 14.[4]

The census did not record a Sunday School. However, one was noted by 1855, as was a ‘room where a few Dissenters assemble on a Sunday’, which was presumably the 1842 chapel. Both this and the Sunday School were supported by the rector.[5]

After 1855, there is no other record of this congregation in trade directories, and none shown on any Ordnance Survey map.



[1] R.H. Evans, ‘Nonconformists in Leicestershire in 1669’, Trans LAHS, 25 (1949), p. 139

[2] A. Whiteman, The Compton Census of 1676: A Critical Edition (London, 1986), p. 338

[3] J. Broad (ed.), Bishop Wake’s summary of visitation returns from the diocese of Lincoln, 1706-1715. Part 2, Outside Lincolnshire (Huntingdonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire) (Oxford, 2012), p. 827

[4] 1851 Religious Census of England and Wales, entry for Independents, Skeffington, HO 129/410/7.

[5] PO Dir. Leics. (1855) p. 115.

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