The opening of the church can be told through the following newspaper articles and some photos in the photo album :-
Dec 28th 1956 Derby Evening Telegraph
Work on Allestree New Church Likely in ‘57
There is to be a new church in Allestree on the site skirted by Allestree Lane, Lawn Avenue and Fairway Crescent - and it is to be the daughter of St. Edmund’s, the parish church of the fast growing village.
Small wonder the church is to be built. St. Edmund’s, which was rebuilt in 1865 around a 12th centenary tower only holds 280, and even in these days when congregations are often pitifully small at some churches, morning services there are invariably crowded.
At present under discussion are suggested revisions of ecclesiastical parish boundaries to make the area served by the various churches in the district more compact – and, indeed, to create a compact area for the new church to serve.
The ecclesiastical parishes of Allestree and Mackworth meet near the site. They do not correspond entirely with the administrative parishes.
But the population increase of the administrative area of Allestree serves as a good indication as to why a new church is needed. Between 1931 and 1951 it rose from 1,412 to 4,505.
It has certainly risen a great deal since – and it is rising steadily as new houses are occupied.
Two New Estates
Hunt Lea Estates Ltd plan to complete 500 to 600 houses on their Hollies Farm Estate alone. A little nearer the site of the new church, J H Fryer Ltd are building about 150 houses on their Burley Farm site. The need for a new church was seen 25 years ago by the late Prebendary W G Clark-Maxwell, father of Mr G S Clark-Maxwell the Derby surgeon. He gave for the purpose some of the land he had inherited in 1929.
At the time the area was very rural.
The vicar of Allestree (The Rev G L White) says of the proposed new church : ”It is definitely going to be a church : it’s not going to be a dual purpose building.”
Very little else, however, is yet known about it. At the time of writing an architect has not been chosen.
But it is understood that it is hoped to begin building in the first half of next year - and that £15,000 is likely to be spent in the first year.
At present, assets of £10,000 are ready for the church. Allestree parish aims to raise another £5,000.
For this reason , the Vicar will be sending a letter to every house in the parish asking if the occupiers will be prepared to help and suggesting ways in which they can.
The name of the church is chosen, as the new housing estate will be attractive to new families and children, it is proposed that the new church will be St Nicholas, who is the patron saint of children.
Oct 1958 Derby Evening Telegraph
First Services at New Church
The first services at Allestree’s new £20,000 church of St Nicholas will be held on a Sunday in October 1958. The Vicar of Allestree (The Rev G L White) tells me that although the church will be open for worship on and after next Sunday, full services will not commence until after the consecration which he hopes will be on December 6th.
A Sunday School service will be held at the new church on Sunday afternoon and Evensong will be conducted by Mr White.
The foundation stone of the church was laid in Sept 1957 after work had begun in July. Workmen are now putting the final touches to the church.
The new church – a daughter church of Allestree Parish Church – will serve a neighbourhood that has expanded considerably since the war. It will now hold about 300 people, and has been built on the land skirted by Allestree Lane, Lawn Avenue and Fairway Crescent.
Dec 1958 Derby Evening Telegraph
New Church is consecrated
“St Nicholas , whatever else might be known about him, has been traditionally recorded as the patron saint of children, travellers and sailors” said the Bishop of Derby (Dr A E Rawlinson), addressing a large congregation of the church of St Nicholas, Allestree, on Saturday 6th December 1958. – St Nicholas’s Day.
Many people who helped the project of building the new church were present, including representatives of the building firm, Hugh Cox and Son Ltd, Heanor and Mr Peter Woore , the architect.
The foundation stone of the church was laid in September last year by Mr George Clark-Maxwell and the church was completed and first used in October this year.
It is a daughter church of St.Edmund’s in the parish of Allestree where the Rev G L White is Vicar.
Brought into the Parish of Allestree
Recent alterations in the parish boundaries brought the new church from Mackworth into Allestree.
Included in the Bishops procession were the Archdeacon of Derby (the Ven J F Richardson) , the Rural Dean of Duffield ( the Rev G Surtees of Christ Church Belper) , Mr White and churchwardens Mr R F Presswood and Mr W Dallman.
The first Family Eucharist at the newly consecrated church will be held next Sunday at 9:15am. The preacher will be the Rev A C Bowell, Vicar of St Andrew’s Wembley who a year ago conducted a mission in a tent near the church while it was being built.