Rothley Baptist Church-Extracts and Jottings 1815-1837
The following jottings have been taken from the Minute Books by the Deacon Liz Gibson and reproduced by her kind permission.
Joseph Ward who engages in the singing having been found in immoral conduct 'in getting too much liquor and fighting and quarrelling at the public house. It was agreed to inform him that it is the wish of the Church that he does not come forward in leading the singing.
Letter from Samuel Deacon of Barton as a testimonial to 'upright Christian' conduct of Brother Austin
Mary Gamble accused of 'keeping company with carnal people, staying out all night and neglecting her business'.
Used to help other Churches. Agreed to allow a collection in the Church for Fleckney.
Very democratic choosing of Brother Austin as minister. Invited him to take over and voted on his request to preach once a fortnight till Michaelmas and be present at administration of Lords Supper.
Thomas Draycott being drunk at Barrow. Case taken up. It was agreed to suspend him for 3 months in which time he is to attend the ordinance of the Lords Supper nor Church meetings.
Church committee nominated two people to be Deacons. Sewell and Boulter decided that Deacons should not just be concerned with temporal affairs. They were (1816) to attend at door and help carry bread and wine.
Agreed to put out money contributed towards building schoolrooms. Brother Sleath to have it at 1%.
A meeting house was to be built at Sileby. Local Baptist Churches contributed towards it-Rothley, Cossington, Birstall, Thurcaston.
Sister Goodman brought under censure of the Church for absenting herself from the Lords Supper and speaking disrespectfully of some of the friends, refusing to have any conversation with them. Later she appeared to be in a much better state of mind. It was agreed that Brothers Sleath, Boulter, Sewell have more conversation with her.
Great concern of personal lives of members of the Church, very public discussion of behaviour.
Sister Langham-A report circulated that she had another husband living besides William Langham with whom she was now living. Two or three friends 'waited upon her to inquire the truth'. She gave a distressing account of brutal treatment from her first husband, 'threatening to murder her' but she had been delivered from him by helpful neighbours. She had escaped and eventually taken up with her present husband, having heard nothing of her first for fifteen years. The last she heard he was in prison for theft and she understood that he had been sentenced to transportation. Although it was clear she was a zealous and pious woman and a very regular attender at Church, the members voted by a majority for her exclusion.
From time to time people applied to be admitted to the fellowship and members had to agree.
Church had 40 women and 39 men.
17 members had died, several dismissed or withdrawn to other Churches.
SILEBY GENERAL BAPTIST CHURCH
Built in 1818 on ground belonging to and at the expense of Mr William Palmer of Loughborough under the following conditions that Rothley Chapel pay 5% of his money by way of rent and could purchase it in the future at cost. Cost £60 to put pews in. In 1825 Rothley agreed to purchase the Chapel when they learned from the unpleasant experience not to place any confidence in man. In 1827 affair was settled with Mr Palmer. Found £314.0.3d purchase money for the chapel and burial ground. With legal fees total was £395.0.3d. £200 taken up as a mortgage to Mr Palmer, £50 borrowed from Brother George Freeman on a note signed by John Boulter, Thomas Draycott and Joseph Helmsley. Another £20 borrowed from Helmsley himself.
Only 9 members of the Church lived at Sileby.
It was resolved that the corpse which shall be brought to be buried in the ground belonging to the Rothley Chapel shall not be set down to stand in the chapel but carried straight forward to the grave so that no person may be affected in any way from any effluvia arising from the putrid body.
Agreed that for the future the person who digs the graves shall get 2/6d. Agreed that the burying ground at Sileby Chapel shall be fenced in with a good strong hedge made of thorns.
Thus we end another year with marks of a little prosperity much poverty but at peace with one another.
63 members added under Brother Stephen Taylor who then went to Duffield Baptist Church.
Struggling financially and still exclusions for drunkenness, 'bad company',swearing, disorderly conduct, fighting, Joseph Baxter accused of striking his wife.
Agreed that as a Church of Christ we consider it very inconsistent of Christians to attend cricket 'plays'.
On Wakes-agreed that as a Church we disapprove of them and think that it is unlawful for Christians to participate in their revelling and inexpedient to countenance their amusements.
We think it improper to receive into our Church or retain in it Oddfellows, Ancient Druids or members of Orange Clubs.
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