The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United Kingdom
As of 1 January 2011, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 188,029 members in 45 stakes, 332 Congregations (282 wards and 50 branches), 6 missions, and 2 temples in the United Kingdom.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2012)|
The first Mormon missionaries to proselytise in the British Isles were seven men, led by Heber C. Kimball, who arrived in Liverpool aboard the ship Garrick in July 1837. Joseph Fielding, a member of the party, had a brother in Preston and it was to here that they quickly moved operations. Fielding's brother briefly allowed them to preach in his Vauxhall Chapel which led to the baptism of their first convert George D. Watt and 8 others in the River Ribble on 30 July 1837. On 6 August 1837 the first branch of the church was established in Preston, which remains today the oldest continuously functioning unit of the LDS church.
In September 1837 the group obtained, through the Preston Temperance Society, access to a building in Preston known as The Cockpit where meetings began to be held regularly, including the first general conference of the LDS Church in the UK on Christmas Day 1837. On 8 April 1838 a second conference was held at which Joseph Fielding became president of the British mission and Willard Richards and William Clayton became counselors. On 20 April 1838 the other members of this first mission, who were not staying on, left Liverpool to return to the United States aboard, once again, the ship Garrick.
Two native Scots, Alexander Wright and Samuel Mulliner, became the first missionaries to Scotland after they were converted whilst living in Ontario, Canada. They arrived 20 December 1839 and on 14 January 1840 Mulliner baptised the first converts in Scotland, Alexander Hay and his wife Jessie, in the River Clyde at Bishopton near Paisley.
In 1838 Joseph Smith, the leader of the LDS Church, had announced that the Quorum of the Twelve should travel to the United Kingdom on a mission. They arrived between January and April 1840. Among the first Apostle's to arrive was Wilford Woodruff who, in March 1840, was introduced to leaders of the United Brethren and began preaching to their congregation. Ultimately all but one of the congregation converted to Mormonism and their chapel in Gadfield Elm became the first chapel of the Latter-day Saints in the United Kingdom. The Gadfield Elm Chapel in Worcestershire is the oldest extant chapel of the LDS Church and was restored between 1994–2000.
As part of this second mission, Orson Pratt headed to Scotland and, on 8 May 1840, he founded a branch of the church in Paisley. Arthur's Seat, a hill in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, has a particular significance to the history of the Latter-day Saints in the UK, because this is where the nation of Scotland was dedicated in 1840 by Pratt "for the preaching of the gospel".
In May 1840 the first issue of the The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, a magazine for British Latter-day Saints, was printed. It would be published regularly until 1970 becoming the longest continuously published periodical of the LDS Church.
The first official Mormon missionary activity in Northern Ireland occurred on 28 July 1840 when John Taylor and two Irish men, converted in England, preached in Newry. On 31 July 1840 they baptised the first Mormon convert in Ireland, Thomas Tate, in a lake near Loughbrickland.
On 6 October 1840 Henry Royle and Frederick Cook became the first missionaries to enter Wales and reported 32 baptisms within two weeks of their arrival at Overton By the end of 1840 there were 3626 church members in Britain.
Expansion and Emigration
In 1845 a missionary named Dan Jones arrived in Wales. He would become one of the most successful Mormon missionaries to work in the United Kingdom. In December 1845 there were 493 baptised members of the LDS church in Wales, in January 1846 Dan Jones was placed in charge of the LDS missionary efforts there and by the time he left Wales in February 1849 there were 4,645 baptised members in Wales. He also led at least two emigrant parties from Wales to the Salt Lake Valley. He initiated publishing pamphlets and other magazines in the Welsh language that ultimately led to the publication of a Welsh translation of the Book of Mormon in April 1852 by John Davis.
By 1850 British membership had risen to 30747 members (which was slightly more than the total in the United States at that time) and a further 7500 had already emigrated to the United States. Following the death of Joseph Smith and the subsequent migration west of the Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City, migration from the British Isles to the United States increased greatly. This emigration was aided by the church's Perpetual Emigration Fund.
By 1892 the church membership still in the British Isles had fallen to only 2604, despite around 111330 baptisms occurring between 1837 and 1900 In a similar period of time 52000 members had emigrated to the United States. This migration would leave its mark upon Utah, which as of 2000 had the highest percentage of population claiming English descent (29%) of any state in the USA. In the 1950s emigration to the United States began to be discouraged and local congregations proliferated.
The World Wars And Later Developments
The first LDS temple in England was the London Temple, now known as the London England Temple, dedicated in 1958 and located south of London in Newchapel, Surrey. The second was completed in 1998 in Chorley, near Preston and known as the Preston England Temple. The church claims just over 186,000 members across the United Kingdom, spread out across over 330 local congregations.
|Country/Dependency/ Territory||Membership||Stakes||Wards||Branches||Total Congregations||Missions||Temples|
|British Virgin Islands||144||2||2|
|Isle of Man||293||1||1|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||82||1||1|
There are currently 6 missions serving the British Isles:
- England Birmingham Mission
- England Leeds Mission
- England London Mission
- England London South Mission
- England Manchester Mission
- Scotland/Ireland Mission
The nation of Wales does not have its own mission.
|12. London England|
Lingfield, Surrey, United Kingdom
|52. Preston England|
Chorley, Lancashire, United Kingdom
- "LDS Meetinghouse Locator". Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- United Kingdom, "Facts and Statistics: Statistics by Country", Newsroom (LDS Church), 31 December 2011, retrieved 18 October 2012
- "Country information: United Kingdom", Church News Online Almanac (Deseret News), 1 February 2010, retrieved 18 October 2012
- Kimball, Heber C. (1882). President Heber C. Kimball's Journal. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. pp. 13–15. ISBN 978-1-60641-503-0.
- "175th Anniversary of the arrival of first Mormon (LDS) Missionaries in Britain". LDS British Pageant. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Evans, Richard L. (1984). A Century of "Mormonism" in Great Britain. Salt Lake City: Publishers Press. p. 34. ISBN 9781164495970.
- Whitney, Orson F. (1992). Life of Heber C. Kimball. Bookcraft Pubs. p. 135. ISBN 978-0884948339.
- "Welcome to Mormon heartland... Chorley, Lancs". BBC News. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- Kimball, Heber C. (1882). President Heber C. Kimball's Journal. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-60641-503-0.
- Evans, Richard (September 1971), "History of the Church in Great Britain", Ensign
- Evans, Richard L. (1984) , Century of Mormonism in Great Britain, Salt Lake City, Utah: Publishers Press, ISBN 978-0-916095-07-9, OCLC 11642406
- Cuthbert, Muriel (October 1978), "The Saints around the World: Strong Saints in Scotland", Ensign
- "Do you know where the oldest Mormon chapel in the world is?". BBC News. 30 March 2005.
- "Picturing history: Paisley, Scotland". Deseret News. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- See the vol. 1. no. 1, May 1840 issue.
- "John Taylor and Mormon Imprints in Europe, 1840–52". Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: The British Isles. Brigham Young University. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- "THE BEGINNINGS OF MORMONISM IN NORTH WALES", Welsh Mormon History (Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University), 2 March 2005, retrieved 21 April 2013
- Stark, Rodney, Modernization and Mormon Growth: The Secularization Thesis Revisited, University of Illinois Press Page 19
- Stark, Rodney, Modernization and Mormon Growth: The Secularization Thesis Revisited, University of Illinois Press Page 20
- http://www.bl.uk/pdf/mormon.pdf MORMON AMERICANA: A Bibliographical Guide to Printed Material in the British Library Relating to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints - David J. Whittaker Page 6
- "The Church in Twentieth-Century Great Britain: A Historical Overview". Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: The British Isles. Brigham Young University. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- Census 2000 Page 6, Table 3 http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/c2kbr-35.pdf
- "London England Temple". ldschurchtemples.com. LDS Church. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "History of the church in the UK". lds.org.uk. LDS Church. Archived from the original on 15 February 2011.
- "Country information: United Kingdom", Deseret News 2012 Church Almanac (Deseret News)
- LDS Newsroom (United Kingdom & Ireland)
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Great Britan) – Official Site
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Visitors Site