The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United Kingdom
As of January 1, 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, a group of seven men led by Heber C. Kimball, to proselytize in the British Isles arrived in Liverpool 20 July 1837. Within days they moved to Preston where they baptized their first convert George D. Watt and 8 others in the River Ribble. 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.
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 baptized their first converts, Alexander Hay and his wife Jessie, in the River Clyde at Bishopton near Paisley.
A second mission from the USA arrived in England in 1840. Among this group of missionaries was Wilford Woodruff, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, who, in March 1840, began converting members of the United Brethren after being introduced to the United Brethren's leaders. 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. Restored between 1994-2000, the Gadfield Elm Chapel in Worcestershire is the oldest extant chapel of the LDS Church.
As part of this second mission, Orson Pratt (like Woodruff, Pratt was also a member of the Quorum of the Twelve) 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".
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 the 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.
In 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.
By 1892 as many as 100,000 converts had joined the faith, but most of these early members promptly emigrated to the United States to join the main body of the church. The church membership still in the British Isles had fallen to only 2604. 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 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. Nearby Congregations (Wards and Branches).
- United Kingdom, "Facts and Statistics: Statistics by Country", Newsroom (LDS Church), 31 December 2011, retrieved 2012-10-18
- "Country information: United Kingdom", LDS Church News Online Almanac (Deseret News), February 1, 2010, retrieved 2012-10-18
- http://www.archive.org/stream/presidentheberck00kimb/presidentheberck00kimb_djvu.txt Heber C. Kimball's Journal
- Richard L. Evans, A Century of “Mormonism” in Great Britain (Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1984), 34; see also Whitney, The Life of Heber C. Kimball, 135.
- "Welcome to Mormon heartland... Chorley, Lancs". BBC News. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- 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.
- Evans, Richard L. (1984) , Century of Mormonism in Great Britain, Salt Lake City, Utah: Publishers Press, ISBN 978-0-916095-07-9, OCLC 11642406
- "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
- "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 2011-02-15.
- "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