St. Stephen's Church, Sneinton

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St. Stephen's Church, Sneinton
DenominationChurch of England
ChurchmanshipAnglo Catholic
DedicationSt. Stephen
DioceseSouthwell and Nottingham
Vicar(s)Fr Colin Rushforth

St. Stephen's Church, Sneinton is a parish church in the Church of England.

The church is Grade II listed by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport as it is a building of special architectural or historic interest.[1] The parents of D.H. Lawrence married in the church on 27 December 1875.[2]


The church dates back to medieval times, and was served from Lenton Priory. From the Dissolution of the Monasteries the church was served mostly by clergy from St. Mary's Church, Nottingham until it became a parish is its own right in 1866.

The church from The History and Antiquities of Nottingham by James Orange, 1840

The current building dates from 1837 and it was designed by Thomas Rickman and built by W. Surplice of Nottingham.[3] It was one of the earliest Gothic Revival buildings in Nottinghamshire.[4] It is a Commissioners' church, having been given a grant towards the cost of its construction by the Church Building Commission; the full cost of the church was £4,511 (equivalent to £390,000 in 2018),[5] towards which the Commission granted £1,303.[6] The clock was installed by Reuben Bosworth.

The church's early catholic liturgy was noted by Wylie in 1853, and it was the first church in Nottingham to introduce a surpliced choir - There is a male choir, the members of which are dressed in surplices. This is the only Protestant place of worship in the neighbourhood where this and other kindred practices, such as intoning the prayers, prevail..[7] Compare this with nearby St Mary's Church, Nottingham which did not introduce surplices for the choir until 1868[8]

The church was extended between 1909 and 1912 and Cecil Greenwood Hare to designs by George Frederick Bodley.

Following the closure of St. Matthias' Church, Nottingham in 2003 the parish is now known as St. Stephen and St. Matthias.


The reredos to the high altar was designed by George Frederick Bodley and carved in Oberammergau. It features scenes from the life of Christ.

The choir stalls date from the fourteenth or fifteenth century and were originally from St. Mary's Church, Nottingham. They were acquired by the organist of St. Stephen's in 1848. They contain fine medieval misericords which have carved figures.[9]

Pathe News[edit]

The church featured in a 1959 British Pathe newsreel, which showed Reverend John Tyson, the local vicar, encouraging young people back to church. They helped with the cleaning, attended evening service and in return were able to build a cafe and rock 'n' roll club in the vicaridge.[10]


  • Thomas Smith 1848 - 1864[11]
  • W.F. Horners ca. 1881[12]
  • Charles F.C Hole 1882[13] - ????
  • Jabez Hack ca. 1935


  1. ^ Images of England: Church of St Stephen, Nottingham, English Heritage, retrieved 10 May 2010
  2. ^ Worthen, John (1991). D. H. Lawrence: The Early Years 1885-1912: The Cambridge Biography of D. H. Lawrence. Cambridge University Press. p. 16. ISBN 9780521254199.
  3. ^ Old and New Nottingham by William Howie Wylie. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1853. p. 364
  4. ^ The Buildings of England, Nottinghamshire. Nikolaus Pevsner
  5. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  6. ^ Port, M. H. (2006), 600 New Churches: The Church Building Commission 1818-1856 (2nd ed.), Reading: Spire Books, p. 340, ISBN 978-1-904965-08-4
  7. ^ Old and New Nottingham By William Howie Wylie. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1853. p364
  8. ^ The Organs and Organists of St. Mary's Church, Nottingham. Andrew Abbott and John Whittle. Rylands Press 1993. p.22
  9. ^ St Stephens Church pamphlet
  10. ^ Teddy Boys Help Church
  11. ^ "Obituary Mr Thomas Smith". Nottingham Evening Post. Nottingham. 14 September 1905. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  12. ^ Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 14 October 1881
  13. ^ "Former Nottingham Headmaster". Nottingham Evening Post. Nottingham. 12 December 1935. Retrieved 15 April 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°57′04″N 01°07′55″W / 52.95111°N 1.13194°W / 52.95111; -1.13194