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Religious (excl. Parish Church)

Surviving Nonconformist and Catholic places of worship are exhibited here.
'Double click' on the photograph for larger pictures and more notes.

Sileby has a history of anti-establishment religious views whether it was Lollardy in the medieval period or early 17th century recusancy. After the Civil War some religious groups began to flourish, in particular the Baptists and Quakers. This was in spite of religious persecution and bullying by the state.

After the Act of Tolerance in 1689, these nonconformist sects were largely left to their own affairs. However, many of the tenets of the Act did not apply to the Quaker community due to its belief in a universal priesthood. The Quaker's had a meeting house and burial ground near the Back Lane/Brook Street junction

During the first decades of 18th century nonconformists still practiced in the village but on a small scale. The situation changed in the final decades of the century when Methodism started to take hold and a chapel was erected in the 1790s. Religious zeal continued into the early 19th century. A schism in the Wesleyan Methodist organisation led to the formation of the Primitive Methodists. The first president of the Primitive Methodist conference in 1820 was Sileby preacher George Handford.

By 1830 Sileby could boast of four nonconformist chapels in the village and was later joined by a Catholic school and church in the 1870s. Membership of these various groups began to grow, so much so that larger venues for religious worship were needed. The Baptists had already erected a chapel on Cossington Road in 1818 and the Primitive Methodists constructed a new chapel on King Street in 1866. The Wesleyan's followed suit in 1884, when the current community centre building was built.

Today, the situation is much simpler. There are three buildings of worship : the Methodist Chapel on King Street, the Baptist Church on Cossington Road and St.Gregory's Catholic Church situated off The Banks.

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