SERVICES EVERY SUNDAY 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm --2017-2018 Schedule of Services-- December 2017 >>>Dec 3rd Mrs Jeanne MacMeekin>>>Dec 10th Mrs. Pauline Tiller>>> Dec 17th Rev.Heather Wilson. H.C.>>>Dec 24th Mrs.Geraldine Mann>>> Dec 31st Mr.Hugh Gough>>> January 2018>>> Jan 7th. Rev. Graham Warmington>>>Jan 14th Rev.Heather Wilson>>>Jan 21st Mrs .Gill Telling>>>Jan 6th Rev. Gary. Gotham H.C.>>>February 2018>>>Feb 4th Rev .Mike. Burrell>>>Feb 11th Mr. John Greenaway>>>Feb 18th Mr. Douglas >>>Feb 25th.Rev.Heather.Wilson. H.C.>>> Monks Chapel has now been certified as a place registered for the solemnisation of opposite sex marriages. So we can now accept inquiries for weddings.

Monks Chapel


GOOD NEWS! – We are now licenced and approved to carry out Wedding Ceremonies…Click here for more. Monks Chapel has remained a dedicated place of Christian Worship since it was built by the Quakers in 1662. Situated just over five miles from the Town of Chippenham, it was built in response to the Five Mile Act passed by Parliament.

At that time King Charles II was on the throne, and his Parliament took it upon themselves to revise the English Prayer Book.  As a consequence Ministers were required to use “fixed forms of service” and give their agreement and consent to the New Book of Common Prayer.

As a result thousands of Ministers across the Country left the established Church, or were evicted from their posts for rejecting the new rulings on their beliefs and freedom to worship.

Later that year Parliament passed the Five Mile Act.  This meant Ministers had to take an oath and promise that they would not interfere or try to change the Government of the Church.  Any Ministers refusing to take the oath were barred from entering any Town or Borough, and had to stay a minimum of five miles outside of the Towns boundary.

The Vicar of nearby Castle Combe had a Son called Benjamin Flowers, who refused to accept the revised English Prayer Book, and so was turfed out of his post in Cardiff, South Wales. He came home and made Corsham a center for Independent Worship and Preaching. The Act of Toleration was passed in 1689 and later on in 1690 the Independents came to own Monks Chapel.

We are proud to be the successors of this long line of brave independent men and women, and still value cherish and uphold the principles of Independent Christian Worship today Hundreds of years ago, worshipers would walk up to 15 miles to get to Monks Chapel and would bring food and drink with them, using the Chapels fireplace to cook their food. Monks Chapel has a very tall pulpit which you can see in  monks chapel video #01.  The purpose behind building the pulpit high up was to give the Preacher a chance to spot any troublemakers making their way to the Chapel across the open countryside, Chapels like this were frequently raided.  There is a door under the Pulpit that leads to a possible secret exit for escape.

(Above) Rev. Cathy and Frank Arscott’s last service before their retirement.

Monks Chapel’s new Minister Rev. Heather Wilson from Canada

You are welcome to join us on Sunday’s for our afternoon service, which starts at 2:45pm until 3:45pm.

You will find us between Corsham and Gastard off the B3353, approaching from Corsham turn right onto Monk’s Lane.  Ample car parking is available just 75 yards down the hill from Monks Chapel in Leafield car park on the left. Our Website is still new and only went online  1st August 2012, new content is added regularly, including details of up and coming services and the names of the visiting Preachers, most of whom have already taken a morning service at other Churches within Wiltshire and bordering Gloucestershire, and who very kindly pay us a visit for our weekly Sunday afternoon service.

Here is film of Richard Smith being interviewed in 1985, about his “Friendship Hour” cd’s…Richard has a regular news page here Richards Pew

Thank you for visiting, please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question in the comments box below.

Comments on Monks Chapel Leave a Comment

August 2, 2012

Susan Wigmore @ 10:35 am #

Warm congratulations on your new website for Monks Chapel. My husband and I were delighted to attend a Sunday Service in the Chapel in 2004 on our first visit to England. We were visiting with the wonderful Richard and Jan Smith and they very kindly invited us to join them in the very historic and picturesque Chapel. As you can imagine Australia does not have historic buildings going back to the 1600’s so we were charmed by both the building itself and the rural surroundings of Monks Chapel. I will keep watching for updates on your site. Best wishes for a successful venture in bringing such an interesting bit of history online. Sue

August 7, 2012

Nick @ 11:36 am #

Hi Susan,

Thank you for your kind comment, our first as the website has only been live for a week. Last Sunday Richard gave me quite a few photos he has accrued over the years, and I will be putting these on the website over the coming weeks.
Thank you again.
Website Moderator

November 4, 2012

richard smith. @ 11:43 am #

Picture of gentleman in pulpit (top right) is a farmer from bath. Who wrote poems and books about country life as a christian farmer.
His name is john osbourne and he took several services here, he has this week passed to glory and his funeral is 1 pm Wednesday 7th November at Weston all Saints Church, Bath. We give thanks for his ministry with us over the years.

April 17, 2013

Lynn Churchill-Coleman @ 3:20 pm #

I lived in one of the cottages at the top of monks lane opposite the grandparents lived there for many years A neighbour Mrs McCance attended the Chapel.Sadly my grandparents have been gone for almost 40 years but I have many happy memories of my childhood there. If we are in the area is there a time that the chapel is open to view.Its such a shame that so many of our churches and chapels have to be locked up these days, just a sign of progress I guess. All best wishes.

April 19, 2013
April 20, 2013

Lynn Churchill-Coleman @ 8:05 am #

Thanks nick I will look forward to the info, we are in Lacock tomorrow Sunday But if we are unable to make it would really love a look around another time as we live in Dorset. Once again many thanks for your help. Kind regards Lynn

September 11, 2013

Joan Martin @ 4:54 pm #

I lived briefly for about 9 months 1999-2000, and Monks Chapel will always hold a lasting place in my heart. Your website totally incaptures the ambiance of the place and the closeness of the congration. I hope I can visit soon. Many blessings to you all.

Joan x ( Janet Clarke, will remind you who I am)

September 19, 2013
May 7, 2015

Christine @ 8:53 am #

Dear Richard

Just to say that I really enjoyed watching ‘A Bible for Mary’ again via your web site – lovely to see Mum and Dad again in their younger days, and lots of other familiar faces too. We are hoping to visit the Mary Jones Visitors Centre at Bala when we go to North Wales in the summer.

Hope you and Jan are well
Love to you both

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