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.
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.