In 1662 the Parliament of King Charles II revised the English Prayer Book and required ministers to use fixed forms of service and consent to the new Book of Common Prayer. Some 2000 ministers felt obliged to leave the Established Church and many more were ejected from their livings because they would not accept this new ruling on belief and worship.
In this same year the Five Mile Act was also passed by Parliament, and that required all ministers to take an oath that they would not at any time seek to alter the government of the church. Those who refused to do so were not allowed to come within five miles of any town or borough.
The Quakers build Monks Chapel in 1662 outside the five mile radius of the Borough Town, Chippenham, to conform to the Act.
Benjamin Flowers, son of the Vicar of Castle Combe, was ejected from his living at Cardiff, made Chippenham his centre for preaching and established independent worship in Corsham.
In 1689 the Act of Toleration was passed and in 1690 the Independents came to own Monks, and we their successors, still own and cherish it. In the early days, people gathering for worship spent the day at Monks, bringing their mid-day meal and heating it at the fireplace which served also to warm the chapel. This fireplace has now been closed in but the chimney can still be seen. From the high pulpit the preacher had a good view of the surrounding countryside and he could make his way to safety if the chapel was raided by troublemakers.
The church is located at:
The chapel is situated off the B3353 between Gastard and Corsham. Turn right from Corsham and left from Gastard into Monk’s Lane. Park in the Stephens Industries car park on the left and the chapel is further up the hill on the right hand side behind a dry stone wall.
Times of services
Our Church meets at 2:45pm
Revd. Gary Gotham
Other key contacts
|Joint Church Secretaries||Jan Smith & Wendy Carter|
|Church Treasurer||David Spink|
|Elders||Wendy Carter, Jan Smith|
Key Holder: Wendy Carter: 07968 224421
(NB Different from that on Church Notice Board)