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24 September 2014

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Gadfield Elm Chapel

Gadfield Elm Chapel

Do you know where the oldest Mormon chapel in the world is?

Gadfield Elm chapel is in our two counties...

LDS facts

  • The main family worship service is called sacrament meeting
  • This meeting is held in chapels on Sundays and lasts approximately 70 minutes
  • Visitors are welcome to attend, including families and children
  • Those who attend will most likely wear their "Sunday best"
  • Local congregations are called wards (or branches)
  • The spiritual leader of each ward is called the bishop (or the branch president for branches)
  • He is a member of the congregation who has been asked to serve as a volunteer in this position
  • The church has lay ministry rather than paid clergy so all Church service is voluntary

Gadfield Elm chapel was built by the United Brethren in 1836 on land that was bought for £25, and it served as a centre for the rapidly growing congregation of Mormons in the early 1840's.

Three Apostles of the Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormons or LDS) travelled from their headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois to the two counties to teach the local people the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the first nine months 1,800 people were converted, including almost the entire membership of a local Christian group, known as the United Brethren.

Between 1840 and 1842 a number of prominent LDS church leaders preached here including Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff, who later became the second and fourth Presidents of the church.

Most of the converts then left their homes and sailed across the Atlantic to gather in Nauvoo, and the Gadfield Elm chapel fell into ruin.

Years later, local church members bought the derelict chapel, restored it, and it was given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in May 2004.

Today Gadfield Elm is the oldest Mormon chapel in the world, and is a lasting memorial to the United Brethren. It's now run mainly as a museum and visitor centre, but services are still held there occasionally.

Gadfield Elm chapel is usually staffed at the following times:

  • Wednesday 11am till 3pm
  • Friday 11am till 5pm
  • Saturday 11am till 5pm
  • Sunday 2pm till 5pm

Visitors are welcome, admission is free, and you can discover the many stories of people who once lived and worshipped there before they left for a new life in North America.

You will find Gadfield Elm chapel signposted on the road between Pendock and Staunton.

last updated: 11/03/2008 at 14:48
created: 01/04/2005

You are in: > Do you know where the oldest Mormon chapel in the world is?

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