Leicestershire church builders find 102-year-old time capsule

The time capsule and its contents Church leader Paul Stevens said he had not realised the capsule was buried in the church
The order of service Documents contained in the capsule were found to be in "excellent condition"
The deanery magazine The bundle included a list of people who helped build the church, a deanery magazine and order of service
An advert in the magazine The church hopes to put the contents of the time capsule on permanent display
The church in 1911 Mr Stevens said the capsule gave the church some historical context

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Builders working on a £1.6m renovation of a Leicestershire church have found a time capsule which was buried in 1911.

The sealed glass jar, which contained an order of service, a deanery magazine and other documents was found beneath the foundation stone at the St Peter's Centre in Loughborough.

Paul Stevens, one of the church leaders said: "We didn't realise anything like that was buried there.

"The documents were found to be in amazing order."

'Excellent condition'

The jar was found during the partial demolition of a wall at the front of the church to make a new front entrance.

"I broke the wax seal, lifted off the lid and had a look inside the jar," said Mr Stevens.

"I was aware I was looking at historic documents and they might disintegrate. But they were in excellent condition."

The church that never opened

St Peter's
  • St Peter's was originally built for a Church of England congregation and opened in 1912
  • However, the church never received an official opening ceremony because of the outbreak of World War I
  • The church, a Grade II listed building, closed in 2007
  • It was bought by Elim, a Pentecostal Church, and Open Heaven for £100,000 in 2008
  • The two congregations are now planning an official 'opening' for 17 August, when they will bury their own time capsule, which will include replicas of the contents of the original

The rolled-up bundle of documents included a parchment listing who was involved in the building of the church.

The church is home to two Christian congregations - Open Heaven and Elim Pentecostal Church, who purchased the building in 2008.

They believe the capsule was buried by the church's original congregation in 1911.

"We now have some sort of context to realise this building, in its heyday, was really central to the community," Mr Stevens added.

"In the deanery magazine, they say more than 700 children attended the Sunday school."

The capsule and its contents have been sent to the Leicestershire and Rutland Records Office, after which they will be on display at the church's official opening on 17 August.

The church plans to bid for Heritage Lottery funding to put the capsule on permanent display in their building.

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