A Short History
It was from the Castle Gate Church in Nottingham that men were sent to preach the Presbyterian cause in Melbourne. The earliest Minister served to 1718.
During the 1740's Whitfield and Wesley were occasional visitors to Donington Park, the residence of the Countess of Huntingdon. It is believed that through their influence one of her many servants became a "missionary of good tidings" and was sent to the surrounding villages. Melbourne was one of the places he visited.
Up to 1768 services and meetings were held in cottages, but during that year a small chapel was erected on ther Ladyship's estate (in Penn Lane) and continued to be an independent Chapel until 1871 when the present Church was built.
No list of members can be found until 1770, and it was in that year that the minister, Thomas Jones, was joined by another minister, Joseph Griffiths. These two men went to Derby, preached in the Market Place, hired rooms, and so laid the foundation for the first Congreagational Church there, now Central United Reformed Church.
In April 1871 the foundation stone of the present church was laid, twelve months later the opening service was held, then in February 1873 the adjacent schoolrooms were opened.
With the joining of the Congregational Church in England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church in England in October 1972 the Church became Melbourne United Reformed Church.