Saturday, July 06, 2019

Another tin tabernacle in Leicester

It's always a good day when you find a new tin tabernacle. This one is near the Evington Road in Leicester.

There is no signage to say who uses it now, but whoever it is has spent money to make it secure from vandals and burglars.

But I have found a tantalising clue to its history in a Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society paper about St James the Greater, the large Romanesque church on the London Road, from 1986:
There is a strong tradition in the church which has been passed down from older members of the congregation, that the building which stands in Dore Road, the Millicent Morris Memorial Hall, was the temporary church rebuilt in Dore Road when the stone church was erected. 
The two photographs which survive of the temporary church, one inside and the other outside, show that there are significant differences in the plan of the two buildings and it seems unlikely that if the temporary church was moved it was not erected in exactly the same manner. 
It has not been possible to inspect the inside of the Dore Road building to see if there are any similarities and so for the moment no firm conclusions can be drawn about the fate of the temporary church and the possible link with the structure in Dore Road. 
There are other stories linking the Dore Road building with St Philip's, but the brief history of the church (Scott, 1984) states that the 'tin church' came from St Michael's, Belgrave. 
Research is being undertaken by the Order of Women Freemasons who use the Dore Road building, and they may eventually discover the origins of that building.
A bit of googling shows that the women masons still use the building, so I am may drop them a line to see if their research reached a firm conclusion.

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