Coleorton Parish was originally associated with the Church. Parishes used to be administrative parts of a diocese having its own church and a designated priest. In practice English parishes were defined by the local land-owner or lord of the manor, who were given land by the current King or Queen in return for favours or support. Often the lands were then passed down in the family. (Note: they could also be taken away by the crown.)
The lord of the manor would have responsibilities including setting up or managing the church (Church of England) and often installing a priest. Often the priest would be a member of the family or a trusted friend.
From Elizabeth I onwards churches were protestant with earthly allegience to the sovereign. Lords of the manor were obliged to support the church and to encourage their parishioners to attend services regularly. With the coming of the non-conformist movement in 1800s chapels were built with funds provided by the congregations. However, they faced opposition. The current lord of the manor, Sir G H Willoughby Beaumont would not allow non-conformist churches within the parish so Methodist and Baptist chapels were built just outside the parish boundary.
We have launched "the Coleorton Blue Plaque" scheme to commemmorate buildings and sites in the village which have historic significance.
The Coleorton Parish website has a large history section.
We publish articles in St Mary's monthly parish magazine and on the Coleorton website.