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The Tin Mission Church, Watery Lane, Corley Moor | by amandabhslater
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The Tin Mission Church, Watery Lane, Corley Moor

On the inclosure of Corley Moor in the early 19th century, the glebe land with Allesley benefice received the allotment of a field, on the corner of which the Mission Church in Watery Lane now stands. William Bree, Allesley Rector 1808 – 1822, then exchanged some of his own land along Staircase Lane and Church Walk for three glebe fields, including the glebe inclosure award at Corley Moor. In 1886, William’s grandson, William, (Archdeacon) Bree, Allesley Rector 1863 – 1917, had the Mission Church built. He leased the Corley Moor land to the diocesan authorities. The lease was for a very long period which would lapse when the building ceased to be used for ecclesiastical purposes. The church was built, largely through the energies of the Rev. Robert Arrowsmith, who lived nearby and himself served the little tin chapel until he died. A framed photograph of Archdeacon Bree hung within it. It is believed that the corrugated iron church was purchased from a Harrod's Catalogue and delivered in a kit form.

The iron church was built at the meeting place of three parishes, Allesley, Fillongley and Corley and was convenient for the use of worship by parishioners from all three parishes. Services of Holy Baptism, Holy Communion, Mattins and Evensong were held, as was a Sunday School. It was not licensed for marriages and there was no burial ground. It was also used for social purposes and in the 1930s a flourishing Womens’ Meeting was held there.

In the summer of 1952 a mutual agreement was made between the Rev. Frank Moyle, Rector of Allesley and the Rev. Charles Goslin, Rector of Corley, that Corley should take over the building. Regular services were held, an electricity supply was installed and the old harmonium was replaced by a two manual reed organ. As it was not a consecrated building it was possible to re-arrange the furnishings to use the space for social and other fund raising events. Many local people remember attending Sunday School, there.

The building and field is now in private ownership.

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Taken on April 4, 2010