Originally opened as a “free” church in 1871 with a board of trustees formed by Francis Wright, who had had a disagreement with the clergy of the Parish Church (St Oswald’s church). Wright was a low-churchman who disapproved of the vicar’s high church leanings.
Henry Isaac Stevens built the church in a variation of the Romanesque style. Over the doorway, you will find the words from Mathew 18:20: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them”, indicating a gathering of the faithful as opposed to Wright’s opinion of the parish church congregation.
After Wright’s death, this Church ran into financial difficulties and eventually joined the Church of England as a “peculiar” – a church without a parish. It is now governed by a board of trustees and sits within the parish of Ashbourne.