LDS Site of the Week – GADFIELD ELM CHAPEL, England

Posted by on Mar 14, 2011 in British Isles - England and Wales Trips, Site of the Week - LDS Church History Tour | 0 comments

The Gadfield Elm Chapel near the village of Pendock in Worcestershire, England, is the oldest extant chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Gadfield Elm Chapel

The structure was built in 1836 as a religious meetinghouse by the United Brethren, a group of breakaway Primitive Methodists led by Thomas Knighton. In 1840, Latter Day Saint missionary and apostle Wilford Woodruff preached among the United Brethren; ultimately all but one of the 600 members of the United Brethren were converted to Mormonism. After the conversions, the structure was deeded to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Knighton and John Benbow.

As a chapel of the early Latter Day Saint movement, the building was a centre of activity for the church in the Malvern Hills area. The chapel was sold by the church in 1842 to help fund the emigration of British Latter Day Saints to America.

The building was privately owned until it was purchased in 1994 by the Gadfield Elm Trust, a group of LDS Church members interested in preserving the chapel. The Trust renovated and restored the chapel, and it was dedicated by LDS Church apostle Jeffrey R. Holland on 23 April 2000.

In 2004, the Gadfield Elm Trust donated ownership of the chapel to the LDS Church, and it was rededicated by church president Gordon B. Hinckley on 26 May 2004. The chapel is operated as a historical tourist site by the LDS Church and admission to the public is free.

For more information about other amazing British Isles sites, visit our England & Wale’s 400th Bible Commemoration Tour Page.

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