site is still being revised and updated. Most recently some illustrations have
been added to brighten the information about the church, Oker village,
When Irene Wright decided to write "a little bit of information" on South Darley, she thought it would be a quick and easy task; However, this was not so; so many people volunteered information and South Darley featured in far more records than she had imagined. The most difficult part was wondering which pieces to leave out.
CHURCH began with a bequest of £1,000 by the Rev. Benjamin Lawrence, Rector of
Darley Dale, on condition that the building was started within two years of his
death. He died on
In 1863 a meeting of ratepayers and parishioners approved the removal of the gallery - the doorway of which can still be seen in the church tower. In January 1885 the East wall was taken down and the Chancel built, this added "40 sittings plus comfort and convenience". The original accommodation provided for 226 people seated. (The parish population in 1881 was 675). The architect for the chancel was Mitchell-Withers, son of Joseph Mitchell. Apparently a wealthy woman by the name of Mrs Withers left him money provided he add her name to his own!
By the 1880's 80% of pews in Derbyshire churches were privately rented as this was the normal method of maintaining the church fabric; our church is unusual in that it was built without rented pews.
Perhaps the most significant feature of our church is the Burn-Jones window (above the altar) which was installed in 1891 in memory of Joseph and Sarah Taylor, local brewer and benefactor. (See the illustration below for a view of this window)
revised Dec 2003 and Sept 09