All Saints’ Church (Click here) situated in the centre of Melbourn, has an interesting history dating back to the 12th century. It has not only stood through turbulent political times but also endured extensive alterations to its structure and appearance. Its support by the Argentines (Lords of the Manor) in the 1300s, whose family had a private chapel within the church in those days and other noble families of the village from the past, give us an insight of the life and times through the ages.
The church today is also well supported and its members are active fundraisers for the upkeep and maintenance of its structure. The Reverend Andrew O’Brien has played a major role in the process of the construction of a new church hall to which the villagers have contributed to in the form of donations. Its completion is hoped to be in the near future.
The pastoral care of the village is shared between the Anglican Church, the Baptist Chapel and the United Reformed Church.
The Baptist Church (Click here) on Mortlock Street is a very welcoming structure. Built in 1856 it was described then as ‘a neat and commodious chapel’. England’s best-known preacher during most of the 19th century – the charismatic Reverend Sturgeon visited annually and commanded vast congregations.
In recent years the chapel has undergone extensive refurbishment. The exterior has been improved, an impressive new front door installed and new flooring inside.
It has a thriving membership and provides a coffee stop on Wednesday mornings for anyone wishing to chat with refreshments.
The United Reformed Church (click here) in Orchard Road was built in 1717. It holds interesting records of its members who emigrated to Australia in the 1800s – a recessive time for people in the countryside. Over the past few years, numerous descendants of these people in Australia have been in touch with the Melbourn History Group in an effort to trace their origins.
Opposite the present church is the site of what was once a magnificent, larger Congregational Chapel – built to house the large number of its members in the latter 19tth century sadly it was demolished in the mid 20th century, due to structural problems. Its remaining foundations are now surrounded by the chapel’s cemetery.