Taken from the Baptist Repository of 1823
On Lord’s Day June 22nd 1823, a small neat Meeting House, measuring thirty six feet by twenty four was opened in Leicester for the use of the General Baptists. Mr Gamble has been preaching in the streets and dwelling houses in this neighbourhood for thirteen months past, with some encouraging appearance of success. A small church is soon to be formed, and above sixty children are waiting for admission into the Sunday School.
The first recorded minutes of August 18th 1823 states:
We the undersigned believing it right to form ourselves into a General Baptist Church to attend to the ordinances of Christ regularly, to support and attend upon General Baptist preaching accordingly, taking each other to be believers in Jesus pledge ourselves to strive together for the promotion of the faith of the Gospel, having received the Lord’s Supper together.
And so started a new Baptist Chapel in Carley Street a part of the new development known as the Wharf Street area. The land and building were developed over the years and a new building opened in about 1882 on the same site that was eventually demolished as part of the slum clearance in the 1950’s. Land was purchased from the Leicester Corporation and the new existing church was built fronting onto Wharf Street North, opening on April 25th 1959. The church changed its name under a new Trust Deed to “Carley Evangelical Baptist Church” and the local area became known as St. Matthews Estate.
Over many years, the church has sought to reach out and minister to the local district and even though the demographics of the population has changed and the “world” is on our “doorstep”, the Gospel remains the same and as the sculptured Bible outside the building gifted by the architect testifies:
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)