Following the chapel’s relocation the Victorian building was bought by antiques dealer Russell Lovatt last summer, who said: “I believe having the antiques centre and tearoom will be more accessible and attractive to a larger section of the community. The centre will hopefully keep the church alive.”
The Newark Chapel Antiques Centre opened last month with 20 traders from across the east Midlands.
The Nottinghamshire town is next to the spiritual home of IACF at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground.
Lovatt’s partner, Anabelle Marcus, said: “We chose to open a centre in Newark as it’s well and truly on the map as regards its association with local, national and international trade.
“We’re really pleased with the reaction since we opened – with plenty of trade, regional and local visitors.”
Another piece of church history in the town comes with the Newark Antiques Centre. This long-established business currently offers 55 stalls and 80 cabinets housed in a former chapel and schoolroom, the Newark Independent Congregational Chapel built in 1823.
Meanwhile, Number 6 Antiques and Interiors is based in the chapel at 18th century Grade II-listed Wellingore Hall, now a business hub close to both Newark and Lincoln. The family-run business with a focus on antique furniture is open to visit by appointment. More on this business in a future column.