Poplars Church grew out of the work of a gospel music group called ‘Faith’ from the late 60’s until early 80’s.
Faith travelled up to 50,000 miles a year to sing about Jesus. They toured up and down the country playing to coffee bar crowds, conferences, pubs, clubs, churches and cathedrals – anywhere and everywhere.
In 1970 two group members, Derek and Mo Wilkinson, married and opened their home for fellowship. More and more people came to share the journey and follow Jesus. Initially the growing Church was housed at Derek and Mo’s, but as they were hanging out of the windows we had to move to a bigger place – ‘Poplars’ (a large detached house where the sound of enthusiastic praise and worship wouldn’t annoy the neighbours). ‘Poplars’ soon became known as the “happy, ‘clappy’ house!”
Within a few years we were packed in like sardines and had to move to rented halls with larger capacity.
As Poplars continued to grow it was clear we needed people available to take on their leadership responsibility on a full time basis. In 1981 Derek was called by the Church into full-time ministry, and was joined by Norman Daniels in 1985. Meanwhile, Pete Hardy worked as part of the leadership team as well as teaching full-time until he joined the other two permanently in 2002.
From 1990-2011 we worked with children and their families in the city of Brasov, Romania. This culminated in donating the assets, the work, and its good name to a Romanian based charity.
In the Summer of 2012 Derek, Norman and Pete decided that the church needed to build a leadership team for the future, leading to Matt Bellingham and Sarah Hemsall joining the leadership. Derek formally retired from the leadership team in 2013, although he still heads up Street Pastors in the Bassetlaw area. Norman also retired formally in 2014, although he still spends much time in the church office, supporting the new leaders and continuing to take funerals.
Throughout its history, Poplars has grown, matured and developed and now makes a significant contribution to the work and witness of the Christian community in Worksop and district and overseas. The work is not finished and our vision is growing and developing. The history of Poplars is, above all else, a story of God’s faithfulness.