A New Book about Shamley Green, Loxwood, and other Cokeler communities

Dependant Brethren of Sussex and Surrey, A History of the Cokelers – By Roger Nash

Do you remember the Cokelers, their shops and chapels? Do you want to find out who they were – this unusual Christian group of shopkeepers, who lived and worshipped in the villages, 1850s to the 1970s?

Brought up in Loxwood, and related to one of the leaders, Roger Nash is uniquely placed to understand the ways of the Cokelers, the places they lived, the interesting characters, their leaders, and the ordinary followers.

“Dependant Brethren” is a book full of photos, documents, stories, family history, and testaments of members, a complete history of their rise and decline.

Founded in 1850 by preacher John Sirgood, his faith groups spread across two counties. There are sections of the book telling the story of groups in Northchapel, Warnham, South Norwood (Croydon), and in south of Sussex in Chichester and Hove. Loxwood was their main centre.

In Shamley Green the group was in Lordshill Common. Here, their shop (now a prominent house on the common) traded as Bradshaw, Foster & Street & Co, later as Smith & Croucher. The chapel was demolished. The legacy of these groups today is in their buildings and in local people’s family trees.

Available from Shamley Green Stores, Loxwood Canal Centre, Petworth Bookshop, other village stores, and it is hoped in Horsham Museum when it re-opens. Also available online from: https://www.lulu.com/shop

You can find out more by emailing Roger at:

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