St Mary Magdalene Church owes it’s existence to His Grace, the 6th Duke of Portland. On 7th May 1897 it was announced that His Grace was having plans drawn out for a church in Creswell and that he would build it and present it to the village at his own expense. This was at a time when the village was expanding due to the influx of miners and their families to the village following the sinking of the pit in 1894.
His Grace, who defrayed the total cost of some £5,000, laid the foundation stone of the Church in 1899. The Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Southwell dedicated the Church on 17th May 1900. The original church consisted of a chancel and nave. The vestry was enlarged in 1905 and, in 1913, 2 side aisles were added at a further cost of £1,400. The Church was now able to accommodate 600 persons, the population of the village having grown to 5,360.
There are reminders of the links between the church and the mining industry within the church. In the north aisle, at the entrance to the choir vestry, is the canteen clock, brought from Creswell Colliery on its closure in 1991. A converted miner’s lamp hangs in the chapel at the eastern end of the north aisle as a reminder of those who worked beneath the parish and the church, and of the dangers faced when carrying out their onerous tasks. A prominent feature of this chapel is the stained glass window in memory of the 80 men who lost their lives in the colliery disaster on 26th September 1950. Clare Dawson designed the window in 1952. A plaque listing the names of the men who died is to be found on the north aisle wall. The miner’s lamp remains permanently alight to remind people of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.