Birchcliffe Baptist Church, Hebden Bridge

Birchcliffe Baptist Church stands on Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge.

The Birchcliffe Baptists – founded by Dan Taylor in 1763 – opened the General Baptist Chapel in 1763/1764. With a congregation of 14, Taylor is said to have done much of the construction of the Chapel himself. The cost of the building was £140 which was collected during Taylor itinerant preaching.

In 1792, a gallery was added to accommodate the congregation.

In 1807, a group left to establish Mount Zion Baptist Church, Heptonstall Slack. In 1818, they had 203 members.

In 1823, the Chapel was demolished, and a new larger Chapel was constructed on the same site. This opened on 11th August 1825. The cost of construction was £852 12/1½d. It accommodated [1845]

A Sunday school was built in 1827. On 1st December 1934, a new Sunday School opened at the Church.

In the 1840s, a group of Chartists asked to use the Chapel for a lecture, but were told that

no political question could righteously be spoken of in our place of worship

Because of

dry rot in the old chapel, the growth of æstheticism, and the inability to obtain seats

It was decided to build a new chapel. A third – Italianate – chapel was built lower down the Wadsworth hillside. Six memorial stones were laid on 3rd July 1897. The Chapel opened on 31st October 1899. The cost of building and property was £11,975. The steps and archway at the entrance are dated 1898 and are listed.

A new organ was inaugurated on 17th May 1904.

In the garden, there is a memorial to men who fell in World War I.

This Chapel was used until the 1960s and finally closed for worship in 1974, and the Yorkshire Baptist Association asked that it be demolished. With the held of a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Trust it survived. The building is now the Birchcliffe Centre, a collection of offices and studios owned by Pennine Heritage.

Pastors at the Church have included


See Birchcliffe Baptist Church, Hebden Bridge: Memorial, Birchcliffe Baptist Church, Hebden Bridge: Graveyard, Birchcliffe Baptist Sunday School, Hebden Bridge, Birchcliffe water, Hebden Bridge, Elton Thomas and Upper Needless, Hebden Bridge

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 16:12 / 14th December 2022 / 6186

Page Ref: KK_34

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