Mount Zion Baptist Church, Heptonstall Slack

In 1806, a group of 37 Baptists left Birchcliffe Baptist Church. They first held their meetings in the disused Particular Baptist Church at Stone Slack.

In 1808, the new Mount Zion chapel was erected.

It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1819 and 1835. It accommodated around 800 worshippers and 400 scholars.

Blake Dean Baptists [1816/1820], Broadstone Baptists [1840], and Mount Olivet Baptists [1842] were offshoots of Heptonstall Slack.

In March 1838, it was registered for the solemnisation of marriages.

During the pastorate of Rev Richard Ingham, the congregation grew from 200 to 300, and during that of Rev William Butler, it grew to 502 with a school attendance of 700. It was at that time [1844], the fourth largest General Baptist church.

In 1857, they acquired their first organ – see John Shackleton Gill.

During the pastorate of Rev Caleb Springthorpe [1853-1873], new schools were built.

The present building was erected in 1878 at a cost of £2,500 and opened in 1879.

Pastors at the Church have included


In 1968, the congregation merged with Broadstone Baptist Church.

Mount Zion Church closed in 1974. It was deconsecrated in 1974.

In 1984, Barbara Brandolani – aka Margassa, a high priestess of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Blade, Manchester – had plans to buy the building and convert it to a pagan temple; the chapel's 22 windows represented the 22 cards in a tarot pack.

After considerable opposition and support from the villagers and Baptists ministers – and Cliff Richard – a charitable trust was set up with plans to raise £23,000 to buy the building for re-use as a chapel and a field study centre. The building was bought by Rev Percy Nuttall, a retired Baptist minister from Burnley. Nuttall died a few days before the centre opened in 1988

See Heptonstall Slack Baptist Cemetery, Mount Olivet Baptist Chapel, Charlestown, Mount Zion Baptist Memorial, Heptonstall and Slack Baptist Sunday School

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 15:48 / 14th May 2023 / 6111

Page Ref: QQ_83

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