Barnoldswick Baptist Church is celebrating its 350th anniversary this year and is preparing to hold a number of events to mark the milestone.
Now a part of the West Craven Baptist Fellowship, Barnoldswick claims to have the earliest continuing church in the Yorkshire Baptist Association.
Two local cousins, William Mitchell and David Crosley, were significant in the work of reviving Baptist life in the face of persecution, travelling across the Pennines to link 20 small Baptist groups called the “Rossendale Round”.
By 1694 Barnoldswick was not only a preaching station but the church had bought the barn and cottage in Walmsgate. Church secretary Keith Whipp said: “While it is very difficult to establish exact dates for the start of the local congregation, it is known there were dissenting groups worshipping in and around Barnoldswick in the mid-17th Century and Charles II renewed the persecution of Baptists along with other non-conformist groups in 1661.”
With its rich history, plans are well in hand for the church’s first weekend of celebrations in April with a concert by Arden Youth Choir at the Baptist Church Centre in Manchester Road on April 2nd from 7-30 p.m. Tickets are available for the concert by calling 07966 244781 or from shops in Barnoldswick.
On July 9th and 10th the Church Centre will be the venue for a Festival of Flowers and a market place for arts and crafts. On the Sunday, the Rev. Dr Keith Jones will lead worship at the church at 10-30 a.m. He was instrumental in creating the vision of the centre where church and community meet. Organisers are also hoping to display old photos over the weekend as part of a history exhibition. If anyone has any photos of the Youth Club or pantomimes that could be incorporated they would be much appreciated.
In September there are plans for a gathering of friends past and present who have been associated with the church, Sunday School and Youth Clubs over the years. This will be held at Rolls-Royce Leisure on September 17th at 7-30 p.m.
Anyone with old photos to offer or who would like to get involved with the events should contact the church secretary Mr Whipp at firstname.lastname@example.org