Lower Chapel, Darwen - Independent
In 1723 an influential section of the congregation seceded from Lower Chapel and built a place called Yates's Chapel. The two congregations were reunited in the early 1750's. During 1852 the foundations became unsafe and a major part of the congregation removed to Duckworth Street where they built a new church in 1853. A small section remained and renovated Lower Chapel. The church bears four date stones - 1719; 1753; 1853; 1873; and 1937. After almost 290 years of religious use Lower Chapel finally closed in 2003.
Lower Chapel is now run and managed by the Lighthouse Darwen, a not for profit company limited by guarantee. Amongst the user of the Chapel are the Local History group, the Archaeology group, Morris dancers, dance and jazz classes, a worship fellowship. Repairs and refurbishments are underway, with part of the grave yard being cleared.
The Independent churches were ones in which each congregation was autonomous, upholding the principles of independence. In the 19th century they became known as Congregational.
In 1972 the Congregational church joined with the English Presbyterian church to become the United Reformed Church.
Original Registers: 1751-1837 located in The National Archive. The post 1837 registers are being deposited in the Lancashire Record Office.
Copied Register: Microfilmed copies are available at the Lancashire Record Office.
Transcriptions: The Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society has published the registers 1751-1794.
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