"The old parish church, dedicated to St John the Baptist, was rebuilt of brick early in the 18th century, except the ancient stone tower, which still remains, and contains six bells, purchased about twenty years ago. The benefit is a rectory, in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev C Hebert, MA, who has a handsome rectory house at Middleport, and is also rural dean." [From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
The church is a brick building consisting of a chancel, nave, aisles and a massive embattled western tower of the 12th or 13th century. The whole structure, except the tower, was rebuilt in 1717, when the previous church of timber and plaster was destroyed by fire.
In 1778 the church was re-roofed and lengthened, and the whole church was restored in 1878-80.
Burslem anciently formed a chapelry in Stoke-upon-Trent parish. It was created a parish in 1808 by an Act of Parliament passed in 1807, entitled "An Act for separating the Chapelries and Chapels of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Burslem, Whitmore, Bucknall-cum-Bagnall, and Norton-in-the-Moors, from the Rectory and Parish Church of Stoke-upon-Trent, and for making them Five Distinct Rectories.
Church of England Registers
The surviving register of St John the Baptist, Burslem, commences in 1637. The original registers for the period 1637-1693 & 1702-1927 (Bapts), 1637-1693 & 1702-1946 (Mar) & 1637-1693 & 1702-1947 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1660-1865 (with gaps 1673-75, 1708-10, 1714-17, 1837-55 (Mar)) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the St John registers for the period 1578-1812 was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1913 and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
Note that this includes extracts from the earliest original registers which were destroyed in the fire of 1717, made in the early 18th century by the antiquarian, William Kelsall.
Nonconformist Church Registers
Records of Nonconformist churches in Burslem can be found on the Burslem page