BINGLEY: Bingley Baptist Church History up to 1912.



The Bingley Church dates from the year 1764, but claims an earlier Baptist interest by the fact that John Moore was a pupil of Wm. Hustler, of Bingley, in 1675. Moore became a Baptist under the preaching of Wm. Mitchel, and several local houses were registered for worship in their joint names, although no cause was permanently established. John Fawcett was connected with Bingley through his marriage with the daughter of John Skirrow. Mr. Skirrow was excluded from the Methodists for his Calvinism, and was baptised by Mr. Fawcett, with nine others, in the River Aire. He registered "Short's House," facing the Market Place, for preaching. This resulted in the formation of a Church, and the erection of a chapel in 1764.

John Wesley, visiting Bingley in 1766, laments "with a heavy heart that so many Methodists here have gone over to the Anabaptists." For the first fifty years the Church appears to have had a succession of brief pastorates, the names of Butterworth, Dracup, Hartley, Harrison, A. Greenwood, and J. Greenwood following each other in rapid sequence. From 1811 to 1820 the pulpit was supplied by lay preachers, among whom William Garnett was a favourite. He is said to have taken a delight in announcing to his congregation that he had never "rubbed his back against the walls of an Academy." In 1820, Mr. Bottomley, of the Horton Academy, was ordained pastor. He was followed in 1829 by Mr. McKaig. Very painful trouble now arose which involved expensive litigation, "the details of which," says an Association record, "would only serve to show how severely a Church may be scourged by the wickedness of an ungodly minister."

The congregation was broken up, and the chapel closed for eight months. The Church was reformed in 1832, and again experienced a series of brief ministries until the settlement of Rev. J. C. Forth, in 1864, who remained until 1871. The Rev. Thomas Hanson, coming in 1872, was only spared for one brief year of service, but it was a year in which a fuller life and a sweeter spirit was remarkably manifested in the Church. He was succeeded by Rev. F. E. Cossey (1875-91). The new chapel was then in course of erection. Opened in 1876, its entire cost of £5000 was met within a few years, largely by Mr. Cossey's indefatigable efforts. In 1893, Rev. E. R. Lewis accepted the call of the Church, and, chiefly through his endeavours, the Dubb Mission Hall was erected; it still continues to sustain an excellent work in a needy district. Mr. Lewis was succeeded, in 1901, by Rev. J. H. Carter, and in 1906 the present pastor, Rev. James Jack, entered upon his ministry at Bingley.

Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2014
from the "Present Churches" section of
The Baptists of Yorkshire
by Rev. J. Brown Morgan
and Rev. C.E. Shipley