CLECKHEATON: Cleckheaton Congregational Church History up to 1868.



There was preaching from an early period at a farm-house about half a mile from Cleckheaton, called "the Closes," under which name the first mention of the congregation occurs. The pastors have been-
  • 1672. Rev. JOHN HOLDSWORTH (Frankland's Acy.). He seems to have regularly exchanged services, first with the Rev. Joseph Dawson, Morley (who received £2 10s. half-yearly from Stretton on behalf of "the Closes "); next, with the Rev. John Ray, Pudsey. Ob. Dec. 15, 1711, and was buried at Birstall.
  • In 1710, the congregation met for worship at a hamlet called Swinley, or Egypt, between Cleckheaton and Gomersal. In that year, John Dixon, of Bradford, purchased on their behalf a plot of land, which was afterwards conveyed to them. On it the first chapel was erected. Being of brick, it was called "The Red Chapel."
  • 1712. Rev. ROBERT RICHMOND. He married the widow of Rev. A. Lister, Kipping (1713). Ob. at Wisket Hill, 1728, after having been incapacitated for some years. At that time, according to Dr. Evans' list, the congregation consisted of Is o hearers, sixteen of whom were voters for the county. He was buried at New Chapel, Bradford.
  • 1728. Rev. JOHN ANGIER. Grantee from the Hewley fund, 1728, 1729. Removed, 174.0, to Swanland.
  • 1741. Rev. EVAN STOCK (from Warley). This minister was probably of Arian sentiments. He married a lady of property, which on his death was divided among his three daughters. He is said to have been minister at Cleckheaton for nearly twenty years.
  • 1762. Rev. JOHN WHITEFORD. He had been one of Wesley's preachers, but afterwards changed his doctrinal opinions for Independency. He left, in 1766, for Kipping. He kept a school.
  • After his removal, Rev. Geo. Lambert, subsequently of Hull, preached -for nearly a year with great acceptance. After him, Rev. John Beatson occupied the pulpit for nearly the same period. The congregation increased greatly under his ministry. Mr. Beatson then adopted Baptist sentiments.
  • 1769. Rev. JAMES DAWSON (Heckmondwike Acy.). Mr. Dawson was of weakly constitution, but was greatly beloved. In 1780, a new and considerably larger chapel was erected. Mr. Dawson died, 1795.
  • 1796. Rev. JOHN RALPH (from Stone), under whom the congregation was much increased. Removed to Liverpool, 1802.
  • 1803. Rev. THORNHILL KIDD. Highly esteemed. He resigned his charge through illness, and was afterwards minister at Clapton, near London, and died, 1819. An attempt was made, in 1809, to establish a monthly lecture at Cleckheaton and adjoining places during the summer months, in connection with the District Association.
  • 1814. Rev. JAMES SCOTT (from Eastwood). His labours were abundantly successful. During his life, the chapel was again enlarged (1815), and school-rooms were built in 1819. Ob. 1852.
  • 1852. Rev. ROBERT CUTHBERTSON, the present minister (in 1868).
In July, 1857, the foundation-stone of a new and handsome chapel was laid by F. Crossley, Esq., M.P. It was opened for Divine worship on the 18th May, 1859.

Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2014
from the Appendix to
Congregationalism in Yorkshire
by James C. Miall, 1868.