CLAYTON: Clayton Baptist Church History up to 1912.



On August 7th, 1828, fourteen members of the Church at Queenshead (Queensbury), withdrew from fellowship in order to form a new Church of the General Baptist faith and order at Clayton. On the same day, fourteen persons were baptised by Mr. H. Hollinrake, of Birchcliffe, Hebden Bridge, in the presence of more than two thousand spectators. Mr. George Andrews, senr., previously a member of the Church at Sandy Lane, Allerton, also became a member of the new cause, and on the following Lord's Day, Mr. Jonas Greenwood, who had been formerly in membership at Queenshead, was received.

The first place of worship was a small chapel situated at Deep Lane Top, now the Crown Inn. It was capable of seating about ninety persons, and was obtained on the terms of a yearly rental of £4 15s. 0d. In 1830, a new chapel was erected. Three persons were baptized therein before the chapel was finished, the baptism taking place on August 8th, and the opening services on the 24th and 28th of October following. An interesting account of the opening services appeared in the General Baptist Repository for January, 1831. By this time £130 towards the cost of £530 had been raised, the opening services realising the sum of £27.

The Sunday school was commenced in February, 1831, and in December of that year, Rev. John Taylor was appointed pastor with a stipend of £15 per annum. During Mr. Taylor's pastorate of five years, forty-seven persons were added to the Church by baptism. In 1843, the Rev. Jabez Tunnicliffe conducted some special services at Clayton, as a result of which thirty-four persons were baptized. Twenty years later, in 1863, Mr. Tunnicliffe, then at Leeds, was invited to the pastorate, but declined. In 1848, the first musical instrument, a "bass," was introduced. There are two resolutions in the Church book with reference thereto : "1. To accept the offer of friend A. Barker, viz., of a 'Bass'; 2. That we allow no kind of instrument but a 'bass' to be admitted into this place of worship as long as the chapel stands."

The subsequent history of the Church at Clayton, as of other places, goes to show it is not wise to attempt to impose such restrictions on posterity. Revs. Hogg, Henry Aster, Cornelius Leigh, and J. Brown, were ministers of the Church between 1848 and 1878. In 1891, during the pastorate of Rev. J. W. Hambley, the present commodious and beautiful chapel was erected at a cost of £5,201 0s. 0d. The following year Mr. and Mrs. Asa Briggs defrayed the expense of a new organ, costing £400. In 1897, Mr. Hambley resigned the pastorate and was succeeded by Rev. James Horn. He was followed in 1904 by Rev. Anwyl Arthur, and in 1909 by the Rev. T. B. Field. It is worthy of note that Mr. George Andrew, who supplied the data on which this short account is based, faithfully served the Church as secretary for more than fifty years.

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