The West Lane Church, Haworth, had its genesis in the religious awakening which followed the advent of William Grimshaw to the incumbency of Haworth.* To that fervent evangelist we owe a lasting debt, for among his converts were at least three who became Baptist pastors :—Crabtree of Bradford, Hartley of Haworth, and Richard Smith, who became the first pastor at Wainsgate. James Hartley gathered the people together in 1748, and in 1752 the little company was formed into a Church, and built a chapel which needed to be enlarged in 1775. Mr. Hartley remained in its pastorate until his death in 178o; and to Haworth chapel came every Sunday the youthful John Fawcett, walking from Bradford to attend his ministry. Mr. Hartley was followed by Rev. Isaac Slee—formerly a clergyman of the Church of England but his opportunity of service was brief. Of a delicate constitution, he died of consumption in 1784.
Mr. Miles Oddy undertook the charge at Haworth in 1785, and upheld it for forty-five years. During his ministry the cause at Hall Green was established by a secession of members from West Lane. Mr. Oddy was succeeded by Rev. W. Winterbotham (1831-41), who was followed by Rev. A. Berry (1844-50). Under Mr. Berry's ministry the present chapel was erected. The Rev. J. Wood was minister (1853-62), after whom came Rev. John Aldis, who was the pastor from 1862 to 1868. Rev. F. Harper, the next in succession, remained for nineteen years. At that time the Church was blessed with many able and zealous workers, and the names of Greenwood, Horsfall, Haggas, and Sugden will ever be cherished at West Lane.
The present pastor, Rev. D. Arthur, began his ministry at Haworth in 1889, and whilst the population is a decreasing one—the village having declined by a thousand during the last decade—the work is continued with earnestness and good promise, for the school was never larger, and a mission work is maintained at Hawksbridge. In June, 1909, new school premises were opened and a remarkable reunion of old scholars was held. Special reference was made to the invaluable services rendered to the Church by the Greenwood family, and, among other speakers, Sir James Roberts, Bart., of Saltaire, testified to the debt he owed to the school and its superintendents, under whom he had received instruction in his boyhood. Haworth experiences the loss of many of its young people who move to the larger centres, but, notwithstanding this, it looks with hope to the future.
* Haworth was one of John Moore's preaching places, for at Leeds, July 1693, the "House of Thomas Fether of Northis in Haworth," was registered for Worship. The applicants were "Thos. ffether, John Holmes, Robert Heaton, Nicholas Dickson, Michael Pighells, Chr. Holmes. George ffether, John Moore, Joseph Pighells."