The "Hope" Church, Hebden Bridge, is the result of a dismission of members from Wainsgate, with Mr. Fawcett, their pastor to form a new cause in the valley. This was in 1777, and they at once built the "Ebenezer" meeting-house. Their appeal for help in this enterprise was signed by such widely-known leaders as Crabtree, Medley, Rylands, Stennett, Rippon, and John Newton. Dr. Fawcett continued as pastor until his death in 1817.* Among the first Baptist Sunday schools in the county was that at Hebden Bridge, where the work was begun in 1786. Amongst its teachers was John Foster—the essayist—who was baptised in 1787.
Succeeding pastors were Abraham Webster (1818-19) and John Jackson (1821-33). John Crook held the office from 1841 to 1859. In 1846, eight members were dismissed to form the Brearley Church. "Hope" chapel was opened in 1858, having cost 3750. The Rev. Josiah Green held the pastorate from 1860 to 1875, to be followed by Rev. W. H. Ibberson (1877-81), and in 1880, the entire interior of the chapel was refitted and beautified. He was succeeded by Rev. Henry Hall (1882-9), who was followed by Rev. Wm. Jones (1891-1906).
The pastorate of Mr. Jones will be long remembered at "Hope", for their minister not only served the Church with much faithfulness but took a leading place in the district and in the citizenship of the town. As chair-man of the School Board, as a promoter of the Nursing Association, as organiser of the local Free Church Council, and as a leader in Christian Endeavour work, Mr. J ones filled a sphere of great usefulness and influence, whilst his devotion to the work of the County Association resulted in his election to its Presidency. In 1899, the Church provided itself with a new organ, and again made structural alterations, the 1300 expended being raised by the ready gifts of its people. Mr. Jones was succeeded in 1908 by Rev. E. Owen, B.A. The Church having received a gift of 1500 from Alderman Wade for a school extension scheme, an enterprise involving an outlay of 4000 was undertaken and successfully completed in 1911.
* In 1810, Dr. Fawcett preached his last Association Sermon, at Bradford. He was then in his seventy-first year, and very feeble. He had just suffered a great bereavement in the loss of his wife. "When he entered the pulpit every eye was fixed upon him as he announced his text, 'Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth,' and he had not proceeded far when almost every individual present was melted into tears."