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RISHWORTH: Rishworth Baptist Church History up to 1912.

Rishworth Baptist Church History up to 1912.


The Rishworth Church was formed at the beginning of last century. At that time there was no place of worship in the township; but neighbouring ministers came occasionally to preach, with the result that several joined the Church at Steep Lane. In 1803, a Church of thirteen members was organised, and in the same year the chapel was opened. In January, 1807, Mr. Luke Roebuck, of Sheffield, was chosen pastor, and continued until 1812. The prosperity of the school led the Church to purchase two houses adjoining the chapel, which were converted into school premises and a manse.

Mr. Thomas Mellor, a member of Salendine Nook, became pastor in 1815, and remained until his death, in 1852. The Rev. E. Dyson was minister from 1853 to 1863. Since those days the circumstances of the Church have become more difficult, owing to the decline in the population. During the "sixties" an unfortunate divergence resulted in more than half the members seceding to form another Church. Its Baptist history was brief, the new cause becoming Congregationalist. The Rev. J. Wilkinson was pastor at Rishworth from 1874 to 1888, during which time a manse was built. The old school was pulled down and the new schools erected, in 1898, at a cost of £2800. These present a striking contrast to the humble architecture of the Church's earlier efforts. The present pastor, Rev. V. R. Smeed, settled at Rishworth in 1909.

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