HUDDERSFIELD: Huddersfield New North Road Baptist Church History up to 1912.
HUDDERSFIELD, NEW NORTH ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH
The New North Road Church, Huddersfield, was constituted on February 15th, 1846, and numbered fifteen members from Lockwood, Huddersfield. four from Salendine Nook, and one from a Manchester Church. It was not the first effort made to establish a Church in the centre of the town, two previous attempts having proved but fugitive. For four years the Itinerant Society supplied the pulpit in the Spring Street schoolroom, which was the Church's home. In 1850 they removed to a larger room in King Street, but, at the close of the year, an unfortunate division led to the withdrawal of sixteen members, nearly all of whom in the course of time returned to the fellowship.
The Rev. W. K. Armstrong took the oversight of the Church from 1851 to 1853, and the growing necessity for a chapel led to the purchase of the chapel in Bath Buildings, which, having been built by the Socialists in 1839, was then leased to the Unitarians. After some necessary alterations it was opened on April 18th, 1855. The Rev. John Hanson accepted the pastorate in 1856, and remained for nineteen years, supported by the unbroken affection of his people. Towards the close of his ministry a project for the building of a new chapel took definite shape, the foundation stone of the New North Road chapel being laid a few months before Mr. Hanson left.
The building was opened on April 16th, 1878, its total cost having been £12,716. In September, 1877, the Rev. E. T. Scammell commenced his pastorate in the old chapel, which after the removal to New North Road was used for school purposes, but in 1882 new school premises were erected, costing 3400. In 1881 an extremely fine organ was presented to the Church by Mr. John Shaw, of Botham Hall. Mr. Scammell, who resigned in 1882, was followed by Rev. F. J. Benskin, in 1884, who maintained a devoted and successful pastorate until his removal, in 1901, to Bath. Here, after a brief ministry, his health failed, and he retired from active service to pass away at the close of 1905. "Diligent and faithful, he had the secret of a loving heart, and has left behind him a very fragrant memory."
The present pastor, Rev. R. C. Ford, M.A., commenced his ministry in December, 1902. In the following year the premises were subjected to a complete renovation, the cost of over £600 being at once met. In 1909 the debt on the entire premises was liquidated. In 1907, sixteen members were dismissed to form a separate Church at Birkby, and in 1908 the services of a deaconess were engaged for helpful work amongst the people of the immediate neighbourhood. New North Road expresses her thankfulness "for all that is being done by the Church to maintain the tone of clear, exalted piety, and to build up calm, consistent righteousness in an age when there is much to allure to indifference, and not a little in some quarters to bring the foundations of religion into jeopardy, if not into contempt."
from the "Present Churches" section of
The Baptists of Yorkshire
by Rev. J. Brown Morgan
and Rev. C.E. Shipley