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Help and advice for HELLIFIELD: Hellifield Baptist Church History up to 1912.

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HELLIFIELD: Hellifield Baptist Church History up to 1912.


The cause at Hellifield appears to have had its rise in the year 1808, when a parcel of ground, in a certain field called Cross Close, was conveyed to trustees for the purpose of erecting a Particular Baptist chapel. An Association report for 1842 says that Hellifield had its origin, in part, from the Church at Cowling Hill. It is difficult to give a clear account of the history of the Hellifield Church owing to its changing relationship to the Church at Long Preston. Sometimes the two Churches appear on the records as Long Preston-cum-Hellifield, at other times they are entered separately, and in some years Hellifield is not included in the returns.

In 1816, Mr. Hardacre was ordained pastor of Long Preston, at Hellifield, but the Churches afterwards separated. In 1842, Hellifield numbered twelve members. The Rev. W. Giddings became pastor at Long Preston, in 1871, and in 1882 Hellifield united itself with its sister Church under his pastorate. An Association Report for that year says :—" Hellifield, for years past, has owed its existence as a Church to the self-denial of one brother, who has walked from Airton, four miles away, in order to keep open the house of prayer and maintain the worship of God. He was taken ill at the recognition service of Mr. Giddings, and died after a few days' suffering, leaving an example of faith-fulness to great principles rarely seen. The future prosperity of the Church will always be identified with the name of Hargraves of Airton."

Mr. Giddings died in 1887. He was greatly beloved by his people :--" An earnest preacher and a devoted pastor, his sincere piety and gentle spirit were manifest in every action. For years to come his influence will be felt in the homes of Long Preston and Hellifield, and his name will be a household word in the dales of Craven." In 1889, Rev. J. Davis settled as pastor, but terminated his engagement in 1892, to be followed by Rev. J. Russell, who remained for a very brief period. Rev. Geo. Armitt under-took the work in 1897; under him the Churches were again united. Mr. Armitt removed in. 1904. The Church is at present supplied by lay brethren.

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