Church History


Christians have been worshipping on this site for over two hundred years, giving us many experiences in the past to learn from and build on for the future.

We really go back to 1611-12 when the first Baptist Church was founded on British soil in Spitalfields, London. Further details of the early history of the Baptists may be found on the website of The Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland.

Why start a church in Lockwood?

In 1792 Lockwood was a village separated from Huddersfield by green fields and was developing as a spa town to rival Harrogate:

‘The village of  Lockwood is beautifully and delightfully situated in the valley of the Holme…and lies in a romantic and finely sheltered country…as a summer retreat Lockwood cannot be surpassed’ – described a directory of 1830

Unfortunately, alongside the Spa development was that of the textile mills. Families left their hand looms in cottages to work long hours in the mills, where children were exploited and often died. The church gravestones are a testimony to deaths caused by industrialisation, poverty and diseases such as cholera and small pox. Life was tough for children in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and our gravestones reflect this. To travel back in time, visit our graveyard and let the gravestones speak to you.

Gravestones preserved in the garden and patio

One mill owner, Benjamin Ingham, a member of the older Salendine Nook Baptist Church was ‘dismissed’ with thirteen other members to start the Baptist community in Lockwood.

One of the New Testament principles that Baptists believe and follow is Believer’s Baptism by emersion. The original baptisms were carried out in the River Holme.




Benjamin Ingham opened up his barn near Lockwood Fulling Mill (which he owned) in Bridge Street as a meeting house.


Benjamin Ingham built the first chapel at Lockwood Bar, on the present site. Opening ceremony on Christmas Day. (The ‘Church’ is the people; the ‘Chapel’ is the building, often referred to as the Church.)


Sunday School built next to the chapel for teaching of the Bible and reading, for all ages.


Doctrinal dispute amongst members. Breakaway group eventually built new chapel, named Rehobeth, and Sunday School in Park Road, now a mosque. (The Rehobeth fellowship re-joined the Lockwood fellowship in the 1970’s, when one of their buildings was declared unsafe and demolished.)


Baptistry built in churchyard.


Larger Sunday School built in Hanson Lane (enlarged with second storey 1864).

Entrance and front of church built in 1851

Entrance and front of church built in 1851


New larger worship building opened 2nd January.
Entrance and front of church built in 1851
Before refurbishment in 1987 


New Sunday School built at rear of chapel.


New organ installed, built by local firm of Conacher at Springwood.
The Conacher Organ


Hanson Lane Sunday School sold to YMCA. Now belonging to British Legion.


Work started by Manpower Services Commission to clear graveyard and create large patio area and garden.

Garden and Patio


Work continued to refurbish chapel on two levels, creating upstairs worship area, downstairs meeting hall, extra rooms, kitchen and toilets, all with disabled facilities including a lift to worship area. Sunday School at back demolished to create all-weather games pitch.

Before Refurbishments in 1987

New Worship Area following refurbishments

Wildlife Garden Paving & Cairn


Wildlife Garden started using recycled materials, donated plants and grant from Kirklees Regeneration Development Service.


Wildlife Garden opened 19th July



We do not know, but what is certain is that the vibrant community that is Lockwood Baptist Church will continue to witness to the love of God, the saving power of Jesus Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit and serve the community in the 21st Century, as it has done so for over two hundred years.