[former] Baptist Chapel, Whitchurch
The [former] Baptist Chapel, Green End, Whitchurch

Baptists were meeting in the town as early as 1778, but a Baptist church was not officially formed until 1808. They met in a "small & very incommodious" place in Jarratts Yard, in the High Street, belonging to Stephen Jarratt, which was licensed on the 12th July 1808 by John Bayley, William James, James Barlow, J. H. Evanson & Stephen Harratt. Later, they bought a former malt kiln in Green End (belonging to John Bayley) and fitted it up in a "very plain and neat manner" at a cost of £500, which was licensed at the county quarter sessions on 13th July 1813. It officially opened on the 11th January 1814. Then a new chapel (with a burial ground at the back) in Green End was opened on 20th October 1824. It was described in 1851 as being set back a little from the road, with an interior "neatly pewed and provided with a gallery" and as being "respectably attended". In the 1851 Religious Census it was reported to have seating for 350 worshippers, and had an attendance of 46 at their morning & 93 at their evening services, together with 58 and 64 Sunday scholars at the morning & afternoon services. The chapel was improved and enlarged during the following years. After one such renovation the chapel reopened on 23 May 1854. Later a grand new façade was built which extended the building at the front, probably in 1889. The Baptist Handbook of 1889 records that the schoolroom had been enlarged at a cost of £200 and it is known that there was a schoolroom above the new entrance lobby. The congregation gradually declined in the 20th century & the chapel closed in 1939. It was then used for various purposes & is now an antiques emporium.
For a view of the inscription above the doorway, click here.
Grid ref: SJ 542415

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