History of Salendine Nook Baptist Church

Our Church History

It is very difficult to get a precise account of our church history, but there are certain irrefutable facts, namely that an application was made on the 10th October 1689 for a licence to hold religious services under the auspices of the newly written Toleration Act of May 24th 1689. (See License to hold Religious Services - Toleration Act of May 24th 1689)

It is therefore clear that services were being held in secret before this time but just where and how these services were held is not completely certain.  There was use made of a barn belonging to a family of potters who had settled in Salendine Nook after leaving Scotland due to persecution as dissenters, and we do however have a drawing entitled “The First Meeting for the Public Worship of God at Salendine Nook, October 1689”.  A reasonable assumption can be made that this is the venue that had been used by the dissenters, most probably with the support of David Crosley and William Mitchel - two Rossendale evangelising pioneers.  In 1731 Henry Clayton, a farmer and a member of the Rodill- End Community, regularly came to Salendine Nook to preach to the small community living here and meeting together for worship  His farm was at Wadsworth near Hebden Bridge some twelve miles from Salendine Nook.

A meetinghouse was built between 1739 and 1743, and was in use before it was handed over to the Trustees in October 1743 our Church anniversary date.  The Rev. Henry Clayton was ordained and became the first pastor of the church.  The Rev. Henry Clayton died on the 21st December1776, having served the church for twelve years as lay minister and 33 years as pastor a total of 45 years without fee or reward travelling each Sunday the twelve miles from Wadsworth, he never lived in Salendine Nook.

Over the ensuing years the following ministers were in pastorate, on 7th January 1773 the Rev. Joshua Wood was ordained as assistant pastor to Rev. Henry Clayton, and on 2nd January 1777 appointed by the church as a day of fasting and prayer Rev. Joshua Wood was called to the pastorate until his death on 6th September 1794.  The Rev. Robert Hyde was inducted as pastor on 13th August 1795, and remained until his death in 1838, during his pastorate and his growing infirmities; the Rev. James Macpherson accepted an invitation to become assistant pastor to Rev. Hyde and became assistant pastor on 10th June 1837.  At Rev. Hyde’s death, Rev. James Macpherson became sole pastor until 1844, when he resigned the ministry at Nook, it was during his ministry that extensive alterations and extensions were made to the church in 1893.  The Rev. Thomas Lomas became minister on 5th May 1844, until his resignation in 1847, he was succeeded by the Rev. John Stock in May 1848.  Due to failing health Rev. John Stock left in 1857, to be followed by Rev. David Crompton on 13th September 1857 until he resigned 1st March 1865.  The Rev. James Parker became minister 19th November 1865, until his resignation 23rd October 1870, when the church invited Rev. Dr. John Stock to return, re-commencing his pastorate 1st October 1872 until his untimely death in May 1884.

During this time, many changes alterations and extensions were made to the building.  Before 1801 a gallery had been added, two further recorded extensions were made, one in 1803 and another in 1843, of which we have no actual record of the work carried out, sadly one of these extensions was over the grave of Henry Clayton who had been buried beside the church.

In 1877 the Rev. John Thomas took over the pastorate of the church, and remained until 1893, it was during this interregnum that the next major refurbishment of the church took place for which we have more complete record when in 1895 the front vestibule and vestry staircase were added with central heating and complete renewal of the pews bringing the seating capacity to 900.  We have a report of the re-opening services in 1893 as recorded by the Huddersfield Examiner, the local newspaper.  At this time, in 1895 the Rev. D. Witton Jenkins was invited and became pastor of the church staying until 1920, (to see the report click here).  In 1921 the Rev. David J. John became pastor and after a period of poor health decided to close his ministry, leaving the church in June 1941.  The Rev. Abraham Cutts was called to and accepted the pastorate and began his ministry in January 1942, throughout the war became a dearly loved minister of the church until his departure in May 1949.  In February 1950 the Rev. Graham Hughes became pastor of the church until he announced in July 1960 that he was leaving full time ministry and to take up a teaching post.

A successor proved difficult to find until in January 1962 the Rev. Harry Millman accepted and was inducted as pastor of the church, staying for a long ministry until October 1983 when he accepted a call to Victoria Park Bristol.  The Mr David Rabone came to the church as student pastor whilst he completed his training at Manchester College and in 1985 he was ordained and inducted as minister of the church, a short but successful ministry when he decided to leave full time ministry and return to his former profession.

In February 1990 the Rev. David West became minister. It was during his ministry that the next major refurbishment began in December 1995 and was completed in June 1996 with an opening service led by the Rev Dr. Brian Haymes.  During the time of refurbishment, services were held in the Sunday School, a building that was then closed and demolished to help defray the costs (to see pictures Click here)

The Rev David West left the ministry in January 1998, and in May 1999 the Rev. Norman Eales joined the church.  In April 2015 the Rev. Lee Gilbert became our current minister.

In August 2017, Lee left his post as Minister to further his mission as a Hospital Chaplain in East Anglia.

(To see Pictures of the work before and after refurbishment click here)