The Early Years

In June 1848 two members of the Baptist Village Mission, Samuel Jones and Robert Hogg, arrived in Skipton to preach in the market place. This meeting was apparently very lively - especially when the two evangelists’ teaching on Christian Baptism were vigorously opposed by the Wesleyan minister of the time. Two nights of discussion followed and the interest raised was great - over one thousand copies of a report of the debate (on baptism) were sold - and out of that discussion was born this church. Services began to be held in people’s homes and in 1849 a room was obtained in Wesley Place for worship, where around 150-200 attended regularly. On Christmas Day in 1849 the first public baptisms were performed in the river Aire.Old Church On 25th March 1850 the church was formed with a roll of eleven members - five newly baptised and six from other churches.

On 1st October 1855 a plot of land was purchased to build our present church building, which finally opened on 28th June 1861. (The total cost of land and buildings was around £1,300!). The first Minister of the church, who served from 1864 to 1878, was Reverend Francis Britcliffe. To the left is a picture of how the church would have looked in those early days. Whilst the structure remains the same the interior has undergone several refurbishments to meet the needs of successive generations.