Brief History of Sion Baptist Church

The era after the English Civil War was a time of religious division. After various acts and religious turmoil, in 1672 the barn of John Pickop in Higher Cloughfold was granted a licence to be used as a place of meeting; Higher Cloughfold was part of a wider area called Dedwinclough. About ten years later, two cousins from Yorkshire- David Crosley and William Mitchell came as itinerant preachers to the valley. “Into the wild and thinly populated Rossendale Valley came these two intrepid evangelists.” Their church planting was extensive in the East Lancashire and West Yorkshire area though they did travel to other areas of the country.

In the year 1701 a house belonging to James Townsend was legally certified for worship. It was known as the “New Chapel” and in 1705 Mr Robert Litchford gave that residence for the use of dissenters in Rossendale, also called Anabaptists or Independents.

In the 1800s Rossendale was known as the Golden Valley and the Litchford church building was demolished and a new church building erected in the 1830s and the name Sion Baptist Church came into use.

In 1901the cornerstone for a new Sunday School building was laid and the building opened on June 14th 1902. …..this is the building where we worship today because in the 1970s the chapel boiler broke down and worship moved to the Sunday School Building.

The present building was dedicated in 1984.

David Lloyd George’s mother was a member here briefly.

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