Chapel St, WN50AG, Orrell
Part of Group:
At Risk: No
It's beginnings were in 1848 when a group left the Church of England, dissatisfied with the preaching. After initially holding meetings in a house they rented a room. Numbers rose and in 1851 five of those meeting together wanted to be baptised and formally constituted into a church. They gave their testimonies to Mr Vaughn who later became pastor to Shaw Street Strict Baptist Church, Liverpool. They were baptised by him on Monday 31st March 1851 (it is thought) in Wigan. The following Sunday, April 6th, they were formed into a church by Mr Forster of Blackburn, who administered the Lord’s Supper on that occasion.
By 1863, ten more had been baptised, although some had left. It is clear that many more attended than became members. In 1863 and the beginning of 1864 there was quite an increase in attendance and financial support. The room had become too small and cramped so it was decided to build a chapel. One of the members of the congregation, Jane Farrimond, gave the land needed - God had provided for His people.
The first baptism in the chapel was of Jane’s brother, George, on 13th December 1865. Another brother, Henry, became the first pastor in about 1870 after several years as a deacon. About 20 people were baptised during Henry Farrimond’s pastorate and the church prospered. In 1884 after 14 years ministry, Henry died of cancer of the jaw aged only 58 years.
The Sunday School hall had been added in 1867 and children’s work has continued ever since. A Sunday School Superintendent was appointed and the Sunday School had its own committee and finances. About 1873 a library was established and would have been a valuable resource for those who could not afford to buy books. Sunday School outings were soon established and Rivington Pike was a popular venue. The first Sunday School Anniversary was in 1923. During the improvements made to the building in 1926, the hall was divided to make an upper hall that was then made into classrooms with screens.