Redditch Baptists

 

Redditch Baptist History

          
Left: The previous church on Ipsley Green                   Right: Laying the first brick of the new Baptist chapel in Easemore Road.

millsborough house jan 2015          millsborough house int 1 jan 2015          millsborough house int 2 jan 2015

                                    Traces of the old Baptist Church remain in Millsborough House, January 2015.

redditch baptist aug 2007          redditch baptist oct 2010                                                                                                            redditch baptist int oct 2010

                                                                  Redditch Baptist Church, October 2010.

There were Baptists in England around 1612, and in this area of the West Midlands, Alcester (1640), Bromsgrove and Bewdley, had Baptist groups,  but there were apparently none in Redditch until the 19th century, when Baptist needle-makers moved into the area and founded Baptist churches in Sudley and Astwood Bank  and finally Redditch.

In 1862, regular Baptist services were held in Warwick Arms room in Ipsley Street and a Sunday school was opened.    Members worked to build the first church in Ipsley street and in 1866 the foundation stone was laid.   The building cost £839, a Sunday school building was added later.

In 1887 the larger congregation and big Sunday School (272 with 39 teachers) needed bigger premises.   The building was put up for sale.

A new site was purchased on the east side of Ipsley Green at the corner of Milsboro Road; while the church was being built the congregation met in the Kingfisher Hall in Worcester Road.

The church was of the early Gothic style and designed by Mr John Mills of London and Derby.  It cost £4,197.   There was a seat rent system which was a useful source of income.

In the first world war, the church was given up for the manufacture of munitions, and in 1916 a decision was made to sell the church and its buildings to the  factory which adjoined the rear of the premises, and to build a new church in Easemore Road.

The Easemore Road church opened on 27th June 1923.  It was designed by Messrs Willis and Son of Derby and built by F.C. Hulne and Seden of Redditch.    There were extensive grounds and enough room to lay out two tennis courts (later the site of the manse).

The church is of Leicestershire brick with Bath stone dressings in the perpendicular style.   It has a large window above paired doorways, adjoining a stunted stair-tower (for the w.gallery).  The wide interior has a two bay arcade to a shallow NE choir transept.  the east baptistery is flanked by recesses.  To the south the wall  is filled by a landscape painting by H Lindsey Ryff,  in memory of his son and others connected with the church and congregation who had been killed in the war.

References and some further sources:
Aiken, John. Census of Religious Worship, 1851: The Returns for Worcestershire (2000)
Brooks, Alan, and Nikolaus Pevsner. Buildings of England: Worcestershire  (2007)
Cooke P.J. (Ed), The Worcestershire Baptist Association Remembered 1836 - 2000 (2001)
Kelly's Directories of Worcestershire
Noake, John. Worcester Sects (1861)
A History of Redditch Baptist Church, 1862 - 1962, Local History Reference Library at The  Hive:  286.094247

n.b. Full details of these books are on the bibliography and sources page.

Websites:          Redditch Baptist Church.         
                           British Newspaper Archive (subscription required): www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
                           Worcestershire County Council Archaeology and Archive (n.b. incomplete online) Catalogues (includes picture index): Click Here.

Link to Redditch Main Page.

 Click on red text for a link.  External websites will open in a new window.                              Page updated January 2015.

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