A Short History of Inskip Baptist Church
In the Domesday book the ‘Manor of Inskip’ is mentioned, but at that time the nearest church was at St. Michaels, already 400 years old. In 1629 the first Nonconformist Church in the district, Elswick Congregational Church, was built. The minister of Elswick Church, during an awakening in the district was baptised in 1795, as a result of which a group of like-minded souls began meeting together first at Roebuck, then later they moved to Inskip. Many baptisms were conducted in the River Brock in 1815, and the meetings took place in a thatched cottage near the site of the present Anglican Church.
The Chapel was built in 1817,the first Baptist Chapel in the Fylde peninsular, and the only one in West Lancashire from Lancaster to Lytham until 1859. The first baptism, that of Mr. Richard Crook, took place at Inskip mill dam – in January! Not long after his father and two brothers followed in his footsteps. Sadly he died all too soon in 1824, and his gravestone is to be seen behind the chapel. The first of the Crook family seems to have arrived in the district over four hundred years ago, and are still a spiritual influence today.
The Church flourished in a village of slowly dwindling population 800 in 1815 down to half that number a hundred years later. The chapel was extended in 1854 with a porch, vestry and Sunday Schoolroom, the minister’s Manse being built in 1837. A daughter chapel was built in 1870 in Great Eccleston (now a private dwelling) three miles away, and services were divided between the two centres.
Many surnames appear again and again in the church records of families that are still in active service today. The Crook family were there almost from the start followed in 1843 by Rowes, in 1853 by Porters and in 1875 by the Roskells. The fellowship was always noted for its friendly, caring spirit, its hospitality and cleanliness, and its support for missionary work. It continues as a Bible based church to present the Gospel of Christ in today’s world.
To celebrate the centenary of the chapel, the then minister, Mr. A. J. Long introduced two notable events. The first was a thorough history of the church entitled ‘Hitherto’. The second was the introduction of the now renowned ‘Inskip Convention’ (or Fylde Convention) that has taken place each year since 1917. This gives an opportunity for the people of Lancashire and beyond to hear for themselves biblical exposition by some of the most gifted preachers of our time. The Convention takes place in a marquee set in the chapel grounds. Being situated in a lovely rural setting it has become a time and a place where Christians come to meet with their friends each year and enjoy the beauty of the area together with the ministry of the word of God through the scriptures.
We give all a warm welcome to a church worth coming to and a church worth belonging to.