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 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.
The church ran a four day convention in 1917, to thank God for 100 years of Christian witness in the area. it was so well received that it was repeated the following year and in total ran for 101 years. The church felt that it was time to do something new and so in 2018 the convention was closed.
When the church held its bi-centenary, a book written by Rev A J Long in 1917 recording the history of the chapel was reprinted, still retaining the old title ‘Hitherto’ and copies are still available.
The area is now changing and new houses are being built next to the chapel. What was once a rural chapel is now slowly becoming part of Preston’s urban sprawl. Just a few miles from the chapel is the fracking centre of the north west of England. Who knows what this area will look like in the next decade. It is important that we maintain a strong gospel presence in the area.
We give all a warm welcome to a church worth coming to and a church worth belonging to.