History of our church

Church Interior 1927

Market Harborough Baptist Church was constituted on 19th September 1830, with a membership of just 10, and held the first church meeting on 19th October 1830. At the time the church met in a rented house in Adam & Eve Street. The rented rooms soon became too cramped, and in March 1831 the foundation stone was laid for a Chapel on Lubenham Lane (now Coventry Road). After 14 weeks, on 17th June, the new chapel was opened.

The building was plain and simple, in a similar style to many non-conformist chapels of the time. It was set well back from the street, with a garden at the front, surrounded by a low wall and iron gates.

The first full immersion baptism in Market Harborough was in this chapel on 6th June 1831.

In 1901, Rev SW Hughes, 27, with a lively and winning personality, was invited to be minister. His style of preaching attracted people and membership increased from 88 to 114 over a 3 year period. In addition Harborough was expanding, this and the increased membership led to talks of enlarging the building.

Demolition of the old chapel started in August 1906. The building work took 9 months and the opening took place on 25th March 1907. The extra rooms at the back of the church were well used by the Sunday school and young people

The town has changed a lot over the last 187 years, and with it the church has changed and adapted to serve the needs of the age. It is almost impossible to envisage what form the worship took in the early days and it’s founder members would probably not recognise the services of today, particularly with it’s emphasis on music and song. The one thing which has remained through the ages is the preaching of the Gospel.

Market Harborough Baptist Church remains at the centre of the community on a prime site in the centre of town. In the words of it’s mission Statement, ‘we aim to bring Christ to the community, through our vibrant worship and Bible teaching, our welcome, our care and our service.

[Taken from ‘Market Harborough Baptist Church History 1830-2010’ by A. Douglas, F Wooldridge]