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Zion Church

Kelly’s Directory of 1903 states “The Baptist Zion Chapel, erected in 1900-1, at a cost of £6,000, is an edifice of red brick with stone dressings, in the late Gothic style, from designs by Mr. H. H. Dyer, architect, Northampton, and has vestries for the minister, deacons, and choir, with cloak-rooms and caretaker’s room”.

The rear of the chapel
with the addition in pink from the plans drawn
by Harry Knight in 1903
A. T. P. Phillipson’s directory of 1910 states “The Zion Baptist Church is the youngest of the Churches in the town.  In January 1901, the Rev. J. Crook resigned the pastorate of the Succoth Baptist Church, and with some of the deacons and members, proceeded to the erection of a small Chapel in the Station Road. The Chapel was opened on April 7th of the same year, and has accommodation for 200 persons. The pulpit is supplied by various preachers”.

The building in Station Road was constructed in 1900-1 and additions were applied for in Feb 1903, and the trustees making the application were ‘Tomes & Packwood & others’.

Additional space was added at the rear to provide a vestry, wash house, and two toilets, and was to be built in brick, with 'blue bricks up to 6 inches above ground level'. The roof was to be corrugated iron and painted. The plans were drawn by Harry Knight, and submitted to the Rushden Urban Council in February 1903 and passed on the 16th of the same month. [From these plans there were three large windows to the rear but no indication of the front is shown.]

Sometime after the church closed the building was used as a canteen for the Wilkins & Denton shoe factory who were using the adjacent building.

Rushden Echo, 12th April 1901, transcribed by Kay Collins

Opening of Zion Chapel—In a very short time, the new Zion Baptist Chapel in Station-road, built to accommodate the congregation ministered to by the Rev J Crook, has been erected, and it was opened on Sunday. The building, which adjoins Mr Crook’s house, is commodious and comfortable, and is built of red bricks, with stone dressings. Unfortunately Mr Crook was ill, and was thus prevented from taking part in the opening ceremony. The services were conducted on Sunday by Mr Isherwood, of Tyldesley, Lancs. The collections were in aid of the building fund. On Monday there were further services, conducted by Mr A B Hall and Mr Isherwood. Tea was also provided. The congregations were good.

Rushden Echo, 25th March 1904, transcribed by Kay Collins

The First Wedding in the Zion Baptist Chapel was celebrated on Monday, Mr W Harlick, of London, officiating. The bride was Miss A Desborough, of Higham-road, Sunday school teacher and worker at the chapel, the bridegroom being Mr W Riseley, of Wellingborough. The bride, attired in ivory silk, carried a handsome bouquet. The bridesmaids were Misses Agnes and Lily Desborough (sisters) and Miss Riseley (sister of the bridegroom). She was given away by her brother, Mr Herbert Desborough. Mr F Desborough was best man. The newly-wedded pair received a handsome family Bible from the trustees as a memento of the first marriage in the chapel. A reception was afterwards held in the B.W.T.A. Hall.

Rushden Echo, 3rd September 1909, transcribed by Peter Brown

PICNIC – In connection with the Zion Baptist Chapel, Rushden, a picnic was held on Saturday last at Ditchford Mill, by permission of Mr and Mrs Hales. The company numbered 80. Tea was served, picnic style, in the field, and afterwards games were entered into with zest including cricket, football &c. Other pastimes included fishing. Delightful weather prevailed. The tea was given by members of the church and congregation, and the proceeds - £2 10s – were for the building fund.

Rushden Echo, Friday 28th September 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Zion Baptist Chapel—Harvest thanksgiving sermons were preached on Feast Monday afternoon and evening by Mr John Booth, of Bradford. Tea was served at the close of the afternoon service, the ladies responsible for the arrangements being Mesdames Northern, Saint, Dudley, Marlow, Baker, and Perkins, and Miss Desborough. The proceeds were £5 0s. 2d.

Rushden Echo, 3rd October 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins

Harvest Thanksgiving services were conducted at the Zion Baptist Chapel on Monday by Mr. John Booth, of Bradford. Good congregations attended both afternoon and evening, the organist being Miss Ruth Crane. A oublic tea was held at 4.30, about 60 sitting down to the tables, which were presided over by the Chapel Tea Committee.

Rushden Echo, 22nd April 1927, transcribed by Kay Collins

Anniversary
On Monday the 26th anniversary of Zion Baptist Chapel was celebrated, services being conducted afternoon and evening by Mr J Kemp, of Luton. There were very good congregation, including a large number of visitors. A public tea was held between the services, about 80 sitting down. The ladies served the tea. The collections for the funds realised just over £8.

see also obituary - White, Wm - 1927
Rushden Echo, 22nd July 1927, transcribed by Kay Collins

Postponed from the previous Thursday, owing to the wet weather, the Zion Baptist Sunday school held their annual sports on Saturday, in a field off the High-street, Rushden, kindly lent by Mr R Marriott. A happy time was spent, but rain in the early evening necessitated the sport finishing sooner than expected.


Rushden Echo and Argus, 16th October 1959, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Chapel for Sale
The Zion Chapel in Station Road, Rushden, empty for about two years, is for sale. It had its beginning when a group of Strict Baptists broke away from the Succoth Chapel in High Street. The Succoth Chapel closed a few years ago – and the breakaway group’s meeting place suffered the same fate of dwindling congregation.



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