History of Roomfield Church

The origins of Roomfield are in 1704, when a Baptist Church was founded at Rodwell End, initially as a branch of a Baptist church in Rossendale. A copy of an indenture refers to the details of this, saying:

This indenture made the first day of May Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and four in the third year of the reign of our most gracious Sovereign Lady Anne by the Grace of God Queen of England Scotland France and Ireland defender of the Faith made Between Adam Holden of Stubylee within the Parish of Rochdale in the County of Lancaster Yeoman on the one part And Richard Hargreaves of Heptonstall Brigg within the Parish of Heptonstall in the County of York Yeoman (and four others listed) on the other part Witnesseth that in consideration of the sum of five shillings of Lawful English Money………the said Adam Holden Hath given granted …… a dwelling house commonley called Roddalhey situate and being within the Parish of Heptonstall ….. the said new erected dwelling house or building is now used as a Chapel or Meeting Place for the Protestant Dissenters called by the name of Baptists or Independants….

The Church declined during the late 18 century, but was revived at the end of the century and in 1808 moved to a newly built a chapel at Millwood on Halifax Road. This building still exists today, in use as a produce merchants premises, and the word “Rehoboth” can still be seen over the door. Rehoboth was the formal name of the Church for many years, and means “The Lord hath made room for us”.

In 1809, at the Midsummer Quarter Sessions of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the justices of the peace said: “I do hereby certify that a building situate at Millwood in Stansfield in the west Riding of the County of York is certified in this Session to be a place of meeting for the religious Worship of protestant Dissenters commonly known as Baptists and is recorded as such at the said Sessions ….”

The church thrived at Millwood. In 1873 it had 114 Members, Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Society, Female Instruction Society, Band of Hope Society, Tract and Visiting Society, Sabbath School, Library of 400 theological and general titles and a Sick and Funeral Society. It had outgrown the building, and under the inspired leadership of Pastor Henry Briggs a decision was made to build a new church at Roomfield.
Work started on a new chapel and attached Sunday school in January 1876. The Sunday School of 280 scholars moved in December of that year, and the Church in the following year. The Church continued to thrive for many years, reaching its peak with a membership of about 250 in the early years of the 20th century.

The Chapel was demolished in 1954, due to dry rot, and the Sunday School followed in 1960, having been used as the Chapel in the meantime. The present Roomfield was built on the same site and was back in use by 1962, with central Methodist Church providing facilities for Roomfield in the interim. The building was refurbished and extended in 2009.