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St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall
St John the Evangelist, Bacup
Bacup Parish Church - St John the Evangelist
Burnley Road, Bacup

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, with the population of the village of Bacup increasing rapidly due to industrialisation of the area, the inhabitants were required go over the hill tops to worship and to bury their dead at St Nicholas, Newchurch, which was often a torturous and hazardous journey.

It was decided to build a chapel of ease to St Nicholas and in 1788 the Rev. William Cleaver DD, Lord Bishop of Chester consecrated the church of St John's. The people of Bacup could attend St John's for baptisms and burials but not for marriage, as this stayed the monopoly of St Nicholas until it became a parish in its own rights in 1837.

Soon after reaching parish status, due to a large increase in the population, St John's lost a large portion of its area when Holy Trinity, was opened at Stacksteads in 1840. In 1854 it lost one hundred acres to Christ Church and in 1865 it suffered more shrinkage when St Saviour's was consecrated.

In 1814 a parsonage was built and in 1848 the Bacup National School was built on Burnley Road just above the church.

On the 19th April 1871 the church suffered a total collapse of the building and service were transferred to the Sunday School which itself was in a poor condition by this time. The cause of collapse was twofold - firstly, the grounds around the church been used as a graveyard with close to seven thousand burials and the depth of some graves served to undermine the foundations of the church. Secondly, the south wall of the church had shown for some years a bulge due to the weight of the balcony, which had been propped up to prevent collapse and by 1865 the balcony had been closed to the public. In 1877 with the induction of the Rev. Arthur Phillips a new church was built at a cost of £15,000 and was dedicated in 1883. It was also under the stewardship of Rev. Phillips that the School was rebuilt in 1907.

The boundaries of the parish have been the cause of disputes in its early years as the parish is at the junction of many ancient boundaries: part is within the ancient parish of Whalley, and part is within the ancient parish of Rochdale, parts are within the manor of Spotland, the manor of Rochdale and the manor of Accrington. Part is within the township of Newchurch and part is within the township of Brandwood.

The vicars of St John the Evangelist
1788 - 1794 Rev. Joseph Ogden
1796 - 1839 Rev. William Porter
1839 - 1849 Rev. Ebenezer Brown Allen
1850 - 1858 Rev. Benjamin Tweedle
1858 - 1877 Rev. J. F. Brindle
1877 - 1909 Rev. Arthur Phillips
1910 - 1929 Rev. Vickers English
1930 - 1947 Rev. Arthur Rankilor
1947 - 1952 Rev. Eric Lindsay Forster
1953 - 1958 Rev. C. C. W. Airne
Click on image to enlarge

St John the Evangelist - War Memorial