There is no evidence of the existence of any Sunday School or place of worship in the neighbourhood of Deerplay and Doals, prior to 1828. About that time, however, an incident occurred which ultimately led to the formation of one, in which the Baptists, along with the members of other denominations, took an active part. Five or six young men, working at Old Clough Mill, read during the meal times, what books they could lay hold of, in order to employ and improve their spare time. Mr. James Ash worth, of Newkinend, who was at this time an active worker among the Baptists, being a quiet, respectable, and good man, took an interest in the young men, and gave them encouragement by promising to find them books to read, and also house room if they would meet together. They met at this house at Newkinend for a few times, and read various books, the Bible amongst the rest.

Their numbers increasing, however, somewhat interfered with the domestic comfort of the home, and they were asked to make some other arrangement that would not so much hinder home duties. After this they met for a short time at one another's houses, and ultimately arrangements were made, through Mr. Ashworth's influence, for the use of a chamber at Mr. William Clegg's, at Old Clough. (This house is now removed.) Mr. Ashworth then suggested the propriety of opening a room for the benefit of the children who could not go to Bacup through not having proper clothing. Up to this time the meetings had never assumed the character of a public school, but only of a few who met together for mutual improvement. Mr. Ashworth persuaded them to forego their original intention, which was to remain a. class. They only remained at Mr. Clegg's house a short time, as increasing numbers again compelled them to look out for another and larger room. At that time there was a room unoccupied at Corner, and Mr. Ashworth, in company with another friend, waited upon Mr. Maden, the owner, with a view to securing it for Sunday School purposes. Mr. Maden took a deep interest in all that concerned the neighbourhood, and he readily acceded to their request. The place was fitted up with books, forms, desks, &c., from Ebenezer School, Bacup, and Messrs. Edmund Schofield, Senr. George Hargreaves, Thomas and Samuel Howorth, and many others came up and took an active part in the school and services. The interest was principally carried on by the Baptists, although the Church people and the Wesleyans were also connected with it. In 1832 a new school was built for them by Mr. Maden, and shortly after their removal there the Church people retired from the connection. A little later the Baptists left the whole management of the place in the hands of the Wesleyans. Although this first Sunday School in the locality was sustained by the united labours of a "mixed multitude," no one will doubt that much good was done, and the efforts then put forth have undoubtedly proved a blessing to the neighbourhood.

For a period of about six years after the Baptists had withdrawn from the school at Heald no further effort seems to have been made to commence or establish another Sunday School in the locality, although from the year 1833 to 1860, preaching services and meetings continued to be held at the homes of those living in the neighbourhood who formed part of the church and congregation worshipping in Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, Bacup. The Irwell-terrace brethren also had some preaching services in the locality during Mr. Dawson's ministry, and he came up many times to preach. During the year 1839, a Sunday School sprung up at Deerplay, which was mainly established by a few friends formerly connected with Goodshaw, Lumb, and Bacup (Ebenezer), and which at various times received considerable help from private individuals attending Ebenezer and Irwell-terrace Baptist Chapels, Bacup, who felt an interest in the cause, and whose services were appreciated with kindly and genial feelings by those who had the management of the school.

This school commenced in a house occupied by John Taylor. At that time, through slackness of work, Mr. Taylor was somewhat embarrassed in circumstances, and Mr. James Crabtree, of Deerplay, who had the letting of the house, promised him if he would preach occasionally he would allow him to live rent free. The offer was readily accepted, and the first day his door was thrown open thirty one scholars assembled. In reference to this occasion John Taylor says "I taught them, and preached the first sermon, from 2 Chron., xv., 7. Robert Ashworth, of Carr, preached in the evening."

Many neighbours and friends came in to help in the work, and a committee was chosen to manage the affairs of the school, consisting of John Halliwell, Richard Hargreaves, George Heap, and Jonathan Crabtree. It is said that David Law, better known as '' Old Dave,'' was the first superintendent. Among the teachers we find the following :—James Ashworth, Senr., of Clifton; Richard Law, Cloughhead ; James Halliwell, Sunnyfield; John Taylor ("Old Jonty,"} Dean ; Thomas Nuttall (" Old Tummy,") Deanhead ; and John Whittles (“John Jack”) of Clough. The last-named was a great lover of music, and to his lot fell the management of the psalmody, and choir leading in connection with the new interest. He commenced a singing class that did good work for many years in connection with the cause at Deerplay. A man who went by the name of "Bob o' Harry's" played the bass, and among the singers were the following:- George Hey, John Taylor, Moses Law, James Gregory, Richard Law, James Halliwell, James Ashworth, Senr., John Lord, James Ashworth, junr., Ann Law, Mary Crabtree, Ann Law, junr., Mary Hey worth and Mary Law.

The pulpit was supplied regularly by John Taylor, Robert Ashworth, John Halliwell, junr,, and John Salisbury. John Halliwell made most of the school furniture. For a few years writing was taught in the school as well as reading and spelling. The working of this school, from the beginning, seems to have been of a very humble and unassuming character. Scholars and teachers were plainly dressed, some of the former even attending regularly without shoes or stockings to their feet. Many came in clogs and thought themselves well off. The first anniversary sermon was preached by the late Rev. Abraham Nichols, then of Goodshaw, who took for his text Psalm Ixxii,, 16. These words were discoursed upon to a crowded congregation in “th' old Lander Barn” kindly lent for the occasion. Many friends from Goodshaw, Lumb, and Bacup, came up to help in the service, and the collection amounted to about £10. At this time the little cause seemed to be in a fair way for progress, but shortly afterwards a little matter turned up which led to their removal from John Taylor's house to " th' Sod House." Here they met for a short time, during which period arrangements were entered into with James Simpson for one of his houses at the place then known as Old Deerplay, to which they removed.

The interior of this cottage was converted into a chapel, and fitted up with a pulpit, forms, and so on. To this place they removed about the year 1841. Up to this time the school does not appear to have assumed very large dimensions; some improvement, however, took place with their removal, and we find that in the year 1842 they had registered on the books about 80 scholars in attendance. These were divided into six classes, the teachers numbering 14, of which only one was a regular full teacher. Nine of them attended fortnightly, or should have done, while the remainder attended once a mouth. About this period a man of the name of John Seeny made himself active among the children, and his genial temper and winning smile were often the cause of remark. It is said that he used to take the scholars up into a three-nooked croft near the school and put them through their exercise, like so many soldiers, causing them to say as he did so-.

We'll fight in the field of battle; We'll die in the field of battle, With glory in our souls.

John Seeny, it is said, had been a soldier in his younger days, which may have accounted for this peculiar custom of his. The first tea party in connection with this school was held on a Sunday, in the house of John Heys, opposite the school, all the children bringing their pots, some of which were the ''old-fashioned mess pots " at that time in common use. We are told that John Seeny said, in connection with this event, that " the children should have a tea party or he would pop his shirt." The tea party was only for the scholars, and was not considered to be for the public. Afterwards the annual tea party was held on Christmas day.

In the spring of 1849, it was felt desirable by some attending the place, to form a church. A meeting was called at Sunnyfield, on April 3rd, 1849, with this end in view, and was attended by the Revs. J. Smith (Ebenezer), T. Dawson (Irwell-terrace), and J. Driver (Lumb). Two persons came forward at this meeting as candidates for baptism—James Sutcliffe, Starr; and John Hargreaves, Tricebarn. These two were the first to be baptised, the ordinance being carried out by Mr. Smith, of Bacup, in a clough near Sunnyfield. The ordinance of the Lord's Supper was attended to for the first time on Lord's day, April 8th, 1849. Mr. Dawson, of Bacup, broke bread on the occasion. The following persons were present:- John Halliwell, Alice Halliwell, Richard Hargreaves, Sally Maden (Sunnyfield) J. Sutcliffe (Starr) and John Hargreaves (Tricebarn).

During the year five others were admitted into church fellowship. The next baptism took place no August 16th, 1851, which was followed by one received on profession, October 12th, 1856. From 1851 to 1856 the school appears to have had a retrograde existence. Some of the teachers had married; some had left the locality, and some absented themselves altogether from their posts. In the latter end of 1856, the school was in a deplorable condition, only having one or two teachers, and being opened and closed without either singing or prayer. John Hargreaves says "many times I was left alone to manage the scholars, and had to give a stick to one of the big lads to keep the others quiet while I taught them." About this time some valuable help came from Ebenezer Baptist School, Bacup. James Gregory and Richard Heyworth joining in this labour of love. The " Lancashire Sunday School Songs " were introduced, the school was opened and closed with singing and prayer, and some new Bibles and Testaments were procured. Things now assumed an improved aspect.

In the former part of 1857, the first monthly teachers' meeting was held, and teachers were appointed to every class in the school. Robert Ashworth, of Dean, commenced a singing class, and the cause again began to show signs of revival. In the month of August, 1858, five others - young females - were admitted into the church, and the cause again seems to have been in a somewhat prosperous condition. From this time to 1860 the school and church suffered heavy loss by death. Five of the church members were called away to their eternal rest, and a young man, the only tune setter in the school, Thomas Nuttall, who was very much respected, met his death by a boiler explosion at Dean. Nuttall, though not a member of the church had made himself exceedingly useful in the School, and his death was felt to be a loss both to the church and school. From this time to the closing of the place, the cause seems to have had a struggle to exist. The families of the Hargreaves's, and the Halliwell's, of Sunnyfield, will ever be held in kindly remembrance in connection with this little Baptist interest, in which from first to last none laboured more arduously. In addition to those we have named among the regular supplies, were Paul Halliwell, Henry Barcroft, George Hargreaves, John Howorth, Samuel Halliwell, John Halliwell, and others. At a church meeting held at Sunnyfield, December 4th, 1849, Samuel Halliwell was chosen to be the pastor of the church. He was, however, overtaken by a serious illness, which resulted in his death, on February 20th 1850. The Rev. Isaac Brown, then of Salterforth, preached the last anniversary sermons on July 14th, 1861, his texts on the occasion being 1 Timothy i., 2, and Ezekiel xxxvii. ,1,2,3. The collections for the day amounted to £7 Is. 4d. Though humble in its origin, and unassuming in its work and character, the cause at Deerplay did much good; and many have still a lingering attachment to the old familiar place. Sod house meadow corner calls up many a recollection of pleasant associations in the minds of those formerly connected 'with the church at Deerplay. This little church, as far as we have been able to ascertain, never numbered more than twenty members, and not one is now living who was present at its formation.

This church was mutually dissolved in January, 1862, when 7 of its members threw in their “lot” with that section of Ebenezer Church worshipping in Doals Chapel, bringing their share of the divided property with them.