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St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall
Townsendfold Primitive Methodist Church
Townsendfold Primitive Methodist Church
Bury Road, Rawtenstall

Methodism began at Townsendfold with teachers meeting on Sunday the 16th September 1860 in large room on the top floor of a three storey building at Clowes. The building was lit by oil lamps and the only musical instrument to accompany the singing was a fiddle loaned by Mr. John Laycock. As well as receiving Bible instructions the children were also taught reading and writing. A night school was started in 1862 and a day school a year later when it was also decided to buy an harmonium to replace the fiddle. The room at Clowes soon became inadequate and in 1866 it was decided to raise funds for a purpose built school and chapel. The foundation stone was laid on 13th July 1867 and the first service was held on 6th February 1868, by which time nearly half of the £800 total cost had been raised. So great was the attendance for the anniversary service in 1870 that with more people outside the building than in it the preacher led the congregation into a nearby field and held an outdoor service. The church and school continued to grow and in 1874 joined the Primitive Methodist Union. The first marriage, between Mary Ann Ashworth and George Slater, was conducted on 30th August 1879.

The church continued in its work for more than a hundred years, but with declining attendances in the latter half of the twentieth century the church was officially closed on 31st October 1970 and the Sunday school, which since the church closure had been held at Hornclife Youth Centre, was closed fourteen years later in August 1984.

Available Registers

Baptism Register 1869 - 1975 Rawtenstall Library - microfilm
Marriage Register 1948 - 1968 Lancashire Records Office
(For earlier marriages refer to The Lancashire Registration Office, Preston)

Townsendfold Primitive Methodist Church