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St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall
Sion Baptist Church
Sion Baptist Church
Newchurch Road, Higher Cloughfold

The earliest record of worship in the Cloughfold area by dissenters was the registration of a barn owned by John Piccop in Dedwinclough dated 28th October 1672. Over ten years later William Mitchel, the Yorkshire preacher, and his younger cousin David Crossley came into the Rossendale area and Mitchel made his first recorded appearance as a preacher at Goodshaw Chapel. David Crossley was a restless and erratic character and it was during his journeys that he met with some Baptists and was baptised at Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, thus becoming the first Rossendale Baptist. It was through this contact that William Mitchel became a Baptist, though his Baptist beliefs were at odds with the majority of the Rossendale dissenters and this led to him being dismissed as Teaching Elder in 1699. Mitchel was replaced by Richard Ashworth of Tunstead and about this time the Cloughfold Church acquired its own premises. On the 20th January 1700-01 the house of James Townsend was legally certified for worship and became known as "The New Chapel". Five years later, in 1705, it was taken over by Robert Litchford and became the property of the Church. Though William Mitchel had by now moved to Bradford his beliefs and principals were gradually winning with the Cloughfold Church and by 1710 the Church had become unmistakably Baptist.

The house of Robert Litchford continued to be used until 1839 when a new church was built on the same site. The new church opened for worship on the 29th March 1839 (Good Friday) and this building was enlarged and re-opened on the14th April 1854 (Good Friday). It was shortly after this enlargement that the church took on the name of Sion Baptist. By 1900 the Sunday School, which held in the basement of the church, was so over crowded that a new Sunday School was built at the rear of the church.

By the late 1970s the building had become too expensive to heat and maintain and it was decided to convert the Sunday School into a smaller and more economic church. But the move came sooner than planned when, in 1979, the chapel boiler broke down. Rather than foot a huge bill to repair it then start raising funds to convert the school it was decided to move in there and then and use the building while the conversion work was taking place.
After work costing £15,000 to £17,000 was completed the Church held a dedication service on the 27th October 1984.
The old church was demolished in 1986 and the Baptist Housing Association built sheltered accommodation on the site and gave it the name of Litchford House.

The Ministers of Sion Baptist

William E.Jackson1845-1859
Wm. Chas. HyAnson1860-1865
Abel Jones Parry1871-1878
William Lees Giles1879-1882
William Collins Davies B.A. 1887-1900
James Barton Turner A.T.S. 1901-1929
David A. Jones1943-1948
Francis J. Baldwin1951-1957
Thomas O. Morgan1958-1961
Thomas W. Stobart1962-1969
G. Marshall Goff1970-1974
Andrew R. Hindley B.D. 1979-1986
Elgan V. Evans1994-1997
Click on image to enlarge
Photographs and transcriptions of the graveyard monuments can be found here at the Springhill History website.