Village Web Site Forum

Paul Wilkinson
Monday, October 11, 2010 11:41
South Craven Baptist Church 300th Anniversary

Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Monday, October 11, 2010 22:32
Thank you so much for the information Paul. I will be watching with interest for all further information. It looks as though September may be the best time to try to organise a visit but I for one will be watching for any information that is available. The Baptist 'Chapel' as it was known in my day !! was a major part of my life until leaving in 1961 just prior to the 250th celebration and this 300 year anniversary is a very very special occasion in village history and for people of the village past and present.
Thanks again for your good work on this website.
Joan M. Tindale
Thursday, October 14, 2010 22:20
Cowling Hill Baptist Chapel celebrated their 266th anniversary in June, and there used to be a branch at Middleton Bottom, Gill Lane (now a private house), so it seems the Baptist cause in this area goes back a long way! Think one of my ancestors Samuel Watson might have been one of the founders of the Baptists in Cononley. My Grandad Tom Watson's father Ben - a Baptist lay preacher- made him walk to Glusburn School each day from Cononley because he preferred that his son did not attend the Church School? there.
Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Thursday, November 4, 2010 04:20

If you are wondering whether or not to buy a calendar may I suggest you do so. Someone has very kindly sent us one and it is a lovely reminder of the church and the village - 3 of the paintings are by one of this web's regular contributors - Denis Pickles and the calendar is worth it for those alone although the whole calendar is a lovely thing to have. Don't miss out !!
Paul Wilkinson
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 07:52
Update from Rita Barsby:

South Craven Baptist Church

The Banner is up. Take a look. Our special year has begun!

Despite chilly conditions as a result of boiler failure, the first service of the year took place on Sunday morning, January 2. Revd. Ernie Whalley, Regional Minister from the Yorkshire Baptist Association in Leeds came to preach at the annual Covenant service, led by the church's own Pastor, Revd. David Warrington. It was a time of great encouragement recalling the part played by Sutton in Craven in the founding of the Baptist faith in the Yorkshire area three centuries ago. A fictionalised account of this is available now. Of interest to all local historians, 'Pennine Pedigree' costs £3.
* * * * * * *
The boiler is due to be repaired this week in time for Saturday's visit by the Grassington Handbell Ringers. All welcome. January 8 at 6.45pm. Admission £3, children under 12 (with an adult) FREE.
* * * * * * *
To commemorate this special 300 year, the Girls' Brigade have donated twenty rose bushes to the park. These have now been planted and should add even more colour to this well-kept feature of the village. The Girls' Brigade hope the roses will withstand the current harsh winter and grow to enhance Sutton Park ready for its own centenary next year, 2012.
* * * * * * *
Letters of invitation and programmes of services and events have gone out to past members and friends. This was not an easy task as some addresses were not known. If you feel your name was omitted we apologise, and if you would like further details, please contact Revd. David Warrington on 01535-637012, or email
Lynda Blundell nee Phillips
Vancouver, Canada
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 16:39
As a small girl in the mid 1940's I attended Sutton Baptist Church with my parents, Connie and Frank Phillips, and also my maternal Grandad, George Tingle. They were great church supporters even from Canada and I remember my mother regularly sending items from Canada for the church's annual bazaar. I hope the year of celebration is a great success.
David Laycock
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 01:25
I would like to agree with Brenda. I also was sent a calendar by my cousin Ruth and it is a credit to the producers and to those that contributed, photos and art works.
Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10:06
I guess I am somewhat biased in respect of the church - or chapel as it was known in my time - Actually I remember a prolonged discussion there about the two names and as I recall it we came to some agreement on 'Church' being used for the body of people - and Chapel being used for the building... Just some useless information from my memory banks !!!

I would love to be in Sutton for some of the celebrations but who knows what will happen in the space of this year, I will just keep an eye on the various planned activities and see what is happening.

Rita Barsby - she is a blast from my past, Rita and Peter were very influential in my teenage years and it is heartwarming to see such a familiar name. A number of years ago she and Peter were in New Zealand and phoned me en-route to the airport the night prior to departing on their way back to the UK - I couldn't find the motel where they were staying that night and phoned at least a dozen in the area before giving up on actually meeting up with them - it has been one of life's disappointments to me ever since... Ah Well !
My involvement with the Chapel was quite extensive and from a very young age - then as a Sunday School teacher for many year, Choir member for just as long, then there was the 'Rec Club' with badminton, table tennis and many other activities...and, as Guide Captain we met in one of the the Sunday School rooms each week before taking over the old scout hut behind the Sunday school. I was married in the Chapel and even had the wedding reception in the hall -
Of course the building was different but the 'church' is the same and the calendar commemorating the anniversary seems to tie all those memories into one and brings back some very familiar names too.
Well done, and good wishes for a successful and fulfilling year to everyone.
Michael Pilling
Friday, January 21, 2011 21:12
Michael Pilling
Friday, January 21, 2011 21:14
Brenda - I'm sure you will remember my dad who was minister at the Baptist Church from 1958 to 1965. It would be interesting to hear your particular memories of that time.
Joan M. Tindale
Saturday, January 22, 2011 19:21
Apart from the Baptist Minister, where can I buy copies of the booklet "Pennine Pedigree" pls. Any of the shops? Thanks.
Ruth Finlayson
Sutton in Craven
Monday, January 24, 2011 22:08
You can buy copies of the booklet "Pennine Pedigree" at the Church.
Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Friday, January 28, 2011 01:53
Hi Michael, sorry to take so long to respond. Yes I do remember your father, and how he participated in things immediately he arrived and took up residence at The Manse. My recollections are limited as I went to live overseas a couple of years later. By the way, have you looked at the videos of the Whitsuntide Walk and Country Fair your dad features on many of those clips – it is dated 1959, however I believe the Whitsuntide walk came after the Country Fair and was in fact 1960. I say this because my mother features a few times and she is wearing an outfit I made for her to wear at my wedding which was Sep 1959 so it must have been the following Whitsuntide. Also, I think my sister Cathleen Harper was your baby sitter a few times whilst you lived in the Manse as little children.
Of the various introductions to the Chapel and Sunday School that your dad had, I remember one of the earliest was to make arrangements for an event and the main discussion one evening at a Sunday School teacher’s meeting seemed to revolve around whether or not we should serve meat and potato pies or potato and onion pasties – I think he was utterly baffled by the discussion at the time! But, it didn’t take him long to learn how ‘important’ these things were. My how things have changed.
Soon after his arrival it was the Sunday School Anniversary celebrations and I remember I was officiating at the morning service (as a teacher it was my turn), I can picture him, with your mother, sitting at the back of the chapel, downstairs right hand side as you enter, not far from Miss Maggie, Miss Jessie and Raymond Whitaker’s regular pew. I think I shocked him by berating the parents, who were there to see and hear their children perform, for not coming along more often to attend church with their children. I must have been a stroppy kid – of course I have changed.
Your dad also conducted my wedding ceremony in 1959. It was Harvest Festival Sunday the next day and I was a little bit difficult with arrangements as I didn’t want the large bank of vegetables in the communion area beneath the pulpit as it meant he couldn't conduct the marriage ceremony from the usual place behind the communion rail. However I recall I was happy enough to have all the flowers! He was very understanding about it and dealt with the ladies responsible for the assembly of all the donations by arranging for them to do it later in the day. I don’t think they would have been 100% happy but he had a way of placating people in difficult situations.
Harvest Festival was always very well supported and the whole of that communion area was filled with tables and banks of fruit, flowers and vegetables, all beautifully arranged. And of course the Sunday School children always sang “We plough the fields and scatter”… I wont go on, although funnily enough I do remember the words even though I haven’t been to church for umpteen years. On the rare occasions I have visited another church they seem to sing songs, not hymns. Now that really is a sign of old age. Oh how I loved the tradition of singing a rousing hymn outside the Chapel after the evening Anniversary Service…like ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer’ to Cwm Rhondda.
Whilst I was a Girl Guide until I went overseas, I remember it was during your dad’s tenure that the Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade were started, my sister Cath and brother David were both brigade members. There are photos of the Boys Brigade on the website, with your dad of course. I think some of those folks would have more memories that would interest you – would any of you like to add to Michael's memories?
David Laycock
Sunday, February 6, 2011 19:58
Hi Brenda,
Just had an email from my cousin Ruth re Rita Barsby. She was asking for your email address which I don't have. If you contact Paul to allow him to give it to Rita of line, should work.
Looks like the floods have eased and now for the big clean up!
Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Sunday, February 6, 2011 23:00
Hi David - I have sent Paul an email asking him to pass on my email address - thanks for that.

Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Friday, February 11, 2011 01:02
Hi everyone - by now the activities to celebrate 300 years will have started, for those of us who are 'far afield' it would be interesting to hear any comment about the functions as they occur. I know the organisers could do this but I am thinking that it would be good to hear about these from a participator's point of view as well as from the organisers. I realise it is a selfish request as I would dearly love to be there but the Baptist Church/Chapel is an integral part of the village and this is a momentous occasion. When you live in a young country like Australia and New Zealand the concept of 300 years is quite something!!
Paul Wilkinson
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 11:28

Songs and Syncopation

An Evening of Music with Hilda, Paul and David,
together with the popular Forest Jazz Band.

Saturday, 12 March at 7.30 pm
in South Craven Baptist Church

Everybody welcome.

Admission £5, accompanied children £1

Paul Wilkinson
Monday, March 28, 2011 13:08
baptist logo

South Craven Baptist Church 300th Anniversary

Saturday, 9 April 2011
7.30 pm


Return visit by this popular choir of mixed voices
Admission £6      Accompanied children £1

Paul Wilkinson
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 09:32
Latest update from Rita Barsby...

baptist logo

South Craven Baptist Church

We end the first half of our celebration year with two concerts specially arranged for
all who like to support children and young people. A golden opportunity to see the best
in entertainment by some local talented groups who have performed internationally.


Saturday 14th MAY at 7 pm

* * * * *


Saturday 11th JUNE at 7 pm

Admission by ticket: Adults £4 Seniors £3 Children/Students £2

Margaret Rowan
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 21:18
I have recently come across a copy of 'The Pilgrim's Progress' presented to Sarah Davy at the Baptist Sunday School, Sutton in Craven in 1909. I was intrigued to find a picture of Sarah on your website! If any of Sarah's descendants or any Baptist Church members would like this book please let me know and I'll bring it over. I'd rather it came home to Sutton than became lost on Ebay!
My number is 01274 580705, please ring if you'd like the book.
Many thanks,
Margaret Rowan
Paul Wilkinson
Thursday, August 4, 2011 08:14
Thanks Margaret, I've forwarded your message on to Roger Davy (who submitted the photo).
Barbara Chapman
Thursday, August 4, 2011 15:41
Someone at the chapel may be interested in this book as they were collecting memorabilia to display on the 300th Anniversary. The service will be on the 25th September. Perhaps you could get in touch with Rita Barsby. Barbara.
Freda M Bates
Friday, August 12, 2011 07:09
Can I ask for the time of the service on September 25? Also will there be anything else going on/ on show on that date? I'm hoping to come over from Leeds and would like to know a few details.
Barbara Chapman
Friday, August 12, 2011 09:12
Hello Freda, Paul and Margaret. I have the program of all the Special Sunday Services during the anniversary year and they all start at 10-30am. I am not a member of the Baptist Chapel but a close associate with family connections etc. I did have a visit from Rita Barsby yesterday selling tickets for the coming concert by the Steeton Male Voice Choir on 10th September at 7-30pm. I gave her copy photos of our Wedding which we were asked to give to put on show on the Anniversary weekend, so presumably there will be other things on display.
I told Rita about the Pilgrims Progress book and she seemed interested to hear about that so I am sure they would like it on display if it could be sent to them. Maybe Paul could pass on Rita's telephone number or address to you or my own if that is helpful. or visit the website for the chapel -- Regards Barbara.

Paul Wilkinson
Friday, August 12, 2011 11:03
The website at appears to be off-line at the moment. There's a Facebook page called "South Craven Baptist Church" which has the following events listed on the Calendar page in the Notes section...

Calendar of Special Services in 2011 our 300th ANNIVERSARY

Sundays at 10.30 a.m. South Craven Baptist Church

February 27th Young again – working with young people

March 27th Telling the story – good news shared

April 24th Easter Day – Baptised into new life

May 22nd Handfast – a celebration of marriages and relationships

June 26th New Directions – celebrating repentance and renewal

July 24th Being Us – exploring personal growth

August 28th Well-being – a service for healing and wholeness

September 25th 300th Anniversary Service

October 2nd Harvest Thanksgiving

October 23rd Word of God – in writings, art and music

November 13th Remembrance Day (10.15 am.)

November 27th Life well lived – a celebration of lives gone by

December 18th Crib Service & Candlelight Carols

December 25th Christmas Day – Looking to the future

Paul Wilkinson
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 14:44
Following a Summer recess, here's the latest update from Rita Barsby:

Baptist logo

Steeton Male Voice Choir at South Craven Baptist Church on Saturday 10th September, 7.30 pm, tickets £7, Concessions £6.


KVU Singers at South Craven Baptist Church on Saturday 8th October, 7.30 pm, tickets as above, now available. Ring 01535 - 634001 or 631186.


Saturday, 24th September - open event. People may have seen invitations distributed around the village, but everybody welcome - see events page.


On Sunday morning, 25th September 10.30 am, the service will be led by the Pastor, Revd David Warrington, and the Preacher will be Revd Dr Patricia Took, the President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. The service will be followed by a Buffet Lunch.

Paul Wilkinson
Monday, October 3, 2011 13:13
Latest update from Rita Barsby:

History in the making

The national trend appears to be erecting sculptures to retain the memory of famous people or places. Well done, Sutton, you now have one of your own.

'Have a little faith' was unveiled on the lawn of South Craven Baptist Church on Saturday 24 September 2011. It is a gift from local artist Sam Shendi to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Baptist witness in the Craven area. The special weekend of celebration drew a steady stream of visitors, travelling from London, Scotland, the north of England, Lancashire and the Midlands.

Affectionate memories of Sutton and surrounding villages were exchanged as friends and acquaintances from the past took the opportunity to look at the exhibition of photographs and memorabilia. The church was full on Sunday morning to hear the President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. She delivered an inspiring address reminding us that we exist to care for all creation, and above all to give hope and love to all people wherever they may be in the world - in short, to think less of ourselves and our over-materialistic demands and more of others - families, friends, the vulnerable and those in need.

South Craven Baptist Church would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the celebrations this year. Your comments on this website have been encouraging, your presence at the monthly 300 services and concerts have assured us that the Church, whatever denomination, continues to be much needed in this community, nationally, and the wider world.

If you live in Sutton, or if you visit Sutton, the presence of Sam Shendi's iconic sculpture will greet you, welcome you, and serve as a reminder that here in this valley below the beautiful hills lies a place rich in history - not just 300 years, although that has an important and significant place in the record books. Progress is unstoppable. We hope someone will celebrate the next tercentenary.

* * * * * * *

Tickets now available for the next 300 concert
(£7 and concessions £6)

8 October - 7.30 pm


Available from 01535 631186 or 634001
David Laycock
Thursday, December 22, 2011 10:55
Hi all.
Just as a follow up. We had our 70th anniversary here in Balwyn North Baptist and my cousin Ruth had organised a card to be sent signed by the members at Sutton.
It was well received and with some who's and r's when the Pastor read it out that Sutton was on their 3ooth year! Thanks to all the members for their good wishes.
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Thursday, December 22, 2011 13:04
Quite, well it's only 223 years since our old pal Cap't Cook speared Botany Bay with the Union Jack. Not that long ago really!

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