LAST week’s guest church was Skipton Baptist Church, on the junction of Otley Street and Rectory Lane.

According to Ian Lockwood in his book, The History of Skipton, the Baptist religion arrived in Skipton in 1848 when two members of the Baptist Village Mission, Samuel Jones and Robert Hogg, preached in the Market Place. Their views, says Mr Lockwood, caused considerable concern among the existing Methodist community, but the new religion attracted enough support for a meeting room to hold services to be established in Wesley Place.

There was a congregation of around 200 and the first public baptisms were carried out on Christmas Day in 1849.

In 1855 the Baptists bought a plot of land on the corner of Rectory Lane, and the church was opened on June 28, 1861.

Total cost of the land and buildings was around £1,300 and the first minister was the Rev Francis Britcliffe, who served from 1864 to 1878.

Mr Lockwood records how the congregation flourished for a while, but in the 1880s, there was a big fall out, that led to a split.

For a while, some worshipped in the town hall and in 1890, a new Baptist Chapel was built in Broughton Road. This was a tin structure, costing £300 and capable of seating 250.

Mr Lockwood says the rival group existed for 25 years before delicate negotiations led by Rev J Greenwood got them back together again. The Baptists moved back to their fellow worshippers in Otley Street and sold the tin church to the Salvation Army.

While not a church, this week’s structure is a fascinating part of a church, but what it is, and where it it? answers by 8am on Monday to