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Lancaster LNU: Corporate Membership – Baptist Church

Lancaster Baptists supporting the League of Nations
Baptist Church, Nelson Street, Lancaster Home of Lancaster Baptists from 1897 © Janet Nelson

Baptist Church, Nelson Street, Lancaster
Home of Lancaster Baptists from 1897
© Janet Nelson

By 1928, 10 churches or church organisations and 3 civic districts had become corporate members  of the Lancaster League of Nations Union (LNU). All these were nonconformist, showing how important nonconformity was to the LNU. The only Church of England church to join as a corporate member was St. Anne’s. This figure is double Helen McCarthy’s findings that in 1928 there were 5 times as many nonconformists as Church of England churches co-opted to their local branch nationally. (1)

The Baptist Church established itself in its rebuilt chapel in Nelson Street in 1897. In 1916 there was a membership of about 150. (2) It became a corporate member of the Lancaster League of Nations Union by 1932. The Baptists had been associated with Lancaster LNU for some time. Rev. R. Tate (Pastor, 1926 to his death in 1931) had supported the branch and on his death Mrs Dowbiggin, the Secretary, reported that: ‘members had appreciated his services very highly and desired to record their gratitude for his help in many ways.’ One of the leading Baptists, William Hamer, JP had been on the Executive Committee since 1921 till at least 1929. In the 1928 AGM the Baptists were thanked for allowing a travelling exhibition for the Save The Children fund to be held in the Baptist schoolroom. The three-day exhibition realised about £12, the funds being handled through Lancaster LNU. In 1931, the Schoolroom was again used, this time for the AGM.

References/Further Reading:

(1) H. McCarthy, 2011. The British People and the League of Nations. Manchester: Manchester University Press, ch.3.
(2) Baptist Church Secretary, 1962. A History of the Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster (no publisher).

Lancaster Guardian, 18 Mar 1932, 21 Apr 1928 & 2 Apr 1931.