Above is the Leadership Team from around 1901

An introduction to the History of Park Road Baptist Church

The Baptist church in Rushden was first established in 1722 with Mr John Wollaston recorded as the first Minister. A Sunday School for children was started in 1810. The church affiliated to the Baptist Union in 1880.

The present impressive Victorian building was built in 1901 and facilities included a Minister’s office, Deacons’ and Choir vestries. An extension was built in 1960 comprising a large hall, kitchen, four smaller meeting rooms and toilets. A further project in 2001 provided a large office, storage facilities, a well-equipped crèche and redeveloped toilets with access for the disabled. In 2008 the interior of the worship area was renovated and modernised including a new heating system. Glass entrance doors and a glass walled vestibule opened up the front of the worship area creating a modern and welcoming feel for church services, concerts and local events. Pews were removed downstairs and comfortable chairs now seat up to 250 in the main worship area, with additional seating in the gallery when needed. 

In 1936 a daughter church was planted at Highfield Hall. It became an independent Baptist Church in 1963.

To date Park Road Baptist Church has had 27 Ministers (click here to see the full list). Over the years the church has been involved in many different ministries including: Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Life Brigade, Christian Endeavour Society for young people, the Monday Club for the elderly and unemployed, Campaigners – a uniformed organisation for children, church summer holidays for the elderly and families, partnership with FAIR (Family Action in our Region), Meet n Eat Luncheon club, Sunbeams Toddler group, various children’s and youth groups, partnership in the Heavenly Cuppa Christian coffee shop, Bible holiday clubs, Sewing, Knitting and Crafting Angels, Christian drama group, Food Parcel Ministry and Jungle Care – aid to refugees living in the ‘Jungle Camp’ at Calais.

Historical Information on the Web

The Rushden Hearts and Soles Web Site contains a large amount of detail on the history of Park Road Baptist Church -

The link to the old PRBC Church Building known as the "Top Meeting" is -

The Link associated with the current PRBC building is -

Important Dates in Park Road Baptist Church History

1672   The house of "Mr. Wuleston" of Rushden, licensed for worship

1680   Members from Stevington Meeting appointed to visit members at Rushden

1689   Dissenting communities allowed to meet freely in their own registered meeting   houses

1722   A properly constituted church already established in Rushden

1723   Treasurers account book started

1735   Covenant renewed during pastorate of John Woolaston (1723 - 1737)

1749   Covenant revised

1752 to 1794 William Knowles of Keysoe ordained as pastor

1768   Trustees appointed for the church property

1777   Two cottages and gardens adjoining meeting house in Little Street purchased

1796   Meeting house in Little Street built

1810   Sabbath School opened in the house of John Knowles

1810   Galleries added to the meeting house

1827   Cottage in Little Street purchased for a manse

1848   The minister, Jonathan Whittemore imprisoned in Northampton for debt incurred due to unpaid printing bills for church literature.

1856   House to house visitation organised by the three Sunday Schools in Rushden

1857   Derelict cottage bought to improve approach to the meeting house

1860   New Sunday School building erected and opened on the school's jubilee

1866   Land in Park Road acquired to enlarge burial ground

1869   New manse built in Little Street

1873   New front added to meeting house as part of an enlargement

1880   Affiliation to the Baptist Union

1884   Erection of new Sunday school known as the Assembly Rooms

1892   Land purchased in Park Road or a new chapel

1896   Centenary of the building of the meeting house in Little Street

1897   New Austin organ installed in the meeting house in Little Street. The organ was subsequently moved to the new chapel on Park Road.

1901   New chapel in Park Road opened

1910   Centenary of Sunday School celebrated

1915   First Gordon Troop Boy Scouts formed (1915 to 1919)

1919   Recreation Club founded

1922   Bi-centenary of the church celebrated

1922   The recreation field in Allen Road was purchased

1924   Chelveston Chapel erected

1926   Girls Life Brigade formed

1927   Boys Life Brigade formed

1936   Highfield Hall opened

1949   Austin organ re-built and memorial plaque installed in remembrance of those who gave their lives in WW1 and WW2.

1951   Jubilee of the Park Road Chapel celebrated

1953   Christian Endeavour Society for young people formed

1958   Manse for Highfield Church constructed

1959   New Church Covenant

1960   New Sunday School adjacent to chapel opened on 150th anniversary of the school

1963   Highfield became an independent Baptist Church

1964   Assembly Rooms sold

1966   BBC Songs of Praise recorded at Park Road Baptist Church

1970   New manse constructed in Park Road on part of the garden of the old manse

1971   Little Street manse sold

1977   Part of the Allen Road recreational Field sold for housing, bowling ground retained

1980   The Monday Club was formed for the elderly and the unemployed

1981   The church joined the "Campaigners" a uniformed organisation for children

1982   The first in a long series of Church Summer Holidays took place. These were mainly for the elderly and some families and were usually at the coast.

1983   Redevelopment of the church considered but not undertaken

1984   The church burial ground was cleared and grave stones relocated

1987   Chelveston Chapel sold due to falling attendance

1989   Burial ground sold and the church took one of the new houses as second manse

1989   Billy Graham crusade at church via live link.

1997   Remainder of Allen Road recreation field sold for housing

1999   Partnership with FAIR (Family Action in our Region) started

2001   Centenary celebration of the opening of the Park Road Church

2001   New office, store rooms and disabled toilet constructed

2007   The children's Campaigners closed

2007   The second manse in Park Road was sold

2007   Meet 'n' Eat Luncheon Club started, continued until 2013

2008   Redevelopment of the main church, new heating, new entrance and chairs replaced pews

2008   New commercial kitchen installed

2010   Partnership in the Heavenly Cuppa Christian coffee shop

2010   Tri centenary celebration of the Sunday School

2014   The FAIR family charity closed

2016   Patrick Barker started as Associate Minister in training

2017   Heavenly Cuppa Christian coffee shop closed

2018   Purchased a second Manse

2019   Church floor relayed 

2019   Diamond Anniversary of the Ladies Fellowship

2020   Sunday services went online via YouTube due to Covid-19 pandemic no meetings within the building

2020   Patrick Barker completed his training and appointed Minister at Tiverton Baptist

2020   Sunday services held back in the building at the end of the year

2020   Live Streaming of Sunday services started at the end of the year

2021   Early part of year all services back to online,  no meetings within the building

2021   Mid-year all meetings back in the building

2022   300th Church Anniversary year

Minister: Revd. Mark Duggan | 01933 741126 |

Copyright 2024 Park Road Baptist Church Rushden | Charity number 1126471