Uncovering History

Some will know that our church have just started a major building project to refurbish a nineteenth century building. The work has started and today I was presented with a bundle of papers that were found by our contractors when they demolished an original wall. Included in this little bundle of history were local St Helens newspapers; details of the church opening service including an invitation to “TEA ON THE TABLES AT 6 O’CLOCK“; and a copy of The Baptist from Friday 2nd November 1888.

St Helens Baptist Church 1888

Official Opening

The Baptist 2nd November 1888

The Baptist was printed on just one massive sheet of paper folded to the newspaper format and was full of adverts for the strangest of things. The back page (seen in photo) has a full page ad for Cadbury’s claiming their product’s purity. I guess no one had heard of Fair Trade, or Kraft for that matter, in those days. I also discovered recently that the organ we have just removed was probably paid for by money from a merchant involved in the slave trade! History can be a bit grubby, like these papers full of brick dust.

The Baptist 2nd November 1888

The Baptist 2nd November 1888


The Baptisms section of the Baptist Times is always interesting to read. In this issue we noted the baptism of a member of the Park Rd church in St Helens now all one happy church in St Helens, but then they had split over some issue. Do you recognise any of the other names in the Baptism list?

It isn’t everyday you get to do a bit of archaeology.

Click on images to take a closer look.