The story of Catshill Baptist Church goes back to 1828 when Moses Nokes came from Bromsgrove Baptist Church to start a new work in the village. Moses organised the first meetings in the village that led to the building of Catshill’s first chapel which opened on 22nd August 1828. The first plot of land on which the chapel was built was bought for fifteen shillings with the cost of the building being £328.
Though meetings took place from 1828 in the new building, the official Baptist church was formed in 1830 with eleven members and three years later they were accepted into the Midland Association of Baptist Churches. Records show that by 1843 there were thirty members, increasing to fifty by 1885.
Moses served as pastor until his death in 1857, when he was succeeded by his son, Edward, who remained pastor until 1883. The old chapel was restored in 1864 during Edwards ministry. In 1897 further land was purchased at the rear of the building at a cost of £35, this was for the purpose of building the schoolrooms which were added in 1900, then extended in 1908.
Following Edward’s retirement, the church was placed under the direction of Bromsgrove Baptists and preachers were provided by the local Baptist Preachers’ Association.
Our more recent history tells how in the early 1980s, the 1908 schoolrooms and kitchen were demolished to make way for more up to date kitchen and toilet facilities along with two halls giving much needed additional space.
The church grew substantially in the 1980s, under the guidance of Rev Roger Wheelhouse, originally serving from his home church at Bromsgrove, but then taking on the complete oversight of Catshill.
Then, under Roger’s guidance, plans were made to extend the main sanctuary on to council land to the side of the original chapel. However due to structural defects in the 1828 chapel, a complete new church was designed to replace it, opening on December 1st 1990.
The 1990s and 2000s saw continued growth in the church and its work within the local community, firstly under Rev James Ingram and then Rev Neil Bennett.
In 2015, under the guidance of Rev Alan Pain, the church took on a new building project, completely knocking down both the 1900 schoolrooms and the 1980s facilities, and rebuilding in their place a modern two-storey facility containing halls, additional meeting rooms and a much larger kitchen facility. The cost of this project, at roughly half a million pounds, was completely met by additional giving by the congregation and savings already held by the church.
During Christmas 2017, after a period of 14 months without a building, and meeting at Catshill Social Club each Sunday led by Rev Simon Gudger, the congregation returned to the new facilities.
God has watched over this church from its beginnings in 1828, for almost 200 years. We give thanks to Him for the countless lives that have been transformed throughout this time in many different ways, and we look forward with excitement to what lies ahead.