Historic Ribble Valley chapel celebrates 200th anniversary

Salem Congregational Chapel which is celebrating its 200th anniversary
Salem Congregational Chapel which is celebrating its 200th anniversary

Members and friends of a Ribble Valley chapel are meeting this weekend to celebrate its 200 year anniversary

To mark the bicentenary of Salem Congregational Chapel at Martin Top near Rimington a celebration meeting will be held.

The story of the history of the chapel begins with a group of people meeting in a room at Martin Top Farm from 1810. On August 11th, 1816, they came together to form a church and the chapel, where parishioners meet now, was erected the following year in 1817.

To celebrate the chapel’s landmark anniversary members and friends of the chapel are being invited to a buffet tea on Saturday from 5-30pm.

There will be a display of old photographs on view at the event and Mr Roger Carswell from Leeds, who is an International Christian Speaker, will lead the celebration meeting at 7pm.

Before the meeting at 6-45pm a banner celebrating the bicentenary will be unveiled by Ribble Valley Mayor Coun. Joyce Holgate.

Celebrations are continuing into Sunday with services at 10-45am and 7pm.

The morning service will be led by the last minister – the Rev. David G. Isaacs – while the evening service by the present minister – Mr Alan Marsden.

To mark the occasion a book on the history of Martin Top Chapel to the present day as been produced.

The book has been compiled by Kath Scott and Herbert Moorhouse.

The original minute book from 1816 was donated back to the chapel this year upon which some of the research was based.

Pastor Alan Marsden said: “We’ve been preaching the good news of Jesus at Martin Top for two centuries now and we shall continue to do so.”

He added: “In an age when many churches close down or dilute their message, we’re planning to do neither.”