It may be interesting to ministers and others who may purpose a visit to Liverpool during the approaching session of the Baptis Union, to know something of the present state of the Denomination in that important town; and we therefore propose to give a short sketch of the various places of Worship, Ministers, and Churches.
First in point of date, is Byrom Street Chapel, of which Samuel Medley the hymn-writer was once minister, afterwards Mr. Saunders, and Mr. Birrell. It is now private property, and is used by its worthy owner, Mr. John Houghton, as a Mission station, being in a very low and thickly populated part of the town. There is no stated minister or regular Church, but it is believed that a considerable amount of good is done by the preaching of the Gospel and the instruction given in the Ragged Schools attached to the place.
Second. Myrtle Street Chapel -- of the minister, Hugh Stowell Brown, it is unnecessary to speak, as his name and fame are in all the Churches. This is one of the largest places of worship in town, having seat room for about 2,000, and it is filled. There are 579 members in the Church, three Sunday-schools, in which about 1,000 chidren are instructed by about 100 teachers, three Bible women or female Missionaries, a Mission station where the Gospel is preached in a destitute district of the town, and a flourishing branch at St. Helens, a town some miles distant, where the ministry of Mr. F. Greening has been very useful among the colliers in the neighbourhood.
Third. Pembroke Chapel, Rev. C. M. Birrell, minister, who is also too well known and esteemed to need any remark here. Members, 393; Sunday scholars, 514; teachers, 49. This is an open communion Church, Myrtle Street being strict in communion.
Fourth. Soho Street Chapel, built for the Rev. Moses Fisher; the present minister is the Rev. James Owen, formerly of Aberdare, South Wales, a man under whose ministry this cause, which had sunk very low, has revived very much. The Church is strict in communion. Members, 100; Sunday scholars, 240; teachers, 20.
Fifth. Richmond Chapel, Breck Road, Everton, opened 1865; minister, Rev. F. H. Robarts, a very devoted abnd earnest pastor, who has succeeded in raising and establishing a very respectable and active Church in a rapidly increasing suburb of town.
Seventh Grange Lane, Birkenhead, on the Cheshire side of the river; minister, Rev. S. H. Booth, under whose earnest and energetic ministry a mere handful of people have grown to a Church of 200 members, and have erected one of the most handsome and commodious chapels in the district. Two Sunday schools in which 605 children are instructed by 52 teachers. Open communion. There is also a small open communion church at Egremont, of which Mr. H. W. Perris is the pastor.
In addition to these "Eight" Churches, there are in Liverpool and Birkenhead five Welsh Baptist Churches, having a considerable number of members; a strict communion Church in Brunswick Road, under the pastorate of T. Dawson; a "High" Church in Shaw Street, under the ministry of the Rev. W. Freeman; a very small remnant of a Church in Comus Street, holding the sentiments of John Johnson, formerly a minister at Byrom Street; and a very small Scoth Baptist Church at Edge Hill. None of the last four are united to the other Churches in fellowship or Chrisitan work.
This is not such a representation of the Baptist denomination as Liverpool, with its wealth and population, ought to present, but it is hoped that the approaching meetings will stimulate the Churches to greater unity and activity.
A Liverpool Baptist
============[From The Baptist Magazine, October, 1866, 606-607. — jrd]
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