A brief history of the Christian church meeting at
The Gospel Hall, Bakewell.
From about 1829 Christians in different parts of the United Kingdom began to leave the established church to follow a form of worship they believed to be more in line with the teaching in the New Testament of the Bible.
Included were men such as George Muller (Bristol – the founder of the Muller Homes for children), B.W.Newton (Plymouth), William Kelly, A. Norris Groves (the founder of modern foreign missions). Consequently assemblies of Christians began meeting in different towns and villages. Each was autonomous and independent; there was no hierarchy and therefore no ordained priesthood.
Around 1880 some Christians in Bakewell also began meeting on New Testament lines in the home of a Mr. Sellars in The Avenue, Bakewell. This assembly of believers in Jesus Christ started the church that now meets in The Gospel Hall in North Church Street.
The Gospel Hall, North Church Street.
The Gospel Hall was originally The Oddfellows Hall. It was built in 1872 by the friendly society The Loyal Devonshire Lodge of Oddfellows as a meeting room for its members. The Primitive Methodists rented the building for worship from 1879 until about 1892 when they built a new church building in Water Street.
By 1895 the Christians that had been meeting in Mr. Sellar’s house were holding their Sunday Services at The Oddfellows Hall. The church grew and in 1938 a formal tenancy agreement was made between the owners, the Trustees of the Loyal Devonshire Lodge and representing the Christian Assembly, John Bamford of Prospect House, Stanedge Road, (who donated the playing field on Stanedge Road known as Bamford’s Field) and probably built Prospect Terrace), Arnold Mather (Grocer), William Mather (Works Foreman), and William Frith of Lumford Cottages, Bakewell. The Christians rented the first floor room on Wednesdays and Sundays for 5 years for a rent of £6.10shillings a year. This enabled a Sunday School to be held, as well as other church activities on Wednesday evenings.
In 1949 the Christians, through their trustees, bought the Hall and they renamed it The Gospel Hall. The trustees at that time were John Cross (Baslow), Arnold Mather, William Mather, William Frith and George Wilson (Sheffield).
Since then the building has been in constant use as a place of Christian worship. Between 1982 and 1987 the Hall was progressively altered and extended by converting the two basement garages (formerly stables) into an additional meeting room.
This Christian church has met continuously at The Gospel Hall for well over 100 years, and has existed in the town for 130 or so years.