Everyone is welcome at Battersea Chapel. Our church family is relatively diverse across the ages, from
young children to much loved and respected older members of our community. At Battersea Chapel, we
reflect the community directly around the church, predominantly Afro Caribbean and African.
The church’s current ethnic profile is not fully representative of Battersea, which is generally more
ethnically diverse. As a church, we desire to grow the Battersea Chapel church family, paying special
attention to age groups where numbers are low and increasing diversity.
"A lovely service, friendly congregation"
"Very welcoming and friendly people. Great Sunday service, a very good worship team and refreshment after service."
"It's amazing, it welcomes everyone into their community"
Battersea Baptist chapel started in the home of Thomas Horrocks, A nonconformist Minister in 1672. Then called “Battersea meeting”. He also opened a school for boys. Sir Walter St Johns sons attended that school. The meeting continued and in the year 1796 Reverend Joseph Hughes became the minister at Battersea Meeting.
In 1797 Battersea Meeting was recognised as Battersea Chapel. The church was formed and a declaration was drawn up by Pastor Joseph Hughes the First Pastor of the Church, with the first two members of the church Mr Joseph Benwell and his wife Mrs Eliza Benwell this declaration is still used today in 2021. Soon Battersea Chapel’s first church building was erected on York Road.
Over the years many different church buildings have been erected on the same spot of land on York Road. Battersea Baptist Chapel remained there until the early 1970s. It stood slightly forwards from the road or backwards, in that same spot for 236 years. Reverend Joseph Hughes was also the founder of the Baptist Bible Society. His mission was that the Bible be translated into all tongues of the world so that no one was left out from hearing or reading the Good News of the love of Jesus Christ for the world.
The current Bible Study Material “Emmaus” is produced by the Bible Society, so we are still reaping the benefits of his work.
In the year 1838, Reverend Israel May Soule became our minister at Battersea chapel. During his ministry, the church grew from 30 to 450 members. A nearby street off of Plough road is named after him.
Battersea Chapel was also responsible for the Grove boy’s school. Where infants and boys were taught. An account of children recorded in 1899 was over 400 children in total. The school was on the opposite side of York Road to the chapel. Groves boys school was also used for Our Sunday School. It was said that Battersea Chapel’s Sunday school was one of the earliest Sunday schools recorded in London.
In The 1900s Joseph Tritton supported the church, he came from a family of Quaker bankers. He was a partner in Berkeley, Bevan, Tritton & co. Which is now known today as Barclays Bank. A school was named after him, which was located nearby on Shillington Drive. However, in the early 2000’s the school was demolished. Flats were erected and they still stand today in the place where the school once stood.
In the 1970s Reverend Bill Mumby was the pastor who led Battersea Baptist Chapel members from York Road to Wye Street. After a compulsory purchase made by the borough council.
It was new territory, the building design was one that drew a lot of attention. An exhibition took place at the Royal Academy, as well as local media coverage from The Western Star newspaper. The building did not look like a church at all. It was said to be a bold departure from a traditional church style. The architect was Michael Manser Associates. The church started its fourth century. Over the years many books have been written
about Battersea Chapel.