Baptist Churches


The first mention I can find of a Baptist Community on the Island is a proposal to fit up a room in the Wellington Hall for use by Hugh Stowell Brown. The Manx Sun [16 Jan 1847] reports:

Voluntary Chapel: The friends of H.S. Brown have taken the Wellington Hall for him to preach in and that a room is now being fitted up for that purpose.

The Rev. H Stowell Brown, 1823-1886, was the second son of the Rev Robert Brown (of Braddan) and elder brother to T.E.Brown. He had joined the Baptists late in 1846 and possibly this was his first preaching position - he however soon moved to Myrtle Street Baptist Chapel, Liverpool where had a remarkable ministry of nearly 40 years at and played a prominent part in the life of that city.

In Mona's Herald of 27 June 1849 is this brief mention:

The Baptist Society - This useful and influential section of the Christian Church have recently opened a place of worship in the large rooms connected with the Oddfellows' Hall in the town where divine service is celebrated on a Sunday.

The Oddfellow's Hall was shortly to become the Courthouse. On 2 Oct 1850 the Mona's Herald reported a Baptist meeting in which occurred the adult baptism of an elderly gentleman, aged 70 years, by immersion in the nearby Plunge Baths. The service was conducted by the Rev Mr Burness. In the 1851 census can be found a Thomas Burneys, age 59, living with daughter and son at 2 Broadway, Douglas, (somewhat lower down Broadway then the present church) who describes himself as Lodging-house Keeper and Baptist Minister. There is however no entry for the Baptists in the 1851 Religious Census (though that may be an artifact of the returns as the surviving manuscript summary tables list only those services in chapels/churches).

Mr Burneys does not appear in the 1863 Thwaites guide - nor is there there any mention of a Baptist meeting place. There may well be further reports to be found but it would appear from their low profile that numbers were not great until much later in the century.


Broadway Baptist Church Douglas

Broadway Baptist Church Douglas

Opened 1893 but extensively rebuilt and altered since.

Fred Palmer, in talking about Peel, states that in Feb 1904 the Baptist Church Broadway was put up for sale (consisted of wood with brick gables) the building was 61 feet long and was reported to have cost £600 but it and all fittings (including heating stove, baptismal font (?) etc) went for £55 - building dismantled and transported to Peel where it became the Albert Hall (now Empire Garage showrooms) at corner of Shore Road and Jib Lane which opened 1st August 1904.

Grid Reference SC382763


A history of the Douglas Baptist Church was given in Manx Church Leader February and March 2005

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2000