Sheep Street Baptist Church

Our History

Although we are a forward-looking church, it is helpful to know a little about our history and about the faith of those who began the work and built the church many years ago.

There was a Baptist house meeting in Devizes as early as 1646, and by 1673 this was established as a church, which met at 22 The Brittox (where Clarks shoe shop now stands). The Dissenting presence in the town was so strong that a Baptist was elected as Member of Parliament for Devizes in 1679. By 1715, 20% of the electorate were registered as Dissenters, the second-highest percentage in the whole of England.

The Baptists built a chapel in Maryport Street in 1780, but 16 years later, a group broke away to join a Presbyterian chapel round the corner in Sheep Street. This congregation became a United Society of Presbyterians and Baptists. In 1872 the present church was built alongside the chapel, and the congregation became known as the New Baptist Church. The old chapel was later demolished to allow a hall and schoolrooms to be added to the church.