Providence Chapel and War Memorial Loveclough
Short History of Providence Chapel Loveclough
Loveclough village lies on the A682 between Burnley and Rawtenstall, mainly a collection of Industrial dwellings from the 18th and 19th Century. It was here beneath the bleak moors that Providence’s Story begins In 1846 a small group of Christians connected with the Wesleyan Methodist Association in Bacup moved to live in Dunnockshaw near Loveclough. One of their number was a Richard Bridge who set up a cotton manufacturers at Dunnockshaw Mill. The sparsely populated area had no non-conformist place of worship other than Burnley, or Goodshaw at Crawshawbooth a little further on the A682 toward Rawtenstall. So the little band of newcomers, only five or six in number sought worship here and there, not happy with this, they created their own society connected with the Burnley Wesleyan Methodist Association Circuit and held their services every Sunday at the house of Henry Crawshaw, James Madden and others whose homes were also thrown open for use as Sunday school with about a dozen scholars.
Prosperity seems to have come quickly to Richard Bridge, for within a few months he was able to offer £150 on behalf of himself and his wife towards the erection of a chapel. Superintendent of the Circuit, the Reverend D.Rutherford came to the fore with a supply of subscription books and soon they had collected two to three hundred pounds, and a plot of land was obtained from its owner Mr Themes Grimshaw of Peersclough, and the Lord of the Manor being the Duke of Baccleugh. The rent of the land was to be £4.4shillings per year with the option to purchase for £21. Building commenced in 1846 and the original chapel opened later that year, a plain building that held about three hundred people with a school room below and the cost was a Grand total of £800. The name Providence was given as a thank you to God for providing for them and by 1850 there were 33 members and over 100 scholars. A day school was started in 1846 and ran for several years with Andrew Brunskill and John Sedgwick as its heads, and reading writing and spelling being taught at Sunday school.
Naphtha lamps as used on Fairgrounds of the time lit the old Chapel, supplemented by candles, but these both stained the walls which resulted in obtaining the services of a William Clark to lime wash the Chapel, on provision he did it well for 10 shillings and finding his own tools and lime! Later the Naphtha lamps were replaced by paraffin, and then gas and by 1868 it was realised that this original chapel was too small and so after another three years of canvassing the funds were sufficient for the last Providence to be built and on Good Friday 1871 the foundation stones of the new chapel were laid by Rev John Garside, Burnley Circuit. Providence held its final services on Sunday the 27th of August 1961, and the building demolished seven years later. For a view of the interior of the chapel please proceed to the Gallery.