Early days and recent past
Our church was founded by Baptists from Broadmead Baptist Church. They formed a new mission to serve the expanding population in the Horfield area. The first worship meetings were held in a house in Thornleigh Road.
1889 An iron chapel Mission Hall - nicknamed the Tin Tabernacle - was put up on Gloucester Road.
1892 Horfield Baptist Church (HBC) was formed.
1894 Land on Gloucester Road was purchased - our present site - for a new building of "a more permanent nature".
1895 The School Chapel in Brynland Avenue, currently our Griffin Hall, was opened. The congregation continued to grow and the need for a larger church soon became apparent.
1899 Plans were agreed for a new church building
facing Gloucester Road.
1901 The new HBC was dedicated having been built in a year. By 1911 the construction costs were paid off.
The church, now a Grade 2 listed building, has an Arts and Craft feel. It is constructed of Bristol rubble stone with dressing and towers of Bath Stone. The interior has excellent woodwork, with galleries on three sides supported by iron columns. There is a very well carved perpendicular pulpit.
1914 - 1918 The Church experienced many challenges and much sadness during the First World War. The minister served as a chaplain and forty church members were killed in action. The Church supported a family of Belgian refugees in Bristol during the war years, paying for their housing and upkeep.
1922 It was resolved to create a permanent memorial to those lost in the war. The Memorial Building adjacent to the Church was built and opened.
1942 HBC celebrated its fifty year anniversary. Christian faith in action saw the Church use its buildings as temporary accommodation for those made homeless by air raids and house blood transfusion services in the Memorial Building.
More recent times
HBC has always been at the heart of its community. More than 500 people use the buildings each week through involvement in worship, church and community organisations.
- The Church has a strong involvement with worldwide mission. Several members have undertaken Christian service abroad. The current link is with the Gulu project in Uganda and Baptist missionaries in that country.
- HBC has always been involved in working with children and young people.
Its roots are in the Sunday School movement, youth clubs and uniformed
groups. Today we continue this work through children's groups on Sundays
and occasional all age worship. Encouragingly in Messy Church on Saturdays we have been blessed with a new way to involve children and families in encountering the Christian faith. Our Chatterbox group on Fridays is thriving and providing a valuable resource for parents and young children.
back through past provision of a housing association, a day centre and a
lunch club HBC has always worked to meet the needs of its community. In
2011 we opened the Fresh Ground Cafe. The cafe provides good
value refreshments and lunches for those using the church and other
customers. It is run primarily by volunteers and acts as an open door
for the church during the week. The cafe has great potential to enrich
and extend our church life. It plays a key part in Messy Church and has
recently hosted Ladies Breakfast Meetings - organised by the church.