In November 1850 a group of eight Christians formed a new church and met at a place they called "Providence Baptist Chapel". For a few years they met in temporary accommodation until the first building was completed in 1857. It still stands - in Providence Place, off Upper Street (next to the Screen on the Green).
In 1885 a mission was started in a home in Avenell Road (close to Arsenal Tube Station) and so the church began looking for a new home close by. The church moved here to Highbury Place opposite Highbury Fields, and the foundation stones were laid in 1887; the building cost £2,245 to build.
The Old Providence Baptist Chapel, Highbury Place
The church continued to meet although the numbers attending slowly fell as post-war Britain became more affluent and secular. In 1987 the church decided to rename itself Highbury Baptist Church.
The building, however, was gradually decaying; the brickwork was green with moss and the facilities inside did not meet modern standards. So, in 1997 the first planning application was made for an entirely new building. After three years final approval was given. Then in March 2001 the church vacated the building, and demolition began.
The half demolished building
In August 2001 the contractor went bankrupt. The digger was left in a solitary state in a half-demolished building! It took until November for work on the site to resume, and a further year to complete it. Finally in December 2002 the new building was opened. The first service was to give thanks to God. Further events were held to open it to the local community in Highbury.
The new Highbury Baptist Church building, 2003