The ‘All Manner of Wickedness’ project was made possible through an award of £29,500 from The National Archives through the 'Archives Revealed' cataloguing grants scheme.

The project has opened up and made accessible over 300 years’ worth of nonconformist archives relating to the Borough of Barnsley and beyond for the very first time. These collections include baptism and marriage registers, minute books, accounts, diaries, photographs and numerous other sources that will be useful for family, local and academic research. Most of these collections relate to Methodist places of worship, but the records of Baptist, Congregational and Independent churches can also be found. The title of the project refers to a visit to Barnsley made by Methodist Church founder John Wesley in the 18th century. He claimed to have found ‘all manner of wickedness’ in Barnsley on his arrival, but then joyfully reported that Methodism had been embraced by the town.

 

Viewing the collections

The catalogues for the various places of worship are now available to view on our online catalogue. Please see the links below. If you would like to view any items from a collection, please make a note of the reference number and contact archives@barnsley.gov.uk to arrange an appointment.

 

Barnsley Methodist Circuit

This large collection contains records of the current Barnsley Methodist Circuit and its precedessor circuits and of the constituent chapels.

Baptist Churches

Records of Baptist churches within the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley.

Independent/Congregational and United Reformed churches

Records of Independent/Congregational/United Reformed churches within the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley. For the purposes of cataloguing, those 17th and 18th century churches identified as Presbyterian are also catalogued under this general heading.

Wesleyan Reform Union

Records of Wesleyan Reform Union within the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley. Wesleyan Reform chapels emerged from a split in Wesleyan Methodism in the late 1840s. The Wesleyan Reform Union was formed in 1859. 

Other Denominations

Barnsley has many other places of worship not covered by the terms above. Most of which were founded in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Further Information

Geographic boundaries for methodist circuits do not align with local government administrative areas, therefore you will find some differences in our collections and you may need to contact a neighbouring council archives service.