Penknap Providence and Ebenezer West Lavington

History of the Churches


The Church was founded under the preaching of George Phillips. Mr Phillips, the son of a Devonshire farmer was converted under the preaching of Charles Wesley. Phillips held a series of open air preaching meetings, beginning in April 1810 that led to the formation of the Church. By the October of that year, the chapel had been built.

The Church was called 'Providence' because the open air services that led to the gathering of the Church were not once hindered by rain. 'Penknap' is the name of the field on which the chapel was built.

Providence Church was constituted as a Particular Baptist Church, holding to the Doctrines of Grace.

The Church withdrew from the Baptist Union in the late 1960’s and affiliated to the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC). Penknap Providence is also a Grace Baptist Church.

The Church continues to bear witness to the gospel of grace in the Dilton Marsh and Westbury area today.

A lot of information can be found on the Dilton Marsh website ( - search for "Penknap". If you want access to the old church documents, many of them are held by the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham - their website is:

Ebenezer Baptist

Ebenezer Baptist Chapel was built in 1839.

It was constructed by voluntary labour, using chalk dug out of the adjacent hillside. This original building only stood for 50 years. The present Church building was rebuilt on the same site.

The Church withdrew from the Baptist Union in 1990 and 18 months later joined the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC).

'Ebenezer' is taken from 1 Samuel 7:12 and means, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." It is only by the help of the LORD that the gospel witness of Ebenezer Baptist Church continues in West Lavington.