Our History

Emmanuel Baptist Church was founded in 1905 and moved to Howard Road in 1921. In May 2013, the Church moved to its present building on Victoria Avenue.  It is a member church of the Old Baptist Union, a small group of wholly evangelical Baptist Churches, established in 1880. The Church is also affiliated to the Southern Counties Baptist Association through which it is able to enjoy the fellowship and share the work of Baptists in the immediate locality. It is the policy of the Church to cooperate wherever possible with other Christians in Swanage in advancing Christ’s Kingdom in the town.

During the planning phase for the new building, we envisaged the creation of a facility which would give our community a place to flourish – to participate in decisions affecting their lives, and where we could forge stronger links with other voluntary and statutory bodies working to the same ends. After years of planning, a quality landmark building was erected on the prominent Victoria Avenue site already owned by the church at the entrance to Swanage. This consolidates the many activities in a multi-use, purpose-built and flexible facility on one site. It also enables the church to expand its services to the wider communities of Swanage.

Emmanuel Baptist Church and Centre was officially opened on 1 June 2013 and is the first major building visible on the main road into Swanage after the new Swanage School. Our aim is to provide a safe place where all feel valued and empowered to achieve their full potential. The new church and centre is a multi-purpose facility, containing a large auditorium, with a seating capacity of 350, as well as a lounge and a large meeting room on the ground floor.  The large foyer hosts the Crossroads café. There are additional meeting rooms and offices on the first floor.  There is parking for 30 cars, cycles and mobility scooters. 

The new Church & Centre has been designed to be adaptable and will serve the community for generations to come. Emmanuel, through a miraculous provision, already owned the site for the development.