Decisions, Barnoldswick

This austere but well-known building in Barnoldswick is now the home of a successful gift shop called Decisions. The rather competent ladies who work within have an expert eye for detail, suggesting gifts and neatly wrapping them once purchased. It was not always a shop, however. It was built as a public house, with a succession of names reflecting the times. Originally the Scotch Laddie, it became the Engine Inn around 1855 and then the Railway Hotel in 1870, seeking to provide accommodation for arrivals at the town’s new station. Now, it is a successful retail outlet, reflecting our national love of consuming trinkets as well as the decline of our railway network and public houses.

The building served another purpose, however, from 1855 till 1859. One of the upper rooms was hired by the town’s Primitive Methodists. These were earnest, plain-speaking folk, usually drawn from humbler social strata than the more up-market Wesleyans. Quite how they felt about meeting above licensed premises where the demon drink was liberally sold, one cannot tell. I am sure the erection of their own chapel came as something of a relief. The Prims were usually robust in their evangelism and unadorned in their preaching. I wonder how many decisions for Jesus were made above the current Decisions. Wesley's churches generally emphasised the responsibility of each sinner to repent and decide to follow Christ, unlike the more reformed churches like the Congregationalists and Presbyterians who emphasised God’s own sovereign hand in moving those sinners. In 1987, I made a decision to accept Jesus. Before the world began, He made the decision to accept me.

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. John 6:37