The biblical story of John, the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, begins even before his birth. His leaping in his mother's womb is seen as a great alleluia in anticipation of the birth of his Redeemer and the good news of Jesus Christ is related in all four gospels as beginning with John as Christ's forerunner. He seemed to have a predestined rôle akin to that of the Old Testament prophets, particularly in encouraging the people of God to live lives worthy of their calling and in imminent anticipation of the coming of the Anointed One. In the tradition of the early Fathers, John was seen as endowed with grace from before his birth, and consequently the Church has always kept the celebration of this day (24th June) with greater solemnity than that of his death (August 29th) (Exciting Holiness).

Founded in 1869, St John the Baptist Church Roughtown, was opened April 24th 1878 at a cost of £6,000, paid by Messrs. Whitehead, of Royal George Mills, Friezland. The first baptism in this Church was May 1878, the first marriage was July 1878.

Incumbents of St John the Baptist, Roughtown

The Revd Joseph Telford MacDonough 24th Apr 1878 - May 1891 (buried at Christ Church Friezland)

The Revd John Davies 1891- 24th Apr 1911 (funeral 9th May 1911)

The Revd John Carruthers 23rd Jul 1911 - Jun 1919

The Revd William Donnelly 25th Oct 1919 - 22nd Oct 1933

The Revd William Leeming 25th Nov 1933 - 2nd Jul 1938 (founded St John's Band)

The Revd William Edward Price 24th Sep 1938 - 27th Feb 1949

The Revd Benjamin Joseph Edwards 28th Feb 1949 - 20th Nov 1952

The Revd Thomas Milner Boultbee 26th Jan 1953 - 3rd May 1959

The Revd David Tipper 28th Oct 1959 - 14th Mar 1965

The Revd Eric Arthur Ruehorn 24th May 1965 - 10th Mar 1974

The Revd Ron Cassidy 5th Aug 1974 - 26th Feb 1989

The Revd Harold John (Hadge) Hughes 16th Jun 1989 - 18th Aug 1993

The Revd Rosemary Anderson 17th Oct 1993 - 18th Apr 1999

The Revd Gillian Robinson 15th Apr 2000 - 20th Apr 2007

The Revd Canon Cathy Nightingale 20th May 2008 - 2016

The Revd David Warner 4th Sept 2016 - 30th January 2022 (first Vicar of the United Benefice of Mossley, with St George's Mossley)