Earlestown’s Brunswick Road Mission

From Mission to Church

The City Mission Movement: it was discovered that the poor would listen in great number’ provided they were not asked to enter a church” (Owen Chadwick, The Victoria Church, Part Il, P .286).

Our Church has its origins in the City Mission Movement of the last Century. The Town Mission in Earlestown began in 1875 as an outreach from the Manchester City Mission. As the Industrial Revolution progressed, great cities, like Manchester, mushroomed with vast working populations overnight. The whole social structure of Britain was changed in the first fifty years of the nineteenth Century. By the 1851 Census, more people were living in towns in England and Wales, than in the countryside, for the first time in our history. In the country the parson had some oversight of his flock and depending on his zeal as a pastor, could ensure some sort of spiritual care for them. Massed in towns with no churches to go to, and no time to attend even if there had been any, workers in the great cities like Manchester were unchurched and inaccessible to the main denominations.

For the Established Church, setting up new parishes was a painfully slow business requiring an Act of Parliament, and although a Church Building Society was founded in 1818, it was not until* the third quarter of the nineteenth Century that Anglicans began to tackle the problem of the unchurched masses by a great campaign of church building (1), and, eventually of providing new parishes for the densely-populated cities.

Nonconformists, too, had to face the problems raised by the industrialisation of the nation. While there were, in some regions, whole areas of countryside where every village possessed one (and sometimes several!) Dissenting chapels, the great industrial cities were destitute of their places of worship. It was, of course, easier for the Nonconformists to establish their places of worship than it was for the Anglicans. Many a chapel in small manufacturing towns was quickly built on a piece of land donated by a millowner or landlord, and services begun immediately, but the densely packed city centres offered little scope for chapel-building sites. There was, too, the problem that Dissenting chapels were run and organised, in the main, by the middle classes, factory-owners, artisans, shopkeepers, whose homes were often.

well away from the poorest dwelling areas of the operative classes. Each year the problem grew worse until second and third generations of workers lived and died with no church, Anglican, Dissenting or Roman Catholic to serve them.

About the 1820s began the first attempts to grapple with the problem in our big cities. One of the most successful of these efforts was the City Mission Movement, founded by a young Scot, David Nasmith (1799-1839).

Nasmith (2) was brought up in a Christian home in Glasgow and sent to sabbath evening school to improve his education (3). With two friends, at the age of 16, he founded a Society for the distribution of Bibles among the poor in Glasgow. As an ‘official’ of this Glasgow Youths’ Bible Association, Nasmith began to take a deep interest in the book he was helping to distribute among the poor. He became convicted, through the reading of the Scriptures, of being a sinner before God and eventually came to find “Jesus, who could deliver not only from the Punishment, but from the power of sin.” (4). Now the Lord’s Day and the preaching of the gospel. became a delight to the young Nasmith. Later in life he recorded “From that period until now, my desires have been to preach this Precious Savior to my fellow sinners.”

At 18 he volunteered as a missionary for Africa, but his lack of education proved a hindrance to the plan. When he was 27 years of age he founded the Glasgow City Mission (4). Nasmith worked by uniting Christians of various denominations into evangelistic bands to teach the Bible to the poor in their homes, to visit prisons (at 19 he was honorary secretary of the Glasgow Bridewell Association) and to run adult schools.

The basis of this first mission was that “all evangelical denominations” were to be welcomed and by the end of the first year eight such denominations were on the board of management of the Glasgow City Mission. There was considerable opposition in some quarters to the non-denominational character of his work. He was an indefatigable worker, founding similar missions in Edinburgh, Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Londonderry, Paris and Le Havre, and visiting N. America to found city missions in New York, Boston, New Orleans, and elsewhere. Liverpool City Mission he helped to found in 1829 and visited Manchester to inspire a group of men led by the Crewdons, Evangelical Quakers, to found the City Mission (6) there in 1837.

Nasmith’s this greatest mission, in London, was founded in 1835; like very many of his missions, it is still going strong today.

He did not wait until suitable premises were found but began in his own little house in Canning Terrace on the banks of Regent’s Canal, nor until a great crowd of friends supported him, but in the company of two men, the third called to the meeting never arrived, having lost his way. Two years later Nasmith resigned from the Mission he had founded for a party spirit had crept into the Committee, Dissenters and Churchmen vying with each other to have at least equal control of the Mission. True to his conviction that a Mission should have no sectarian spirit but only the single-minded object of bringing men to Christ, Nasmith resigned and went on to found other City Missions. The London City Mission went from strength to strength. His principle of inter-church co-operation in mission is important for our history because it laid stress on mission work rather than the founding of a church. No one denomination was to benefit by the work of a city mission, and it was not to become a church in itself. Thus, most city missions did not, for instance, celebrate the Lord’s Supper (7) until well into the 20th Century. Members were expected to attend the parish, or other church, for that purpose. Gradually, however, the City Mission’s Halls tended to become churches with the City Missioner or Agent being regarded as a Pastor, but they were, in effect, an association of free evangelical churches rather than a distinct denomination.

Nasmith worked himself into an early grave in his zeal to reach the poor of the big cities with the gospel. While visiting Guildford at the age of 39 he was struck down by a stomach illness and died. At his burial the longing of his heart to see true Christians of all denominations co-operating would have been well rewarded.

The funeral was in a Wesleyan Chapel, with-prayers by a Presbyterian minister and address by a Congregational minister. Graveside prayers were said by an Anglican. He is buried in Bunhill Fields Cemetery in City Road (just opposite John Wesley’s house) near to Bunyan’s tomb. His wife and children, 1eft almost destitute, were provided for by a subscription among the churches.

The City Mission movement only scratched the surface of the problem of reaching the masses in our big cities, but it did provoke denominational home missions to get busy doing similar work and paved the way for ventures like the Salvation Army which began its work in the East End of London as the Christian Mission in 1865. The City Mission’s interdenominational is seen also in its slogan printed on its early Reports (8): “Not to Proselytize, but to Evangelise”. The City Missioners’ work, therefore, was not to gather converts to a denomination but to Christ. The Reading of the scriptures in homes was the first priority, with evangelistic meetings, in cottages, portable halls or hired rooms, as methods also used. Sick visiting was of great importance and the distribution of tracts, the selling (very cheaply) or loaning of copies of the scriptures, and open-air meetings were regular missionary activities. At first Sunday Schools were not set up by the missionaries but children contacted in the daily visitations were encouraged to go to the nearest Sunday School.

Soon the spiritual work of the Missions had to be supplemented by social work, though the City Missions never let this meeting of temporal needs become a priority (9). Some atheistic opposition (though physical assaults were rare) was encountered by the missionaries in the early years, though, as the 19th Century wore on, and the lot of workers in our big cities improved slightly, this antagonism to religion and the Church seemed to decline. Women workers were brought into Manchester City Mission in 1860 when deaconesses were finally appointed (10), and in the history of the Earlestown Town Mission we have the privilege recording the devoted service of one of these, Sister E. Hughes, from 1926-1935.

The theology of the City Mission Movement was orthodox and Evangelical, stressing the need for each person to have a conversion experience in turning to Christ in repentance and faith to save him from the consequences of sin and to keep him set apart for God’s service in a holy life full of good works. On the whole, City Mission Evangelism was not as emotional as the Salvation Army’s kind of revivalism, through its work was similar with a strong emphasis on teetotalism, the use of modern tunes and methods of Evangelism (the then new and exciting Sacred Songs and Solos of Sankey and Moody the American Evangelists, was widely used and has still not been discarded It did not become, in in some areas) and the use of lay preachers. Earlestown at least, a holiness mission with the stress on complete sanctification and Christian perfection one finds in Wesley’s teaching, but Mr. and Mrs. Bimson, missionaries for Earlestown Mission from 1911 to 1913, resigned apparently over this question and became founders of the Holiness Mission in Haydock Street.

Thus, two Evangelical churches in Earlestown today have their origins in the City Mission movement for which David Nasmith gave his life in the middle of the last Century.

Pioneer Days – 1875-1901

In 1875 Mrs. Josiah Evans, wife of a colliery owner, of The Heyes, Haydock, asked the Manchester City Mission to send a missionary to preach in a Tent she had erected at the bottom of Legh Street, Earlestown. It was a wooden, circular structure with a canvas roof. The Manchester City Mission sent one of its agents, Mr. E.J. Weaver, to lead the meetings in the Tent. He had an uncle, Mr. Richard Weaver, a converted ‘pugilist’ who later became a singing Evangelist and preached in the Tent in 1882. On one occasion a negro, Mr. James Johnson, conducted a series of meetings in the Tent and told the story of his escape from slavery. In addition to his work in the portable Tent, Mr. Weaver held open-air meetings in Earlestown and “Cottage meetings”, (today we would call them house fellowships). Sunday School was held in the Tent each Sunday morning and afternoon. The church in Brunswick Road today still uses the brass bell used in the Tent for its own Sunday School to signal the end of lessons; it is engraved “Mission Tent Sunday School Earlestown 1877”. Missions were not afraid to draw attention to their meetings in those days by such means as parading around the town, as they did from the Tent, singing hymns and drawing a crowd.

In 1882 the Tent had around 100 children in its Sunday School. There was a Tent Choir, weekly magic lantern shows and a commitment to the Temperance cause combined with gospel witness under the banner of the Blue-Ribbon Movement (11) a branch of which was founded in Earlestown by Mrs. Mullins of the Baptist Church in 1882. Mr. Weaver furthered the temperance cause himself by helping to form a Coffee House Company in 1883. Mr. J.E. Kenyon in his history of the Mission, describes this venture. “The idea was to provide a place of resort for young men where they could spend their evenings free from the influence of the public houses. To finance the venture, El shares were taken out by members of the Mission, five shillings to be paid on allotment. Games such as dominoes, draughts etc. were played, and support was given by local football teams and their supporters.” This Company ran a “Coffee Palace” in Oxford Street, Earlestown.

In October 1883, the Manchester City Mission recalled Mr. Weaver to Manchester to work in Newton Heath. A hundred and fifty people met to say farewell to the pioneer of the Mission and to give him a gift and illuminated address. Mrs. Evans had built the Tent, let it rent free and provided Z90 per annum to the City Mission for the work in Earlestown, but now wanted it dismantled and sent to Manchester. The City Mission used it for a further twelve years when it was demolished, in 1895. The Mission folk, however, continued to meet, renting the Co- operative Hall in Earle Street, and commencing a new work, on 7th October 1883, as the Gospel Mission Church.

In 1884, Mr. J. Slater was sent by the Manchester City Mission to supervise the work in Earlestown, a “bearded man, pleasant, energetic and a good visitor” (12), but he stayed only a few months. There is no doubt that the work would have declined at this time, several of the “Tent congregation” joining other churches, or eventually going nowhere, but the most important leader in the history of the Mission now appeared. Mr. George Dring come as a Manchester City Missioner to Earlestown in 1885, working hard to set up a permanent work to his death in 1910. To many old Earlestown people the Mission is still ‘Dring’s Mission”. J.E. Kenyon records, in the Yearbook for 1957: “Mr. George Dring was born at Harton, near York, in the year 1852. He succeeded his father as Bailiff of the Horsham Hall Estate, being a builder by trade. He was also keenly interested in the religious life of the locality. He married Miss. Elizabeth Tanfield, daughter of the Rev. Richard Tanfield. In due course they had a son, Samuel, born in their Harton home. Feeling the urge to missionary work, Mr. Dring forfeited the privileges and comforts of his calling, and in 1884 offered himself to, and was accepted by, the Manchester City Mission, who sent him in 1885 to Earlestown.

Whilst there, Mr. and Mrs. Dring had two more sons, Albert, and Harold, who, together with Samuel, assisted their father in his mission work.

Samuel Dring, an accomplished vocalist, and musician, was by profession an architect who, besides planning the present Mission Hall, designed and supervised the erection of the Earlestown War Memorial which was unveiled in 1905. He died in July 1945,

Albert Dring became a City Missioner after the death of his father in 1910. Three years later he joined the Congregational Ministry, serving in Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Cardiff, Brighouse (Yorks) and Llandudno.

He died in 1970. Albert was a lively preacher who was a favourite as a guest speaker at the Mission long after he left Earlestown. Mr. Kenyon adds: “Mrs. George Dring, the ‘Mother of the Mission’, passed away in 1950, in her 100th year, and was interred in her husband’s grave at the cemetery, Newton-Le-Willows.”

Mr. Dring began his work in Earlestown with the well-tried methods of the City Missioner, house meetings (13), visiting homes and open-air meetings. The Market Square in Earlestown was particularly useful for the latter kind of work, assisted by the attraction of a small portable organ which Mr. Dring had brought. Mr. Edward Kenyon of St. John’s Church (father of J.E. Kenyon the writer of the notes in the Year Books) left the Parish Church to play for Mr. Dring in the streets despite some opposition from the local ‘troughs”. Mr. Dring was able to gather a band of supporters who were keen to see the type of work done by the City Mission being carried on in Earlestown.

In 1886 a mission was held in the Alexandre Theatre (14) by a Mr. J. T. Barlow of Manchester every afternoon and evening. The aim of such a service would be to call people to decide to accept Jesus as their Saviour and a pledge to follow him through life. Sankey’s hymns were used, and the spirit of the meetings would be much like that of the revival meetings of Moody and Sankey in the U.S.A. and England at this time.

In 1887, Mr. Dring took the primitive Methodist Old Schoolroom and ran a Ragged (15) School there as well as services for his mission folk. How hard he worked is seen in the returns which each City Missioner had to give of each week’s efforts. The figures for 1887 show that Mr. Dring had that year spent 1,770 hours in his work as a Missioner (making 34 hours a week), made 3,820 visits of homes (73 a week), 856 visits of the sick (16 a week) and read the scriptures in homes on 2,967 of the occasions he visited (57 a week); he had distributed 7,851 tracts (150 a week) and held 208 meetings (4 a week) at which the average attendance was 50. These figures include his work in the Alexandre Theatre, but not his visit in the open-air to fairs. Mrs. Josiah Evans now comes into the story again. The Primitive Methodist Schoolroom, becoming too small for the numbers attending, she rented the Co-operative Hall in Earle Street for the mission to be run on the un-denominational lines of a city mission. As the Annual Reports of the Mission show, the un-denominational spirit of ‘Not to proselytize, but to Evangelise” was maintained by the Mission founded by Mrs. Evans under George Dring even after the time when the Mission became independent of the Manchester City Mission in 1915. For example, the Report for 1922 says: “We are still out to ‘Evangelise not to proselytise’. We are not opposed to any other religious body in the town, but we are willing to assist in any way possible to forward the common cause of our existence, namely ‘The Salvation of the People”‘ What, in fact happened, was that people came to feel the Mission was their spiritual home and so looked upon it as their ‘church’ eventually. However, even after 1967, when a group took over the Mission holding strongly to a congregational view of the local church, the same insistence on the wrongness of denominationalism, in so far as it married the unity of true believers in Christ, was upheld and a desire to be at one with all Christians born-again by the Spirit of God has therefore characterised the Mission in the whole of its history. The change of meeting place to the Co-operative Hall was a step in the right direction, the average attendance at the Sunday Evening Service rising from 90 in the Schoolroom to 127 in the Hall. Saturday Penny Teas, part of the Pleasant Saturday Evenings adopted by many missions in working class areas in this time, were held in the Co- operative Hall involving concerts with local people taking part. A lantern show, bun and cup of tea could be had for I penny (1d) and inducements, such as a free ticket to every child who sold six, were offered. After 1892 visiting choirs formed a major part of the entertainment and there was the usual stress on temperance. ‘Evangelisation’ was seen in a broad sense as the widening of people’s lives, spiritually, but also socially.

Alterations had to be made to the Co-operative Hall and while these were being done Mr. Dring’s congregation met in a room in Stanley Street facing the Market. Each Sunday there was a prayer meeting at 9 am; and Address at 3 pm and a Gospel Service at 6.30 pm. Open-airs and cottage meetings were held and an Evening Mission Service each Wednesday,

In 1892 the congregation moved back into the Co-operative Hall and there the Pleasant Saturday Evenings were recommenced and, in 1894, the Sunday School was re-started with 17 children in the morning and 25 in the afternoon.

In 1896 Mr. Dring introduced the popular Pleasant Sunday After- noon movement to the Mission. The first meeting was addressed by the Rev. H. Wilson of Ashton Congregational Church who had experience of the P.S.A. in his own church. People of different denominations met on these occasions. The P.S.A. at the Mission had 65 members in its first year. Talks, lantern lectures, solps, choir pieces were the basic ingredients of a P.S.A. Prizes were given, as at Sunday School, and these can sometimes be found in second hand bookshops today. I have found one, presented at P.S.A. in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1903 for regularity, punctuality, and contributions for three months. The badge on the bookplate is two hands clasped in a circle and the legend ‘A helping hand’, and the text Isaiah 58 6/7 which urges Sabbath observance. The P.S.A. was a popular attempt to give a little lightness to Sabbath observance.

It is interesting that Mr. Dring, though accepting the P.S.A. as a ‘novelty’, and perhaps realising that it was open to the charge of being too light and superficial, believed that it In 1699 the P.S.A. at the Mission had 200 had ‘come to stay’ (16) members. Mr. Dring resigned as President of the P.S.A. in 1901 after founding and leading the Society for 5 years.

Sunday School in the Co-operative Hall during this period at the end of the 19th Century had 200 names on the Register. Gospel meetings in the Hall were well attended and Mr. Dring was working as hard as ever.

1901 was to see the erection of a purpose-built Hall for the Mission and the beginning of a new phase of its work. The new Hall, built in an area of heavy mining subsidence, was a venture of faith. Samuel Dring drew up the plans and George Dring himself laid a course or two of bricks on the front of the building.

The Brunswick Road Town Mission 1901-1915.

The Earlestown Guardian for November 1st, 1901 has an account on the opening of the New Town Mission Hall under the heading “Newton Common Mission Hall. The Opening Ceremony” (17).

It was opened, we read, “in a quiet and unostentatious manner. (18) The Hall was described as a commodious brick and stone structure, 54 feet by 22 feet inside and 12 feet from the floor to the wall plates of roof. A deep, grained wainscoting runs round the walls, the floors are boarded, and windows filled with an obscured pattern glass”. The article points out that the architect was Mr. S. Dring and the builder Mr. Pennington of Ashton, using ‘Evans’ bricks”. The Hall had a small entrance porch and kitchen in the rear fitted with boiler and about 300 people could sit in the Hall. Sunday School space was provided for by a movable partition across the Hall for 150 children. Apart from the partition and the boiler in the kitchen, the Mission Hall as built in 1901 is almost exactly that used today.

The Chairman for the evening was Mr. Astley King. In his opening remarks Mr. King said he hoped the work in the Mission would be carried on “by those whose hearts had been touched by the Lord, and not simply by those who had had a college education and perhaps could talk in flowery language.” “The Lord did not care so much about grammar”, be commented, “but they did want men who would arouse them to the fact that sin and evil was around them.” He hoped the Mission would see men giving their testimonies as to what God had done for them and that problems of gambling and drinking “at their very doors” would be faced up to.

A Mr. E. Matthews, Superintendent of the Manchester City Mission, of which Mr. Dring was also a missioner, spoke of the devotion of the men and women of the City Mission and their commitment to a “right conception of truth and obedience to it” which was the basis of all good lives, character and truth made all the difference in the homes of men and women; and it was these and not wages, which turned a dirty miserable home into a clean and happy one. The City Missioner, therefore, had a hard life needing grace, gifts, grit, and gumption.

“Without the grace of God and man could not do the missionary’s work. He needed gifts to qualify him for the work, to win his way into the people’s hearts and homes. He needed grit to stick up to the work and must not show a wry face even when depressed. As to gumption that was one of those things one could not very well define. It was common sense in the method of going about one’s work.”

The Rev. E. Bocock (19). also spoke at this opening meeting stressing that it was not difficult to fill a building with people, but it was better to fill the building with the Holy Spirit even if there was only a handful of people in the building. He noted the many young people in the congregation and hoped the mission might attract some of them as workers. He concluded that it was the duty of the Christian to act as the salt of the society in which he lived; that there was no religion without work and that they must also have the fire of enthusiasm. If there was a thing society hated, it was the person who was neither hot nor cold.

That evening Sankey’s Hymns (20). were sung and an anthem was rendered by the Mission Choir. Mrs. John Russell presented a tea urn, cups, saucers, plates, spoons, and a tablecloth on the occasion of the opening.

That November 1901, Saturday evening concerts were begun in the new Hall.

These were largely musical in content with several recitations included in the programme. In December a Monday – night meeting for women was begun.

Entertainments were one of the chief activities of the Mission outside the worship and preaching meetings of the Lord’s Day. On Wednesdays there was a Prayer and Praise meeting where young Christians were encouraged to speak but it seems as if entertainments became the greater attraction. These seemed always to have been most proper and respectable and, particularly when young people began to clamour for something more adventurous, were regulated by the General Committee very strictly (21). Their main purpose seems to have been to raise money and many articles of furniture and equipment were raised by concerts and suppers throughout the history of the Mission.

Lady Preachers were becoming more popular in Nonconformist circles at this time and although women were allowed no real share in the governing of the Mission until 1930 when the principle was established of allowing (22) voting for the General Committee to be on the grounds of suitability for office regardless of the sex of the candidate, occasionally lady preachers took the services in the Mission. The May Sermons, for example, in 1902, were preached by a Mrs. Valentine.

In October 1902 the custom of following a Sunday Evening Harvest Festival by a Tea and meeting with invited speaker on the Monday began and continued until 1956. (23)

The Harvest Festival weekend came to be looked upon as the Anniversary of the Mission as it marked the opening of the new Hall. After 1956 the ‘Harvest Hemet on the Monday at which Harvest produce was sold, was discontinued, and produce taken to needy people instead. Towards the close of 1902 Mr. Dring’s son Samuel married Miss Kate Corrett, daughter of Mr. Benjamin Corlett of Lazare House, Cross Lane, Earlestown. The ceremony took place in Emmanuel Church, Wargrave, as the Mission was not yet registered for marriages. (24) 1903 saw the establishment of a General Committee to help Mr. Dring run the Mission and the post of Secretary was established, the first to fill it being Mr. A. Latham.

Early in 1903 a special evangelistic mission was held in the Hall for a fortnight by Mr. Alfred Gooderham of the Manchester City Mission. It is interesting that “lectures” formed part of the evangelistic method of the time; perhaps because of the vogue for working men’s education it was more appropriate to reach people outside the church than by a “sermon”. Mr. Gooderham lectured on ‘Peter Mackenzie’ a well-known and popular preacher of a few years before, drawing crowds (25) to his lively preaching in the Gipsy Smith style. Towards the end of 1903 a Band of Hope meeting was started which continued until about 1935. This continued the strong tradition of the City Mission Movement in the temperance cause.

A Penny Bank was also started this year. This was a scheme to promote prudence and savings money working class folk which was very common in Missions at the time. ilt was one of the very valuable services Missions provided for working people.

Sunday School work, one of the main features of the Mission’s work from the very earliest days, continued very strongly throughout this period. The Mission united with other Sunday Schools of the area to run what was known as the United Sunday Schools Demonstration (Walking Day). Here, with messages and singing, children would present visual aids and demonstrations and recitations on Christian themes. At the 1904 Demonstration the Mission Sunday School is recorded on the leaflet as having been begun in 1887 and having 300 children (called ‘scholars’) on its books. This year, 1904, the Mission Hall, was painted and decorated internally and externally for just over £10and additional seating accommodation was provided.

In September, Mrs. Lydia Evans, widow of Josiah Evans, died aged 82. It was she who had begun the Mission’s work in Earlestown and for 30 years had subscribed £90 per annum to Manchester City Mission to provide Earlestown with a Missioner. An attempt was made in 1904 to try to re-introduce the P.S.A. (Pleasant Sunday Afternoon) to the Mission but it did not have enough support and was replaced during the winter by the “Bright Hour” on Sunday afternoons.

In 1905 Manchester City Mission issued its first Report on the Earlestown Branch. The leaders and officeholders are listed as follows:

Sunday School

Superintendents: Messrs. A. Morris & R. Macklin.

Teachers: Messrs. G. Rydeard, J. Godbert, E. Kenyon, A. Latham, S. Miller, C. Ellis, F. Greenall, I. Hill, J. Freeman, H. Dring, J.R. Kenyon, Mrs. A. Latham, Mrs. Edwards, Misses Ord, Bennison, and Morris.

Bible Class: Messrs. A. Morris and G. Dring.

Secretaries: Messrs. W. Ellis and T. Bell. Organist and Choir Master: Mr. G. Rydeard. Pianist: Miss A. Bennison.

Choir Secretary: Mr. R. Macklin. General Secretary: Mr. A. Latham.

The Mission appealed to Messrs Richard Evans and Co., Limited, colliery owners, when Mrs. Evans died, for financial help and the firm donated £30 a year to support the Earlestown Branch of the Manchester the Mission itself raised E45 as its own annual City Mission contribution.

The Mission was by now a well-established Nonconformist cause in Earlestown and received the approval of leading citizens. Mrs. Evans, as we have seen, patronised the Mission from the start and this year Mrs. Collingwood read the Service of Song, the narration which introduced the choral items (called, incidentally, “Christies” Old Organ”), at the Sunday School Anniversary in May. Mr. J.E. Kenyon records how she was delighted with the Choir’s singing that she invited the Choir to spend half a day in the gardens and grounds of Wargrave. House (26).

Numbers attending the Sunday Services of the Harvest Festival this year were so great that many had to be turned away from the door. The organist, Mr. G. Rydeard, had composed an anthem “Bless the Lord O My Soul”, which was sung on this occasion. He was gifted in many ways which made him useful in producing concerts for the Mission. He put on two concerts in 1905 for Mission Funds and specially composed two anthems for a Christmas Eve sacred musical service. The idea of the Mission coming together to have a concert of sacred music on Christmas Eve is rather lovely. Regularly, for very many years the Mission put up a Christmas Tree and the tradition of children’s parties at Christmas has been kept up to the present day.

Gospel services were held every Sunday evening and in Summer open-air meetings were conducted near the Hall at which Bible Class members and Sunday School Teachers took part.

In 1906 the United Sunday Schools Demonstration in June included mass singing on the Market Square. Annual Concerts given by the Choir in February were.

the tradition at this time as also was a Good Friday Tea. In 1906 at the Good Friday Meeting Mr. G. Dring was presented with an illuminated address recognising his 21 years as a Manchester City Missioner in Earlestown. Presented by the workers of the Mission to their “leader and adviser” the address spoke of Mr. Dring as one who strengthened and comforted everyone by his ministry and was deeply loved. It hoped that there would be a continuing of his friendship and the bringing of souls, by the Holy Spirit, to the feet of the one who loved us and gave himself for us. By the November of that same year, however, Mr. Dring was taken seriously ill and restored only after weeks in a critical condition. There is no doubt that Mr. Dring was greatly respected by the townspeople and loved by very many. When the workers who took over the mission in 1967 went from door to door to make it known that “Dring’s Mission” was not closed, but carrying on under new leadership, they found that everyone they met had a good word for the work of the Mission and high praise for George Dring as a true pastor and a man of God.

The year 1907 opened with a financial problem in that the subsidy of £30 p.a. granted to the Mission by Messrs. Richard Evans and Co., was withdrawn and the Manchester City Mission asked the Mission to continue to send the £60 p.a. it had been giving and more if possible. The figure was in fact raised by the Mission by Ell .00 that year. The Choir now 32 strong, had its first outing for three years in 1907 going by wagonette to Pickmere.

In December 1907, Mr. G. Dring was again taken ill. He was visiting in Athol Street and suffered a heart attack. He continued to be ill throughout 1908 and offered to resign in the November. The Mission did not accept his resignation feeling that Albert, his son, could continue the work.

Mr. E. Kenyon died in 1906, aged 46. He had been trainee organist at St. John’s parish church when he left to assist Mr. Dring who was beginning his work in the town in 1885. His family became firm Mission Folk, his son, Mr. J.E. Kenyon, became a Primary School Headmaster and Secretary of the Mission for many years. It was he who, in 1967, transferred the Mission to new trustees in the earnest hope that his life’s work, and that of many of his friends, would be carried on. He died in 1973.

A special Mission was held in October 1908 at the Mission under three Manchester City Missioners’. Available records do not report on the results of Missions; one can only assume that some new members were added to the Mission because of them as attendances continued to be very consistent for many years. Attendance figures for 1909 are:

Weekly averages in Sunday School, morning 162, afternoon 205. Average attendance at the Evening Gospel Service 165. In 1909 Albert Dring took up much of his father’s work and more besides. He was Choirmaster, Sunday School Teacher, Visitor, and Preacher. George Dring wrote in his Journal for June of this year “My times are in His Hands and if it be His Will, I shall be glad to record useful work done, souls won for Jesus, and strengthened and sanctified by his Word”. On December 19th he preached his last sermon to a small congregation of 52 people. A severe snowstorm had been raging all day. To support Mr. Albert Dring in his preaching ministry in the Mission 6 lay preachers were designated to help at Earlestown and one full-time worker, Mr. P. Paterson of the City Mission. Records show that needy children of the area, not just Mission Sunday School children, were given treats at the end of 1909 and beginning of 1910. Mr. JOE. Kenyon records:

“Early in January (1910) a hot pot was provided for needy children in the neighbourhood. 253 children sat down to a meal made from 701b of beef and 18 score of potatoes converted into pies by 33 workers. Mr. R. Macklin (Sunday School Superintendent) and Mr. A. Dring conducted a short service for the children and afterwards the Wesleyan Spanish Choir entertained them. On leaving, each child was given an orange, a mince-pie and a bright new penny from Mr. Elce” (27). A Sunday School Teachers’ Conference was held in January of this year resulting in the formation of a teachers’ preparation class to train them in Sunday School Teaching.

Mr. Dring was in service right to the end. On Monday, 7th February 1910, he addressed the Young People’s Meeting and on the 11th did some visiting. He recorded in his Manchester City Mission Journal the numbers attending service on Sunday the 13th. there had been 150 at the Evening Service conducted by his son, Albert. He died peacefully, though the end was sudden, on Thursday night, February 17th, 1910. The Funeral Service was on the 19th in the Mission Hall and the interment in Newton (Wargrave) Cemetery. A fund for a memorial stone was raised and the stone unveiled that July.

The inscription reads: “In Loving Memory of George Dring, died 17th February 1910, aged 58 years. He was a good man”.

Erected by the Public as a token of their love for him and appreciation of his faithful ministry of 25 years as Town Missionary under the Manchester City Mission”. His son Alber was appointed by the City Mission in his father’s place until the future of the Earlestown Mission was settled. The new committee (of 18 men) appointed (28) in October 1910 decided that the time had come for the congregation meeting in the Hall to take over the premises. This was, of course, the first step, though it was not consciously entered into as such at the time, to becoming a church rather than just a mission serving other churches as, ideally, City Missions were to be. The Manchester City Mission Committee agreed to sell the Hall for £400 to be paid off in 5 years and be legally handed over to new trustees (29). The building was to be known as the Brunswick Road Town Mission Hall. To raise this sum, a 100,000 pennies scheme was launched, Mission workers committing themselves to raise 10,000 pennies each (30).

The Committee decided a full-time missioner was needed to replace Mr. Dring as his son Albert was about to move on to new work (31). A farewell meeting was held for him over the weekend 12th – 14th November 1910 with what the records call a ‘Public Tea’ and ‘Public Meeting’ of large audiences. Consequently, applications were invited for the position of missioner and towards the end of the year Mr. & Mrs. Frank Bimson and Chester were appointed on the salary of £80 p.a., raised to £85 in June 1912.

The situation at the end of 1910 was that the Mission was thriving with many activities and large numbers.

It was run by an all-male Committee of 18., the Sunday School involved 24 Workers, (16 men and 8 women) for over 200 children. Well over 100 were at the Sunday Evening Service which were of a gospel nature.

There was no communion service, no baptisms, and no official list of members. Mr. Bimson, the Missioner, was not regarded, at this stage, as the pastor of the congregation and did not take his place on the Committee until February 1911 (32).

1911 saw further increases in the activities of the Mission. Weeknight Children’s Services were begun, and Children’s Concerts were held, Mr. J.E. Kenyon who was then a young school teacher, taking a leading part in these. Physical Drill classes were held in the Hall (33) and Band of Hope Meetings. An Ambulance Class was held, free of charge, by Dr. William Valentine (who later became a Committee Member) to teach first aid, and a Ladies’ Sewing Class, which ran for many years, was begun. Mr. T. Martindale, conductor of St. John’s Mission Choir led a service of song in the Hall in March. A Lantern Service was arranged for Good Friday night and a Married People’s Concert was held in November. Cottage Meetings for, as the minute has it, “the deepening of spiritual life” (34) were started on Saturday nights and were well attended. In the Summer open-air preaching was started before the evening service on Sundays, and on the Racecourse (35) after that Vice.

Harvest Festival, one of the Chief events in the Mission’s year throughout its history, was followed by a Fruit-Banquet to which all ministers in the town were invited. The Congregational minister, Rev. J. Davidson and the Baptist Minister, Rev. J.M. Paterson were the speakers at this banquet.

There is no doubt that the especially spiritual aspects of the Mission’s work were enlarged greatly by the work of Mr. Mrs. Bimson. It was Mr. Bimson who started a Band of Hope Meeting towards the end of this year at the first meeting of which there were 130 present. His Children’s Meetings which he started averaged 111 during the year (36) and, as shown in the table in Appendix No. 1. , it was in October 1911 that Mr. Bimson’s Decision Day in connection with the Sunday School produced 43 professions and conversions among the children. This experiment does not seem to have been repeated and it is possible that there was some difference and opinion in the Mission about the difficult problem of the validity of child conversions.

It was Mr. Bimson’s energy which led to open-air work and the distribution of tracts on quite a large scale (37) Mrs. Bimson trained a Juvenile Choir which sang at Mr. Kenyon’s Flower Service in Spring 1913.

Mr. Bimson was a regular visitor to members of the congregation making between 100 and 200 visits a month to talk and pray with people, in addition to nearly as many calls or brief visits in the same time. In August 1911, for example, he made 340 calls or visits during the month – over ten a day! It was his custom to take bunches of flowers to some of those he visited, no doubt to the chronically ill.

The first Annual Meeting of the Mission took place in December 1911 presided over by Councillor Walter Goslin who had helped Mr. George Dring when he preached on the Market Place in the early years of his work in Earlestown. This was held in the Town Hall and indicates that the Mission had become a recognised institution in the town. It was followed by a Congregational Meeting, that is, a meeting riot public like the Annual Meeting, but for those who attended the Mission, though as yet no membership roll was drawn up. The Mission at this time is slowly becoming a distinct church in Earlestown, though it is interesting that a Minute records that “we cannot see our way clear to accede to the request of the free Church Council to join them” (38).

On 25th February 1912, Mr. Robert Macklin, the Chairman of the Mission and Superintendent of the Sunday School, died suddenly having spent all the previous day supervising a Sale of Work in the Mission Hall. Tea was provided by the congregation for the mourners at his funeral.

It is note-worthy that there, is no record of missionary-giving by the Mission during most of its life as the Town Mission, though a regular contribution was sent annually for very many years to the Manchester City Mission. Even a request from the Salvation Army to the Committee for the Sunday Evening’s collection in aid of the Self Denial Fund was turned down. Finance was always a matter of great concern to the Committee and every penny received scrupulously accounted for; there seemed to be none left over for outside causes (39) It must be borne in mind, however, that the Mission was buying its Hall from the Manchester City Mission and this it was pledged to do in 5 years or forfeit the chance of owning the Hall and having all instalments kept by the City Mission. Yet the Sale of Work referred to above raised £70 after expenses had been paid, a large sum in a working-class area, particularly, as a Minute says, in view of a pending coal strike (40). Mr. Bimson began open air services for children in the midsummer of 1912 and began the new idea of holding services in the homes of sick people.

The Bimson’s were allowed two weeks holiday in July of that year. In the Autumn Mr. Bimson began Gospel Services on Wednesday Evenings (41). All his innovations seem to have been of an Evangelistic and spiritual nature and there is evidence that he chafed somewhat at being held up in this work by the need to attend to such matters as Sales of Work.

A shop at the corner of Brunswick Road and Portland Street applied for a licence to sell alcohol and the Mission Committee, true to its allegiance to the temperance cause, was instrumental in preventing the licence being granted. They sent a letter of protest to Lord Newton, to Messrs Evans and Co., the colliery owners, and to magistrates (42).

In January 1913 Mr. Mrs. Bimson removed from their house in 142 Market Street to live with Mr. Bimson’s sister and sister-in-law over a confectionary shop in Bridge Street having first sought permission from the Chairman and Secretary of the Mission (43). In March Mr. Bimson could not make his usual monthly report to the Committee as he had been ill. He recovered and continued his pastoral work with energy and was granted leave of absence in the Easter Holidays to attend a Holiness Convention in Manchester. The next month he resigned as missioner. The committee which met to consider his resignation resolved to re-engage Mr. Bimson on the following terms:-(44)

1/. He must make 12 visits a day (60 a week). A visit was to consist of reading from the scriptures and prayer.

2/. Door-to-door visiting should begin on 1st April and go on to 31st October.

3/. He should be present at the Mission each Sunday morning; he was to be allowed Sunday afternoons off.

4/. ‘Two are not at present disposed to give up any concert, sale of work, social or the like, the Committee to be the judge of their suitability”. (Here, perhaps is the central issue in his resignation. Mr. Bimson probably felt that too much time and effort was being spent at the Mission on non-evangelistic activities).

5/. Mr. Bimson was to supervise all religious meetings during the week. (There had developed an attitude in the Mission that there should be a spiritual leader’ of its work, a view which could only be harmful to the full growth in faith of all the member of the congregation).

6/. He was to be allowed two Sundays off during the Quarter and two weeks holiday in the Summer.

7/. He was to give a month’s notice or a month’s pay in lieu if he desired to resign.

Soon after, letters of resignation were received by the Committee from Mrs. Bimson and Mrs. Gough and a further letter of resignation from Mr. Bimson. The Committee accepted these resignations allowing- Mr. Bimson to stay to the end of the month of April should he so wish provided he did not bring ‘personalities’ into his addresses from the pulpit. Mr. Gough followed his wife in resigning from the Mission and the two couples ended their membership together. We do know that the Goughs followed Mr. Mrs. Bimson to a new work which (45) opened in Haydock Street as a Holiness Mission which has today a small congregation watched over by Mr. H. Hunt of Skelmersdale.

The Mission had immediately to look to providing preachers for its Sunday Services now it had no missioner, and this was done by asking lay people (including occasionally a lady) of the area to fill the engagements month by month. Once a month a missioner from the Manchester City Mission came to preach.

Mr. Bimson’s valuable work as sick visitor was covered by four members of the Committee volunteering to do it.

The question of introducing the Lord’s Supper was raised in Committee in June of this year, but a decision on it was deferred (46) Mr. Bimson’s records for March 1912 show that one child was christened but this is the only record of the celebration of a sacrament that we have at this time. Both some kind of initiation ceremony and some observances of the Lord’s Supper were essential if the congregation was to develop into a church as it was in process of doing.

The appointment of a new missioner to replace Mr. Bimson was raised regularly at almost every Committee meeting from May 1913 to March 1915 when the matter was dropped, but the desire for a full-time worker for the Mission was finally met in September 1926 with the appointment, from the Manchester City Mission, of Deaconess Sister Hughes. Until then, the Mission did without a full-time worker.

A collier’s strike in the Autumn of 1913 caused plans for a Sale of Work to be deferred, but it took place in December and lasted for three days, Thursday to Saturday. Admission was by the purchase of tickets, on the first day at 9d to 6pm then 6d after that time, on the second day 3d from 6.30 to the close and on the third day 6d to 6 pm then 3d afterwards. Season tickets for the Mission’s Sales of Work could be obtained for Is 3d and family tickets for Is 6d. Musical items were often given at the openings of these Sales by the Sunday School children trained by Mr. J.E. Kenyon.

Mr. R.C. Waterson •guided and conducted the Mission Choir at this time and special concerts would be given from time to time in the Hall, or in other venues in Earlestown.

1914 opened with a decision to form a Mutual Improvement Class, for the Mission (47) there is a record of its socials in the minutes for November 1920.

The Chairman of the General Committee is called President of the Committee for the first time about now reflecting, perhaps, the need to identify a particular elder member of the congregation as leader in the absence of an official missioner.

A new banner for the Walking Day was bought this year (48) and socials and a potato pie supper were organised to help to pay for it. The banner is still extant, though a little the worse for wear now. It is described by Mr. J.E. Kenyon as being made “of seamless silk, prettily designed, measuring 8″ by 7” and containing a portrait in oils of the founder, Mr. George Dring (49) very effectively worked on a blue and orange ground. It was designed and made by Mr. W.A. Skerrett of Bank Street, Bolton. A special Saturday meeting in the Summer of 1914 was arranged to unfurl the Banner, the occasion presided over by Rev. J. Davidson, the congregationalist minister and a regular preacher at the Mission. (50)

By early 1915 only £50 remained to be paid to the Manchester City Mission for the Hall. The average attendance at Evening services on Sundays in 1914 had been 140 so there was every hope that the new year would see the Hall finally in the ownership of the Mission. Naturally as the burden of paying for the Hall was removed the idea of having a full- time worker was renewed and in Committee the proposition of having a Deaconess for visiting and work among mothers provoked a long discussion (51). The idea must have met with some opposition for it was resolved that “the question of the desirability or otherwise of the appointment of a deaconess be not discussed in future”. The question of a missioner was deferred on this occasion also.

In April Mr. Matthews of the Manchester City Mission prepared to draw up deeds for the transfer of the property Co the Mission and this was affected in July, that year. Mr. Matthews wrote that he anticipated that the Mission would now ask for a missionary to be sent to them but regretted that “he would not be able to supply one at present as all his capable men were filled and that owing to the War, they were not filling up vacancies, but that after the War, he might be in a better position”. (52) The City Mission was to continue to send men on the third Sunday in every month for their travelling expenses only. A Thanks-giving Tea and Public Meeting took place on 17th July It was a 1915 to celebrate the completion of the buying of the Hall. “Knife and fork tea” as was only fitting for such an occasion and 9d was charged for this. Trustees and ministers of the district were invited and anyone who had helped to raise money for the purchase of the Hall (53). The next Sunday to the Tea a special Thanksgiving Service was conducted by Mr. Albert Dring. A memorial Service was held on November 21st for Private Fred Worsley, who died of wounds at Salonika on November 6th, 1915.

A Social was held towards the end of the year to provide some things for the young men of- the Mission who had enlisted in the Army. Finally, as symbolic of the independence now achieved by the Mission and its developing sense of identity as a Church, towards the end of 1915 negotiations with the Council to end the charge for water to the Mission were successful; they were, in this respect (54) “to be treated like other places of worship”.

References Used.

  1. Only 96 churches were built by the Church of England between 1801 and 1820; but 308 between 1821 and 1830, some of these Waterloo’ churches were built in commemoration of that victory from a special fund.
  2. See Wayland, J.M. Round the Tower, the story of London City Mission, 1875.
  3. The Sunday School movement, begun in the 1780’s to cater for children and illiterate young adults, was the earliest attempt to give cheap, free, basic education to the poor, its scope was limited, at first, to reading and learning by heart the scriptures and catechism on a Sunday, and promoting church attendance. Soon evening classes were introduced to teach writing, and even ciphering (Arithmetic) as most denominations disapproved of teaching these on a Sunday.
  4. Campbell, John D.D, Memoirs of David Nasmith, John Snowe London 1844. p7.
  5. Wesley Bready, J, England: before and after Wesley. Hodder and Stoughton, p405.
  6. Called a Town Mission until 1850. Manchester became a city in 1848.
  7. Before the Mission became independent. of the Manchester City Mission, at the competition of the buying of the premises from them in 1915, the Lord’s Supper could not be held in the Hall. By June 1913 the Committee was considering the possibility of having a Communion service, but it was not until late in 1918 that the Mission held its first Communion, on the first Sunday of the month. For the same reason an invitation to become a member of the Free Church Council of Earlestown was declined in January 1920 by the Mission Committee who saw themselves as still an un-denominational Mission and not a church. By the end of 1926 the Mission was a member of the Council Membership of the Mission was also a question which touched upon its status; an official membership of the Mission was not drawn up until the 1950’s.
  8. First Report of the Manchester City Mission from 1838 in the M. C.M. Headquarters, the Christian Centre, 3 St. Ann’s Churchyard, Manchester M2 7 LN.
  9. The work of a “Clothes for the Poor” scheme is recorded in the Annual Report Of Manchester City Mission for 1891 with the comment. “It is hard to preach the Gospel to shivering wretches”. The records of Earlestown Town Mission show that the Mission had an important role to play in providing clubs and societies for its members’ social life.
  10. Called at first “female Bible hawkers”. Women were often more welcome in working class homes than men, as the wives found they had something useful to offer in counsel and sympathy and husbands were not so aggressive towards them as they were to the male missionaries.
  11. The original Blue-Ribbon Temperance movement was begun in the USA by a Mr. J.K. Osgood who used the device of a blue ribbon to be worn as a sign of one’s adherence to temperance principles, based on Numbers 15 38-40. A Mr. F. Murphy took up-the idea and linked it to the preaching of the gospel in 1877, (“Gospel Temperance”). A Mr. William Noble began the Blue-Ribbon movement in London in 1879. Evangelicals were often wary of a temperance movement not linked to a preaching of the gospel.
  12. J,E, Kenyon – Mission Year Book, 1957, p11,
  13. He at first held services in his own house in Crow Lane West. 14. JE Kenyon says this was “a wooden structure which served as a place of amusement on weekdays and for religious services on Sundays” – Yearbook for 1957 p1.
  14. “Ragged School” was the name given to one of the schools of the Ragged School Union founded in 1884 to give waifs and street urchins some sort of elementary education in the 3 R’s and the Bible. The poorest children were not attending the denominational schools of the two great school societies and so would receive no help at all but for the R.S.U.
  15. J,E, Kenyon cites a newspaper report of the time criticising a speaker at one of the Missions P.S.A meetings for actually preaching a sermon! Yearbook 1957 p12.
  16. Brunswick Road Town Mission Official Minute Book No. 1 (31 Oct. 1910 – 4th Jul. 1919).
  17. The first Sunday in the new Hall was on 6th October, the next day was the dedication meeting recorded above.
  18. He was minister of the Earlestown Primitive Methodist Church.
  19. This favourite hymn book of the Nonconformists is only now going out of fashion; it was replaced in the Mission early in the 1970’s by the more comprehensive and less dated Hymns of Faith. The old Sankey’s books were taken to Larchfield’s Home in Earlestown where they are used by Brunswick Road Evangelical Church for the service there on the last Sunday in each month. 21. Years later General Committee had to rule against males dressing up as ladies (though it was permitted for a lady to wear a frock coat and man’s hat) on these social evenings.
  20. For many years ladies were only allowed bn to the General Committee in the proportion to men of about 1:3.
  21. The Harvest Festival weekend came to be looked upon as the Anniversary of the Mission as it marked the opening of the new Hall, after 1956 the ‘Harvest Home’ on the Monday at which Harvest produce was sold, was discontinued, and produce taken to needy people instead.
  22. The Hall was registered as a place of worship and as a place where marriages could be solemnized in 1919.
  23. Young Samuel Dring chaired the meeting for the first time on this occasion.
  24. J.E. Kenyon, Yearbook 1958 p3.
  25. J.E. Kenyon, ibid p13.
  26. Presumably by general consent; elections of the General Committee by the secret nomination of church members were only begun in 1919.
  27. These were to be: Messrs. Carter, W.H. Corless, J.E, Gee, J. Godbert, W. Goslin C.C, E.A. Green, T, Molyneux, A. Peake J.P., F. F, Ramage, J.H. Roberts, J. Russell, and Dr W, Valentine.
  28. Inaugurated 12 Nov 1910. General Committee Minutes. Ladies of the congregation •were asked to go from house to house collecting pennies. 31. J.E. Kenyon, Yearbook 1959 p 15.
  29. For an analysis of Mr, Bimson’s work as missioner in Earlestown, 1911 1913 see Appendix No. 1.
  30. The ‘Mission’ outlook on church buildings was that they were not- consecrated only for ‘spiritual’ use but for al/ kinds of functions, feasts, and festivities.
  31. G.C.M. 6/5/1911.
  32. On Newton Common. 36. 2/12/1911.
  33. Mr. Bimson’s % year Report records 1940 calls with tracts. – G.C.M. 7/10/1911.
  34. G.C.M, 1/4/1911.
  35. When a Dr Barnardo’s agent came to give a lecture on their orphan work the Committee laid down that the proceeds of the collection should be shared by the Mission and Dr, Barnardo’s! G.C.M. 7/12/1912.
  36. G.C.M, 3/3/1912,
  37. These were discontinued just before Mr. Bimson resigned as missioner in April 7914. G.C.M, 5/4/1913.
  38. 7/12/1912
  39. Mr, J. E, Kenyon records that Mr. Bimson opened a Health Store in Bridge Street, 1960 Yearbook p2.
  40. Special G.C.M. 9/4/1913.
  41. At first the four members began meetings in the Co-operative Hall, Earle Steet before, in 1915, opening the Hal/ in Haydock Street. Holiness meetings emphasize the doctrine of entire sanctification taught by John Wesley; British groups owe much to the mid-19th Century Holiness movement in the U.S.A.
  42. The advice of Mr, E, Matthews, Secretary of the Manchester City Mission was sought on this matter of the Lord’s Supper and he ruled that it was against the leasing agreement on the Hall to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in it.
  43. G.C.M. 3/1/1914.
  44. It cost £l7.00, Walking Day was suspended for the duration of the first World War but a United Sunday Schools meeting was held in the Congregational Church in 1915.
  45. Yearbook 1960 p4.
  46. The Baptist and Congregationalist clergy seem most to have preached in the. Mission though there are records of an Anglican Minister doing so – egg Rev. H. C Moor of St. John’s at the Fruit Banquet 1915, and Rev, B.E Taylor of All Saints also in 1915.
  47. G.C.M, 6/2/1915.
  48. 6/4/1915. 53. G.C.M, 1/5/1915. 54. G.C.M 6/11/1915. .

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