Thursday, 1 August 2002
Report to the annual church meeting for the year ending Easter, 1924
Council Members: Mr WN Addey, Rev F Appleton, Mrs F Appleton, Miss Banham, Mrs Elmhirst, Mr WE Fowkes, Mr GA Habbeshon, Mr HL Humphrey, Mr L Humphrey, Mr WC Johnson, Mr R Littledyke, Mr F Morland, Mr EN Taylor, Mr F Thompson, Mr EH Wakefield, Mrs Wakefield, MTR Whitelock, Miss B Wright, Mr AW Wright, Miss E Elmhirst, Mrs Whitelock.
Electoral Roll – The Electoral Roll has been revised in accordance with the Constitution, and a copy is now presented to this meeting. It contains the names of 952 Parochial Electors.
Banham Memorial Hall – The Building Fund has increased to just over £800, invested in War Loan. The Committee submitted to the Council a tentative design by Mr Arthur Whitaker for a Hall at an estimated cost of £2,900, but the council did not feel justified in adopting provisionally a scheme which would involve so great an expenditure. The Committee will reconsider the question of design, and will continue its efforts to increase the Building Fund.
Sunday Schools – an encouraging development is the opening of a Primary Department under the direction of Miss Wright in the
. The Department is conducted on modern educational principles, and provides admirably for the younger children for whom the Infants’ School in Park road is too far distant. There is urgent need of more teachers in the Boys’ and Girls’ Departments to fill vacancies caused by retirements. The number of scholars is approximately 145 Boys, 165 Girls; Bible Class Members, 100 – totals 410. An important step was taken by the teachers in the purchase of an excellent piano for £47. of that sum £39 was lent and has yet to be found, and the need provides an opportunity for others than the teachers to show their practical interest in our Sunday Schools. A mutually beneficial agreement with the Education committee has been made, whereby the Sunday School piano (on the upper floor) may be used for Day School purposes, and the Day School piano (on the ground floor) for Church purposes. Mixed School
Swaithe Mission – Last year’s Report spoke of the necessity for larger accommodation than that afforded by the Mission Room. Towards the end of the year the use of that room was brought to an end by the tenant of the house, who required it for his own purposes. A good Army Hut was bought for £68 by means of funds raised in the
, donations and loans, and a site, at a nominal rent, was kindly granted by Mr CE Smith of Swaithe Hall. This hut was inaugurated as the “Swaithe Mission Hall” on Sunday, March 30th, when a large congregation filled the building for a service conducted by the Vicar, the lesson being read by Mr Fowkes and the music being led by the organist and choir of the Mission . About £35 is needed to repay the money lent to defray the cost of erection and equipment. Parish Church
Girls’ Friendly Society – Meetings for Members have been held twice weekly, on one evening (under Miss Banham’s guidance) for work in preparation for a Sale, the proceeds of which are to support a bed in a Missionary Hospital; on the other for devotion, education or recreation. Interesting lectures were given by Mrs Dransfield, Mrs Elmhirst, Mrs Fryer, Mrs Wakefield, Miss Smith, Miss Woffinden and Miss Wright. The candidates, numbering 80, show a slight increase. Their weekly meetings have been occupied in games, singing, sewing (for the bed in the
), and Missionary and other talks. Thanks to the good work of Mrs Buckley, Miss Banham and Miss Wright, these gatherings have been greatly appreciated by the girls. Mission Hospital
– The number of CMS Magazines now in circulation is 147 monthly. A study circle on the text book, “Women Workers of the Orient,” was conducted. Miss Irene Gregory has been giving a monthly Missionary address at the Children's Sunday morning service in the School. An interesting Lantern Lecture was given by Mrs. Wakefield, describing the work in Enterprise , and showing pictures of China , in which one of the beds is already supported by this Parish. At the Diocesan Missionary Festival, held at Funing Hospital Sheffield in June, our Choir supplied its full proportion to the massed Choir, and the Parish was represented by a party of 35.
Parish Magazine – Under Mr. Taylor's vigorous management the Parish Magazine more than paid its way during the first year of its restored existence. The circulation has steadily increased to about 450.
Finance – The £40 fixed by the Council as the Parochial Contribution to the Diocesan and Central Funds for 1923 (as against the £100 at which the Parish was assessed by the Ruri-decanal Conference) was attained, but only by the gifts of a few donors supplementing the collections in Church. Church expenses showed an increase of £17 over the previous year, mainly accounted for by repairs, including the making good of a breach in the north wall of the Churchyard, and books, including a supply of new Prayer and Hymn Books for the use of visitors. Under Special Objects the payments were £3 less than in 1922. For the present year the position is one of uncertainty. The income from the Church Trust property on Worsborough Common will largely be absorbed in meeting municipal requirements for road making. On the other hand, a -Free-will Offering Scheme has been launched with the two-fold object of providing a steady income for the Memorial Hall Building Fund, and also for meeting the general needs of the Church with a special view to the Diocesan quota. Mr. W. N. Addey has undertaken the secretaryship of the scheme, and has secured 52 members, contributing the equivalent of about £1 10s. Od. per week. If this scheme were more widely taken up a reliable income, sufficient to meet all our needs, would be assured.
Interdenominational Christian Council – A Special joint Committee, representative of the various Denominations, organised a united procession of the Sunday Schools on Whit Monday. The undertaking was successfully carried out, and obviously made a favourable impression on the minds of the inhabitants generally. As a sequel to this co-operative venture, a permanent Council was created by the governing bodies of the several denominations to secure common and united prayer and action upon spiritual, moral and social questions, and to bring Christian principles to bear upon such questions. This Council is composed of representatives of this Church and
St. James', ; of the Wesleyan, Wesleyan Reform, and Worsborough Bridge , and of the Salvation Army. Primitive Methodist Churches
General – The congregations on Sundays have continued to show a slight increase, though they represent a lamentably small proportion of the nominal Church inhabitants of the Parish. The Council would specially appeal to the large body of Parochial Electors on the Roll not to forsake "the assembling of ourselves together." The candidates presented for Confirmation were 5 males and 13 females. The small number of those seeking Confirmation is a cause for concern, for apart from it there cannot be a full growth either in personal spiritual life or in the corporate life of the Church. The average number of Communicants per week was 30.5, or practically the same as last year. An impressive Service was held on Armistice Day, when the Church was quite filled with a congregation representative of the District Council, Ambulance and Fire Brigades, and Friendly Orders. Such a gathering suggests a thought of the possibilities of common worship and of the inspiration to be found in a great congregation.
The Council would conclude this Report by asking its constituency, that is, the Parochial Electors, as well as the congregation in general, to join with it in thankfulness to Almighty God for every token of His Presence and Blessing in the past year, and in the prayer that the coming one may be marked by inward growth in grace and outward activity in every work of faith and labour of love to which He shall call us in the fellowship of His Church,
F. APPLETON, Chairman.
A. W. WRIGHT, Secretary.
31st MARCH, 1924.
This morning we were up at 6.15 (not my choice) and shortly afterwards set off on the bike to go round the reservoir. We stopped a little way up the mill stream where it is easy to get down to the water and there is enough flow to make throwing sticks in worth the effort. Willow leaves become little fish, and sticks are canoes, but most of them get stuck within a foot or two of beginning their journey – a trailing weed, muddy shallows, some other debris – stuck fast and the current too feeble to free them and set them moving again.
Except that, eventually, one of the many (many) does miraculously sail on, perfectly avoiding every obstacle, merrily down the stream out of sight, and we can only imagine some wonderful adventure just beginning …
How many prayers do we pray, how many dreams do we dream, how many good intentions do we cherish in our thoughts, only for them all to get snagged up or bogged down before they have really got anywhere.
In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes it says, “Cast your bread upon the waters and after many days it will return to you”. I’m not sure if I really know what the writer was on about, but he seems to be encouraging a kind of reckless generosity (albeit with a pay back) – Don’t worry how much of your effort is wasted – if one prayer, or dream or good intention really does get through, then that is something beautiful and beyond the cold calculation of efficiency.