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A booklet produced by the Independent Wesleyan Church, Rushden,
from the archive of Jean Freeman, adapted and transcribed by Greville Watson
Forward to the Seventies
The Church in the High Street


Rev Reginald Taylor
Dear Friend,

Almost eighty years have passed since the present Queen Street Schoolrooms were built and opened an dnow they are being renovated and modernised. The decision to do this was not an easy one for the church members to make because of the cost involved. Nevertheless, the need to "go ahead" was necessary, not merely to improve the appearance of the schoolrooms, but more important, to plan and to prepare for the future.

In this secular society the church has still a very important role to play. The trend of present-day attitudes and behaviour makes this increasingly obvious. Youth especially need a faith to live by and a cause to serve, and these important guide-lines to successful Christian living can be found within the fellowship of the Christian church.

In carrying out this major modernisation scheme, we are seeking to match ourselves with the challenge of our day and generation. We thank God for the faith, insight and the courage of our predecessors in the building up and provision of what is our heritage and we anticipate the future with confidence and faith knowing that we are workers together with God in seeking to provide premises that are worthy of our responsibility towards the future generations.

Yours sincerely

Reg Taylor


An early picture of the Queen Street Schoolrooms
An early picture of the Queen Street Schoolrooms

It would be difficult to think of Rushden without the Independent Wesleyan Church - THE CHURCH IN THE HIGH STREET - and the adjoining Queen Street Schoolrooms. They have been part of the life of the town over many decades. It is probably true to say that any life-long resident of Rushden will have had some contact with the Queen Street Schools since they were built in 1890. Many will have passed through the Sunday School - over the years thousands of scholars have passed through the school and are now to be found in the four corners of the world. The schools are also the "home" for all the various organisations of the church and many will remember days in the Boys Brigade or Girls Life Brigade (now Girls Brigade).

But the Queen Street Schools have also been readily available to the townsfolk of Rushden whenever possible and to answer any need. There are those who will remember the premises being occupied by the military authorities during the first world war and during the second world war they were used as a canteen by the Y.M.C.A. Many will recall being brought by their parents - or bringing their own children - to the Schools when they were used for over 20 years by the local authorities as the Children's Welfare Centre. So it can be fairly claimed that the Queen Street Schools have played a significant part over the years in the shaping of the future of Rushden.


The present condition of the schools after 80 years of existence, has been the burden and the real concern of the officers and members of the High Street Church for a number of years now.

The building stands in urgent need of repair and renovation and the members feel that the QUEEN STREET SCHOOLROOMS still have a vital function to perform in the life of the church and of the town.

So we must prepare for the future, and such preparation demands that the premises be made warm and clean and attractive. Second best is not sufficient in this age in which we live.

At the Church Members meeting held in February 1969, it was decided that these improvements could be delayed no longer and so as a complete venture of faith, a major modernisation scheme was agreed. The work entailed includes the outside of the building being refaced and reguttered, inside the upper-schoolroom there will be a new suspended ceiling, a new floor, new windows, modern lighting and, last but not least - a new kitchen.

All the premises will be decorated so that the whole building will take on a new look.


There are many aspects of the life of the CHURCH IN THE HIGH STREET that are encouraging and give hope for the future. This venture has the support of all the members of the church who do not lack in faith or enthusiasm in meeting the financial task that confronts them.

We believe there are many who have had contacts over the years, perhaps through the work of the Sunday School or the uniformed organisations - or maybe the Welfare Clinic - or even one of the many occasions when the building has been use dby other organisations or agencies, who would like to make some contribution to this vital project.


Any gift, large or small will be gratefully received and acknowledged.


W J A Peck, Esq
W. J. A. Peck, Esq.
It gives me much pleasure to write a few words for inclusion in this brochure in support of the special effort tht is being put in hand by the Independent Wesleyan Church for the modernisation of its school premises in Queen Street.

The premises are well-known amongst local people for their central position and use by the community on various occasions, which has been a great pleasure to the Church and an asset to the Town for a good many years.

The present modernisation which is in mind, apart from the general use as in the past, is looking well into the 1970's from the Youth aspect. Since today's Youth is really our investment for the future it is only right that we should safeguard a position which should now be well and truly provided for. It is very appropriate that a Church's schoolroom should be used both for the Church and these general purposes, since the word "school" is derived from a Greek word meaning "leisure," and it is pleasing that Church facilities should be available to cover this aspect for the Town's future use and goodwill.

May our faith and vision for the future be well rewarded by the very good work that is being undertaken in this major modernisation scheme, and may God's blessing be revealed by its success.

W. J. A. Peck

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