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Rushden Echo, Friday, July 5, 1901, transcribed by Greville Watson

The anniversary of the Park-road Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School was celebrated on Sunday last, when the services were conducted by the Rev. Robert Culley, of London.Mr.Culley, who has for some years been associated with the Wesleyan Sunday School Union, preached very appropriate sermons in the morning and evening.In the morning he incidentally expressed the opinion that the State ought to make such provisions as would enable any youth of character and brains to take a course of training at one of the universities. In the afternoon Mr.Culley addressed a young people’s service, one important and interesting feature at which was the presentation of the prized gained by the competitors at the scripture examination held under the auspices of the district Sunday School Union. A happy selection of hymns had been made, and these were nicely sung at the various services by the scholars, who had been carefully trained by Mr.F.Betts, the choirmaster. In the morning the choir sang an anthem, the words of which comprise Charles Wesley’s beautiful hymn, “Jesus, Thou soul of all our joys,” while at the evening service the anthem was “Praise ye the Lord” (F.A.Challiner). These were sung in an artistic manner, the attack being good and the tone excellent throughout. Mr.Betts conducting the singing, and Mr.Chas.Wooding efficiently presided at the organ. The school comprises 450 scholars, with a staff of from 50 to 60 teachers, and the superintendents are Mr.A.Gadsby and Mr.C.W.Horrell. The cost of working the school is about £20 a year. The collections realised nearly £15.

Rushden Argus, Friday, June 6, 1902, transcribed by Greville Watson


Special services were held on Sunday in celebration of the anniversary of the Sunday school connected with the Park-road Wesleyan Church.  Seeing that there are over four hundred scholars and nearly sixty teachers in the school, the event roused considerable interest, and large congregations assembled during the day, the movable partitions separating the vestries being removed and the whole space being utilised for the accommodation of those present.  The Rev.T.Edwards Thompson (resident minister) preached morning and evening, and an address was given at a children’s service in the afternoon by the Rev.W.F.Harris.  special hymns were rendered, under the conductorship of Mr.Betts, Mr.C.Wooding presiding at the organ.  Collections were taken on behalf of the Sunday School, and realised a total of £35.  The anniversary was continued on Monday, when the annual scholars’ treat took place.  Tea was served to the scholars in the schoolroom, after which an adjournment was made to Mr.Denton’s field at the top of Queen-street.  A public tea followed, at which a large number attended.  A large company afterwards proceeded to the field, where games of various kinds were heartily indulged in.  The Independent Wesleyan Mission Band enlivened the proceedings with selections of music.

Rushden Argus, Friday, November 21, 1902, transcribed by Greville Watson


Special services were held in the Park-road Wesleyan Church on Sunday in celebration of the anniversary of that place of worship.  The Rev.D.Pughe preached in the morning to a good congregation, and the Rev.G.H.Hayes (circuit superintendent) in the evening to a full assembly of worshippers.  At the evening service the choir, conducted by Mr.F.Betts, rendered the anthem, “In the beginning was the Word,” Mr.J.H.Waring presiding at the organ.  Collections were taken at each service in aid of the trust fund.  The celebration was continued on Monday, when a public tea and meeting were held in the schoolroom and chapel respectively.  The list of subscriptions for the expense of the tea was a generous one.  A good number assembled in the chapel for the meeting, over which the Rev.G.H.Hayes presided, supported by the Revs. R.B.Woodward and D.Pughe and Mr.J.W.Bright (secretary of the trustees).  After the opening exercises Mr.Bright, on behalf of the trustees, gave a report with respect to the new building fund.  He stated that a balance of £50 was left from the last bazaar; the harvest festival realised £16 11s. 5d.; collections on the Sunday of the Rev.Armstrong Bennetts, £4 11s. 10d.; promises received amounted to £773 14s.; and he had since received £1 10s., making a total of £845 15s. 4d.  Of that sum £283 2s. 1d. had already been deposited in the bank.  Addresses were given by the chairman and by the Revs. R.B.Woodward and D.Pughe.

Rushden Argus, Friday, July 3, 1903, transcribed by Greville Watson

Wesleyan Sunday School

The anniversary services of the Park-road Wesleyan Sunday School were held on Sunday and Monday.  Large congregations assembled morning and evening, much interest being shown in the visit of the Rev.J.Freemans, of Birmingham, formerly a minister of the circuit residing at Irthlingborough.  Special hymns were sung throughout the day, and anthems were given by the choir.  The collections, in aid of the school fund, realised about £18.  On Monday the annual treat was given to the scholars, tea being provided in the schoolroom, and the young people afterwards making their way to Mr.Denton’s field.  A public tea followed, to which about 200 sat down.  A large number of people visited the field, where the Rushden Temperance Band played selections of music.  Games of various kinds were entered into with the greatest heartiness, and an enjoyable time was spent.  Sweets of various kinds and cake were distributed to the children during the evening.

Rushden Argus, Friday, October 23, 1903, transcribed by Greville Watson

Rushden Wesleyans

Annual Gathering of the Park Road Church

Special gatherings were held on Sunday and Monday in celebration of the anniversary of the Park-road Wesleyan Church, Rushden.  The services on Sunday were conducted by the Rev.E.I.Lyndon, of Wellingborough, who preached excellent sermons morning and evening to large congregations, the chapel being especially crowded in the evening.  Special hymns were sung, and the choir, under the leadership of Mr.C.Wooding, sang anthems at each service, a capital rendering of “The Gloria” being given in the evening.  Mr.Wareing presided at the organ.  The day being a children’s Sunday, a special service for young people was held in the afternoon.  There was a large attendance, Mr.Lyndon giving an address.

On Monday a public tea was held, to which a goodly number sat down, the following ladies presiding at the tables:- Mrs.T.Cunnington, Mrs.Watson, Mrs.Groome, Mrs.Nattrass, and Miss Scott.

There was a good attendance at the evening meeting, held in the chapel.  The Rev.J.W.Eacott (superintendent minister) presided, supported by the Revs. E.I.Lyndon (Wellingborough) and R.B.Woodward.

The Chairman expressed his pleasure at being with them on that anniversary of their trust fund.  The church had not been long built, but already steps had had to be taken for the erection of a larger building.  Facing the future, they could say, with the missionary, “The future was as bright as the promises of God.”  His first impression of them was that they were a united people, and that they were entering upon the new scheme in a right spirit, which must be blessed.

The Rev.E.I.Lyndon gave a telling address upon the direct mission of the church to the masses around them.  Soul-saving work must be done by the rank and file of the church.  They were in danger of losing sight of the importance and value of this work, and of the worth of the individual.  Anything done in social or political life could only be really useful as it lead to this end.

The Rev.R.B.Woodward related instances in connection with their own church, strongly illustrating the points made by Mr.Lyndon, and contended that whilst, in some cases, it might be difficult to get people interested in spiritual questions because of their surroundings, a man who was changed himself would change his surroundings.  It was for them to show that God’s power was still real, that the guilt and power of sin could be got rid of, and that death had been conquered.

A collection was taken in aid of the new building fund.

Rushden Echo, Friday, July 1, 1904, transcribed by Greville Watson

Sunday School Anniversary

The Rev.R.Culley, of London, the secretary of the Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School Union, was the preacher at the Park-road Wesleyan Church on Sunday morning and evening last, the occasion being the Sunday school anniversary.  In the afternoon a young people’s service was held, Mr.Culley giving an address.  There were large congregations, the chapel being crowded.  As usual, a special feature of the services was the singing of the anniversary hymns by the choir and the scholars, whose efforts were thoroughly appreciated.  Mr.Waring presided at the organ.  Mr.F.Betts conducted the singing in the morning and evening, and Mr.C.Wooding wielded the baton in the afternoon.  In the morning the choir sang “Gloria,” from “Twelfth Mass” (Mozart), and in the evening “Sing unto God” (Chaloner), on each occasion acquitting themselves admirably.  The collections amounted to £18.  The scholars’ treat took place on Monday, when to the number of about 450, they partook of tea in the schoolroom and chapel.  Subsequently a public tea was held, about 200 being present.  The tea committee comprised Misses Austin, Ball, Jones, and Maxted, and Messrs. Austin, Bates, Gadsby, Hawkins, Wagstaff, and G.Wooding, jun.  The ladies in charge of the tables were Mesdames Bates, Capon, Hensman, and C.Wooding, and Misses S.Atkinson, Ball, Austin, A.Causebrook, L.Causebrook, F.Darnell, Deighton, Gibbs, Jones, Maxted, Scott, Stapleton, and Rose Wooding.  The waiters were Messrs. W.E.Capon, Hawkins, Hensman, Holmes, Lawman, H.W.Wooding, G.Wooding jun., &c.  Mr.R.Marriott kindly placed his field at the disposal of the committee, and here the usual outdoor games were indulged in.  Under the conductorship of Mr.H.Sharpe, the Mission Silver Band gave a capital selection of music, and the delightful weather helped to make the day a thoroughly enjoyable one.

Rushden Echo, Friday, July 28, 1905, transcribed by Greville Watson


A Record Sunday School Anniversary

Former Rushden Minister on 'Environment.'

With its 520 scholars, including the Adult Bible Class, and its 52 teachers, the Park-road Wesleyan Sunday School, Rushden, is doing an excellent work in the town. The anniversary services on Sunday last were a conspicuous success, the collections, £26, being the highest on record. The preacher was the Rev.W.Newby, of Birmingham, who was the first Wesleyan minister stationed at Rushden, removing from the town nine years ago. In the morning he preached on the responsibility of parents, and incidently stated that it gave him great pleasure to come to Rushden again, and especially to see the beautiful chapel which they had built.

In the afternoon Mr.Newby addressed a young people's service and presented Bibles to the senior scholars.


was Mr.Newby's subject in the evening. He spoke of King Josiah, who, he said, resisted the lower environment and yielded to the higher. There was a serious flaw in that modern doctrine which said that a man could not be a good man if he lived in the slums or worked with men who were ungodly. Josiah was living in the midst of moral degradation where the devil seemed to have his fling, and yet in this foul den of moral disease Josiah conceived the idea which totally changed the religious aspect of the whole country. It was a shame that people should be forced to live in tiny little places; the Socialist had a right to be heard in demanding better housing for the working classes, and the churches were prepared to assist in propagating some of his views; but a man would not necessarily be better if he was taken from a cottage and put into a palace, neither was his case hopeless if he remained in the cottage or in the slums. God Himself could go into the slums and make saints of men who were vile in sin. As

Sir Oliver Lodge

recently said, "There is no reason for any man to be mastered by his environment." It must be an exceedingly difficult task for some people to live a Christian life in some homes and workshops and surroundings, he would grant that; but still, without the slightest reserve, he would flatly contradict the Socialists or anybody else who said that under such circumstances the Christian life was absolutely impossible. The vilest surroundings could not prevent a man from being a Christian, and, on the other hand, the holiest surroundings could not make a man a Christian until he himself consented. Certainly environment would modify a man's responsibilities, but would never entirely removed it from his life and soul.

After the sermon Mr.Newby said it filled one's heart with delight to see so many young people in that church. He prayed that they would resist their lowest surroundings and would open their souls to that environment which elevated and saved, and then they would prove that men could be

Master of Their Surroundings.

He had heard with delight that many of the scholars in the school were also church members, and that so large a proportion of the young people attended the week-night meetings and the weekly open-air service. He believed that school was one of the best in the whole county.

The children, carefully trained by Mr.F.Betts, the choir-master, sang special hymns during the day, acquitting themselves most creditably. The anthem in the morning was "Brightly gleams our banner." At night the choir and children gave a praiseworthy rendering of an appropriately descriptive anthem, "The blessing of the children" (Thomas Facer), with separate choruses for the scholars and for the choir. Mr.C.Wooding ably presided at the organ throughout the services.

The congregation as well as the collections proved to be a record, the spacious new church being crowded for the evening service.

Delightful weather prevailed on Monday, when

The Annual Treat

was given to the scholars. Tea was provided in the school-room, excellent arrangements having been made by the officers and teachers, and subsequently a public tea was held at which about 200 adults were present. The usual games were played in a field lent by Mr.Geo.Denton, C.C. The Mission Silver Band played some excellent music, and the proceedings were most enjoyable.,

Rushden Echo, Friday, May 18, 1906, transcribed by Greville Watson



The Rev.A.L.Fillingham, B.Litt., superintendent of the Hull Wesleyan Mission, and formerly of Rushden, had consented to preach in the Park-road Wesleyan Church, Rushden, on Sunday last, the special occasion being the anniversary of the Sunday school. Mr.Fillingham's visit to Rushden, where he is so well-known, was eagerly anticipated by his old friends. Unfortunately, however, a somewhat serious illness prevented Mr.Fillingham from carrying out his engagement. The Rev. David Pughe, of Willington, Durham, was asked to take Mr.Fillingham's place, and consented to do so. The services on Sunday were well attended, especially at night, when the spacious church was crowded to excess. Special hymns were sung by the scholars, who had been carefully trained by Mr.F.Betts, the choir-master, and he efficiently acted as conductor during the day. Mr.Chas.Wooding was the organist. In the morning the choir and the scholars gave a splendid rendering of the anthem, "The blessing of the children" (T.Facer), and this was so highly appreciated that its repetition in the evening was requested and acceded to. The anthem, "The Lord is my shepherd" (Montgomery), was also given in the evening.

Mr.Pughe's address in the morning was based on the words, "Feed My lambs." He spoke of the beautiful figure which Christ used to describe the children, "My lambs," and pointed out that the essential qualification for a teacher was love to God, as shown by Christ's question to Peter, "Lovest thou Me?" In speaking to the parents Mr.Pughe said it was of the utmost importance that they should take a deep interest in the training of their children. The responsibility of the parents was very great, and the home influence would have an effect not only upon their own children but upon future generations.

In the evening Mr.Pughe spoke on the words, "We took sweet counsel together, and walked into the house of God in company," Psalm iv.14.

A service for young people was held in the afternoon, when Mr.Pughe distributed Bibles to the elder scholars and gave some personal reminiscences of his boyhood, speaking particularly of the good influence exerted upon him by the superintendent of the Sunday school.

The collections during the day amounted to £19.

The annual treat was held on Monday. Tea was served in the school-room to about 440 scholars. Afterwards about 200 adults partook of tea. The usual games and sports were held in Mr.Geo.Denton's field off Queen-street, and, besides the children, there was a large gathering of spectators. The Mission Band played an excellent selection of music.  The games were entered into with great heartiness, and the presence of Mr.Pughe in the field was greatly appreciated by the youngsters.

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