|The Wellingborough News, 15th November 1895, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Opening a New Mission-Room at Rushden
In order to keep pace with the requirements of this rapidly-growing town, the Independent Wesleyans opened a new mission-room on the Fitzwilliam Estate on Monday last. The building, which is of corrugated iron on a brick foundation, and lined with match-boarding, stands on a large piece of land between Station and Midland-roads, and anyone coming to Rushden by rail can get a good view of it just before they enter the station.
The building consists of a large room for school purposes and public services, capable of accommodating about 200 persons; an infant-room, fitted up with a gallery and two class-rooms, besides the other offices. Altogether it presents a neat and homely appearance, and few people would recognize it as the place formerly used as a Catholic school in Ranelagh-road, Wellingborough, but such it is.
The Independent Wesleyans have for some time been holding a Sunday school and conducting evening services in the Moor-road Board Schools adjoining, and the present building is but a continuation of the work begun there. At services on Monday a sermon was preached in the afternoon by the Rev. T. Stephens, of Wellingborough, at which service the building was filled, many of those present coming from Finedon, Bozeat, and other places in the circuit. The Rev. Gentleman read as the lesson several appropriate passages from the Psalms, and based a thoughtful discourse on the text, “As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” The collection amounted to £10 5s. The service was followed by a public tea in the Queen-street Schools, to which about 180 sat down, and in the evening a public meeting was held in the large room in Queen-street, Mr. T. Wetherall, of Northampton, presiding. At the commencement of the meeting the Rev. T. G. Harper read a statement showing the financial position of the mission. Exclusive of the ground, which amounts to about £300, the building, furnishing, fencing, &c., have cost about £225, and towards this amount they have received subscriptions £70. Then there was the afternoon collection (£10 5s), there had been collected for the tea about £6 10s, and to this should be added the evening collection, which amounted to £10 17s 3d. The Chairman, in his opening remarks, said he was pleased to be in any way connected with any extension of God’s cause. He liked the word “extension” much better than “aggression.” He personally knew Rushden when it did not number many more than a thousand inhabitants, and now look at it. That was what he called extension. He was pleased to be there not for an “ism” or a creed, but because it was for God’s cause and the cause of humanity. The Rev. T. Stephens followed with an eloquent address, in which he rejoiced in all the progress of the important town of Rushden. He then laid down in a forcible manner some of the duties which devolved upon them as Free Churchmen in providing for the requirements of the place; and, in passing, said he felt proud that they in Rushden were doing their duty not only in providing places such as they had opened that day, but in also erecting such magnificent schools and providing them with efficient staffs of teachers. The Rev. W. J. Tomkins also addressed the meeting.
During the meeting Miss Gadsby and Miss Farey each sang solos, the former singing “The little minstrel,” and the latter giving a splendid rendering of “The two choirs,” Miss Clipson ably accompanying on the piano. The whole of the services were of a very successful character.