|Rushden Echo, 1st March 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins
The Court Estate - Opening of a Mission Hall
The opening of a Mission Hall on the Rushden Court Estate took place on Saturday last. Mr. George Hawkins, boot manufacturer, of Wellingborough, who last autumn took up his residence at "Chesterfield," a pretty bungalow at the junction of the Court-avenue and the Newton-road, has for many years been an ardent religious worker at Wellingborough and has conducted services in many of the towns and villages in the neighbourhood. On going to live on the Court Estate he was asked by his neighbours to arrange for religious services, which he readily consented to do. The first day a congregation of about 20 assembled; on the second Sunday they were about 30; on the third 40; and afterwards as many as 50 attended. Mr. Hawkins conducted the services. Seeing that the meetings were being so greatly appreciated, Mr. Hawkins purchased an unfinished bungalow in order to convert it into a Mission Hall. He had the middle partition removed, and was thus able to get a nice room about 24 feet by 14 feet. There are two fire places. All the windows were painted, and a good pathway made up to the doors, laurels being planted on both sides of the path. A small pulpit has been placed in the room; an American harmonium has been installed, and in every respect the bungalow has been transformed into an ideal mission-room, with seating accommodation for about a hundred people. The whole of the expense has been generously borne by Mr. Hawkins, and there is thus no financial burden.
At the opening last Saturday, about 100 congregated for the first gathering, which took the form of a concert for the children. Mr. Hawkins gave an account of how the meetings started. Expressions of thankfulness were voiced by several of the residents on the Court Estate at the provision of the Mission Hall, and testimony was made of the change which had taken place in the children on the Estate and in the parents too, since the services had been started.
Afterwards a concert was given for the adults, the company numbering over 70. The singing was accompanied by a couple of stringed instruments. Those responsible for the programme were Mr. T. Richardson (violin), Mr. Chapman (bass), Miss Warrington (harmonium), Miss Whitney, Miss Dilley, Mrs. Law, Mrs. Chapman, Mrs. Berrill, Mrs. Ashby, Mr. and Mrs. Matthews, Mrs. Chatter, Mr. Whitney, and Miss Green, of Wellingborough, who contributed vocal and instrumental music, recitations, etc. Miss Dunkley trained the children very efficiently. The items included an anthem, "Our God shall come and shall not keep silence." Owing to the length of the programme several of the items were held over until Sunday afternoon.
A Band of Hope or other temperance organization is to be started soon.
The Court Estate Roll of Honour has been placed in the Mission Hall.