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Old Baptist Church
Farewells in 1882 & 1884

Wellingborough News, 30th September 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

FAREWELL GATHERING—On Thursday evening week a most solemn and interesting meeting was held in the Old Baptist Chapel to bid farewell to a large number of friends who are leaving the neighbourhood. That so many should be removing to a distance is an event unparalleled in the history of the church. Hence the exceptional interest awakened. The following are some of those who have left or are about leaving Rushden: Mrs. Bradfield (widow of the late pastor), Mrs. G. Skinner, Miss Odell, Mr. and Mrs. Stevens and family, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Bayes and family, the last named family removing to New Zealand. The meeting opened with singing, and prayer offered by Mr. J. Cave. The Pastor (Rev. W. A. Davis), then delivered an appropriate address, explaining the object of the meeting, and expressing his good wishes for the friends about leaving them, and enlisting the sympathy and prayers of all present on their behalf.— Mr. E. Knight (senior elder of the church) followed with touching words of reminiscence, tracing the long standing connection with the church of the Bayes and Colson families. He also spoke kindly words of those leaving, and expressed the fervent desire that others may come forward to fill their places.—Mr. S. Knight (senior deacon) then gave a very interesting address, in which he especially lamented the departure of Mr. Bayes and family, and gave expression to seasonable and salutary counsel and good wishes for all.— Mr. Andrew Corby added a few earnest words, making special allusion to Mr. Bayes' efficiency and usefulness as a teacher.—Mr. Bayes then asked the assembly to join in singing a hymn he had selected as suitable to the circumstances under which for the last time he had met with his relatives and friends. The most interesting feature of the meeting followed. The Pastor expressed his pleasure in having to present to Mr. Bayes on behalf of the members of his class a handsomely bound and fully illustrated companion Bible, subscribed for by the above, who held their now absent friend in endeared remembrance. There was also presented on behalf of the church officers and school teachers a testimonial, printed and framed by Mr. H. Hewitt, and bearing the following inscription:—"Old Baptist Chapel, Rushden, September 21st, 1882. To Mr. J. Bayes. Dear Brother,—We, the office bearers of the Church, and teachers of the Sunday School connected with the above place of worship, desire to express to you our deep regret at your leaving this Church and community for a distant country. We cannot let the occasion pass by without in this way manifesting the respect we entertain for you, and the esteem in which you are generally held. We feel grateful for and shall also greatly miss the Christlikeness of your life and the service you have rendered as senior class teacher in the school and secretary to the church. We also lament the loss we shall sustain by the removal of your exemplary Christian partner. Wherever it may please the Great Head of the Church to assign you a sphere, our earnest prayer is that you may long be spared to live and work for Jesus, and be made a blessing to many. We wish to you a safe and pleasant voyage to the far-off land New Zealand, and pray that you may speedily have a happy spiritual home, and though we grieve because on earth we never more may see your face, we shall anticipate an everlasting re-union in the world where there will be no farewells to lament, and no seas to divide, but where we shall be for ever with the Lord.—Signed on behalf of the above by W. A. Davis, pastor of the Church, and S. Harris, superintendent of the school."—Mr. Bayes then made a lengthy and suitable acknowledgement, and all present must have felt the truth of the pastor's opening remark, "It is proper and profitable for us thus to meet to express good wishes on behalf of our friends, and above all to commend them to the loving care of our gracious God." The meeting then terminated.

Wellingborough News, 12th July 1884, transcribed by Kay Collins

FAREWELL MEETING—On Thursday evening, the 3rd inst., about 40 of the choir and friends of the Old Baptist Chapel sat down to a social cup of tea, as a farewell meeting to Mr. Stringer, who is leaving Rushden. Tea over, Mr. S. Harris was asked to preside, and having opened the meeting with devotional exercises he afterwards made a short and suitable address, and concluded by calling upon Mr. Farey, as choirmaster, to make a presentation to Mr. Stringer as a mark of the respect and esteem of the choir. Mr. Farey acquitted himself very creditably, and on behalf of the members of the choir presented a very nice inlaid writing desk to Mr. C. Stringer. The recipient was evidently overcome by this display of kindly feeling, and returned his thanks for the present. The meeting was afterwards addressed by Messrs. S. Knight, sen., A. Corby, W. Sargent, W. Elliott, and recitations were given by Mr. Cheney and Mr. Barker, and a glee was sung by Misses B. Wilby and E. Denton, and Messrs. C. Stringer and J. Farey. Mr. Stringer afterwards sang Cassibianca, and a very pleasant evening was concluded with the Doxology, the company wishing Mr. Stringer happiness and prosperity in his new sphere of labour.

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