My dear friends,
After years of faithful and efficient service Mr. Corby has asked to be relieved from his post as afternoon superintendent in the Junior School. We are sorry, but at the same time cannot forget his many other labours, and, reluctantly, we have acceded to his request. We thank him most heartily for all he has done for our school and hope he will enjoy the comparative leisure of his Sunday afternoons.
We have invited Mr. H. Abrams to take Mr. Corby’s place and we are glad to announce his acceptance. Mr. Abrams Is no stranger to the work, and we are confident that the school will continue to thrive under his leadership. Mr. James Sykes, junior, is well qualified to take over the secretaryship vacated by Mr, Abrams, and with Mr. Fred Andrews as his assistant, we have been relieved of all anxiety for the future.
The time has come for an election of Deacons, and the attention of the Church members is directed to the arrangements now being made to carry this important business through in proper order. We trust that everyone concerned will give wise and prayerful thought to the selection of our spiritual leaders.
We also call attention to the Choir Festival which, after a lapse of some years, is being revived. We owe much to our choir, and we can all give expression to our thanks and appreciation on Sunday and Monday, February 17th and 18th.
We are now in a position to announce the opening services of the new Chapel at Chelveston on Thursday, March 6th, and invite all who are interested to be on the alert for full information.
Please book and reserve Friday evening, February 22nd, for the Rev. S. Pearce Carey’s Lecture on “Dr. William Carey.” Those of us who have read the new biography advise you and your friends not to miss a treat. The Church ought to be crowded.
We are arranging for a Baptismal Service : six young men and six young women have already made application. We believe there are others of varying ages, who have been contemplating a confession of Christ and membership in His Church. We earnestly invite them to make their desire known, and should they require any help in this matter we trust they will give the minister or some other trusted friend the privilege of assisting them.
We offer our sincere sympathy to many friends who have recently been laid aside, and wish for them a speedy recovery. Reference is made elsewhere to the losses we have sustained by death. We would again assure the bereaved relatives and friends of our affectionate regard and prayerful thought of them at this time.
J. A. Sutherland.
Reports of Meetings.
A magnificent start.
The annual Covenant service on January 1st was one of the best in recent years. Mr. Sutherland welcomed each arrival with a hearty handshake and a cheery “I wish you a happy new Year.” At six o’clock the tables were completely furnished with guests, the most noteworthy of whom was our greatly beloved and honour senior Deacon, Mr. David Darnell. We gave him an upstanding reception, and it was observed that none joined more heartily in the joyful demonstration than our vice-senior Deacon, Mr. Jonathan Lack, who had himself been absent from the last two New Year’s gatherings through physical infirmity. The viands with which the tables were laden were of the superior kind to which our lady friends have accustomed us, served in a manner to suit the most fastidious taste. Tea over, the Assembly Room was again filled for the meeting, over which Mr. Sutherland presided. We were favoured to be led in prayer once more by Mr. Darnell. Invited to speak he shook his head, negatively, but Mr. Lack responded to a similar call by testifying to God’s goodness to him, and urging upon young members to make good use of their Bibles and hymn books, storing their minds with the precious thoughts contained therein for use in life’s rainy days. Mr. Corby reviewed the events of the year, Mr. Colson and Mr. Hunt following with encouraging reports of the work at Chelveston and Higham Ferrers, respectively. The Pastor then read a letter, received by post that afternoon, from Miss Phyllis Harris, in India, and our sister was specially commended to God in prayer by us. Mr. Sutherland also referred to the presence of Mrs. Leonard Newell, back on holiday from Brisbane, Australia, and bringing greetings from (1) the City Tabernacle Church, of which her husband is a Deacon ; (2) Wondai and Speedwell, the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Perkins, their families and other friends, and (3) from Kalbah Church, of which our brother and former scholar, teacher and Church member, Rev. Sam Newell, is Pastor. The Covenant was read and ratified in the usual way, after which we had wise and weighty words of exhortation from Mr. Sutherland, leading up to the closing hymn, prayer, and Benediction.
Old People’s Tea.
A cold, wet, miserable afternoon was braved by 200 guests on New Year’s Eve, and 30 others had comforts sent out to them by the Committee of which Mrs. C. R. Linnitt again served as Secretary. Cars were loaned for the transport of many by Mr. Corby, Mr. Sharwood and Mr. Tom Smith. The programme in the evening was contributed to, musically, by Mrs. S. C. Brightwell, Miss Adah Bererill, Miss D. Stringer, Miss H. Gates, Miss V. Allen, Miss D. Pendered and Mr. Frank Stringer. The speakers were Mr. C. A. K. Green, Mr. B. Vorley, and Mr. Sutherland from the Chair. Two of the guests, viz., Mr. C. C. West and Mr. William Hardwick, also added to the happiness of the gathering. Miss Ada Green collected £10 to meet the expenses of the treat, and it proved just equal to the outlay. It was regretted by all that, having been instrumental in raising the necessary funds, our friend was unable, through indisposition, to share, as is her custom, in the entertainment of our aged friends. But everything went off with a fine swing, the event being to all today a joyous memory.
Teachers in conclave.
The Teachers’ annual meeting on January 17th was preceded by an excellently attended and well served tea. In opening the meeting Mr. Sutherland displayed a roll of paper a yard long, saying, “That’s our Agenda, let’s get at it without loss of time.” Reports presented were all good, showing as they did an increase in the number of scholars, a balance in hand, etc. After an active association with the School as a worker, extending over 35 years, Mr. Corby sought and obtained release. We were wise and grateful enough, however, to elect him an Honorary Superintendent, so that our friend retains all the rights and privileges of his former office with none of its exacting responsibilities. Miss Lilian Norman, also, withdrew from the position of leader of a Preparation Class, in which she had rendered fine service, thereby winning our heartiest approbation. To fill both these vacancies, Mr. Herbert Abrams was appointed, Mr. James Sykes, junior, succeeding to the secretarial office. The sitting lasted two hours. Next month we hope to publish a Sunday School Directory as a special supplement to the magazine.
Despite a wet evening the Choir Vestry was crowded on January 24th. The submission by the Pastor of twelve applications for membership was a joyful feature of the meeting. Most of the time, however, was spent in making a multitude of appointments, note of which we shall hope to make next month. Mrs. Tailby, in speaking to the motion for re-electing Mr. Corby as secretary, recalled the fact that 47 years ago that night she attended her first Church meeting, on which occasion Mr. Haydn Packwood was elected Church Secretary. This was a new departure as, till then, Mr. Bradfield, as pastor, had discharged such secretarial duties as came along. But his health was now failing, for which reason this measure of relief was sought and granted. Various friends suffering affliction were referred to by the Pastor, and a message of sympathy with Mrs. Sutherland was authorised to be sent.
Brethren who now retire are Mr. F. J. Sharwood, Mr. Ernest Lack, Mr. James Sykes, Mr. John Willmott, Mr. Herbert Abrams, Mr. Horace Wright, with Miss Williams. For the election that forthwith ensues procedure is as follows: First of all we nominate sixteen gentlemen and three ladies. All the members of the Church will be given an opportunity of participating in this, and nomination papers much be returned by Sunday, February 10th. The sixteen gentlemen and three ladies who receive the highest number of votes in the nomination Ballot will then have their names submitted to those in attendance at the Church meeting on February 21st, when the eight gentlemen and lady who “top the poll” will be declared elected. Readers will notice that while we speak of six brethren retiring, eight are to be elected. This is due, first, to the vacancy caused by the Home-going of our brother Mr. Fred Cowley, and, second, to the appointment of Mr. Jonathan Lack as a life Deacon.
Two Careys will visit Rushden this month. Both are good and great men, and of each of them we would say to our readers “Hear ye him.”
On February 5th, Rev. Carey Bonner comes to the Independent Wesleyan School-room, Queen Street, on behalf of the united Schools of the town, to Lecture on “Child Life according to the Poets.” A choir of little children, with two lady soloists, will assist, and all who attend will share a rich treat.
On February 22nd, Rev. S. Pearce Carey, M.A., will lecture on the life of his great grand-father, Dr. William Carey, in our Church, and lecturer and subject should command an absolutely crowded audience. The event will be unique, and, albeit the date falls on Friday the awkwardest night of the week we must all be there.
Between these two dates will come the annual meeting of the recreation Club, in the Assembly Room, on Thursday, February 7th, when reports will be given and officers elected. Mr. Sutherland is engaged to take the chair at 7.30. Also, Choir Sunday, February 17th, when Miss Mabel Bean (Mezzo-soprano) and Miss Mercy Collisson (Contralto), Gold Medalist, will sing morning and evening, and, with Miss Maud Freeman (Solo Violinist), Gold Medalist, and Miss Daisy Newton (Elocutionist), will take part in a special musical service in the afternoon. On the Monday following our Choir will give a rendering of Haydn’s “Creation,” providing soloists from among themselves. Come with your friends.
Finally, on Thursday, February 28th, the Parent’s annual Tea and Meeting will take place.
Mr. Edward Scroxton, who passed away on December 7th, aged 73 years, was a son of Mr. Noah Scroxton, and a brother of our old friend Ben, our trusty Chapel Keeper for so many years. Brought up in our Sunday School, he reached the period of middle life, after which, for awhile, we lost touch with him. Of late years, however, it was our joy to welcome him again to our services, which he attended regularly, finding great delight therein. Mrs. Scroxton predeceased her husband fourteen months ago, and, saddening reflection, within a period of eight months her two sisters, Mrs. William Green and Mrs. Alfred Linnitt, followed. As Victor Hugo said “If man has his voice, and Nature her’s, then events have their voices also.” And the message which this series of Providential happenings seems to proclaim is surely this: “Here we have no continuing city.”
With deep sorrow we record the decease of Mrs. Charles D. Mason, of 63, Grove Road, which took place on January 9th, at the age of 63 years. Our friend had been in very poor health for some years past, and the tragic loss of Edna, in 1920, was a blow from which she never recovered. Mrs. Mason had been in life-long connection with our Church and school, and at one time was leading soprano in our choir. To the last her interest in the welfare of the Cause was keen, while she ever delighted to be in her place at our services. With Mr. Mason and Mrs. C. H. Robinson (still best remembered by many as Miss Gertrude Mason), and with Mrs. Mason’s three sisters, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Jabez Lack and Miss Martha Harris, much sympathy is felt by all in our fellowship.
Many of our readers will be interested to know that Mrs. Stephen Harris, the last years of whose life were spent in the Home for the Bind at Manchester, has been called Home.
At the last moment we hear of the passing of three other friends. They are (1) Mr. Henry Hanger, of South Terrace, who was our organ blower for some years. He died on January 22nnd, at the age of 72 years. (2) Mr. John Joyce, of Turnell’s Lodge, the father of Mrs. Alfred Willmott, who survived Mrs. Joyce only a year and a half. (3) Mr. Charles Henry Clayton, of 61, Little Street, whose long and painful illness terminated on January 28th. Sympathy with all bereaved friends is expressed in “Our Minister’s Letters.”