Newchurch Methodist Church

In the heart of the Rossendale Valley

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History of the Church - War Time 1915

Written and Researched by Joe Teasdale

In September 1915, the Trustees passed a resolution requesting the married men of the school and congregation, the married women, the bachelors and the maidens to arrange a series of four social entertainments during the forthcoming winter

The war had been going on for about a year, when the following minute was passed: ‘After discussion as to the damage to our property by hostile aircraft, it was decided that:

(1) We insure the Church Premises against damage for £5000.

(2) We insure the houses at Higher Limes belonging to the trust for £500’.

About this time a list of members who were on ‘Active Service’ was published

The old school room had class rooms on the ground floor, and a balcony upstairs. This balcony has been filled in to make the large hall which we now possess

Each year, the property committee inspected the building and gave its report to the Trustees, and each year, the treasurer and the property secretary walked round the boundary wall to see if it was needing any repairs. In both 1917 and 1924, Bridleway was referred to as a CART ROAD in the minutes.

In 1921, a special service was held, for the unveiling of the memorial tablet to all the members who had died on active service during the war.

About this time the ‘Newchurch Wesleyan Sports Club’ was formed, with special membership cards covering all the activities. They had a large playing field situated behind Edgeside Baptist Church. As a child I can remember being taken to a ‘sports day’ up there. This field was finally sold in 1934.

In 1925 the trustees purchased extra land from Ashlands, so that a rectangular building could be constructed alongside the school room. The tablet commemorating the erection of this new building is at present on the wall in the entrance hail (see print on next page).

In 1927, an advert was placed, for rebuilding the graveyard wall, along the bottom part of Higher Limes, and in 1930 the wall alongside Bridleway was repaired.. In March 1928, there was a serious fire in the School. Services were transferred to Bethesda for a few weeks.

Up until 1932, we had always been known as “The Wesleyan Church, Newchurch”, with the advent of Methodist Union, the title was changed to “The Methodist Church, Newchurch.”

A notice was placed in the classroom USED for smoking, to this effect: ‘Smoking is not allowed in this room on a Sunday’ - as a primary scholar I used to go in for my Dad, and can say quite definitely — it didn’t last long!!!

In both 1935 and 1937, the Trustees reported big worries on the financial side.