Newchurch Methodist Church

In the heart of the Rossendale Valley

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History of the Church - The Ladies Aid 1919 - 2000

Written and Researched by Joe Teasdale

Although the Ladies Aid was inaugurated on November 6th 1919, no records seem to have been kept until September 1922.

Below is a copy of the minutes of the first General Meeting held September 10th.

  Mrs. Brocklehurst in the chair.
Resolved: That the following Ladies be elected officers and committee for the session 1922 - 1923.
President Mrs. A. C. Hopkins.
Vice Presidents: Mrs. J. Ashworth Mrs. J. E. Lord
Mrs. J. T. Hurst Mrs. Brocklehurst
Treasurer Mrs. Ernest Taylor
Secretary Mrs. R. H. Waddington
Roll Secretary Mrs. E. L. Pidsley
Picnic Secretary Mrs. T. W Whittaker
Committee Mrs. S. Whitehead, Mrs. T. Hill, Mrs. Jas. Lord, Mrs. M. Whitehead, Mrs. Fred Brooks, Mrs. Fred Lord, Mrs. J. Birtwhistle, Mrs. A. Hirst, Mrs. F Whitehead and Mrs. L. Stephenson.
Tea provided by Mrs. Whittaker, Mrs. Grimshaw and Mrs. Halliwell. Collection £1. 19s. 0d.


Meetings were held fortnightly on Tuesday afternoons commencing at 3 pm., and tea was provided by two or three of the members in turn. This must have been a fairly substantial meal, as in November 1931 it was decided make the tea much plainer, and do without cakes. The first recorded Opening Social was held on October 17th, 1922, and the gentlemen were specially invited to this.

The young ladies of the Sunday School were also invited to other socials later. The number of members for the 1922/23 session was 89.

The first Ladies Aid Sunday was on 18th February, 1923, when the collection was £21 15s Od. In 1925 it was decided to alter their special Sunday to the first Sunday in December, which is when it is held now. Over the years, the Ladies Aid has contributed a considerable sum of money to the running of this Church, and, since Stewardship was introduced, outside charities have also benefited.



1919 - 1922 Mrs. W. J. Manistre
1922 - 1924 Mrs. A. G. Hopkins 1922 - 1926 Mrs. R. H. Waddington
1924 - 1927 Mrs. G. Brown 1926 - 1932 Mrs. F Brooks
1927 - 1930 Mrs. R. A. Rees
1930 - 1933 Mrs. J. W. Haswell 1932 - 1935 Mrs. C. Shipley
1933 - 1936 Mrs. E. Sutton 1935 - 1939 Mrs. F Scarr
1936 - 1939 Mrs. D. Dugard
1939 - 1943 Mrs. J. R. Bailey 1939 - 1979 Mrs. H. Walsh
1943 - 1946 Rev. H. Greaves
1946 - 1950 Mrs. F. Collier
1950 - 1954 Mrs. C. F Hesling
1954 - 1957 Mrs. W. H. Hopkins
1957 - 1962 Mrs. P. Hutchinson
1962 - 1966 Mrs. S. Mortimer
1966 - 1968  
1968 - 1971

Mrs. R. M. Smith

1971 - 1975 Mrs. J. H. South
1975 - 1979 Mrs. A. B. Bailey
1979 - 1986 Mrs. A. Brazier 1979 - 1995 Mrs. N. Whitbread
1986 - 1991 Rev.A Staton
1991 - 1996 Rev.A Brown 1995 - 2000 Mrs. J Altham


In 1925 the men of the Church gave a concert at which the following words were sung (to the tune Excelsior). Composed by E. Lewis Pidsley and Edmund Stansfield.

1. The Autumn day was fading fast
As through the Chapel yard did pass
A Lady who had thought and schemed
To form a class that others dreamed
A Ladies Aid, A Ladies Aid.

  2. Before the afternoon was o’er
There came along another score
Each on the self same business bent
Her brain to cudgel and invent
A Ladies Aid, A Ladies Aid.

3 They settled down - the minutes passed,
The leader said, we’ll not be fast
Let’s choose a strong and able hand
Of willing ladies to commend
The Ladies Aid, A Ladies Aid.

4 The form of meeting they decide
And Mrs. Hopkins must preside
Then Mrs. Pidsley reads the list
To see if anyone has missed
The Ladies Aid, The Ladies Aid.

5 Then Mrs. Brooks the minutes reads
The music our Selina leads
Then Mrs. Rushton reads a verse
To nobler thoughts she tries to nurse
The Ladies Aid, The Ladies Aid.

6 ‘When summer comes and winter’s o’er
The go in charas o’er the moor
Leaving their husbands all alone
In doleful silence - to bemoan
The Ladies Aid, The Ladies Aid.

7 We’re short of brass, the Trustees said
Disaster hovers o’er our head
But Ethel Lord spoke up, amain
If we give now, they’ll ask again
The Ladies Aid. The Ladies Aid.

8 The night is clark, the tempest roars
Miss Woosey speaks to Mrs. Shores
Lets give them thirty pounds or more
Perhaps that will teach them to adore
The Ladies Aid, The Ladies Aid.

9 So here’s a greeting warm and free
Life, health and joy - prosperity
Let every man who’s gathered here
United rise to praise and cheer
The 1.adies Aid, The Ladies Aid.

Singing has always been an important part of the Ladies Aid meetings, and in 1977, Mrs. Mary Hoyle (Edmund Stansfield’s daughter) wrote this to the tune of ‘She’s a lassie from Lancashire’.

We are lassies in Lancashire,
We belong to the Ladies Aid,
Newchurch Methodist Ladies Aid,
join us please do.
We meet every alternate week,
we have talks on all subjects,
After the last hymn we all get together and have our biscuits and tea.

Mrs. Walsh is our secretary,
Mary Hoyle our treasurer.
Annie lngham brews tip for us,
the committee wash up.
Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Teasdale
Mrs. Rothwell and Lily Halstead
Take it in turns to preside over the meetings of Newchurch Ladies Aid

If you happen to feel unwell
the sick visitors on you call.
At each meeting we contribute
to the penny plate.
Kathleen Halstead’s in charge of this,
She will see that you get some flowers,
Maybe some biscuits, or even fruit from the Newchurch Ladies Aid.

So dear ladies it’s up to you,
if you wish to join us please do.
Half past seven we meet downstairs
every other Tuesday.
Mrs. Stott is our oldest member,
She was 88 in September.
So you see you are never too old to join the Ladies Aid.

Both these songs give you some idea of the work, and the people responsible at the time.

Nowadays, there is also a Ladies Sewing Group, who have created various banners which hang in the chapel at appropriate times of the year.