175 years remembered

Home » Church News » 175 years remembered
Image: 1992 Tillotsons with Michael Chester
Image: 1992 Tillotson wedding congregation

This year we planned to celebrate 175 years of Methodism in Wantage. We had planned various events, including an exhibition at the Museum. Instead I will post some memories on our church web-site from the past 175 years. Some memories have been taken from the booklet which Keith Robbins edited for the 150th Anniversary, with some added text and some photos. If you have any photos or memories you would like to be posted on the web-site, please get in touch with me, June Grunwald.

The first article is about an event in 1992.

A very special event happened for Linda and Rodney Tillotson in Spring 1992. "Many of you will remember being turned out of the Church at the end of 1991 so the redevelopment work could start, but that we were expecting to return during the middle of February 1992. Rodney and I were engaged on Valentine's Day 1992, and were originally thinking of an Easter wedding. April 18th or 25th seemed possible for us, but other things were booked in the Church. Trying to book the hall was a problem too. The first date we could book everything was May 30th. On the Good Friday Walk, April 17th, we thought May 30th should be no problem for us using the Church, but others thought it showed a lot of faith. We were not particularly worried. Easter came and went, and the Church was still like a building site.

At the beginning of May we were getting a little concerned. Michael made provisional arrangements for us to use St Mary's chapel, so even he was getting worried. Michael Chester was the Minister at the time and can be seen in one of the photos. On May 10th we decided we would look inside the Church. Our hearts sank. It was a tip. The builders had just discovered the roof needed to come off again and he raised to get the organ pipes back in place. It was really looking impossible for us to have our wedding in the Church. During the service that day we could have cried as Michael announced that they were determined to be back in Church for May 24th and the builders had been told they were to be out of the building by the 12th.

There were rotas all ready to be signed. In four days, the Church was cleaned literally from top to bottom by many volunteers. That was the way it had to be to get the carpet laid. It was done by Sunday 17th, so the Church carpet fitter could go on holiday. By the end of the next week the Godfreys felt they could go on holiday — a well-deserved one after this mammoth task. On Wesley Day, May 24th with six days to go, we were back in Church for the first service, on chairs the pews were stored in Joyce Sharpe's barn and without an organ, as it had brick in the pipes. We could not go without music at our wedding, so John Matthews offered his portable keyboard which Robin Walker played, we changed our music and well ...... We had a marvellous day, but who else could have timed everything so finely to fit together as they did?" In the photo you may be able to make out Sue and Andrew Lockley in the second row; Tony Walker (bearded) and Heather Walker; near the window Audrey and Arthur Cook.

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Coffee 4 free clip art
WMC: Mon 27 Sep 9:26am

With more people continuing to receive their doses of the vaccine and without the expected high spike in Covid cases in the summer holidays, we are pleased to announce that Community Café will resume in October. Every Monday from 4th October, 9 am to 12 noon. For further information please contact June G or...

Image: 4- The Next Steps Poster - Harvest
WMC: Thu 16 Sep 3:00pm

This year we are happy to say that we shall be able to hold out Harvest Festival in the Chapel on Sunday September 26th, and, as is our practice, we will be supporting the life-changing work of All We Can.Their theme for this year's campaign is "Next Steps", focussing on the Nkayi district of Zimbabwe, and during the service, we will hear stories of the community from Nkayi...

streetpastorslogo-M215991
WMC: Wed 15 Sep 3:12pm

Sharon Tedford is a Christian singer, songwriter and will be performing at 7:30 pm on Friday 15th October at Wantage Baptist Church, Mill Street. Wantage and Grove Street Pastors welcome back to Wantage this October. Free entry with an opportunity to give to Wantage & Grove Street Pastors. Advance booking is essential — call: 07554 655 594 or email: wantageandgrove@...