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Heddon Methodist Church Centenary 1877-1977

Heddon Methodist Church Centenary 1877-1977

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Heddon on the Wall Methodist Church celebration of their centenary in 1977.
Heddon on the Wall Methodist Church celebration of their centenary in 1977.

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Published by: heddonhistory on Feb 13, 2013
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The iollowing Ministers have served at Heddon-on-the-Wall:
1

877-1 888

H. H. McCullach H. S. Eckersley T. R. Pickering

887-1 888 1888-1891 1 891 -1 894
1

W. Arrowsmith
T. Slader D. Knapp E. Coulson

894-1 897-1 1 900-1 1 903-1 1 906-1 1 909-1
1

1

897 900 903 906 909 91 2

W. Sackett W. Kelson J. Cartwright W. Keating G. W. Polkinhorne
H. G. Godwin H, G. Atwater J, G. Penman

1912-1915
920 923 926 930 932 935 937 940 1940-1547 1 947-1 950 1 950-1 956 1 956-1 960 1 960-1 963 1 963-1 966 1 966-1 970
1

91 5-1

J. Lee F. T. Bramwell G. Titterington W. Hayes R. M. Davison R. Taylor G. Robson A. Candeland 1970-1971 M. A. Brooks The Centenary of our Church is now the centralthought in the minds of all our members and adherents. Offlcially the Centenary takes place on the 21st May 1977, but, as is the custom, the Anniversary will be held on Good Friday,

920-1 1 923-1 1 926-1 1 930-1 1 932-1 1 935-1 1 937-1
1

T. Ewbank S, J. Gibson
G. Parsons

S. Parker H. Wilkinson J. Stewart

8th April, 1977. Centenary means history, but to many of us it means memories and what memoriesl Our generation are now making memories which we hope will be remembered by our children in the years that lie ahead. We now take this opportunity of looking back at the beginnings of Methodism in Heddon. In and around 1860, a series of revivaj meetings organised by the then Heddon Methodist Society, were held in Heddon. The buildings in use at that time as a Chapel were two cottages. At those Revival Meetings a number of men, mostly officials at the Heddon Pit were converted. Amongst those officials was one John Snowden who was the Brakesman (Winding Engine Man) at the pit. He then lived in 'The Square' where most of his 16 children were born. In due course the two cottages were replaced by what is now known as the Chapel and John Snowden was privileged to be one of the workers of the Society who made this possible. In 1873 new developments took place in the colliery belonging to Mr. Thomas Bates which necessitated the erection of several additional houses at Heddon. This gave an impetus to the religious life of the village and a society class was formed by Rev. James Clapham, one of the circuit ministers stationed at Lemington-on-Tyne. Services were then held every Sunday night in a cottage occupied by Mr. Guy Murray, but soon the accommodation became too small, which resufted in steps being taken to erect a chapel in the village in1877.

With the generous help of Mr. William Stephenson, of Throckley House (father of SirWilliam H. Stephenson), Mr. Thomas Bates, of Heddon Hall, and Mr. John Clayton of the Chesters, the chapel was opened for public worship on May 21st, 1877, by the Rev. Thomas Overton, superintendent minister of the Blenheim Street Circuit, Newcastle.
The cost of building the chapel in
1907
1877 was

around about f,450.

Its entrance porch was formerly about the centre of the south wall, but in the present Sunday School was added to the Chapel Building and Joyce Snowden, the youngest daughter of John Snowden, together with others of her same age group, were privileged to lay foundation stones of the new building. In this particular age group were Ada Jackson, Evelyn Anderson, Maggie
Snowden.

At that time the total inhabitants of the houses in and around the Chapel would not exceed 100 and quite a number did live in 'The Square',
Trustees Elected at Opening of Church,1877. Charles John Stephenson, William Haswell Stephenson, Edward Richardson, William Harriman, Arthur Richardson, Thonras Barras Sambridge, Thomas Arthur Potts, Robert Bell, Utrick Alexander Ritson, James Stobert, Guy Murray, Robert Robson, Willianr Kirton, Robert Haworth, John Charlton, William Shaw,

Heddoq-o4-t!e-lllall

At this time of celebration it is only right we should remember a pioneer of Methodism in Heddon and he was T. H. Jackson.
Thomas Henry (better known as Harry) Jacksorr was for many years secretary and delegate of the Heddon Branch of the Northumberland Miners Association. He was a quiet and unobtrusive man, who went about doing good without publishing his work to the world. He left it to speak for itselT. As a representative trade unionist he was wise and level-headed, and could secure more for those he represented than noise and bluster couf d ever attain.

He was a Christian indeed, in whom there was no guile. A life-long total abstainer, he took an active interest in Band of Hope work. A Sunday School teacher and superintendent in connection with the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Heddon-on-the-Wall. In 1881 he became a local preacher of that body. He was also chapel steward and a trustee. lt is no reflection on any to say that he was the mainstay of the.HeddonWesleyan Church at that time.

It is sometimes questioned that heredity has anything to do with character. will not discuss it here; but Harry Jackson came of a good ancestry. His grandfather was by profession an architect, and was associated with the famous Richard Grainger in some of his plans for the improvement and beautification of Newcastle-on-Tyne.
I

Harry was born on June 4th, 1858, in St. John's Lane, a roadway of old Newcastle that connected Westgate Road, or street,.as it was then called, with the Bigg Market. This lane was demolished many years ago. Misfortune overtook the family. His father and mother died while he was q u ite young. The only shelter that could be found for the fatherless and motherless lad was the Newcastle Workhouse. From this we can understand how his life was given to the service of the poor and the needy, and to every cause that was calculated to improve their position. He was put to work in the bakery of the Workhouse, There was not much sympathy to be found in those establishments in that day. They were shelters; but also prisons for the young such as Harry. They were workhouses indeed. Harry's young spirit revolted at this drudgery and treatment, and he make up his mind that he would escape from it.

The schoolmaster of the Institution was in the habit of taking those under his charge for short walks into the country. One day they went as far as Denton Burn, two or three miles from the town, when, unperceived, Harry slipped out of the ranks and lay down in a nearby cornfield. After he thought that he was quite safe he shifted his quarters, but, alas! he was homeless. That night he slept in an archway near the Cattle Market. His liberty was only short-lived, as through the action of a relative he soon found himself again a prisoner within the Workhouse walls.
Even at this time that quiet perseverance and determination which marked his whole career in after life was strongly in evidence. He was still determined to risk all if it would only lead to f reedom. A little time passed and he, along with another youthf ul inmate, made his second escape. This time for good, so that he ceased to be either a cost or a profit to the ratepayers.

He had again nowhere to go, but as he had learned that there were already some workhouse lads engaged at the old Coronation Pit, North Walbottle, he and his mate made their way there. The first they saw when they got there was a man, Wm. Row, engaged in filling a barrow with coal. When this man saw the strange lads dressed in their corduroy trousers and Glengarry caps, he correctly guessed where they had come from. The poor help the poor far oftener than the rich do, and so this man's heart was filled with compassion for the two f riendless lads. Hetookthem into his house,fed them, and with him they lodged. He got them work at the pit, and thus Harry Jackson entered into the coal mining industry in connection with which his whole lifetime was afterwards passed. He was about ten years of age at this time"

Fortunately, he fell into the hands of people who practised Christianity, as well as professed it. I will ask no higher state in Heaven than just to be placed beside the man whom Harry saw filling coals into a barrow when first he sought work at a colliery. Harry, with his mate, and some other Workhouse lads, commenced to attend the Wesleyan Chapel, and from that time was always closley associated with the Methodist Church.

to Wylam, the place where George Stephenson (of railway fame) was

The old coronation Pit closed down in the year 1873. Harry then removed

born. There he worked as a putter, as he had done at the old Coronation Pit. He stayed there for only about twelve months, when he secu red work as a hewer at Heddon and lived, until his marriage, with Guy Murray. At that place he lived, and there he died, at the age of 71 years.

Church. Some have had positions of responsibility given them which have proved a blessing to the fellowship. A new pulpit was designed by the Rev. W. Hayes which modernised the look of our Church and an electronic organ was installed. The garden was redesigned and the old out-house was rebuilt and is used as an additional fellowship room. During this period good fellowship has been established with St, Andrews Church and the vicar, Rev. Kenneth Farrance, and recently we shared a service with the Roman Catholics from Throckley, one of our favourite"l[tT,'ttt scenes of rife, " in joy, In trouble and"hunging f he praises of my God shall stili My heart and tongue employ. Of His deliverance I will boast, Till all that are distressed From my example comfort take, And charm their griefs to rest. C magnify the Lord with me, With me exalt His name; When in distress to Him I called. He to my rescue came. Ihe hosts of God encamp around The dwellings of the just; Deliverance He affords to all Who on His succour trust. O make but trial of His love; Experience will decide How blest they are, and only they, Who in His truth confide. rear Him, ye saints, and you will thern Have nothing else to fear; Make you His services your delight, He'll make your wants His care.

ln addition to his trade union work, he took an active part in the Miners, Permanent Relief Fund, and for some time sat on its Committee. He was also a member of the local School Management Committee, When the 18g4 Local Government Act was passed he was elected a member of the Parish council. From the commencement of the parliamentary career of the late Charles Fenwick he was one of his most staunch supporters and workers. He was for some time secretary of the Heddon Liberal Association. On August 28th, 1889, he was married at Throckley Wesleyan Church to Annie J. Jordon, of Heddon... It is also good to remember some of the past helpersOrganists:Mrs, Stobbard, W. S, Shield and J. S. Brown. Treasurers: T. H. Jackson, T. O, Shield. Society Stewards: Norman Brown, J. J, Jackson, Walter Swinbourne. Other Helpers; Mr. Snowdon, Mr. Hawkins, Mr. G. Anderson. There are those whose names never went into official list of officers or helpers in connection with our church life but whose power for good;whose lives and personalities meant much to our church and village life. During the last twenty five years much change has taken place in our village with the building of new estates and many of the new residents have attended our

indeed, a goodly heritage. They, today, are making the history of tomorrow. May it prove even more glorious than the past.

Those members and adherents of Heddon Methodist Church today have,

GREETINGS From:Rev, M. WESLEY EARL, Chairman of the District.

Heddon-on-the-Wall Methodist Church Centenary.
It gives me great pleasure to offer our congratulations to the members of the Heddon-on-the-Wall Methodist Church as they celebrate the Centenary of their building. The whole of our large District shares in their happiness. The Heddon Society is typical of many in this area. lt grew with the development of the coal mining industry and produced a very vigorous type of Methodism. Now that the pits have been worked out and closed, the communities have changed, Heddon, like others, has become a growing residential area, housing people who largely work elsewhere. Through the changes the church has quietly gone on with its life. lt has never been large in size; but what it lacked in numbers, it made up in faithfulness. We are grateful to God for the way He has sustained and blessed

during the years that have passed. As one 100 year period ends, another begins. The days that lie ahead are full of challenge and opportunity. Whilst they won't bring any easy options for the Christians, they will be days when a strong witness to our Lord will be needed more than ever before. Churches like Heddon-on-the-Wall will have a very important part to play. We pray that as it moves on towards its second Centenary it will be enriched with grace and strength, May God bless all who belong to it as they venture out into the future.
From: Rev. GEOFFREY STONE, Superintendent Minister, Newcastle upon Tyne West Circuit. Congratulations to Heddon-on-the-Wall Methodist Church from the Newcastle upon Tyne (West) circuit on your centenary! The vision and faith of those who established thefirst Methodist society in Heddon all those years ago has been amply justified; since then, the movement of population westwards from the centre of Newcastle into the neighbouring villages has made the present work of the Heddon Methodist church even more strategically important. To have been able to witness during the last hundred years to the love of God in Christ, to Christ's saving power from sin and to the renewing work of the Holy Spirit is something for which we should be humbly thankful. But new occasions teach new duties, and we have not only to look back with thanksgiving but to look forward with hope, looking for God's guidance that we may serve Him faithfully during the difflcult days which may lie ahead of His Church, Itrust that this centenary year will be a time of great encouragement and blessing for you all. Geoffrev Stone.

it

From: Rev. M. BROOKS, Minister, While we have been preparing ior the Centenary celebrations of our lovely Chapel at Heddon-on-the-Wall, I have found that my love and appreciation of the Chapel has grown considerably, Not just the building, but perhaps rather because of the wonderf ul people who found Christ as their Saviour in this place, and then lived out their faith in this village. I have been spiritually enriched by hearing of their lives and witness. The quality of their Christian life has left an abiding impression for good upon Church and Community, and the desperate need of our day and age is for such faithful Christian discipleship.

There have been mor_e changes and discoveries in the last hundred years than in all the thousands of years belo1e that, but some things remain unchanged. Amongst these are man's need of God, and the power 6t crrrist to supp'iy a man's spiritual needs.
than in

The work and virtues of the Christian Church is needed even more todav
1877.

. I pray. that o.ur centenary celebrations may so encourage and inspire all who worship at Heddon, that the word of God may prospeimore abundanfly than ever before. Let us wo_rship, pray and work for the saving of precious soul6 and the glory of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God bless us all, Michael H, Brooks.
From: Rev. Rev. Dr. COLIN M. MORRIS, President of the Conference. It is my privilege to send greetings to you all on behalf of the Methodist church. Your centenary symbolises an importanttruth, In good days and bad, year in.and year out, christians in this place have stood foithe things of God, given themselves to the service of their neighbour and made intercedsion for a world which has changed beyond recognition since your doors first opened. You and those who came before you have added a pr6cious strand to tie rich tapestry of the church's living history, And in this you should take great pride. The sheer survival 9f lhe church against all odds is a miracle, and your fidelityhas helped to make it possible. Manytimes the church has undergohe a harrowing, and none more painful than in the last half century when our Jocietv has.neither persecuted n.or indulged us, but virtually ignored us. lt takes a special kind of courage to live through the wilderness-years-, when the onward piod of G-od's People is punctuated only by sun, sand and distance, But then, christian discipleship for most of us is ninety-nine per cent sheer dogged persistence and only one per cent exaltation. As Jesus told his followers-i'He that endures to the end shall be saved,"

And we've not reached the end yet by a long chalk. For the christian, the future is the most important dimension. So celebrate well your past, but don't !nge1 tgo. long about it, Fix your eyes on the horizon and get moving again. For God has a challenging and exciting future awaiting you. your ch'urdh is neither a monument nor a museum. lt is a staging post on the journey to God's beckoning Kingdom. May the Grace of the Lord Jesus strengihen aird protect you and those who come after you as surely as it did thosewho went befo're you, COLIN M. MORRIS, President. SPECIAL CENTENARY CELEBRATION SERVICES AND EVENTS
1977

February 20th

7.30 p.m. Brig. Molly Scott, Salvation Army.

March

1Sth

Rev. Dr. Leslie Newman.
7.30 p.m. Rev. K. Waights.
10.45

March 22nd

April 3rd April 7th
GOOD FRIDAY

6.00

a.m. Mr. S. Tippens. p.m. Mr. S. Tippens.
Farrance-Joint Service.

7.30 p.m. Rev. K.

April 8th

3.p.m.Rev. M. Brooks. 6 p.m. Rev. Edwin Turner. Chairman; J. H. D. Walton Music : Hadrian Singers,

EASTER DAY April 10th
May

6 p.m, Rev. G.

10.45 a.m. Rev. M, Brooks and Rev. B. Smith.

Stone. Music: Hadrian Singers.

1st

.

2.30 p.m. Rev. G. Dougill, S.S. Anniversary 1877 Theme. 6 p.m. Rev. G. Stone.

May2lst
May

7.30 p.m. Supper and Centenary Concert-Hadrian
Singers.
10.45 a.m. Rev. R, M. Davison. 6 p.m.Rev. R. M. Davison. 10.45 a,m. Rev. G, Chadderton. 6 p.m. Dr. A. Swindale. 6 p.m. United Communion Service,

22nd 5th

June July

3rd 7th 4th

St. Andrews.

Rev. M. Brooks.
10,45 a,m, Rev. M. Brooks.

August

6 p.m. Father Boyle,

September October

10.45 a.m. Rev. G. Titterington. 6 p.m. Rev. G. Titterington.
,7.30 p.m.

1st October 2nd
November

Social and Kern Supper

10.45 a.m, Rev. D. Kinch 6 p.m. Rev. E. Mason 10.45 a.m. Rev. R. M. Purvis 6 p.m. Rev. Wesley Earl. 10.45 a.m, Tov Service

6th 4th 25th

December December

6 p.m. Mr. S. Starkey 4 p.m. Carol Service.
1977

CHURCH OFFICERS Church Stewards:

Mr. R. Browell, J.P., Overdale, Heddon Banks, NE15 OBU.
Mr. J. Nicholson,2T Valerian Avenue, NE15 OEA.

Church Council Secretary: Mrs. S. Booth,24 Marius Avenue, NE15 0EB. Church Treasurer: Mr. G. W. Charlton, Garden House, NE15 0DR. Senior Communion Steward: Mrs. O. M. French, 38 Aquila Drive, NE15 0BS. Women's Own Secretary: Mrs. J. Bailey,10 Clayton Avenue, Chapel House,
NE5 1HL.

Home Mission Secretary: Mr, G. W. Charlton, Garden House, NEl5 0DR. Propedy Committee Secretary: Mr. G, W. Charlton, Garden House, NE15
ODR.

land NE20 9AN. Organist: Mr. J. Nicholson, 27 Valerian Avenue, NE15 OEA. Planned Giving: Miss K. Thurman, 4 Remus Avenue, NE15 0BT. Leaders: G, Charlton, R. Browell, J. W. Nicholson, P. A. Browell, Jennie Shield and Dorothy Muldoon. Property Committee: S. J. Brown, G. W. Charlton, T. Tulip, Snr., R. Browell, J. W. Nicholson, D. H. S. Mansfield, Ada Lydia Shipley, Edith Tulip, Mary,A,nnie

Senior Property Steward: Mr. J. S. Brown, Donkins House Cottages, Ponte-

Watson, Jennie Shield and Josephine Mason.

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