Calling the faithful city back to the faithful God

As time went on congregations and SS scholars increased while at the same time as these went up the condition of the building went steadily down. After all, the wooden hut had given splendid service for nearly 30 years first at Kempsey, then at Swinesherd and latterly at Red Hill. It was no surprise, then, to find that something had to be done regarding a new and more permanent structure.

It was perhaps fortunate for the workers at Red Hill that 1889 marked the 25th anniversary of the opening of the chapel at Sansome Walk, because on 22 July of that year at a public meeting a special fund was launched, with a target of £1,000 (£252 having already been collected). The purpose of this fund was not only to enable the church at Sansome Walk to clear a debt and to provide additional classrooms at their premises but also to fund a new mission hall at Red Hill.

As part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations a 5-day ‘Canadian Bazaar’ was held from 17-21 November with the aim of reaching the target. Before the bazaar started £500 was still needed. After it closed and all expenses had been paid, a balance remained of £500-2s-7d! And so in November 1890, just after Rev Lewitt retired and before Rev Forbes Jackson came to take his place, the church was able to accept the tender of Messrs Bromage and Evans to erect a new brick chapel in Cannon Street for the princely sum of £375 – although the furniture and other items brought the total up to about £550! The Architect was Mr Sutton, who had also acted as architect for the Kempsey and Rainbow Hill chapels.

The old wooden chapel was removed – one account (Souvenir of the Centenary Celebrations 1903 Baptist Sunday School, Worcester by James Mayglothling) says ‘it was transferred to St Clement’s church authorities and may now be seen in Church Walk’ – that was in 1903 of course: not there now! Another account records that it was sold to Dr Strange for use as a soup kitchen. Perhaps the two were the same?

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