From that time up to the early 1960s recorded information about the activities and organisations of the church is patchy, to say the least. The Second World War and its after effects took their toll on the band of workers, many young men in particular not returning to the chapel after the horrors of war. In August 1943, for example, morning Sunday School was discontinued ‘owing to a lack of response’.
Things generally seemed to go down a bit, so much so that in 1943 Mr Wheeler made an appeal for support from Sansome Walk for our special services – these would normally mean Anniversaries of various sorts – Chapel, SS – or Harvest, although for many years the Good Friday service for Worcester Baptist Church was held at Red Hill, usually led in latter years by Mr Reg Hook from Sansome Walk. Nevertheless during September 1943 open air meetings were held in different parts of the neighbourhood before Sunday evening services.
In 1946 a fund was launched for a new organ and this was installed in September 1948 – a second hand American organ/harmonium (which required the player constantly to pedal away in order to produce any sound!). Stan Giles had already been the chapel pianist/organist for a good number of years – by the time he retired from that position in 1992 he had served amazingly for 64 years!
Frank Wheeler resigned as Superintendent in 1949 and Mr George Collins (Beat Clinton’s brother/Di Levin’s uncle) was elected in his place. The following year saw the death of Mr Wheeler, a tireless worker for so many years. Indeed over the 1920s, 30s and 40s his name is synonymous with all that took place at Red Hill.
The years after the war and through the 1950s were difficult, requiring perseverance and dedication without much outwardly progress. The evening congregations were poor and in those days to reach a total offering of £1 was considered good – the average being 17s6d! The Sunday School, like many others, also declined gradually in numbers and it was difficult to keep youngsters in the church once they reached early teenage. There was a Junior Christian Endeavour for a year or two at the end of the decade but didn’t survive for long.
The evening services, as they had been over the years, were faithfully served by lay preachers drawn not only from the Baptist family but also from other churches from around Worcestershire. Many were faithful in their exposition of the Word, usually taking a single text, but there was no continuity of teaching. Some were real characters. One very Welsh preacher used to recite all the verses of each hymn beforehand in a rich lilting accent, so much so that the actual singing afterwards was something of an anti-climax! Communion, as was the custom with most free churches, was always a separate short service after the main worship, giving an opportunity for some to leave. For a period in the late 50s/early 60s the minister at Sansome Walk, Rev Gordon Jackson, used to dash up after his service to lead this time. Otherwise, with in effect five congregations to support, visits on a Sunday were infrequent.