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Article researched and presented by Margaret Craddock

The Mission Room
Extracts from Church Magazines

MARCH 1893

The Mission Room has been provided with a bell, the gift of Mr A Peachy, Mildenhall, Suffolk.  We hope it may effectually remind our New Town friends of their duty (and privilege also) to attend Divine Service on the Lord’s Day.


On St Stephens’s Day, December 26th, we ventured to have a Tea at the Mission Room, and – we won: that is to say we had a large gathering, and we had a balance of 19s after all expenses were paid.  But we are not concerned so much with the financial success as with the fact that, counting the choir boys, we had from 115 to 120 people present.  This was most encouraging, as showing the interest they take in the Mission Room, the schools, and services.  We did not expect to have nearly so many people.  After tea a meeting was held, at which carols were sung, the Rector giving an address on the schools and general work carried on at the Mission Room.  The success of the whole thing was due to the hearty co-operation of the helpers, and we desire to thank the ladies who “made tea”, viz., Mrs Bland, Mrs Hodson, Mrs Tompkins, Mrs Furnell, Mrs Blaxley, Mrs Chamberlain, Mrs F Dicks, Mrs Barlow, Mrs George Linnell, and Mrs Tompkins.  Mr Blunt and Mr Hodson were as keen and energetic as ever and rendered excellent service, for which we heartily thank them.  Our thanks are also due to Mr A J Ball for lending us a horse and cart with which to convey the tables etc to and from St Crispin’s.  The balance of 19s has been given to the Mission Room funds.


On the occasion of the Harvest Thanksgiving, we used for the first time an oak alms-dish, about which we wish to say a word.  The oak of which it is made must be at least 400 years old.  It is part of a beam taken from Warkton Bridge, which has recently been re-built by Mr A J Ball.  It is said that the beam had been in the bridge for 200 years.  Mr Ball gave the piece of oak, and Mr Rawlins kindly undertook the work of making the alms-dish.  Not only did he turn it beautifully, but also carved on the upper side of the rim, “God loveth a cheerful giver – 2nd Epistle of S Paul to the Corinthians, ix. Chap.”  Underneath are the words “St Mary’s Mission Room, Burton Latimer, Sept 25th 1901,” with three interlacing triangles to represent the Trinity (Three in One).  It is a beautiful piece of work, and we thank Mr Rawlins very heartily for it, and also Mr Ball for the oak.  To buy an oak alms-dish would have been a matter of a few shillings; because of the history and age of the wood in our, and because of the gift and workmanship, we would not part with it for pounds.

MAY 1947

Mr S Giles was encouraged in his kind offer to start a Sunday School in the Mission Room.

JULY 1947

Mr Sydney Giles is running the Bible Class at the Mission Room.  The Bible Class has not had a very good start; on the first Sunday not a single youth attended, and this was most disappointing.  But things are improving, and I hope the Bible Class will become a real force in the parish.  I have given Mr Giles a list of lapsed communicants, and I hope the class will help them to keep the promises they made at their Confirmation.  This Bible Class for young men is held every Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock.  Mr Giles has also started a Sunday School and this is attracting a large number of children.  I have hopes of great things from this splendid effort made by one of our best churchmen, and I am sure you will do all you can to encourage Mr Giles.


The Mission Room has been doing great things,  The Bazaar was an unqualified success and with the Social brought in £84 15s lld.  The Harvest Thanksgiving produced a crowded Room, an offertory of £7 1s 6d, and produce which was later sold for £18 13s 0d.  The Bible Class has worked hard for these results, but the burden has fallen on Mr H Watson, its leader.  A representative Committee for the management of the Mission Room has been formed, and will meet early this month.


The Mission Room has taken a new lease of life with the formation of a Management Committee.  I welcome the opportunity of publishing particulars of the Mission Room and Bible Class activities, and I hope you will support all that is arranged to increase church interest at that end of the parish.


Since Advent Sunday there has been an unusual amount of activity in the work of the Senior Sunday School.  Mr Bradbury has started a Bible Class for the Senior Boys of both the main School and the Mission Room School without in any way taking members from the Mission Room Bible Class which is ably run by Miss Ashwell.


My dear Friends

As you have heard by now, Evensong at the Mission Room will be discontinued as from Advent Sunday to enable the whole Anglican congregation to worship together with their Parish Priest.  Members of the congregation who came to my Institution will remember that the Bishop committed to my care ‘the cure of souls of this Parish’ and it has been very worrying that I have not been able to fulfil the obligation laid upon me as Incumbent to part of my congregation.  To have two evening services taking place at the same hour has meant that it has been impossible for me to get to the Mission Room.  As I explained to the Mission Room Committee I cannot fight a battle for the Christian Faith on two fronts.  If, as I believe, God has called me to lead the Parish forward in the next stage of its life in Burton Latimer, to let the situation at the Mission Room remain as it is will simply mean that the congregation there will mark time.

First and foremost I believe that the congregation should worship together as a family being part of the Family of God, and to have families divided by two buildings just does not seem right.  My other concern is for the young people who wish to be prepared for Confirmation.  Part of their preparation is their worshipping together at the Parish Church as they are introduced to the Liturgical Worship of the Church and a deepening of their understanding of the Christian Faith.

he Mission Room Choir to join the Parish Church Choir at all Sunday morning services and I have offered Mr  Philip Mason the post of Assistant Organist.  The Wardens at the Mission Room are to become Deputy Wardens at the Parish Church, and the Sidesmen will join the Parish Church rota.  Transport will be arranged to enable the older members of the congregation to get to the Parish Church each week.  Family Nights will continue, but on a Parochial basis.  I want the Parish to go forward as one unit, and for a united congregation to lead the way.

The Sunday School for the Parish will continue to be centred at the Mission Room, but the children and young people will be coming to the Parish Church each month for the Family Service which I plan to introduce in the New Year.

I know and appreciate all that has been done at the Mission Room over the years, but looking to the future it is together that we go forward to build up the life of the Church in Burton Latimer.

Yours sincerely

Derek Hole


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