Mexborough and Swinton Times February 8.
Parish Church Memorial Service for Queen Victoria
(Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901)
At Conisborough Saturday was truly a day of mourning. All work and business was suspended, and every – or almost every – house in the village had blinds drawn. In the old Parish Church a grand united Memorial service was held at three o’clock in the afternoon. This was a most affecting ceremony, and there were many moist eyes and quivering lips amongst the people assembled.
The members of the Parish Council, School Board, Fire Brigade, West Riding Constabulary and various Friendly Societies, met at the Conisborough Board Schools and the procession was formed and marched to the church.
This procession was headed by the Conisborough Brass Band, playing the “Dead March” which cause a deep impression amongst the many people, who, despite the wretched weather, lined the streets. The rain caused many people to flock into the church earlier than would have been the case had the weather been fine, consequently, when the procession reached the church many of the “processionists” were unable to gain admittance. Never before has the old Parish Church had so many people within its walls! The church was crowded and hundreds were unable to find even standing room.
The service commenced by the organist playing Chopin´s “Funeral March” the people reverently standing the while. Then was sung the hymn, “Thy will be done.” The vicar read suitable portions of the Burial Service, and also a number of special prayers. Mr JW.Smith, the resident Wesleyan minister, read the lesson.
The brass band assembled in the chancel and played that most beautiful hymn, “Lead, kindly Light,” the congregation joining in and singing this well-known tune with great heartiness.
Other hymns were “The Saints of God their conflicts past,” and “O God, our help in ages past.”
The brass band played the “Dead March,” the congregation reverently standing.
The service ended by the Vicar pronouncing the Benediction, after which the sombrely clad congregation, which fill the old church, streamed quietly out, no longer sorrowful, but comforted with a message of hope and inspiration for the future.
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