Conisborough Parish Church – Annual Soirée

January 1905

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 21, 1905

Conisborough Parish Church
Annual Soirée

The parochial gathering in connection with the Parish Church was held on Thursday evening in the old Board Schools, when there was a substantial assembly of members of the church and friends. The proceedings commence with the annual public tea held in the Girls department about 150 persons being accommodated.

Excellent arrangements have been made and the donors towards the effort were:

Mrs Woodyeare, Mrs G Walker, Mrs W.H.Chambers, Mrs G.Nicholson, Miss Preston, Rev W.A.Strawbridge, Misses Bulmer, Mrs Craik, Dr Foster, Mrs W.W Norwood, Mrs Oakley, Mrs Swallow, Mrs G Downing, Mrs R Appleyard, Mrs Alison, Mrs Allport, Mrs T.R.Booth, Mrs H.Baker, Mrs Downing, Miss Dyer, Mrs G Hargreaves, Mrs Galbraith, Mrs Farmer, Miss Leathley, Mrs H Sargan, Mrs W Smith, Mrs Stenton, Mrs T.why be, Mr J Wigfall and Mr D Wood

Other contributers of materials were Messrs Hodgson and Epworth (Doncaster) Mrs Hodgson, Mrs Lugar, Mrs W Jones, Mrs Strawbridge and others

The vicar, the Rev W.A. Strawbridge presided over the after proceedings. A pleasing musical programme was gone through as follows:

Pianoforte solo Mr F.W.Hulme
song, “the holy city,” Master Hargrave
violin solo, “Autombe” and “Scherso”, Miss C.M.Strawbridge
solo “”A little Irish girl, “Mr W Nicholson
song “Queen of the Earth,” Master E Laughton
song “sound of the drum,” Mr E Greaves
song “Willow Pattern Plate,” Miss Truman
humorous song, “The Irish catwalk,” Mr Harry Heath;
pianoforte duet, “Attaque des Uhlans” Messes Ward and Hulme
song “Storm fiend,” Mr Barstow
violin solo “Scherzo”, Miss C.M.Strawbridge
song “Promise of Life,” Miss Truman
humorous song, “if you only knew,” Mr Harry Heath
song “the better land,” Master L Atkinson
duet, “Army and navy,” Messrs Greaves and Barstow

The vicar gave his usual annual address, which was of a very interesting character. He saw the trade of Conisborough was looking up, and was better than it was during the corresponding period of last year, when the district was then suffering the effects of the late disasterous strike at Denaby

With regard to the actual number of donors, he was afraid he could hardly give it accurately, but the results were £16 better than the previous year, and it was open for more subscriptions to come in (here, here)

As to the object of the proceedings, he might state that a certain amount of money will be handed over to the fund for the Sunday school prizes, whilst the balance would go to the ministry fund. The tea had been supplied by the lady members of the church and friends, and he thought this ought at least to obtain £20 by the effort. As to the financial connections, the monies raised in connection with the Parish Church and the Clifton Mission Church during the past year were as follows:

Church offertories –  £109 9s 5d, of which £68 4s 11d was for church expenses and £41 4s 6d for special objects.

Total raised during 1904 was as follows:

Assistant ministry hundred and £40
Church services and fabric £68 9s 9d
Various societies £55 7s 6d
Charities, benevolent institutions and hospitals £31 4s
Sunday school and Band of Hope £25 16s 3d
second hand goods sale £18 10s
general purposes fund £10

Total £349 7s 6d

He thought they could congratulate themselves upon the progress they have made during the year. There raised £16 more than last year, £10 more than the year before , and nearly as much as the year before that, when they raised £116 (applause)

The total amount raised was about the average amount they had raised for several years. During the year there been 117 baptisms, 23 marriages, and 60 burial taken by the clergy

He thought Conisborough could be deemed healthy parish. The burials would average about hundred out of 4000, upon the whole he thought he might say that with the exception of the month of August they had had a healthy year. With regard to the marriages they were in a fair proportion and worked out about six per thousand, the baptism about 30 and the burials about 20. The work in the Sunday school was progressing satisfactorily under the existing circumstances.

The vicar referred in glowing terms to the work of the Press, which he said was a great power in the country. The English press stood for liberty and justice, to inform people of the truth, not to deceive them. He was the editor of the magazine in connection with the church, which had a small circulation.

He went on to say that Conisborough was becoming the centre of a large industrial area, and the village element was gradually disappearing. The quality of the people too was different to what it used to be. He was afraid the members of the church did not take a sufficient interest in Church matters; the Methodists and the Salvation Army people took a great deal more interest in their denominations, in the matter of their magazines and newspapers relative to their churches. He hoped in the future they would take more interest in the magazine, purchase it every month, and study its contents.

Referring to their near neighbours, Denaby, the Vicar commented on the lack of interest that appeared to be between one parish and the other. He had never asked the Colliery Company, which was rich and powerful, for a subscription because if he asked them he might probably be told that it did not concern them. He asked them to look at the number of evicted tenants who had come to reside in Conisborough. They had changed the class of their people very much. They can also look at the number of poorer miners who were coming to living Conisborough from Denaby Main, who had been out of work for weeks, and who had tried to obtain employment, and had failed to up to the present. Of course it was not the fault of the Colliery Company, but these men needed help and sympathy. He thought there ought to be more fellow feeling of sympathy and cooperation between these two parishes – Old Conisborough and New Conisborough (here, here)

There were not all labourers and glassblowers who lived in Conisborough; there was a great and increasing number of people, miners officials, who went to work at Denaby, but it seemed to him they lived in a different country so far as attitude and influences and sympathy towards them was concerned. He would like to see Mr Chambers amongst them once again (here, here and applause)

Mr Godfrey Walker said for the last half-century he had been associated with the church at Conisborough, and for the last quarter of a century had acted in the capacity of churchwarden. (Here, here and loud applause). During the past 50 years he had seen many ups and downs and changes in connection with the church. They were are all proud, he was sure of their historic church and of the beautiful services held there. He thought they ought to be very thankful to the Vicar for not introducing into the services any of those extreme ritualistic performances and innovations enforced at many churches. (Applause) The past two years the churchwardens had been in debt to the tune of £50. That ought not to be; he thought the church ought to support itself, and also support its poor. If it did not there was something wrong. He was not going to suggest to them what the remedy was, but he would leave the matter with them, and they must decide their own minds what could be done to get the church out of debt (loud applause)

Afterwards a lime light lantern illustratedto lecture was given “The making of a modern newspaper,” by Mr R.E. Arial Wright, a well-known Sheffield journalist.