Mexborough and Swinton Times September 23, 1905
Conisbrough Wesleyan Harvest Festival
Recognition of the new Minister
Mr C Kilner’s programme
it has been accustom at Conisbrough for some years past welcome the new Minister on the occasion of the harvest festival services. The minister, who resided in Conisbrough itself, is naturally the most interesting to Conisbrough people, and general satisfaction seems to be felt with regard to the reverent H Owen. He made his debut at the morning service on Sunday, and impresses heroes with the earnestness and interest of his preaching.
The superintendent minister, the Rev Kirkness, preached to a crowded congregation in the evening. The fine mahogany roster must tastefully decorated with corn, autumn tinted foliage, and hops, whilst a nice show of fruit and vegetables were spread before it. The ladies of the Wesleyan Church never spoil the effect of their decorations by trying to decorate too much.
On the Monday evening at 730 a welcome meeting was held in the chapel stop Mr C Kilner occupied the chair. The Rev WS Maxey was called upon to offer prayers.
The chairman said that he felt that he must apologise to his hearers for appealing this capacity before them so often. But it was big course of their evident which and because he could find no answer to the plausible tales with which they came to him. (Laughter)
He felt it to be an honour, and try to fill the position to the best of his ability. Yet pleasure on behalf of the church and congregation offering the right hand of fellowship to reverent E Owen. In the past, he said, the church had done much. Like other churches it had its ups and downs, is difficult is to surmount, but in spite of the glorious past he felt they had a great and glorious future before them. (Loud applause)
He had a program to place before the people and the pasta which he thought might be carried out during the next three years. New vestries were needed, a lecture hall, a new organ, the chapel ought to be redecorated and the minister’s house to be paid for. He was prepared to do his share if they would do theirs. (Applause)
They had a good church, a good house, and they deserved a good minister. In Rev E Owen he believed they had got one. (Applause) He hoped and believed that during his ministry the chapel would be unable to contain the worshippers who would come. (Applause). Mr Kilner then called upon reverent E Owen to address the meeting.
Mr Owen is a man of prepossessing appearance, slight in build but giving one the impression that he is a man of energy and spiritual power. Although the people I’ve endeavoured to get someone else, my feeling in the field and many others was that they will have reason to rejoice that the stationing Committee overruled their desire and sent them the reverent E Owen.
Mr Owen expresses gratitude to them for the many kind words that are bespoke. He was overwhelmed and depressed but only by these expressions are welcome but by the programme. It is a big order, Mr Chairman, he said, and I have learned enough not to make any promises. But I can assure you all of one thing and that is, that by the blessing of God I will do my best – my very best (applause)
Much curiosity is expressed as to what part of the country he belongs. He should assure them he was not a Welshman, although his name was Welsh, he was not a Tynesider, nor a Yorkshireman. Let them be satisfied to know that he was a country Methodists brought up in the midst of country Methodists and therefore fully at home with country Methodists. Some had said that this was a disappointed circuit and he a disappointed man. (Laughter)
It reminded him of a philosopher who put this poser to his class:
“What would happen if an irresistible force came into contact with an immovable object.”
After a spell of silence, one suggested, “smithereens”
And what was going to happen now that this disappointed circuit and disappointed man at come together? Let hope and trust that at least they will get some new vestries. (Loud laughter)
The meeting closed with the singing of the doxology.
Many voices have given the reverent E Owen a welcome, and if many hands give him a help, then Wesleyan Methodism in Conisbrough will have no need to fear nor falter.