Friendly Societies Hospital Sunday at Conisborough – Annual Church Parade

March 1895

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 8, 1895

The Friendly Societies Hospital Sunday at Conisborough
Annual Church Parade

On Sunday last the yearly church parade of friendly societies took place.

The procession started from the Fox Inn, headed by the Conisborough Brass band, who played lively selections of music, followed by the Foresters, National Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Sheffield delegates from the Grand United Order of odd Fellows, Rotherham Druids, the members of the Church lads Brigade. Under the command of Ltns Hides. Hill and Worrell. The churchwardens (Messrs. Walker and Gillott) reserved the nave of the church entirely for the members, which seats were fully occupied.

It has been the custom for several years to have a special service for the members of the friendly societies, and then the money collected on that occasion has been given to the Doncaster infirmary, an institution which has benefited the inhabitants of Conisborough on many occasions, the medical skill and good nursing of the institution have restored many to health once more.

At 3 o’clock, the hour for the service to commence, the church was crowded and many could not gain admission. This sermon commence with the hymn, “Now thank we all our God,” which was sung as the choir walked from the vestry to their places in the chancel.

In the upper portion of the chancel were seated the members of the Conisborough brass band, under the leadership of Mr Albert Wilson, and a string band, under the leadership of Mr Horace Marshall, both hands been under the conductorship of Mr. Herbert White, the organist of the church. The shortened form of the evening prayer was used. In place of the palms the metrical version of the hundred Palm was sung, accompanied by the brass band.

The special lesson was read by Mr Godfrey Walker. J. P. The hymn at the end of the third collect was “The Church’s one Foundation,” sung to the fine tune composed by Dr. Wesley, and arranged for the brass band.

The vicar, who is the Champlain to the various lodges, took the service and gave the address. The words spoken were not many, but they were to the point. The subject of the address was that men cared more for the things of the world than for the things of God.

He asked them how it was that he saw so few of them in God’s house on Sunday? If he went to the football field, to the theatre, and other places of amusement he could find them there in great numbers. When he asked the workingmen why they did not attend church, the general excuse was that they were so tired, they work so many hours in the week, and needed extra rest on Sundays.

The reason he gave for men not coming to church was that their heart was not there. If they had their heart with God they would come to God’s house. A man who was determined to worship God could always do so, and find time for other things as well. The vicar illustrated his address with several anecdotes which were well given. The address throughout was listening to with rapt attention.

The hymn after the sermon was, “Sons of Labour, dear to Jesus,” which was accompanied by the string band and the organ. During the singing of this hymn, the collection was taken, which amounted to 4 pounds, including the money collected on route of procession.

After the benediction had been pronounced by the vicar as well known him, “Son of my Soul, Thou Saviour dear,” was sung as the choir returned to the vestry. As the members left the church the organist played Smart’s “Festal March in D,” the solos were taken by Mr. Horace with Marshall on the violin.

The whole service was a great success, and the vicar, churchwardens, and choir are to be congratulated on arranging such a service for the members of the various lodges in Conisborough.