Furnishing of the Ministers House – Wesleyan Methodism at Conisborough.

October 1881

Mexborough and Swinton Times, October 21.

Wesleyan Methodism at Conisborough.

The Furnishing of the Ministers House.

Although the Wesleyan’s at this village can boast of a Chapel, which is second to none in the district, they have not, as yet, provided a ministers house, according to Methodist rule. Hitherto the resident Minister’shave beenunmarried pastors, but now that the Rev M.Westcombe has come to look after the spiritual welfare of “the flock,”the goodpeople are determined to accommodate himwith a well furnished residence, so that he and his wife and family may comfortably settle amongst them.

The Circuit Scheme Committee, for paying off all Chapel debts, “have offered that, on condition the Conisborough friends furnish the new ministers house, they will pay off the remaining debt upon the Chapel, amounting to £225.” The offer was accepted, and in order to carry out this subject, the committee appointed for the purpose arranged for a public tea and meeting to be held on Wednesday evening last.

An excellent tea was partaken of in the schoolroom, by about 200 friends, the trays been under the superintendence of the following ladies:

Mrs Kilner, Mrs Slack, Mr T. Booth, Mrs Smith, Mrs J Hudson, Mrs Westcombe, Mrs Crookes, Mrs Wilcox, Mrs Pagdin, Mrs Barker, Mrs J Appleyard and Mrs J Watson

After tea, an adjournment was made to the Chapel. The meeting was presided over by Mr W. Kilner, of Finsbury Park, London, and he was supported by the pastor of the church, the Rev., M Westcombe; the Rev., J.C.W. Gostick of Doncaster; the Rev., J. Smith, of Doncaster; and Messrs Caleb Kilner, J Blythe, and Smith.

After the customary devotions, the Chairman expressed a desire to hear what the object of the meeting was, and said he would be pleased to make his remarks afterwards.

Mr Blyth explained the reason there met together, as stated above, and said if they were united on the matter he was sure there will be no difficulty in raising the records it amount of money. (Cheers)

Mr Smith was then called upon to say a few words. He spoke of the pleasure it gave him at seeing. Mr Kilner in the chair. He (Mr Smith) well remembered the time when the Chairman visited Conisborough on a previous occasion, 10 or 12 years ago, when the debt existed on the old Chapel (hear, hear). That was felt to be a burden which they could not removed from their shoulders, but Mr Kilner they can they came down to open their bizarre, and the little debt, which are being gaze at them for about three score years and 10 disappeared like the snow before the summer sun. (Cheers). The money needed was £350 and was very quickly raised. After this I been done, they thought the Chapel began to look shabby and, believing that the Wesleyan pocket was deeper than they imagine, they decided upon having a new place of worship. Their friend, Mr Blyth, took the matter in hand, and turned out to be such a good beggar that he soon caught £100 while the children brought £200 or £300. It was astonishing the way in which there being led. (Hear, hear).

He was happy to state that the Chapel, in which they worship was now free from debt. (Loud cheers). They got a Chapel and theyhave also a minister – he (Mr Smith) was not one who liked to flatter anyone, but he was firmly convinced that their pastor was a man who loved his Master, and was not ashamed to speak of Him. (Hear, hear). Mr Westcombe, was a minister who he believed would do much good in Conisborough. (Cheers) he (Mr Smith) thought their objective meeting that evening was partly to welcome Mr Weston into their mates. (Hear, hear).

The Rev. gentleman had his good wishes, and he thought he might also say that they were all very thankful indeed that they had such a minister amongst them. (Hear, hear). They did not believe in Conisborough being second to any other players in the circuit. (Hear, hear) and he therefore hope that the money required for the furnishing of the ministers house would soon be obtained.. Personally he was prepared to give his share towards it, and he believed that every other member of the church would do likewise. (Cheers).

The Chairman in the course of his remarks, congratulated the people on having such a beautiful Chapel, and said he had only seen two or three which look prettier.. He must also congratulate them on having secured such a minister as he knew Mr Westcombe to be, and he hoped the house would soon be furnished for him. Of course, it would have been pleasant to have had the house ready. When Mr Westcombe came, but as this was a thing of the past, it was no use talking about it.

The Rev., M Westcombe spoke of the important work, which was being done by the Wesleyan denomination, dwelling, particularly on the liberality displayed by its members. He believed that the reason more money was raised in the cause of Christianity by Wesleyan, as compared with any other section of the Christian church, was not because they had the wealthiest members, but because they got hold of men’s hearts. He was going to say that the world would have been converted long ago before the church are given as liberally as the Wesleyan body had; at all events he felt persuaded that much more good would have been done. They were now trying to raise money for the furnishing of a ministers house at Conisborough, and he asked them believe that every one of them would gave, as they were able (hear, hear). The various secretaries wood and cards round to each one present, and they could sign their names forasmuch as they could afford. They could pay the amounts promised within six months of the present time.

Mr Pagdin was a asked to say a few words. He spoke from the gallery, and was very earnest in his remarks. He felt very sanguine that the money required would soon be raised, and he prayed that God would pour down blessings upon the church that there would not be room enough to contain them. (Cheers)

The Rev., J.C.W.Gostick delivered an eloquent speech. He was delighted to see the spirit which was displayed by the Conisborough Wesleyans on the matter under consideration, and from the remarks which have fallen from the speakers preceding him. He felt that although many of our great men had passed over to “the great majority,” still, there were some great men left yet in Conisborough to carry on Christ’s work (hear, hear). Furniture was the matter which had brought them together that evening and it was not such a uninteresting topic as some might imagine. The Rev. gentleman portrayed the “furniture” provided for us by Almighty God in the shape of the beauties of nature, spoke of the wife scrubbing the furniture, the children procuring the men furniture school, and a full be imported furniture for the sustenance of life. He also observed, “How different it would be if God had only thought of such furniture, as surrounds Denaby Main, Manvers main, and Wombwell pit sides? It would have been a very dismal world for us, and the birds would have died from melancholy.” As God had been so loving and thoughtful in providing such furniture for, was only right that we should not neglect to do what we called in a little way in this respect. Their pastor was bleeding furniture, and he was sure he would get it. (Hear, hear). For when he saw such faith manifested as he had seen displayed that evening he could not for one moment question that the rapidly amount of money would soon be required. (Cheers)

In introducing Mr Caleb Kilner, to give an address, the Chairman said he had been asked many times. If Mr Caleb and he were relations. He was happy to say they were, as Mr Caleb Kilner was his nephew. (Hear, hear).

In a few appropriate words, Mr Kilner express himself sanguine that Mr Westcombe would soon have a house very nicely furnished.

W. Killingrey gave one of his characteristics speeches and the Chairman felt rather more comfortable on seating himself out of the reach of his arms, which swung around like the sales of a windmill. Speaking on the question of furniture, Mr Killingrey said this world would not be half such a pleasant one were it not for the “little folks.” They were part of the furniture of the Wesleyan ministers and they generally had a good lot of this kind of furniture (great laughter.)

The Rev., J. Smith it having also spoke on the question of furniture, the card which had been circulated amongst those present were handed up to the chairman read out the summons promise. Amongst the items were two or three offers of £25, some of £15, and others of £10, £5 and sons ranging down to one shilling. The total sum promised would be about £100, and, as might be expected this gave great satisfaction.

The interesting proceedings were brought to a close by the pronouncement of the benediction, a hearty vote of thanks having been previously tended to the chairman

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