Silver Jubilee – Denaby Church Celebrations – Week of Rejoicing

November 1925

Mexborough and Swinton Times November 7, 1925

Silver Jubilee.
Denaby Church Celebrations
A Week of Rejoicing.

The Parish Church of All Saints, Denaby Main, celebrated its Patronal Festival last Sunday (All Saints Day) and at the same time its Silver Jubilee. The Church having been consecrated 25 years. The Jubilee celebrations are being continued throughout the present week.

There was a splendid attendance of communicants at the yearly celebrations of Holy Communion on Sunday morning. The preacher at Eucharist on Sunday morning was the Rev S. F. Hawkes, a former vicar of Denaby Main. The Bishop of Sheffield addressed a men’s service in the afternoon, and also preached at Festival Evensong.

Visit of the Bishop

There was an excellent attendance for the Men’s Service. The Bishop spoke from the text, “and when Saul saw any strongman or any valiant man, he took him unto him.” (1 Samuel, XIV, 52)

The Bishop said the church needed strongmen today more than it had ever done. Resolute, right minded men, capable of taking a firm line of action were sorely needed in these difficult and perplexing times. The enormous mass of the people did not think for themselves and it was vital that they should be rightly led. He would rather have a man who tended to obstinacy than a man who tended to feebleness. A man needed to be valiant even today in standing up for his religion; as valiant as Tom Brown in the famous story. He (the Bishop) would never forget how, in his Oxford days, a man he knew was wicket-keeper for the University, and generally idolised of course, attended a party of graduates where someone sang a course song. This man simply stood up and said “if there is anything of that sort again I am going out.” That was a valiant deed, and had its immediate reward.

The church was crowded for festival evensong, which was conducted by the vicar (the Rev. H. Lee) and the rev S. F. Hawkes. During the service the choir, conducted by Mr. G. V. Smith, sang the anthem, “the righteous shall flourish” (Calkin), and a stirring, and inspiring service was concluded with the dedication portion of “Hail festival day” from the “Sarum Processionale,” sung in procession immediately before the Benediction.

A momentous period.

The Bishop preached from the text “My name shall be there” (1 kings, Viii, 20)

After dealing with the various considerations which led Christian people to dedicate their churches and temples, the Bishop referred to the 25 years history of the church in Denaby Main. The period was not long, but it was definite and significant, moreover it covered a term in our history which he ventured to think, if the world is spared so long will be regarded by historians 500 years hence as one of the most momentous and terrible period in the history of civilisation. In that time civilisation had been seriously shaken, and though he was not a pessimist he was convinced that if we had another war at all comparable to the last, civilisation would perish in it. Also during that period they had experienced in Denaby a colliery disaster which shook that little community terrible.

Their church had witnessed these and many other events, and was already full of sacred and solemn associations. “I never come into this church,” said the Bishop, “without feeling as I felt to day, that it is a worthy presentation of the service of God in your midst, the church is not only dignified, but it has an atmosphere of holy associations, especially your beautiful sanctuary.”

Dealing with some of the lessons learned in the last 25 years, the Bishop said surely the chief of these was the terrible effect of disunity in the world, the nation, the parish and the family. Another lesson was the joy of service. They learned in the war that everybody’s work was required. “The saddest feature of the present unemployed problem was that the sacred feeling of delight in service was inevitably weakened by long renewed unemployment. During the war lots of people who had never done a decent days work in their lives gave themselves wholly to the service of the nation and found happiness and self-respect.

Another lesson from their experience in the last 25 years was that nothing either in private or in public life could bear wholesome fruit unless it contained the principal of Christianity. Science, as the new, was non moral. It could be employed for good or for evil. It could be used to wipe out a town or to give marvellous aid to the Christian work of healing. The world was discovering none too soon that without principles of Christ we could expect nothing but, in the end, the decline and fall of our civilisation.

He looked confidently to their beautiful church to become more than more a centre of power and influence in that parish. They were able to make it so if they would. During the service to the former Denaby clergy now passed away, the Rev Paul Rosevecare and the Rev. W. H. Butler, were remembered in prayer.

The collections on Sunday amounted to £33.

“It is Good to be Here.”

The Rev. S. F. Hawkes, of Sidmouth, a former vicar of Denaby, was the preacher at the morning service on Sunday, he took for his text “it is good to be here.” In his address he made reference to his stay in Denaby, and conveyed a message from the Rev. J. T. Kirk who served the church during his (Mr. Hawkes) vicariate.

At the children’s service in the afternoon he gave a very interesting talk on “friendships.”

On Tuesday evening a lantern service for children was conducted by the Rev. R. M. McDonald, who gave an interesting address on the history of the church of England.