It seems that during these years ministry came from local preachers, and mostly from Bible College students, studying at the Midland College, Nottingham and at Raw-don College in Yorkshire with Pastor I Brook 1913-1914.
Ministers from the district churches were invited for special occasions, but noted preachers came down from London for annual services.
In October 1910 an invitation was given to the President and Secretary of the Baptist Union to come for either a Wednesday or Saturday. And so on 8 October 1911 the Rev John Clifford of London preached and lectured. The meetings began in the afternoon at 3.30 pm with tea at 5 pm at a cost of 6d for each person and our Wesleyan Methodist friends were asked for the use of their schoolrooms and crockery.
The evening meeting commenced at 7.30 under the heading 'The Social Evolution in England'. 500 tickets and 50 posters were ordered for the occasion. A silver collection was to be announced from the pulpit ... admittance was by ticket only and hymn sheets were borrowed from the Rev Payne of the Quorn Baptist Church, who incidentally, seems to have been invited to take the oversight of the church in between pastorates, and was paid £10 per annum ... this was stated in 1915.
Anniversary services were always held at Easter, the anniversary of the opening of the new church building.
In April 1913 Rev Dr Watkins paid a visit when the Council Schools were hired for the evening lecture and in 1915 Dr Chas Brown was invited down, and was also asked for the 100 Anniversary services to be held in 1922.
In the church and congregation meeting held on 11 February 1908 the treasurer brought the total of £119 7s 5.1/2d. In the year 1914 the amount had risen to £320 14s lid.
It is interesting to note that at a church meeting held on 21 September 1915 a cheque was paid into the building fund from a Mrs B Thomson for purchase of land .... we must have had a surplus - and would most probably be part of the ground purchased from Bishop Beveridge Charity in 1902. The Thomson's lived at The Mount whose garden wall now comes to the jitty, opposite Bishop Beveridge House garden.
On the retirement of Mr Goodacre as Building Fund Treasurer the total amounted to £400 10s 3d. Although not stated, this must have been a project for the new Sunday School buildings in the future.
At a meeting held on 11 November 1919 the Sunday School Building Committee agreed that the church request for a loan of deposit to secure a manse be agreed to - the Rev W Lonsdale took up the Pastorate in 1920. This agreement bought a manse for the first time; and so on 5 December 1919 Mr Peat, a church member agreed to sell a house for the sum of £650, a deposit of £100 was paid on 11 December 1919 and the following day through the solicitors Messrs J and A Bright, the officers became the Trustees.
Organs, choir and music
Furnishing changes evidently took place - a pipe organ replaced the harmonium, removed from the balcony, and was built at the front of the church with choir seats at either side, this causing a need for the baptistry to be rebuilt in front of the pulpit. The old baptistry was found when the front of the church building was renewed in the 1980's.
We do not know just when the change from harmonium to organ took place, we have no record of this: what we do know is that in the year 1908 this same organ was installed into the King Street Baptist Church at Loughborough (Loughborough Echo 75 years ago report). Our first photographs of organ and choir would be of the new organ installed about that time, and bought from a church in Derby.
Our records at that time state: 'The best thanks be given to Mr C Goodacre and the choir for the years work, with Master R Oswin being the assistant.' Mr Goodacre was the owner of the Mill in Mill Lane.
In 1914 Master Alf Bennert was asked to play for weeknight services.
Very little is noted during the years of the First World War, but in July 1919 a proposal was made by the late Miss S James and seconded by Mr J T Ball and carried unanimously that Mr R H Bennett be asked to accept the position as Choirmaster. This position he held until his death in the 1940's; he was also a faithful deacon, Sunday School teacher and Superintendent.
At the same meeting held in July 1919, Master Ernest Bursnall was thanked for his past services and invited to be assistant organist when Mr Alfred Bennett returned home from active service. Notes of a reply letter from Mr Alf Bennett are given - it was received by the church on 11 November 1919.
17 July 1919 BTIF
'Dear Mr York and Members, In reference to your letter of the 10th inst. I am sure I shall have great pleasure in playing the organ and shall count it a great privilege too. I am sure that great thanks are due to Mr Ernest Bursnall for officiating during my absence and I hope that you will convey same to him from me. I was very pleased too, to hear of my father becoming choirmaster and I hope that when I get home we shall all work together and in doing so find much joy and happiness in the service of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.'
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