The Buck Standard 14 July 1888
Laying of FOUNDATION STONES FOR ENLARGED WESLEYAN CHAPEL. Two foundation stones laid in connection with the Wesleyan Chapel, which is to be considerably enlarged in order to meet the growing requirements of the place. For sometime past great inconvenience has been felt on account of insufficient accommodation, and the desirability of an extension of operations was deemed necessary on the part of the members of the congregation. Tenders for the carrying out of the work were solicited, and that of Mr. T. Inslip, builder, of Victoria-street, Northampton, accepted at £300, £20 in excess of the amount anticipated. The dimensions of the building when finished will be 42ft. 3in. by 26ft., or 21ft. longer than previously, which will be accomplished by the pulling down of the north wall, and then extending the borders. It is estimated that altogether a sum of £400 will be required, towards which amount they have in hand £127, and it was hoped this would be increased to £200 by the sums received on Wednesday by way of donations, &c. The architect is Mr. William Poole, of Woburn Sands. The proceedings on Wednesday, unhappily marred by the inclement state of the weather, were inaugurated by a preliminary meeting held in a temporary building adjoining the chapel, which will be used for service during the progress of building operations. There was a large attendance over which the Rev. Mr. Harris (Superintendent of the Wolverton Circuit) presided. He was supported by Rev. Mr. Rathmell, Rev. Mr. Harper (Leighton Buzzard), Rev. Mr. Wamsley (chairman of the Northampton and Bedford District). Capt. Verney, R.N., Mr. W. Grimes, Mr. R. Stevens (Fenny Stratford), &c. The Chairman briefly stated the circumstances under which they met, and asked the company to adjourn to the chapel for the foundation stone-laying, which was watched with eager interest by a large number of the villagers. The first stone was laid by Mr. W. Grimes, and bore the following inscription:- “This stone was laid by W. Grimes, Esq., July 11, 1888.” That gentleman referred to the raising of the old chapel at which he was present, and said he felt it a great privilege to lay the first stone connected with its extension. (Applause). He had great pleasure in contributing 20 guineas in honour of the occasion: also £1 on behalf of a friend. (Loud applause.) The second stone, laid by Capt. Verney, bore the inscription- “This stone was laid by Capt. Verney, July 11, 1888.” In declaring the stone well and truly laid, the Captain said it was the first time he had ever had the honour of performing such a task for any object whatsoever, and should always remember it with much gratification. (Hear, hear). He was convinced the enlargement of the chapel would be for the glory of God and for the pleasure in accepting their kind invitation to take part in the ceremony of that day. When he was a midshipman in the Crimean war he used often to go on shore in the trenches at the besieging of Sebastopol, and sometimes when going into the more advanced of them found that since his last visit new works had been thrown up and a fresh extension of their batteries made, which caused great, harassment and annoyance to the enemy. They in Castlethorpe were engaged in a war, and in the battery that would last as long as life lasted (Hear, hear). It would always be a battle with them of good against evil, and of the powers and strength of good upright men and women against all the evil influences of the world. He hoped and believed that that day a fresh outwork for their battery was being laid, and also an extension of their work, which would prove to the enemy harassing and annoying as their best friends could wish (Applause). In conclusion he spoke of his pleasure in contributing a small donation in the shape of £5 towards the cause they had in hand. Three young girls named Harriet Bennett, Annie Harris, and Polly Eakins, who had collected £2 7s 1d., £2 6s 4d., and £2 5s. respectively, then laid a brick each, which was afterwards done by a number of friends, each contributing sums varying from 2s 6d. upwards. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Rev. Mr. Harris announced that the following gentlemen had kindly contributed a guinea each: - Mr. F. Howard, Bedford; Mr. S. Denny, Castlethorpe, late of Daventry; Mr. R. Shelton, Leytonstone; and Mr. George Harper, Wolverton. _ An adjournment was made to the former place of meeting, where several addresses were delivered. The Rev. Mr. Wamsley, in the course of a characteristic speech, referred to his pleasure at being present on such an occasion, and expressed regret that the weather should have turned out so unfavourable, as it was an occasion in which would be centred many pleasant thoughts and memories in after life. They were not there, he remarked, for the glory of Methodism and as long as he had breath he hoped he should have common sense not to waste his time in glorifying any particular system but had assembled there that day for the purpose of glorifying God (Applause). After speaking in general terms on the work of the cause with which he supposed they were all more or less immediately connected, he referred to what he termed the three great features of the Methodist Church, viz., the spiritual, the experimental, and the practical. Those three characteristics, he said, penetrated and inter-penetrated the whole of their ecclesiastical economy, its doctrinal teaching, its policy, its scriptural ordinances, its means of grace, and the outer life of people. It was on these grounds he maintained that Wesleyan Methodism was after all in general agreement with the teaching of the New Testament. And as a system of Church government was in the highest degree calculated to advance the interest of universal men. He did not make these observations in the spirit of glorification, because he could see defects in the Church with which he was connected as well as in those outside the pale of their own communion. He saw in the most elaborate, the most skilfully organised, and the most extensively diffused communities the human hand. Where he saw the human hand, there he expected to find the trace of weakness and infirmity. In conclusion he urged them to stick fast to the Church of God. Rev. Mr. Harper followed in a similar strain, and the meeting terminated with the Doxology and the Benediction. The collection realised £2 17s 6½d. Tea was afterwards partaken of in the School-room, to which about 90 persons sat down, the tables being presided over by Mrs. Leveridge, Mrs. Nichols, and Miss C. Nichols. At six o’clock another public meeting was held, when appropriate addresses were delivered by the same gentlemen.