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1950

It all began in 1936 . . .

The roads of Stoneleigh were built before the houses, and for this reason the Rev Thomas Martin, of Raynes Park, had an excellent opportunity of cycling round the area to choose a site on which to build a Methodist Church.

In December 1936, with Mr J Russell McCappin as Secretary, a Building Committee was formed, and from that time the work steadily prospered, until on Whit Sunday 1937, the Stoneleigh Methodist Society met for the first time for corporate worship in the Stoneleigh West School. The service was led by the Rev Wilfrid L Hannam, BD, Superintendent Minister of the Upper Tooting Circuit. 

A Sunday School began on the same premises in September and was quickly organised into three departments. The following month saw the formation of the Methodist Guild in Stoneleigh, and its meetings and rambles enabled people to get to know one another – always an important factor in a new area.

October 1937 is remembered in the history of our Church for another reason – it was the occasion of the ‘Stonelaying’. Friends gathered from far and near, and as, on October 2nd, Miss Ruth Holloway, on behalf of her Grandmother, laid the first stone, those of us who had fostered the scheme from the start, felt a deep thankfulness to God in our hearts.

February 26th 1938 saw the opening of the new Church Hall by Mrs C R Bellwood, the Beginners’ Room by Mrs A Rides and the Primary Room by Mrs H Veall. The Rev Ensor Walters preached the Dedicatory Sermon, during the course of which he urged his hearers to keep the Church open throughout the week, and appeal we have always sought to carry out. None of us present on that occasion will forget the inspiration of the gathering. To this day people recollect how children carried the chairs they had bought into the crowded church, and sat together at the front to await the first meeting.

The Rev Dr C Ryder Smith preached at both services the following Sunday.

In all, the scheme cost £5,700 and after the opening weekend £700 of that amount had been raised.

Jack Garner

Attractive Youth Attracted

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On the way to Church

Does this photograph of our uniformed organisations impress you? Multiply the number by four, and imagine what what the photograph of all youth organisations would be like!

The Stoneleigh Methodist Church is an active Christian Youth Centre in which over six hundred young people find recreation, friendship, guidance and joy.

Each week-night the premises teem with young life: Young Christian Citizens, Brownies, Guides, Cubs, Scouts, a Junior Badminton Club, Youth Clubs and a Guild. On Sunday afternoons two sessions have to be held to accommodate the Sunday School and Young People’s Fellowship, which have a combined membership of over three hundred and fifty.

Over fifty adult leaders and Sunday School teachers gladly and freely give their services to train the young to be Christian Citizens. Who assess the value of their work?

Young people are responding to the call to become Local Preachers, Sunday School Teachers and Church Workers. A senior member of our Youth Club is the Circuit Youth Lay Secretary; another operates our Sound Film Projector which is proving a great asset.

Youth organise our Home Mission Meetings.

Youth act as voluntary caretakers.

Youth certainly do their share of work at ‘the Church on the Hill.’

Jack Davies

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Sunday Afternoon in Christian Fellowship

In Church a Family

The Women’s Fellowship, meeting every Tuesday afternoon, provides a brief break from the cares of home and family, bringing together many who otherwise would not have the opportunity of joining in corporate worship.

A devotional subject is usually chosen by the speaker for the week, and often the meeting is enriched by the service of a soloist.

A cup of tea – always a delight to ladies – follows at the end of the meeting, and gives an opportunity for friendly conversation.

The crèche which is provided for young children makes the hour more restful and profitable for mothers.

Once a month the afternoon is devoted to Women’s Work Overseas and by this means we find ourselves members of a world fellowship owning allegiance to Jesus Christ.

H E Bidwell

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Every Tuesday Afternoon

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Every Thursday Evening

A glance at ‘The Diary for the Week’ will indicate that our premises are fully used every week day. About that we are glad. For that purpose the Hall was built, but we are anxious to point out that the real life of the Stoneleigh Methodist Church depends on the fellowship each members enjoys with God. For that reason, priority is given in all our planning to the spiritual aspects of our work.

Each Thursday evening some fifty people (and the number is increasing) meet for Bible Study and prayer.

We pray about everything. We despair at nothing. We expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.

‘Our strength Thy grace; our rule, Thy word;
Our end, the glory of the Lord.’

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A New Addition – the house . . . not the baby!

For 8 years the Methodist Society at Stoneleigh had no resident Minister. The work was given pastoral oversight from Morden, Raynes Park and Worple Road, but as the congregation increased and the week-night activities grew in number, the importance of having an Ordained Minister living in Stoneleigh was fully realised; so the Society began looking for a house suitable for a Manse.

There were of course, difficulties, not least that of ‘Cost,’ but eventually No. 66, Briarwood Road, was purchased by the Circuit Stewards.

Thus in 13 years the Methodists at Stoneleigh have built a Church Hall at a cost of £6,386, a hut for Youth activities costing £580, and purchased a house for their Minister for £2,300. A good record!

W H Magraw

Clearing the Ground

These pages have been written to give you some idea of the work we are seeking to do at Stoneleigh and to point out to you the opportunities which are ours.

Because our major problem is lack of accommodation, we are considering the possibilities of completing the building scheme begun in 1936. In the draft plan which has been drawn up, we have envisaged a new Church, simple in style, yet architecturally beautiful, with a seating capacity of four hundred downstairs, and a gallery over the vestibule to seat a further hundred. In addition, we hope to build a fellowship room, and extra accommodation for our ever-expanding youth work, but . . .  before we can do any of this, there is much ground to be cleared.

Building restrictions are, of course, a barrier to our progress, but there is an even more immediate barrier than that: it is a debt on the present premises of £1,500. This is the obstacle we intend to move this year. A hundred families are raising £10 each and our Youth Council is seeking to reach its target of £250, but, as you will see, additional help is still needed.

Only with the debt removed can we go forward with our plans for extra accommodation. Will you please help us to clear the ground for building?

Your gift will be gratefully received and acknowledged by our Minister, The Rev R K Walker, 66, Briarwood Road, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey.

In anticipation we say, “Thank you.”

H E Munday

Diary for the week

Sunday
11:00am Public Worship
2:30pm Sunday School – Beginners 3-5½ yrs
2:30pm Primary 5½-7 yrs
2:30pm Juniors 8-11 yrs
3:40pm Seniors 11-14 yrs
3:40pm Young People’s Fellowship
6:30pm Public Worship

Monday
6:15pm Cubs
7:30pm Scouts

Tuesday
2:45pm Women’s Fellowship
5:45pm Brownies (2nd Stoneleigh)
7:30pm Youth Group

Wednesday
2:00pm Badminton
7:30pm Senior Scouts
8:00pm Guild (Stoneleigh Methodist)

Thursday
5:45pm Brownies (4th Stoneleigh)
5:45pm Guides
8:00pm The Church Fellowship

Friday
6:15pm Junior Christian Citizens
6:30pm Junior Badminton
7:30pm Friday Nighters
8:00pm Choir Practice

Four Great Rallies, each beginning at 7:45pm

March 2nd, Rev Dr W E Sangster MA

July 15th, Rev Dr Leslie D Weatherhead MA

September 27th, Rev Colin Roberts

December 2nd, The Family Gathering

Taken from the summary booklet ‘It Happened in Stoneleigh – 1936-1950’ issued by Stoneleigh Methodist in 1950 as plans for the new Church building itself moved forward – copy donated by Harry Megarry.

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Foodbank latest

For our Christmas 2017 Appeal we are in need of: Advent Calendars (by the end of November), Tinned Potatoes, Sponge Puddings, Mashed Potato packets, Nutella or Chocolate spread, Alcohol-free Christmas Puddings, Tinned Rice Pudding, Peanut. Butter, Shampoo, Washing up liquid