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Hanwell Methodist Church
Composed and designed by Ray Garnett

Recollections of Hanwell Methodist Church

from a Church Member

More about Hanwell Methodist Church

If you know more information about our Church and its history, then do please get in contact our webmaster or one of our Church stewards. Contact details are listed on our Contacts page.

Recollections of our Church as told
by Jean Matthews in 2011 at our
Church Anniversary

I  think  I am the longest serving member
of our Church, but I hasten to add I am not
old enough to be able to remember the
grand opening of this Church in 1904,  
but my Mother and her sister were there
and said what an exciting day it was.

During the war years I do not remember coming to church
as we did not venture out unless it was really necessary, especially with children. At the end of 1945, the Sunday School began to flourish and I became a member of the Primary Department. At the age of 9, I progressed to the Juniors. By then there was a Senior Section and the numbers had grown to nearly a 100 children, taught by a grand bunch of teachers, overseen by the slightly scary Miss Wells.

By the early 1950s we had three thriving choirs, Junior, Youth and Senior. After the success of the visit of the American evangelist Billy Graham at Haringey Stadium, our then minister, the Rev. Colley started holding monthly musical services. The church was packed for these and attended by many not usually at Church, including our favourite fish and chip shop owners, who came to support their young customers, who met at their shop after choir and youth club meetings. Our choir mistress at that time was Mary Denis who inspired us all to sing our hearts out.

In 1952 we had a big fire which destroyed the temporary huts at the back of the Church, the church itself was lucky to escape damage. Mr John Henwood soon got a rebuilding fund scheme up and running and in July 1956 we had the opening of the new premises that we use today.

Brownies, Cubs, Guides and Scouts have always played a big part in Church life. My Mother was a Brown Owl with the Brownies for many years and I assisted her as Tawny Owl which I enjoyed very much. The two highlights of our Brownie year in those days were our May Queen Festival and the Christmas Nativity Play, which was usually attended by Mr. Ridley the headmaster of Hobbayne School where many of the Brownies were pupils.

I was a member of the very large Youth Club we had in the 1950s, which was run for many years by the truly amazing man Mr. Harold Waller, known by us as Uncle Harold, who we went to with all our problems. We had very happy evenings each week with table tennis, darts and many other activities.

We had an annual summer coach outing, usually three coach loads, which included older members of the Sunday School, going to the coast for the day and every Bank Holiday we arranged to go on long hikes. Each October we produced a concert called `Mixed Grill` which had items of music, singing, dancing and plays. We filled the hall for three consecutive nights, which brought in much needed cash for the Church.

At Christmas we went carol singing and the after party was eagerly looked forward to.

I remember these times I have mentioned with great affection and still have many of the friends I made in those happy years. I feel privileged to have shared in such a vibrant time of our Church life and thank God for the wonderful people who guided us.

Jean Matthews.

6th. November 2011

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Hanwell Methodist Church

Picture of our stained glass window at the rear of our Church

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History page.