More reasons to be cheerful

editorial image

THERE was plenty to celebrate in 1945, the year in which this photograph was taken in the grounds of Crowtrees Methodist Church, at Rastrick.

War was over and loved ones should soon be returning to their families.

Many of these children, the youngest now in their 70s, would have been members of the church Sunday school.

I wonder if the youngsters on this photograph can remember who their Sunday School leaders were all those years ago?

Looking after the beginners was Mrs A. Kenyon, primary was Miss E. Pilling, junior Mrs J. Brook and looking after the seniors were Mr A. S. Marshall and Mr H. Ramsden. The minister in those days was the Rev H. Strawson.

The church was opened on the September 3, 1877, but sadly did not complete its centenary, closing in 1970 deemed as unsafe and later demolished.

The congregation went on to join the Methodists at St Matthew’s Church on Church Street in Rastrick. This meant that the church became a joint Anglican and Methodist church and is now part of the Brighouse Circuit of Methodist Churches of Great Britain. The Crowtrees Church site was re-developed for private houses.

Although the war was over the aftermath would be felt for many years and for those who lost loved ones for ever.

But life for these youngsters had to go on through the adversities of rationing and shortages that would last for another nine years.

While the church itself just fell short of its centenary, it did have a celebration in 1959 for a centenary of Methodism in the Rastrick area.

In that centenary year the Minister, Rev Gordon Jenkins, wrote a glowing foreword in the centenary booklet.

The booklet highlights the centenary weekend’s activities, beginning on Saturday, September 12 with a reception tea and reunion shared with the host and hostess, Mr Arthur Reeve, JP, and his wife.

At 4.15pm everyone took their seats for the centenary tea followed by the sharing of memories of church activities over the years. The Rev Jenkins led the centenary services on the Sunday.

Crowtrees Church, like all other churches, was not only there for the congregation’s spiritual needs but also their social needs as well. How many readers can remember the Legion of Service, a wartime activity for young people?

Little did they know at this time of celebration that the church would only survive another 11 years.

I am sure many readers will have many happy memories of Crowtrees Church. If you have, and would like to share them with any photographs of those happy occasions, I would be pleased to hear from you. I can be contacted on 01422-205763 or the usual e-mail: enquiries@chrishelme-brighouse.org.uk