3 Buildings – 1 Church (1878 -2015)
The first Congregational church building was opened in 1878, newly built in Manley Street at a cost of £1,200 and was named Milton Hall. From the start the church served the community. Religious services were to be held on Sundays. During the rest of the week Milton Hall was used for public functions such as lectures, concerts, sales and the like.
The first minister was Rev. Samuel Cutts (1878 – 84 and 1894 – 1909). Interestingly, Rev. Samuel’s great grand-daughter Marlene, on re-settling in the area has become an attender at church.
The church held its first service in December 1877, just before the official opening. Some 50 souls attended, the offertory amounted to 11s 3d (just over 55p)
Church building number 2 was opened in 1912 at the corner of Doncaster Road and Oswald Road. It was to last for 84 years spanning two world wars. In 1928 the membership numbered107, the Sunday School had139 scholars and 20 teachers and officers, and the choir numbered 36.
After World War Two a general decline set in and by the mid nineties membership was two dozen plus two children. Drastic action was called for.
The calling of a young minister straight out of Bible College in the early 1990’s encouraged us to look elsewhere for our place of worship and eventually a near unanimous decision was taken to build a new church.
Church building number 3 was opened in the Spring of 1998 on Ferry Road West. It signalled a return to community church uses and during most weeks welcomes many young and old to its varied programme of services and events. From Messy Church for families to weekly Buggy Club and B.A.S.H Club (Building Ater School Hours), to a church run Indoor Bowls Club held on a Thursday afternoon, a Fellowship held weekly. Up until 2016, ministry was in the hands of Rev. Bill Betham, who retired in September 2019 after Rev. Geoff Probert took up the call to Ministry at the Church. He was inducted to this office in October 2019.
The Historical information has been provided by Life Deacon, Mr. Martin Bakes.