At the March 1959 Circuit Quarterly Meeting permission was given to apply at some time in the future to alter the church building to provide more seating accommodation.

The costs of the hall building project were still being paid off but at a Society meeting on 15th September 1959 it was resolved that when these debts had been paid and a further £6000 had been raised, then plans could be made for modernising the interior of the church. To start this further fund-raising a Gift Day was held. There was another one the following year which was posted as being the major effort for the year.

It wasn’t until the March 1962 Circuit Quarterly Meeting that an application for authority to undertake the extensions at a cost of £11500 was submitted and unanimously approved. £6000 was already in hand, £1250 was hoped to be raised leaving £4250 to be borrowed from the Chapel Aid Association.

The building work was carried out in 1964 at a cost of £17000. The last service was held on 5 April 1964 and exactly seven months later on 5 December on a cold, wet, foggy Saturday afternoon the renovated interior was opened by Mrs Polly Cliffe, one of the oldest church members and a member of the choir. The next day services of thanksgiving were conducted by the Church’s own minister Rev DF Vickers & the Circuit Supt Rev S Brown.

Revd S Brown, Mrs Polly Cliffe, Mr J H Williams, Mr Jack Ashall, Revd Don Vickers

(Left to right) Revd S Brown, Mrs Polly Cliffe, Mr J H Williams, Mr Jack Ashall, Revd Don Vickers,

Thanks to Revd John Bland who has emailed to advise that the gentleman in the centre is Mr J H Williams, who was church treasurer for many years and lived in Greenway, off Dingleway.

Photo: Malcolm Spencer

SHMC interior 1960s

Church interior, 1964, before the cross was added at the front

Continued – “Modernisation – Take 2

(c) Kit Heald