Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England

A newspaper article from 1910 on the opening of the new Fairhaven Methodist Church, replacing the Mission Hall.


Wesleyans in the Lytham circuit will remember last Sunday as a special day of thanksgiving, for on that day the work for which the circuit extension -scheme was put forward was officially finished. The circuit extension scheme was initiated to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Methodism in the Lytham circuit, and aimed at raising £15,000 for aggressive work in the circuit.

A debt of £2,000 was wiped out at Church Road, St. Annes, and the Drive Church, at St. Annes, was extended at a cost of £3,500. A new mission hall and schools were erected at Lytham, costing £3,000, and the erection of the Fairhaven church at a cost of £6,500, was the conclusion of the scheme.

The Fairhaven church was placed last, but an earlier start than was anticipated had to be made owing to the growing and urgent needs of the district. In the four years in which the scheme has been in operation a sum of about £12,000 has been raised, leaving about £3,000 still to provide, and the opening services at Fairhaven spread over several Sundays, are expected to produce £500.


The new church is erected from designs by Mr. Arthur Brocklehurst, of Manchester, in a commanding position at the corner of Clifton Drive and Woodlands Road. The design is in Gothic of the late decorated style, the main features being a large five light traceried window over the front double entrance doors, and a flanking side turret and massive tower, from the corners of which spring carved pinnacles.

The elevations are well broken-up, which enhance the effect. The building is of Rossendale stone with Stancliffe white dressings, and the roof is of Westmorland slates. The church is cruciform, with shallow transepts and chancel.
 Internally the building is spacious with a total absence of pillars, and the acoustic properties are superb. The general woodwork, including the flat ceiling, is of pitch pine, but the seating, rostrum, choir and gallery fronts are in oak. The accommodation including the Narthex gallery, is for 500.

The choir is placed in a gallery behind the rostrum, and provision has been made for an organ at the back. The windows are glazed with leaded lights of cathedral tints; and the lighting is by electricity. Spacious entrances and vestibules are provided at the front and sides of the church, and at the rear is the choir and minister's vestries, a large lecture hall, infants' room, kitchen and cloakroom. The schools will be added later. The cost of the church was about £5,500, and the contractors were Messrs. Smith Bros., Ltd,, of Burnley.

Fairhaven Wesleyan Methodist Church, opened in 1910, replacing the old mission church. It stands on the corner of Clifton Drive and Woodlands Road, Ansdell.
Fairhaven Wesleyan Methodist Church, opened in 1910, replacing the old mission church. It stands on the corner of Clifton Drive and Woodlands Road, Ansdell.


The opening ceremony took place before the morning service on Sunday. Brilliant sunshine favoured the occasion, and the umbrellas and Macintoshes which were necessary at the stone-laying, on April 17th, 1909, gave place to sunshades and light, summer dresses. There was a large attendance, in- cluding the President of the Conference (Rev. Wm. Perkins, who was formerly a circuit minister at Lytham), Rev. Thos. Hackett, Rev. Chas. Evans, Couns. Edwin. Cooper and Fred. H. Hill, Messrs. S. Carmont (one of the pioneers of the church), H. J. Carmont, R. Leigh, E. Barraclough, R. Hoyle, St. Annes; J. Wallace, J.P., G. Harrison (treasurer of the church), E. R. Lightwood, J.P., J. W. Hodson (secretary Free Church Council), S. Moss, G. W. Trickett, T. Hodgson G. Hodgson, W. H. Jackson (treasurer of the circuit extension scheme), T. H. Wood, W. E. Garlick and T. Welch, Lytham.

The proceedings commenced with the hymn, "To Thee, this temple, Lord, we build," and prayer by the Rev. T: Hackett. In inviting Mrs. Hincksman to open the church the Rev. T. Hackett referred to the splendid generosity of her late husband, who was one of the originators of the scheme and whose helping hand had made the erection of the church possible. Mrs. Hincksman, he said, had taken her husband's part splendidly, and so far as she could encouraged them in their work. Though treading a lonely furrow she had never taken her hand from the plough.

Mr. A. Brocklehurst, the architect, on behalf of the building committee, presented Mrs. Hincksman with a gold key to open the door of the church.

Mrs. Hincksman said the church had been built to the honour and glory of God, and when they entered they did so with the spirit of thanksgiving, and praise, and prayer. "May all the services held herein have the blessing of God that much good may be done."
Mrs. Hincksman the opened the door and led the way inside.


The first service in the church was conducted by the President of the Conference (Rev. Wm. Perkins). Jackson's Te Deum was sung and the quartette, "God is a spirit." The preacher based his sermon on the words: "The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are Weighed"—I. Samuel, ii., 3.

The rev. gentleman pointed out three features which made that utterance remarkable: First, the period to which they belonged; second, the person to whom they belong; and third, the truth of the utterance. In elaborating these he said the words were uttered by a woman of the ordinary type, not distinguished by birth, wealth or learning, but just a woman of the people. It was always through a person, however, that God spoke to us; truth came to us in no other way. As a writer had said: "We don't find truth done up in neat little parcels lying in our path for us to take home and use." Certainly 


like a comet, written  in mystic characters across the sky. God's truth started first in somebody's conscience, then it took definiteness in somebody's mind, and then it got voice on somebody's lips. The third thing was the truth that was enshrined in those words. The moment he read them their moral nature responded; mind and heart rose up to welcome that sentence. What mattered who said it? It was true! What mattered where on the earth's surface it was first uttered? It was true everywhere and for all time. It I was a star that shone by its own light. God I would not be God if it could not be said of Him, "The Lord is a God of knowledge." The sentence belonged to the record of an appeal carried to the supreme court of heaven by a woman, against the mistaken judgments and the unkind and severe censures of those around her. We lived in a world full of misunderstandings, beset with various wrong judgments, harsh censures and condemnations loudly uttered. Oh! It was well for us that there was One to whom we could appeal. Sometimes, it seemed to him, they would do well to appeal to God from undue appreciation-when our friends thought well of us and attributed to us virtues we did not possess. Then when friends and foes alike misunderstood, there was One Who knew'. When man had uttered his all, the last word and the decisive word was with God Who was a God of knowledge. In the world to-day men in their thoughts and enquiries after God had concentrated their attention and centred their


"Man," they were saying, "is, after all the greatest revelation. God has given to us; he is God's noblest creature. Surely if we study his nature closely and carefully We shall find therein a clearer indication than anything else can give us of the Divine Being." They were saying the true path to the Divine Personality was through the human personality. As we were the off-spring of God we ought not, to think that the Godhead was "like unto silver or gold, or stone graven by the art of man." Men were saying: "Let us take man's nature and powers as the great Jiving text book in which we may read and learn something of God.

The scope of inquiry in this; realm, however, had completely changed in recent years. When he commenced his ministry people said, what a field for study this world offers with its history written on its rocks." Then the scope of enquiry took another form. Men still concerned themselves with the great round world, but on the side of its living organisms, their origin, history and development. They closed their books of geology and took up their books of biology. They were saying, "man is the greatest text book we can use." And the result was that in their enquiries they were finding out


of man; how much there was that concealed his true nature and hid his real character, and how utterly incapable we were of pronouncing a true, definite and final judgment, even upon actions that were done before our eyes. Men used to talk a great deal about heredity and environment. Then they combined the two together and environment became the sister of heredity.  Still, at the same time, it was granted that in every human being there was something that was personal, his own - something that was unique, that had never been before and could never be repeated. Now men were dismissing that subject very largely and saying not heredity so much, not environment so much, but imitation was the great dominating factor in human character and life. The facts of our nature, they were saying, showed that the range and scope of inheritance had been over-estimated; that much we thought transmitted by heredity had really been due to imitation, unconscious or conscious; and that this was the greatest function of human life in the way of forming character and conduct. There were those who told them that there was a depth of consciousness in every human being that was immeasurable; that mind everywhere was in communication with a great infinite reservoir of mind from which it received suggestions, thoughts and influences that affected character and life, just as an inland river feeds the throb and pulse of the sea,. But what was the conclusion? Simply this: how little we knew o' man: If God be the supreme and infinite mystery of the universe then man was a mystery second only to God himself. Why, we were strangers to ourselves! We could not weigh action in any final or complete sense. All our judgments were continually affected and perverted by ignorance, and prejudice, and error. We could not measure even the force of the temptation that lay behind the action or free the deed from its result.

The deed we partly can compute, But not what's been resisted.
There was One, and only One, who could take a just estimate of us, and knew us at our best and at our worst: It was better to fall into the hands of God than into the hands of men.

There the work of life is tried
By a juster Judge than here.

There were some Bible scholars who with a degree of reason, claimed that in that sentence God's own actions were primarily intended. Unlike man—rash, unreasonable, impulsive—God was always faithful, deliberate, patient. By Him actions, were weighed. But even then the greater included the lesser. If God's actions were weighed by Him, then our actions must be weighed and understood that His might be adjusted thereto. Take the mystery of Redemption based upon Creation. God took upon Himself the responsibility. God was a God of knowledge.

There was a future for the world and humanity which should justify Calvary, which should harmonise Eden and the Cross, and cover them all with unspeakable, glory until throughout the universe there should ring one great song. A word of encouragement to the fearful soul, fearful about himself: We were in God's hands. We could not be in better. We were in hands that held the sceptre of the universe and grasped the keys of death and Hades. We were in His hands, and we could leave ourselves there with confidence and thankfulness.

In the afternoon a United Free Church Children's Service was held, presided Over by Mr. C. J. Uttley. An address was given by Mr. Alfred Brookes, J.P., and a solo was rendered by Master Elgin, of Blackpool.

In the evening the Rev. Wm: Perkins again preached to a very large congregation, and an anthem was sung by the choir.
The collections for the clay amounted to £157 15s. 9d.; made up as follows: morning, £73 7s. 2d.; afternoon, £49 8s. 7d.; evening, £35.

Opening services will be continued this (Wednesday) and on. Sunday next, the preacher this evening being the Rev. H. Maldwyn Hughes, B.A., D.D.