Bethany the First 90 years (p3)

Rev George Frederick Tansill

Following the departure of Rev Samuel Davies, it was now felt the need of another Pastor. The first visit of Rev Tansill was an invitation to take Harvest Service October 1st 1917.

Mr Tansill must have made an impression on the Church for on December 16th 1917 he was again asked to take the service, when an approach was made to him regarding the Pastorate. On the 8th February 1918 the invitation was sent, Mr Tansill accepting the “call” and started his ministry March 1918. It was interesting to note that the salary had been increased from February 1906 from 7 pounds per month to 10 pounds per 4 weeks.

With the hope of the Great War coming to an end, although this did not occur until November 1918, the mood of the Church was to lasting peace and on January 1st 1919 the League of Young Worshippers was formed whose object was to promote peace and goodwill to the children of all races. To quote “Branch of the Children League of Peace and Goodwill to all the children of all Races. Members of the above League promise to pray to Jesus evening and morning to make them lovers of peace and goodwill, like unto Himself the Prince of Peace”.

There was much activity during the period of Mr Tansil’s ministry, both spiritually and secular. There was a fortnight’s mission mid 1922 with Rev William Onley as the preacher. Although he was then an aged man, having served as a deacon under the ministry of Rev Charles Haddon Spurgeon, he together with members contributed to a successful campaign when many souls were saved.

Who of us older members could ever forget Lily James’ action songs- Sailors and Chinese; of childrens concerts with Brother Selwyn Thomas; of Dramas with John Davey Jones; of cantatas etc with choir with Bert Gregory Evans.

Sunday School anniversaries always commanded a “packed house”, seats being placed down the aisles, the Church heaving when there was a very hot Sunday.

On Sunday mornings, the middle of the church was filled with boys and girls listening with eager delight to the serial story of Bertram and Cecily – children of the reformation.

Naughty boys and girls in the gallery on Sunday evenings made it necessary for the deacons to supervise the misbehaving youngsters.

Summer 1921 saw the coal strike; the vestry was used as a soup kitchen to provide a scanty but welcome meal for those in need.

This was organised by a Captain Pritchard, with some helpers from the church (incidentally there is a small photo’ of the “workers” in our archive if anyone would like to see it).

About this period Rev Tansill stood as a Labour candidate and was successful in being elected to the old ‘Board of Guardians”

>Cont Reading (p4)