No, I’ve not been at ABC that long! With the Jubilee in mind the Deacons decided it would be good to look back on the last 70 years. The congregation were asked to lend me any items, newspaper cuttings, events and photos that I could include. Although we didn’t have many things directly from the 1950’s, a number of items of interest were handed in.
Looking back under the relatively short leadership of Adrian Thatcher, the church structure was changed with the removal of the high stone pulpit at the front wall and the removal of some front pews. The facade was painted blue, different shades of blue have graced the front over the years.
David Wilcox followed him, and we were reminded of church weekends away at Malvern, High Wycombe and Oxford. With a succession of ministerial students from Regent’s Park College a number of surveys have been implemented which gave a view of where the church was and looked to a way forward in its mission. During David’s time at Abingdon his wife Ann started a Playgroup, Toddler group, Brownies and Guides. Michael Hambleton and Andrew Hall followed the Wilcox’s, and Michael’s vision for 35 Ock Street was put into operation.
Back to 35 was started from an initiative of Colin Pattenden. Children’s and young peoples work features strongly with joint youth weekends that included the uniformed organisations.
David Fleming followed on and the big project, the Development of the sanctuary, was put into action with much fundraising. It wasn’t until under the leadership of Steve Millard that it was completed.
These are just a few of the items that were on show. We opened the church on the Jubilee weekend and had a number of our own folk as well as town’s people come to see it. It was lovely to see people reminiscing over past events and good to remember people from our past and reflect on events that shaped our church fellowship.
We look forward to a new chapter in the life of ABC. Of course, the church is the people, not the building and it is only the people who can make things happen. We are the eyes, ears, hands and feet of our Lord so it is up to us to spread the Good News that Jesus can make a real difference not only to ourselves but the community and the world.
My thanks to Geoff who put up with my being constantly on the computer transferring pictures, to those who gave me items and for those who welcomed visitors to the see the display. Thank you too to all who encouraged me in this task. Here’s to the next 70 years!