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Stanwell Road New Baptist…


Stanwell Road New Baptist Chapel, LAYING OF MEMORIAL STONE. On Wednesday afternoon County Councillor F. H. Jotbam, before a fairly large and representative Dumber of local Nonconformists, laid the memorial atone of the new Baptist Chapel, Stanwell-road, Fenarth. Amongst those who witnessed the interest- ng ceremcny were Rev. 1. 0. Stalberg (pastor) and Mrs Stalberg, Rev W. G. Davies and Mrs Davies, Principal Edwards (Cardiff Baptist College), Rev J. Gwilym Jonea (Congregational, Penarth), Rev T. Pandy John (Barry Dock), Rev T. W. Medhurst (Cardiff), Rev O. Watkins (Cardiff), Rev H. J, Horn (Barry). Rev J. M. liewson (travelling secretary to the B.T.A.A., Brixton, London), Mr and Mrli J. Wallace, Mr and Mrs R. Brice Mr Corn well, Mr J. F. Piekfnrd, Mr Sengrave, Mr and Mrs W. Jones. Thomas, Mr and Mrs T. Bevan, Mrs R. Bevan, Mr and Mrs Stowe and the Misses Stowe, Mrs ;J. P. Jonea, Mrs J. Lace, Mr and Mrs T. Emlyn Jones, Mrs Gethin Lewis, Mr T. Lewis, Mr A. W. Jones, Mr Evan Jones (Penarth) and Mr Evan Jones (Barry Dock), Mr Evan Roberts, Mr and Miss Dykes, Mr and Miss Hart, Miss Tregelles, Mr and Mrs Francis, Mr and Mrs R. Guy, Mrs rr. Powel, Miss Gibson, Mr and Mrs R. Benjamin, Mrs Stephens. Mrs and the Misses Morgan. Mr and Mrs James Richards, Mr and Miss B'ockington, Miss Vaughan, Mrs Speed, Mr D. G. Price, &c.. &c. The proceedings were initiated by the singing of a Jiymn by the choir, Miss Gibson being the organist, and Mr W. Jones-Thomas the conductor. The Rev T. W. Medhurst afterwards read the lllth Psalm in a very impressive manner, after which the Jlev Pandy John offered up prayer. Mr E. A. Hart then read the following secretarial statement It falls upoa me to say the first word on this in- teresting occasion in the name of the Stanwell-road Baptist Church, and that word shall be one of hearty welcome to each and all of our friends who have &o kipdly gathered together here to encourage and cheer us in the pleasing proceedings that will shortly Occupy our attention. Notwithstandirig the fact that this Church entered upon its corporate existence as far back as 1886 (it having been formed in November of that year in the house of our respected brother, Mr G. S. Stowe), a,nd consequently its history is well known to many present, it may be well that our memories should be refreshed and our gratitude revived by a brief re- view of the steps that have led us up to this assem- blage this afternoon. Vety soon after the formation of the Church the question of a house of prayer came up for practical consideration, aud none of us regret that a decision wis made to begin with the bright and comfortable school-chapel oi permanent materials, opened in June, 188J, instead of the too ussal tempoiary iron structure. This venture, with a membership of about 30 only, cost us J 1,025, which was raised within a very limited circle in the most cheerful and encouraging manner, so that we were shortly in- duced to make a sustained effort during the succeed, ing four oi five years towards creating a chapel building fund, with an eye to what receives our attention to-day. But the claims of the Sunday School (already a power iu our midst) intervened, and could not be denied; therefore, between 1889 and 1893 the two very useful class-rooms were added and also a baptistry provided at an expenditure of abopt S200, without any public appeal, unless I may so describe a bazaar. The buildings represent a total expenditure of over XI,200, which, I can safely say, was met almost wholly by the worshippers here. Concurrently, our mtdn building fund grew until it amounted to.about .£1300, and the trustees being under covenant to erect a chapel upon this most exceJlen) I site within a reasonable time, the Church took careful steps from time to time to guage the feeling of every member upon the question of making any ad vance in that direction, until twelve months ago our worthy atid es'eemed brother Mr F. H. Jot ham made a per- sonal canvass of the friends; with regard to this enter- prise, and was so well received that we were at once enabled to see our way to another S600 in promises towards a definite early building scheme, thus making b (jur available means -91,200 in cash promises within our own immediate border. Thus stimulated, the Church could not but feel it to be a call to arise and nsin,e build- With this nestegg, therefore, a comprehensive scheme adopted, compnmg the chapel you see before you to seat about 550, without side galleries, which will not. be erected at present, a lecture room, a master's vestry, ante-rooms, and caretaker's cottage, 1.1- J, J" ,l '6 for which tender of Mr T. Bevan has been ac- cented, including- a heating apparatus. We expect this willfbe completed arid handed over to us for about £3)250. It is our hope that the opening day of t'- is new place, which we look forward to in May next, will find us in possession of a very substantial pro- portvp of this amount, but as the Church and oon- gTrgadon have hitherto borne the financial burden ainost unaided from without, and has accomplished the gatering together of the sum of £2,500 since 1887 for building purposes—which is represented by the building in present use and the new building fund already mentioned—we now have ventured to bring ourselves publicly before the friends of Evangelical and denominational extension, which in these days appears to claim the fullest recognition on their part, for the cry of the people is still for a pure and free gospel-and invite all the support and encourage- ment they may be able and willing to afford us in our work-not the least happy feature of which we feel to be the fact that you have so kindly and numer- ously responded to our invitation to assist us in the important and pleasing function which attracts our attention here to-day. Allow me to say in conclusion that every coin laid upon the stone and placed in the, boxes, or expended in a tea ticket to day augments the funds already mentioned, and brightens our financial prospects for the opening day. Mr Kichards (Messrs Jones, Richards and Budgen, architects) presented Mr Jctbam with a handsomely- chased and suitably inscribed silver trowel, whilst Mr Thomas Bevan, the contractor, presented a similarly handsome silver-mounted ivory mallet, and in due course the stone was declared to be well and truly laid. A hearty vote of thanks, moved by Mr Jones- Thomas, and seconded by Mr Benjamin, was accorded to Mr Jotham, who expressed in a felicitous manner the gratification be felt at being asked to perform such a fnuction, adding a brief sketch of the Church from the inception to its present prosperous condition.. This was succeeded by a hymn, when the Rev W. G. Davies gave a short address. At the outset the rev. gentleman apologised for not removing his hat as his head was, like the present structure, unroofed. In the course of his remarks, ilir Davies said it gave him unspeakable plaasure to share with them the joys they experienced in their noble Christian work Hb could offer them his hearty congratulations for three rea- sons-(I) that they could rejoice on this interesting occasion in making the progress of the Baptist cause in their midst; (2) that the progress of Nonconformity in Penarth was most gratifying, and utterly belied the vaunted assertion that the days of their cause were numbered (3) that there was as much need for the principles of Nonconformity at the present day as there was 300 years ago. After descanting upon the phenomenal growth of their faith and principles, the rev gentleman adjured them to remember that abova denomination-ilism and Nonconformity was the all paramount question of fathering the Church of Christ. He therefore wished them God-speed in their grand undertaking. The Rev Principal Edwards, D.D., next spoke, and felicitated the chapel's having for tli3ir pastor the right man in the right place. He heartily agreed with bis dear friend and old student, the Rev W. G Davies, in what he had said relating to the progress of Nonconformity, and was highly pleased to no e that as on a recently previous occasion-the laying of the memorial stone in the Tabernacle Chapel-the friends were paying a compliment by attending in such goodly numbers. After dilating upon the ad- mirable and permanent structural solidity and beauty of the old cathedrals, he expressed a hope that jerrymandering would be an unknown name, amongst them that the obscure corners would re- receive as much attention as the prominent ones; and that the present structure would be in the true cathedral succession. He could not but congratulate them upon their progress; upon the monies and promises, amounting to £1,200, already guaranteed Mr Jothai11.. They had made a noble beginning, and had gonoll the money thus far from amongst them- selves. As they had, therefore, helped themselves first, they could becomingly come on their fellow Christian friends to assist them in a legitimate way —such as a bazaar. And he sincerely hoped every stone would be paid for without the aid of whist carnivals." He hoped it would be money given direct to God, so that the glory might be His. Rather 1 17, worship in poverty and on the humblahearth than where God is not or where God would be dishonoured- Of what use the emblazonment of gold and the flashes of radiance and architectural beauties, if God were not in the hearts of the congregation? Let them build up temples for the glory of God. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us The only other speaker was the Rev. Gwilym Jones (Congregational, Penarth;, who, on behalf of himself. and his Church, extended hearty congratulations to Mr Stalberg and his people. The meeting- terminated with prayer and the bene- diction by the Rev. J. M. Hewson- A tea meeting followed in the school-room, at which there was a gratifymgly large attendance. Subsequently a public meeting was held in the school-room. After the singing of a hymn, the Rev. 1. O. Stalberg expressed a wish to thank all those who had assisted to make the afternoon service and tea, meeting, such a success and formally introduced the chairman, Mr R. Guy. The Chairman, having biiefly addressed the meet- ing, called upon the Rev. Thomas Davies, of the ¡ Bethel Chapel, Docks, Cardiff, who said he was glad I to be present to express his sympathy with Mr Stal- berg, and also to congratulate him and bia Church upon ¡ the steps they were taking to extend their usefulness in God's service. How is it, he asked, we do not see the good old times ? The preachers of old seem to have died out, and the race of good old hearers have died out also. Heartfelt hearing is as necessary as heart-felt preaching. I am glad as a denomination both in Cardiff and Penarth, that we are moving on* A building fever seems to have set in, and we seeiEi to have caught it, and early next spring we hope to- follow the excellent example you and Plassey Street have set us. As free churches we believe in the principle of independence, but let us not pay too much for it. We may carry our independence too far We believe in equality. Whilst we maintain our indepen- dence thoroughly, we ought also to assist each other and help bear others' burdens. The command is given u Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward." If we are not going forward, we are going backward. The Calvanistic Methodists are united in the Forward Movement, and this is manifested in the planting of so many new chapels. They seem, however, to have given up their old name Calvanistic Methodist, and adopted that of Presbyterian, but I am glad to know that you have not given up your name of Baptist Chapel. I see it is going to be placed upon th > front of the building. There let it standas a material protest against the adoption of the word Church. It is a. mark of degeneration to go from Baptist Chapel to Baptist Church. (Hear, hear.) The Church is a company of believers and not a material body. I. rejoice in the fact that you have undertaken the task of building a new Chapel, and I hope it will be inhabited by dnine worshippers. Many a living Church has been born in a rustic barn, or a plain meeting house. We want to get the old living fire of God in our worship, and I hope your Church will be filled with the glory of God in the conversion of sinners. You must take up your cross and not sit down and dream, and when the Chapel is built, you must go in and get it filled' You must be united. You must co-operate together. It is not the work of the Pastor more than yours. Many have no inclin- ation to work, but they have plenty of talk, and can grumble about this thinar and the other. Trouble is a test of friendship. There are plenty of summer friends, but they are no good, for when trouble comes they are afraid and fly away. Stand well together and God will help you. In this new field golden sheaves of grain may be gathered Angels will rejoice over the work done for the M ister. You have unseen possibilities before you-make the best use of them, and may God bless you. (Applause.) The Rev W. E. Winks was the next speaker. He said the first great effort of the Church should be the saltation of souls. What do we exist for as church ? Why are we going to build this new house ? You don't want to outstrip any other, but to preach the gospel, save souls and build up the kingdom of heaven. The Church exists for the sake of the kingdom of Christ. If you work for this end, all difficulties will disappaar. What is most conductive to this? you have a Christian Minister who preaches for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let him preach in his own way. If he wishes to use notes, let him do so. It is his duty to preach, then let him use his tool as he pleases. Sympathise with him in his preaching, and if you get direct good from it go and tell him so. He then exhorted the Church to appreciate their deacons, to sympathise with the teachers, and not to forget the prayer meeting. At this juncture the collection was made and Mr Stalberg announced that the afternoon meeting, in addition to the tea, had realised about £ 225. The Rev H. J. Horn, (Barry), said he had come to the meeting with three messages or rather prayers. 1st. That ill your new house you may have the Love of God mnnifast amongst you. It will be manifest if yon TV-ish it. 2nd—That the power of God may be felt in your new house. That penitents and prodigals may be seen returning to God and also the little ones crying out I want to love Jesus Christ." 3rd—• That the Glory of God may be seen. -.Rev T. W. Medhurst (Cardiff) "extended his con- gratulations and also the congratulations of his Church- He also congratulated them for their sound common sense in selecting one of their own t. perform the ceremony of laying the m^moral stone. They had had the good sense to honour one who was worthy of honour. Rev J. M. Saunders (Penarth) presented the con- gratulations of his church, and hoped the new building would fSrove a blessing to the cause of Christ. What," asked the speaker, "is to be the aim and purpose of your Church ?" and then expressed the hope that the answer might be i( Of Ziou it shall be said this man or that man was born in her." After a formal vote of thanks to speakers and chairman the Rev 1. 0. Stalberg closed the meeting with the benediction. The following details of the building have been supplied us by the Architects :— The building is entered from Stanwell-road by means of a. spacious porch, thence through two large lobbies situated on both sides. Prom the lobbies staircases ascend to the gallery, doorways being placed at the front of each staircase to facilitate egress from the gallery. The body of the fedifi.ee is 05ft. by 49ft., the angles being boldly rounded off for the purpose of improving the accoustic proper- ties. It is calculated that the body of the hall will hold 490 people and the gallery 94 people, thus making the total number of sittings to be 584. The height of the building from the floor to the wall plate is 27ft. and the collar beam 35ft., the roof being an open timbered one and ceded with matchboard- The gallery bas a straight; front, with quadrant-shaped ends and with iron railings in front, of elegant design. The pbtform is 2ft. Sin, high, and is' arranged on the