History of the Sunday School

The work of the Sunday School and the teaching of children I about the Christian faith played an important part in the life of the early church. An account of the re-union of old scholars of the Sunday School on 2nd December 1902 gives details of the number of children who gained their Biblical teaching there.

In 1863 there were 206 girls and 206 boys, 26 female and 25 male teachers. In 1905 there were 135 girls and 107 boys, 15 female and 13 male teachers. There were Miracles, Parables and Gospel of Christ classes. Memories of an old Sunday School scholar recalled that “From Sunday School they took much of the colour of life – Christmas coffee parties, prize distributions, Whitsuntide Anniversaries – there were competitive demands for the honour of standard bearer. There were Band of Hope meetings, Teachers’ Monitors socials, New Year parties and for the young men only – New Year’s Eve meetings in the Church Belfry -what blissful memories they recall.”

A prize given at the Sunday School in February 1846 to Mr Peter Booth was no bigger than an ordinary pocket book, yet it was treasured. But the Vicar in 1904 wondered whether the children would be satisfied with such books. He remembered at another parish a little girl received a similar small book and commented to the gentleman who gave it, “Here, Mester, yo’ can keep that till it grows bigger.”

The foundation stone of the present Parish hall was laid in 1909 and the Sunday School which met there was opened on 30th April 1910. In 1914 a meeting there was held to discuss – “efforts to reduce the debt on the new Sunday School – it was resolved that a Bazaar be held in October 1915, but then reverted to the old scheme of a 40 weeks collection. It was understood that this would in no way interfere with the zeal of the Mothers’ Union prosecuting their customary ‘Sale of Work’ from time to time.”