The 1925 Building

The 1925 Building (present Church Hall, 1924) presented the Trustees with the desire to build a new Sunday School building (the present Church Hall.) By July 1925, the building was well advanced and a stone laying ceremony was held on July 8th. Mr. Felix Fellows and Mr. Caleb Parker (a former scholar) were invited to lay memorial stones. During this time magnificent efforts were being made by all sections of the Church and donations poured in, large and small.

Collections were made in the Sunday School by the Children, a box being kept by each class which was opened every month. Two grants of £250 each, were made by the Methodist Connexion. It was evident that the Building Committee was determined to see that this building was opened free of debt.

Finally, and with tremendous joy on Thursday, December 10th 1925, the building was opened with a gold key by Mrs. Caleb Cox, the wife of a former Sunday School Superintendent and daughter of James Tate, one of the early pioneers and a member of the second Trust formed in 1876.

Two problems which are worthy of special mention at this stage, is firstly seating accommodation for this type of building, and secondly a musical instrument to lead the worship. It was obvious that fixed pews would not be suitable, neither would the old type benches. This matter was solved by the gift of 400 chairs by Mrs. J. M. Tate. Later, it became known that a grand piano was available for sale at the Alhambra Theatre, Stourbridge, at a cost of £125. The Women's weekday class under the leadership of Mrs. H. J. Cox thought this was their opportunity. The piano was purchased, and the cost defrayed by weekly gifts of 3d. each, augmented by the proceeds from concerts, bazaars, sausage suppers, and private gifts, until the whole amount was cleared. This was truly a magnificent effort, following a period of unemployment and trade depression, coupled with the effort made in building the New School. This grand piano is an excellent instrument today and many compliments have been paid to its remarkable tone and volume by visitors from far and near.

The opening ceremony of this new building concluded a further chapter and began a new one in the history of our Church; at a final total cost of £3,592.  For a short while services were continued in the old Chapel, and the Sunday School carried on with its work in the new building. However, it was not long before the Church members felt that the old Chapel had served its purpose, and there was a desire to use the new building; and therefore the original Chapel was abandoned and has gradually fallen into a bad condition. Looking back over 30 years, many have thought this was a mistake. One building to serve for school and Chapel services has some disadvantages. However that is now history. The abandoning of a Church in 1927, inevitably brings with it a desire for a new one, and that desire is growing stronger every year.

The 1925 building is still used for J Club (the new name for Sunday School), and several other mid-week meetings. 1963 saw the vision of the 1925 Trustees realised, with the opening of the present Providence Methodist Church. The Name Stone from the 1856 building, was incorporated in the 1962 building.

Acknowledgement Mr Fred Willets from his Centenary Book 1856-1956, Additions by D. Trickett