Love, Serve, Build
Pray Love Serve Build
In 1892, some builders who attended the Queens Road Methodist Church in Watford made plans to develop a model village on what was then the outskirts of the town. The plans were made to develop four roads with a pub, a shop and a Wesleyan Mission Chapel. They had no village green but on the opposite side of Vicarage Road there was a dell which was open as a recreation ground. As the builders had been brought up in the area of north of Aylesbury, they named the roads after the city and villages of their youth, Oxford, Banbury, Souldern and Aynhoe.
On the 26th April 1893 the memorial stones were laid for the new Wesleyan Chapel. A dedicatory service was held and was attended by many local ministers and prominent businessmen where a platform had been erected for the speakers. A public tea meeting was held at 5 o’clock in the Queens Road Church Schoolroom followed by a public meeting at 7 o’clock in the Church itself.
Wesleyan Circuit Magazine 1919
“In conjunction with our Whippendell Road (Primitive Methodist) friends we are arranging for a series of united open-air services to begin at 8 o’clock Sunday evening. The first one will be held on June 1st at the corner of Harwoods Road and Vicarage Road, it is hoped that all who can will be present to help in the singing.
Mr Frank Wren took over the secretary ship of the Wesley Guild and the amount of work that he put in help establish the mission church as a permanent and effective church. The Chapel came under the wing of the Queens Road Methodist Church who regarded it as a Mission outreach. There was never a strong membership but the worship was maintained for nearly 50 years while the town grew and developed all around. The recreation ground became the home of Watford Football Club when they moved from the West Herts Ground in Cassio Road.
Whilst being under the umbrella of Whippendell Road Methodist Church we had a minister come once a month for a Communion Service. It was a more solemn service but each one who came, Rev Norman Panton, Dr David Isaac and Rev Arthur Aires enjoyed their time with us, especially the latter. Twice a year, as I recall, we had a Breaking of Bread service ourselves; Good Friday evening and the Thursday evening before camp - they were such special times.
In the middle sixties we began to hear of and then experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Mr Tooley from the Elim church came each Thursday to our Bible Study to talk on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and after, the Fruit of the Spirit - a great foundation for us all. Extra gatherings at the Judges’ house, the Hendersons’ too and no doubt others, were times of singing newly learned songs straight from the Bible, we tentatively moved into at least some of the gifts and the Fruit was abundantly seen. It was toward the end of the sixties that Frank and Evelyn returned to the Mission and at that time so many of the original young leaders and their families had begun to move away, generally due to work commitments.
The next chapter in our history.......
David and Betty came to the Mission in 1975 along with Paul and Wendy Vernon and their families and shortly after George and Roberta came too. Around this time Frank became known as Pastor and an eldership was formed: David, Mick and Fred.
Frank held meetings for healing and teaching on the Lord’s Second Coming and under his ministry the church grew rapidly to such an extent that we had to hold the morning service in the Community Centre on the Holywell Estate. A decision was made in 1984 (?) to divide the fellowship into two so The Dell was established under the leading of George Fairley, Garth Woodhead and Neil McLaughlan.
David became the Pastor at the Mission in 1985 until 2005. Fred had moved away by then so Paul Vernon and Mick were voted in as elders and later on Doug Merriman and Brian Evans also become elders overseeing the church family.
We had come out from the Methodist church by this time and the building was bought from the Methodist church and legally we became West Watford Christian Fellowship. We later purchased the house which gave us the room we needed for Sunday school.
A baptistry was built and tiled. David said that during this time all the earth from digging was put in a skip and the Vernon boys had a great time jumping on to it to make room for more - they did such a good job that when the skip was fetched the lorry tipped up! A second skip was required.
Some years later we had an extension in the Mission building which gave us more room and space for the growing church.
In 1993 we celebrated the churches Centenary, a two day event which involved an auction of camp memorabilia such as cylinder gas cookers, dixies etc. More than 200 people attended over the two days.
A time for change again....
In 2005 David heard God's call to cease his role as the church pastor and that in the short term. David shared that Christ would take care of us and that he would oversee the family until he would raise up from the church body the next church pastor. The church functioned for the next 3 years through the leadership of the eldership team of Mick Henderson, Doug Merriman, Brian Evans, Steve Ludlow and Matthew Fairley. Shortly before the end of these 3 years Matthew felt called to head north up to Liverpool and Richard Evans was called onto the Eldership. The church continued on but felt that now was the right time to fast and pray for our next pastor. It was at this prayer meeting that Betty Cline received a clear word concerning Richard that he would be the next pastor, this was confirmed via Linda Field during the fast who felt prompted to speak out the same word. So on the 20th of September 2008 Richard Evans became the churches next pastor and we entered into another new season.
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