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    Cradley Links

    Cradley Parish Magazine (1897)

    In the January 1897 edition of the Cradley Parish Magazine, the Rev. R.H. Edmondson wrote of 60 years of Queen Victoria's reign, New Year's resolutions, the Cradley Penny Bank, and a sad funeral.


    Cradley Parish Church Later St. Peter's pictured on the cover of the Cradley Parish Magazine. (01/1897)

    CLERGY Rev. R. H. Edmondson, B.A., Vicar. Rev. A. T. Pallister, B.A., Curate.

    CHURCH WARDENS - Messrs G. S. Bissell and F. Hipkiss.

    ORGANIST - Mr. Frank Stevens1

    BURIAL CLERK - Mr. J. F. Bloomer.



    MATINS at 8-30 except Wednesdays and Fridays at 11. Evensong with Sermon on Wednesdays at 7.

    HOLY DAYS - Holy Communion at 8. Evensong with Sermon at 7.


    Holy Communion at 8. 2nd Sunday in Month at Mid day.

    MATINS 10-45. CHILDREN'S SERVICES, 3 o'clock. EVENSONG, 6.30.

    HOLY BAPTISM - THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM is administered every Monday Afternoon at 3 or at any Week day Service, and at the Children's Service the first Sunday in the Month.

    SUNDAY SCHOOLS open at 9-45 a.m. and 2-30. pm.

    Price 1d

    Church Notices, &c.


    My Dear Parishioners,

    1897 will be memorable as the year in which our Queen completed the 60th year of her reign, the longest reign2 in History, and I expect we shall soon have to think of celebrating it. Before we embark on any new scheme, I should like to mention two important matters for your consideration -

    Firstly - We shall build our New Infant School this year, and there will be a debt on it. An effort to clear off the debt would certainly be a good way of celebrating the “Longest Reign.”

    Secondly - The year 1898 will be the Centenary3 of Cradley Church. It was consecrated by the then Bishop of Worcester in 1798. Of course, we shall let no stone unturned to celebrate the occasion in a fitting manner.

    It would be well, I think, to bear these facts in mind when the time comes to decide how we shall commemorate the longest reign.

    Now, standing on the threshold of a New Year, which I hope will be a happy one for you all, I should be sorry to close my letter without giving you a few words to think upon.

    Most of us are desirous of making a new start. We are [illegible] of a New Year, it gives us a definite point from which to carry out new intentions, it offers us fresh feelings, it takes us out of narrow grooves.

    Do not think little of a New Year. Keep as long as you can the feelings and new intentions it brings.

    Think about time and eternity. Quickly as a year seems to part, it is a large portion taken out of the space of life allotted to man, and we never know that we shall see the dawn of another year. We can no more tell what will appear in a single year than we can in a thousand year's time. Surely this will teach us to rely more and more on God, Who in His Infinite Love became Man for us and for our salvation, and Who offers eternal happiness to those who serve Him.

    Serve God as well in prosperity as in adversity.

    On every side trade seems to be at it best. We are entering on the year with the prospect of a prosperous period. Be careful to give God the praise. In prosperity men are so apt to forget God, it makes them worse instead of better. Let it not be with you, but rather think of the blessings and mercies showered on you during years of adversity, and give unto God [illegible] of your life and substance as He hath prospered.

    Be great in hope. Whatever your state of mind may be now, begin the year in hope. It is the right attitude for a christian. Of all the fears and anxieties that you had in the past year, how many were realized ? Where are they ? It is the thought of our future trouble, which is our anguish and pain - And do we not feel ashamed when we think how much time we have wasted in useless anxiety. Hope for the best, for the future is in the Hands of a loving Father. Cast out fear, which looks at circumstances, have hope, which looks at the Controller of circumstances. He will always make “all things work together for good to them that love Him.” Let our New Year's text be this :- “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”

    Believe me,

    Yours sincerely in Christ,


    The Rev. Henry Edmondson, Vicar of Cradley (1892-1911) and the first chairman of Cradley parish Council (1894-1895)


    Our Christmas decorations were not on so large a scale as usual this year, but still what was done was well done. Many thanks to those who gave their time and trouble to this task. We noticed especially the pulpit and font, which showed signs of careful preparation and tasteful work.

    The collections on Christmas Day and the following Sunday were, as has been the case for some years, given to the Clergy Fund, and amounted, with donations since received to £9 4 0. Carols were sung on the Sunday evening, when the Rev. M. Pryor, Vicar of Langley, preached. Carols will be sung again after Evening Service next Sunday.


    A unique funeral service was held last Sunday afternoon at the Parish Church, Cradley, at the interment of a youth named Joseph Blount (16) of Colley Gate, a member of the choir, and of the Church Lads' Brigade, and a scholar of the Sunday School, who died last week in the Corbett Hospital from burns accidentally sustained at the Rose Tube Works, Halesowen. The deceased youth was much respected in the parish, and there was a large attendance at the ceremony. The band and the members of the Church Lads' Brigade mustered at the house, and followed in procession, the band playing “Lead kindly light.” The service in the church was conducted by the Rev. R. H. Edmondson (vicar.) The Church was nearly filled, and the service was fully choral, the hymn “fight the good fight” being sung by the choir. At the graveside, too, the choir and the scholars of the Sunday school sang “Hush! blessed are the dead.” Among the many floral tributes was a handsome wreath from the members of the Church Lads' Brigade.

    The above paragraph appeared in the Advertiser of Saturday, December 26th.

    Joseph Blount was a most dutiful son, and was worthy of the respect shown to him.

    We hope that this sad event and the beautiful service will make a lasting impression on the lads and Sunday school scholars who took part in it.


    We feel sure that there must be a large number of people in Cradley who are quite unaware of the existence of our Penny Bank, and we imagine that when it becomes better known more will avail themselves of the privileges it offers. Deposits (from 1d upwards) are received every Saturday night at the Church Schools at 7 o'clock, and money can at any time be withdrawn by giving a week's notice, of course the great idea is to train up people into a habit of regularly saving a little, we have known the case of a man who deposited a small amount each week and in a short time his savings quite surprised him, and he thought that if such a good result could come from such small items he would try and save all he could with the result that he procured a Post Office Savings Bank Book and began to invest his savings in that. This last year the deposits in our Penny Bank very nearly reached £40, and this was distributed on Dec. 23rd, in the Schools, we gave an interest of 6d. in the the £. This year we are printing a few rules on the pay cards so that everybody will know how it is worked. Last year we had 67 names on our book, and we hope to have a great number of fresh depositors this year.

    Extracts from Registers.


    Nov. 30. Hannah Parsons, Church Street.

    " 30. Joseph Raybould, Colley Lane.

    Dec. 7. Else Maud Waldron, Netherend.

    " 14. Edith Annie Taylor, Parish of Shirley

    " 14. Ada Cornock, Parish of Reddal Hill.

    " Joseph Henry Kirton, New Street.

    " 16. Minnie Tibbetts, High Street.


    Dec. 14. George Henry Turner and Lydia Bissell, both of Colley Gate.

    Dec. 22. William Joseph Bate, Overend, and Emma Rebeccah Walker, of Lyde Green.

    Dec. 25. Henry Reece, Intended Street, and Lottie Bloomer, Church lane.4

    " 25. Thomas Knowles, Netherend, and Eliza Cooke, Cradley.


    Nov. 30. William Attwood, 47 years.

    Dec. 3. Samuel Bloomer, 6S years.

    " 4. Minnie Hill, 14 years.

    Dec 6. Edward Jones, 65 years.

    6. Rhoda Fellows, 47 years.

    6. John James Booton, 13 years.

    9. Samuel Payne, 75 years.

    10. Benjamin Saunders, 19 years.

    13. Bertie Shaw, 3 months.

    14. Benjamin Kitton, 7 months.

    20. Richard Bridgewater, 40 years.

    20. Joseph Green, 71 years.

    20. William Boxley, 58 years.

    20. Joseph William Blount, 16 years.

    23. Josiah Bate, 5 years.

    26. Elijah Rutter, 53 years.


    £. s. d.

    Dec. 6. Church Expenses 2 1 3

    " 13. Alms 1 4 1

    " 13. Church Expenses 2 4 8

    " 20. " " 1 2 5

    " 27. " " 1 2 5

    15 16 7


    Cradley Links wishes to thank Jill Guest, who generously provided photocopies of not only this very rare edition of the Cradley Parish Magazine, but also those of December 1925, April 1940, May 1957 and February 2004.

    The one and only extant copy of the Cradley Parish Magazine of January 1987 was entrusted to Jill Guest for copying by Peter Barnsley. We must record our gratitude to both Peter and his family for having so carefully preserved this fragile copy over the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

    We would also like to thank the current (2004) Vicar of Cradley, the Rev. Tony Coote, and Church Warden John Clifton, who, when approached for permission to reproduce on this site facsimiles of the Cradley Parish Magazine from 1897 to 1957, although “a little bemused as to why anyone would want the magazine on a web site” readily and generously gave Cradley Links their full consent.


    1 Organist Frank Stevens was also the author of “A Short History of Cradley Chapel commonly called the Parish Church of St Peter, Cradley, Staffs” (1933).

    2 The “longest reign” came to an end when Queen Victoria (b. May 24, 1819) died on January 22, 1901.

    3 Cradley Chapel became St. Peter's on June 29, 1898 - see St Peter's on this site.

    4 This is the marriage of the grandparents of Peter Barnsley.

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