The hand of the Master has very distinctly been seen here during the past twelve months. At the beginning of the year the Rev John Basley, late of Wardour Chapel, Soho accepted the pastorate of the Independent cause here and very rapidly endeared himself to the people as well as to the members of his church. "He went about doing good," and God was with him. A gradual change for the better was very soon apparent; the ground was evidently being prepared, and in faith and hope we looked for the good things to come. It was during these stirrings of the Spirit that it pleased God to send among us that good servant of his, Dr Forbes Winslow, and he aided us to fan the flame. With different members of his family he went from house to house, distributing revival tracts and giving words of exhortation and encouragement. Many hundreds of valuable little books were thus brought before the cottagers. On Aug, 4, we were favoured with an address from Dr Winslow that will never be forgotten by us, and the effects and fruits of which another day must reveal. An overwhelming and attentive audience listened for two hours to an earnest series of appeals, abounding in anecdote and illustration. Some of the heart-inspiring revival hymns were sung, and the meeting was brought to a close by earnest prayer for the outpouring of the Spirit upon the assembly and upon the people of the neighbourhood. Since then there has been a marked evidence of improvement. Our own church and those of the neighbourhood have been largely recruited by anxious inquirers and sincere penitents. No church meeting has been held without some candidates presenting themselves for fellowship and association with us. Now, at the end of the year we number between twenty and thirty additions to our church members. Our finances, too, have improved, and our various Christian associations have given fresh indications of vitality. The neighbouring churches -- in addition to the parish church -- are a chapel of the Primitive Methodists, close to us, and an Iron Chapel on the Heath above, about a mile away. During the past few months, union meetings for prayer have been held by the various churches for the outpouring of the Spirit upon the neighbourhood. The general results are encouraging. There has been more prayer, and there is consequently more thought. Men oftener talk of the dealings of God with their souls and there is greater warmth and earnestness among God's own people. I must not omit to notice, among the encouraging signs that indicate a change, that a gentleman (a churchman) who has recently purchased a considerable property in our midst, is actively helping in the moral and intellectual agencies of the place. At his own expense he has altered a cottage into a lofty reading-room, furnished it with papers, and is supporting it in every needful way. The beershops here, as in so many villages, are the curse of the place; but, thanks to this effort, among others, a change has commenced, and, the Divine help being given us, we are looking for great and glorious things in the coming year.-Believe me, dear sirs, with much sympathy in your valuable labours, yours faithfully in
"The Revival," 20th October 1864.
This building, built in 1904, replaced this one.