William Haslam Rectory - Buckenham (1863)

He had three months to prepare his district for the new pastor. When he left; the open-air services, Temperance meetings, Bible readings, Mothers’ meetings and schools were all in good order and well looked after by those who were responsible for them.

Haslam wondered if God had shelved them in a pleasant country place for asking to be moved from Bath. However, there were larger congregations than expected at both churches on the first Sunday. An old gamekeeper who had been praying for God to send them a man that could do them some good came to the service to see the result of his prayers; he was pleased with the Almighty’s choice. Haslam had gone round the cottages earlier and discovered that not a single person knew about conversion and he found it difficult ‘to preach to people so entirely dark and ignorant.” After the service he noticed five or six in the churchyard who looked as if something had touched them, so he invited them to come to the Rectory at 6.00pm. As they did not say they would come to the Rectory, Haslam accepted the invitation to give a talk three miles away, leaving his wife to look after anyone who might come to the evening gathering. To his surprise, sixty showed up in the Rectory and his wife gave a talk where six found peace. The first Sunday on the job and revival had already begun.

The next evening the drawing room was too small for the numbers. He prepared an outhouse for the meetings, but that too became too small, so they moved to a barn that could hold two hundred, but very shortly that was not big enough either. Some people repaired and extended it at their own expense to cope with the demand for space. Meetings were to take place there every night for eight months; the revival continuing for at least the eight years that Haslam was there.

Additional Information

William Haslam built this pulpit in the wall bordering the Rectory so that he could preach to the people gathered in the field (see photo below). The owners asked me not to put a photo of the rectory on the website. It looks very much like it did in Haslam's day.