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Stone Laying Ceremony In Connection With New Church.

From a cutting from a local newspaper - 7 June 1935

An important event concerning local Methodism, took place at Feltwell on Wednesday in connection with the building of the new Methodist Church in Bell Street, which is in the centre of the village, and is being erected by Messrs. Oliver Staines & Sons, of Fincham, the architects being Messrs. Edward Boardman & Son, of Norwich. The building will cost upwards of £3000.

In the afternoon a stone laying ceremony took place, and was attended by hundreds of people from the surrounding district, including many ministers and leaders of Non-conformity from a large area. The proceedings were presided over by the Rev. W. H. Heap (chairman of the district), supported by circuit ministers and local leaders of Methodism. The hymn "I'll praise my Maker while I've breath," was followed by prayer by the Rev. Sowden, and an address by the Rev. W. H. Heap, who commenced by saying this was indeed a great day for Feltwell. He attacked materialism as advocated by Bertrand Russell, declaring that brotherhood and not self-seeking is our aim. Worship was necessary from time to time and with great regularity. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist tables were discarded and prejudices lived down and they had opposition to no other denominations, but like John Wesley, they were friends of all and enemies to none. A revival was expected. The new -building would cost £3000, and a gentleman of his acquaintance had given £1500.


The financial account was given by the Rev. D. W. Evans. Amongst other items a cheque for £50 had been handed to Mr. Evans, and £2 had been forwarded by Mr. Tom Yelf, of Norwich, relative of the late Mr. Greenfield Cock, a former prominent local Wesleyan and a further sum and telegram of best wishes from a former minister, the Rev. Dickinson. Amongst other sums, Mrs. Scott had collected in small amounts £21, Misses Willett and Johnson £15 5s. 3d., and they now had to find £500.

The Rev. Dr. Kirtland spoke in great praise of the efforts of the Rev. Evans towards the success of the scheme.

Stones were then laid as follow—Miss Beryl Addison (in memory of her grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Addison), June 5th, 1935; another by the circuit ministers and stewards; Rev. Dr. E. S. Kirtland, BA., D.D., Rev. D. W. Evans, Mr. C. W. Lemmon, Rev. G. F. Sowden, and Mr. C. H. Tuck; others were laid by the Rev. W. H. Heap, Mr. John Rose Bennett, of Downham, Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Boyce, Mr. and Mrs. Broadwater, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. A. E. Fendick, of Northwold, Mr. Harry Gates, and Mr. C. C. Davidson in memory of their father, the late Rev. James Davidson, on behalf of the family.

All those who laid stones deposited amounts from £5 to £10. Initialled bricks were laid by juveniles, each depositing 2s. 6d.—Edna Anderson, Phyllis Banham, Hilda Boyce, George Barnes, Douglas Barnes, Norman Brookes, Iris Brookes, Olive Broadwater, Peter Cooper, Audrey Cooper, Peggy Everitt, Frank Eyres, Daphne Lawrence, Florence and Violet Maggs, J. W. Neville, Jean Payne, Maurice Pryer, Dora Pryer, Frances Seeker, Ada Seeker, Elsie Weight, Iris Walden, Derrick Willett, Raymond Walden, Rex Whitta, Elizabeth Whitta, Enid Younge, Pamela Younge, Pat Younge, Monica Younge; adults Alfred Adams, Clifford Broadwater, Geoffrey Broadwater, William Clarke, Stanley F. C. Howe, Dorothy Jacobs, Dora Pryer, Fred W. Pryer, Augusta Pryer, Sarah Ann Pryer, Emma Weight, Gertrude Walden, Rhoda Ward, Mercy Ward, William Ward, and Ruth Ward. A public tea followed at the Coronation Hall. Subsequently a demonstration was held, attended by hundreds of methodists, and presided over by. Mr. W. W. Pryke, of Methwold. The speakers included the Rev. W. Cooper, of Norwich, the Rev. Evans, and others. A musical programme was included, Mrs. Addison being the accompanist.

  Some additional notes from Mr Edmund Lambert

RJF Rice, mainly known as Flower Rice, farmed 350 acres at Home Farm. He was Sam and Olive Rice's Father and he died in the 1950's.

The land on which the Methodist Chapel stands was part of the farm which was previously owned by East Hall Estate and was sold in 1931.  It was a stack yard for the farm opposite in Bell Street. The cottages to the left also went with the farm.

Flower was married to Edmund’s Grandfather’s sister Sarah [nee Lambert]. Her mother was also Sarah [Nee Rudland]. (There are two Rudland family grave sites in St Mary’s graveyard, one near the porch and one on the north side)

Wilfred Addison the decorator was also a Lay preacher.

The Primitive Methodist Chapel is now the Fish Piper and the former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel went with what is now Hill Farm House. It was on the sight of the two bungalows on Hill Street.


Interior, note the heat source!

From a phone conversation with Marie Pullen.

Marie recalls that when she was eight years old, she and the rest of Standard One at Feltwell School were taken by their teacher, Miss Addison, to view the foundations of the Methodist Church.  Each child had been told to bring something small.  Marie had taken a 3d (thrupenny) bit, her pocket money that week.  The school in question was clearly not the current school but was the ‘Big’ School that is now converted into a row of houses on the corner of Old School Close.  She told me that the class had to be walked along the pavement as the gates to St Mary’s churchyard were only open on a Sunday, unlike today when they are permanently open.  When the children arrived at the building site each child placed their tiny object in the foundations.  These were then bricked in place.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find these objects today and see what the children left?

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