Minutes of Northchurch Baptist Church
Part 7     1952 - 1953

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[These Minutes are taken from the fourth Minute Book which covers the period 1952 - 1962
There is a gap in the records from 1945 to 1952, the final years of Alderman Stratford's ministry]

[These minutes open dramatically with news of the death of their pastor of 26 years and cover the period until a replacement is appointed.
The interregnum is far from quiet with important changes being agreed as to how the church's business is run]


Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting
held March 3rd 1952             41 Present
The Meeting opened with a hymn and prayer by Mr L Owen.
Mr R Brooks acting as chairman expressed the deep feeling in which we all gathered.  All were conscious of the great loss, we had had in the passing of our beloved Pastor who died suddenly Sunday Feb 24 at his home "Roseford" London Rd, Hemel Hempstead.  Letters of sympathy were read from neighbouring churches and individual people.
It was then recalled how our late Pastor Mr Stratford had lead the church for 26 years carrying on all the duties of pastor, leader and secretary.  We were now in the position when the post of secretary had to [be] filled.  Mr L Owen pro Mr R Brooks as secretary this was seconded by Mrs Carvil and carried unanimously.  The meeting then continued with Mr R Brooks in the chair and Mr Wilson taking the minutes.
The Treasurer Mrs R Brooks reported the financial position which showed a balance of £168.8.5.   Signitures for signing cheques on Church banking a/c was brought forward.  Mr R Brooks pro Miss Mothersole sec Mr L Owen be appointed to sign cheques with the Treasurer, all agreed.
10/- was unanimously agreed upon for cakes as the Church's donation to the Free church council's "At Home" meeting at Berkhamsted Baptist on March 25th.  The chairman suggested Mrs N Davis as our ladies representative on the Free Church Council Refreshment Committee for the "At Home" gatheringall agreed.
After discussion the date for the annual Church and Congregation was fixed for Thursday March 31st.   Mrs Skidmore pro Mrs Field sec that G T Brooks of Tring be asked to attend this meeting in an advisory capacity this was carried unanimously.
The meeting expressed their appreciation to Mr G T Brooks for his services in conducting the Memorial Service of our own late pastor and all agreed a letter be sent to him expressing the church's thanks.
Mr S Delderfield noted with regret that no letter or representation had been received from the Herts Baptist Union, since our pastor's sudden death, especially as he had served on that committee for so many years.  The Chairman stated the secretary (Rev Budge Rickmansworth had been informed within a few hours of Mr Stratford's passing, and asked the meeting if it wished to record Mr S Delderfield's statement.  All agreed that should be done.
This ended the business and after the Benediction the friends talked over cups of tea and biscuits.
                                      J T Brooks27 March 1952
Minutes of Annual Church and Congregation Meeting held Thurs 27 March 52 at 7.30 pm.
39 Present
The Sec. Mr R Brooks pro our invited guest Mr J T Brooks of Tring be asked to take the Chair.  Sec by Mr H Davis all agreed.
With Mr J T Brooks presiding the meeting open with a hymn followed by prayer by Mr L Owen.
Minutes of the last ordinary meeting were read past & Signed.
Arising from the Minutes, the sec. read two letters, one from Rev W L Miller area superintendent and one from Rev W F Budge sec. Herts Baptist Ass.   Both letters gave offers of help to the church.  Discussing the letter from Rev W R Miller on the supply of students or a student pastorate for the church.  Mr Wilson stated student supplies were out of the question at the moment owing to the expense.  Mr Carey suggested student supplies when we had a vacant Sunday.  Mr G Foskett pro we carried on with local supplies as we had done for many years.  Mr Wilson sec it was carried.
Chairman Mr J T Brooks The Chairman spoke of his pleasure to be with us and at being asked to preside but he was not pleased having to take the chair which our late pastor Ald F Stratford had filled for so long.  He asked all to rally round the great cause which Mr Stratford had built in faith, trust and love to God and his fellows.  The chairman ended with the word "Northchurch united can keep things going for God's Kingdom"
Secretary Continuing the business the Sec reported on 1951 recalled the Harvest Festival services taken by the Rev C C Dawson now retired at Bushey.  He remarked on the good display of flowers vegetables and fruit and of the great sale held on the Monday.
Reviewing the Festival Bazaar held on Sat Oct 13th it had been a great financial success and united fellowship had been throughout.  Mrs Cassell of Watford opened the Bazaar Mr Cassell spoke and Mr Dean of Hemel Hempstead took the chair.   This was followed by a good concert lead by Mr A Newman from Chesham.  The Christmas visitations and gifts had been done by our late Pastor to the older folk of the Church.
Treasurer   The Treasurers report follow given by Mrs R Brooks, starting with a brought forward balance in 1950 of £338 we had on the income side during 1951 the sum of £649.  Expenditure had been heavy owing to the installation of the electric heating system which cost £265 and electric bills for power used was over £64.  However we had a balance in hand of £177.
Communion Fund had not the balance of previous years but that stood at £1.16.0.  This concluded the Treasurer's report and pro by Mrs G Foskett sec by Mr Ludlow all aggreed [sic] be accepted.
S School Sec.  Mr L Owen reported for the S. School given an increase in scholars for the year making this total 68.  He thanked all for the financial help given to the S. School which had enabled the children to receive a [unclear] and a free treat to the seaside.  7 scholars had entered for the scripture exam and 2 received honours.
S School Treasurer   S School Treasurer Mr A Delderfield reported a balance of £11 in the General Fund and £12 in Outing Fund.
Y.P.F. Sec   Mr Jim Purton sec of the Y.P.F. reported a good year for his first as secretary.  Visits had been made to Boxmoor Baptist and Tring Free Church.  Devotional services monthly were taken by our late Pastor and we had several outside speakers.
Y.P.F. Treasurer  Y.P.F. treasurer Mr H Bruton reported a balance in hand of over £13.
Womens OwnMrs N Davis leader of the W. Own report a successful year, a happy summer outing to Windsor and a grand Women's Sunday in Nov. when Mrs Holland was the speaker.
W. Own TreasurerMrs Wilson reported a balance of £9 with 7/3 ready cash at the moment for the Women's Own.
Choir    Mrs Brenda Carvil reporting for the choir held £3.89.0 balance.
Flowers   Mrs E Carey reporting the Flowers secretary stated the last retiring collection had been last August but despite this she had a balance of 2/-.
B.M.S.  Mrs N Davis reported sending to B.M.S. £30.18.6The S School had done well in their weekly collection boxes.
Concert Party   For the concert party lead by Mr Wilson he reported he had 11 members who contributed 3" per week.  7 concerts had been produced and new curtains and improved staging had been bought.
C Party Treasurer Mrs E Carey report an income of £12 .14.6 for 1951 and a balance of £4.4.3 for the concert party.
Junior Y.P.F. Mrs Parry reported good progress in the Junior Y.P.F. with an enjoyable party at Xmas.
Church officials appointments   Appointment to the various duties followed
Treasurer        Mrs R Brooks              pro Mr L Owen
Auditor           Mr G Rance                pro Mr Delderfieldsec Mr Davis
Organist          Miss K Davis              pro Mrs Cartersec Mrs Axtell
Ass Organist   Mrs L Owen               pro Mrs Davis
                  all were unanimously appointed.
Sidesmen and Doormen   After some discussion on the subject of door Stewards Mr Ludlow pro the deacons should arrange a doorsman rota for each Sunday service and that the Sidesmen Messrs G Rance, J Foskett, A Delderfield and H Bruton be reselected for the year.  All aggreed.
Flower Sec   Mrs E Carey was unanimously appointed to carry on the great work of flowers in the church.  It was also proposed and aggreed that a retiring collection be taken up on each 5 Sunday in the year.
Chairman   At this juncture the chairman thanked all for their reports and expressed how proud we should be of them, adding many larger churches would like to see their finances in such a good condition.
BU Meeting London   Mr A Delderfield was appointed delegate to the Baptist Union Meeting in London.
Herts Baptist Ass.  Mrs H Davis and Mrs R Brooks were unanimously appointed delegates to the Herts Baptist Ass Meeting to be held at Welwyn Gdn City on Thurs May 29th.
Church Deeds   The matters of church deeds and their whereabouts were discussed,
after much discussion the meeting instructed the Sec. to invite Mr Claude Barker of Watford (solicitors) to ask if he could enlighten us any in this matter.
Church Boundary Wall   Mr S Delderfield report that estimates had been received for the erection of a 4' 6" brick wall on the west side of the church and that the committee appointed would be meeting shortly to report.  It was aggreed that the estimate of Mr Fred Fantham for £165 be accepted.
Entrance Gate   Mr Delderfield reported the work of the Herts County Council in making a side approach to the church entrance.  All aggreed the work was satisfactory and a great safety measure.
Memorial to our late Pastor   In Memory of our late pastor it was aggreed that a committee be formed to go into the matter of a Memorial Tablet and that the committee consist of the deacons treasurer/ representatives from each organisation and 2 from the church.  Mr G Foskett was pro by Mrs R Brooks sec Mr F SheltonMrs Ashby pro by Mr S Delderfield sec by Mr H Davis.   All aggreed the two friends should represent the church.
Spring CleaningFinal discussion was the spring cleaning of the church.  The men present aggree to meet together and arrange for their part of the work to start the week commencing April 21st.  The ladies aggree to commence the finishing work as soon as the men had complete their duties.   The removal of the old water heating pipes were discussed and hopes were forthcoming that this could be done without damage to the wood work in the church. 
This ended the business and at 9.30 the happy meeting closed with the Benediction and all friends had fellowship while enjoying Tea and Biscuits.
Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting held 7 July 1952 at 7.30 pm
14 presentChairman R Brooks
Prior to the business a short prayer and praise meeting was held. The chairman led
the meeting after which several Members gave thanks to God in prayer.
The chairman asked Mr F Shelton if he would take records of the meeting, all aggreed. 
The meeting opened with prayer from L Owen.
Annual Minutes Summary   The business commenced with a summary of the Church and Congregation Annual Business Meeting Minutes.
Spring Cleaning  Arising out of the Minute Summary, Mrs Brooks asked for the spring cleaning effort to be recorded, the meeting aggreed that everyone had worked hard and completed a good job in the church and schoolroom which had included removal of old heating pipes and radiator, the latter which was on the vestible had been replaced by two oak book shelves ably done by Messrs E Carey and J Parry.  The Chairman expressed his wish that a special thanks be given to Mr J Purton Sen. for decorating the kitchen at such a small cost and to Mr Axtell for removing the old water Pipes.
Church Deeds Reporting from an interview with Mr Claude Barker solicitors Watford the chairman said no church deeds had been placed with Mr C Barker but that given particulars he would be able to get some knowledge of the deeds and most likely a copy of the Title Deeds of the Church.  These particulars had been given to Mr C Barker since that interview the chairman added, also the old Deed of the original church in Bell Lane.
Baptisms   The chairman reported two requests for believers baptisms namely Mrs Field and Mr J Purton Jun.  Pro Mr L Owen and 2nd by Mrs Brooks that Mr R Brooks and Mr H Bruton be appointed visitors to Mr J Purton and Miss Mothersole and Mrs H Davis be visitors to Mrs Field was pro by Mrs Brooks Sec by Mr Owen all aggreed to these proposals.
The Chairman also remarked that the Rev Whitby, Boxmoor had been approached and had offered to take the Baptismal Service on a Sunday evening during August subject to his diaconate approval.  All these matters concerning the Baptisms were aggreed to.
Summer Social   It was decided by the meeting to accept Mr S Delderfield's kind offer of a visit to his farm for a Social evening, the date was fixed for Wed 30 July any time after 6 pm and it would be a faith social all bringing their own cups.
Sick visitors   The next business was a suggestion that a Lady and gentleman sick visit be officially appointed by the church for a 6 month period.  It was aggreed that the matter be brought to the next meeting.
Erection of wall   All were pleased with the work commenced on the new wall at the West side of the church, all was proceeding according to plan.
Wooden fence at rear of boundary   It was suggested by Mr Brooks and all aggreed that Mr F Shelton be asked to remove the derelict wooden fence for the rear of the building now that the neighbours property owner Mr H East of H Hempstead had erected a new Penfold fence.  Mr F Shelton readily aggreed to do the work.
Memorial to late pastor Ald F Stratford.  The chairman stated the Memorial committee were to meet in the near future to discuss the proposed Memorial Tablet which was to be erected with voluntary contributions.  In addition to those appointed at the annual meeting the committee included Mrs H Bruton S School, Mr J Purton Jun Y.P.F. Mrs H Preston Women's Own and their recommendation would be brought to the next meeting.
Harvest FestivalThe date arranged for the Harvest Festival was 14 Sept and the Rev W.R Miller area superintendent would be taking morning and evening worship.
Prayer and Praise Meeting   It was suggested a Prayer and Praise meeting be held on Monday 8th Sept prior to the Harvest.  Mrs Carey and Mr H Bruton be in charge of the Church decorations, both these suggestions were agreed upon.
Supplies for pulpit   The meeting aggreed that the supply of lay preachers was very satisfactory.
Future Efforts   After discussion on ways and means to raise money for the church Fund it was aggreed to brin[g] this forward at a future meeting.
As there was no further business the chairman closed with the Benediction at 9.15 after which tea and biscuits were served.
                                                                         J T Brooks
                                                                                   24 July 1952
Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting held 24 July 1952
30 present
The meeting opened with a hymn: the chairman Mr J T Brooks of Tring took the prayer.
Chairman's Introduction   The Chairman thanked the friends for inviting him again to take the Chair.  He was pleased to help us so, having had long association with the church and for the cause our late pastor had loved and built up.
Minutes   Minutes of the last meeting were read past & Signed.
Arising out of minutes Mr Shelton was thanked for the work he had put in, to remove the old wooden fence at the rear of the building.
Letter to H East of Hemel Hempstead  The chairman then spoke of the disadvantage we were in, in not having a right of way behind the church premises.  Mr Shelton pro. Mr S Delderfield sec and all aggreed that a letter be sent to Mr Herbert East of Hemel Hempstead who owned the land at the rear of the church, asking him, as an interested party to the church work, if he would consider giving us the opportunity to purchase 6 feet of his ground to enable the church to have a right of way.
Letter to Mr Tom Eggleton, Northchurch   The secretary suggested that now the new wall was completed it would be a good opportunity to write Mr Tom Eggleton of Seymour Road, Northchurch to thank him for his help given to us in the erection of the wall and for the ground given by him to enable the front side entrance to the church to be made all aggreed a letter should be sent.
Reports for Church Membership   Reports followed from Mrs H Davis and Miss G Mothersole on the interview with Mrs Field for baptism and church membership.  The chair stated these were good, sincerely reports, and thanked the visitors and called on the meeting to approve what had been said, all aggreed.
Loan to the Church by Mr S Delderfield   Next on the agenda was an offer by Mr S Delderfield to loan us money free of interest to erect a brick wall on the East side of the building.  Mr R Brooks for the diaconate thanked Mr Delderfield for the generous offer and stated the deacons were only too ready to ask the church to accept this offer which would mean over £100 at present day costs.  Mr E Carey asked if there was to be a discussion on the memorial to Mr F Stratford our late pastor, if so, could not this offer be discussed in conjunction with this item.  The Chairman said this was so, and the meeting aggreed to a joint discussion.
Appointment of Sick Visitors   After some discussion on church sick visitors Mrs H Davis was unanimously appointed to this position and it was suggested and aggreed that this appointment should be made annually at the annual church meeting.
Recommendation of the Memorial Committee on Tablet    Mr R Brooks then read the recommendation of the memorial committee which was as follows.


We recommend a marble tablet 2' 6" x 1' 6" be purchased and fixed to the interior East side of this chapel (left hand side) facing the congregation seats.  That the old gas pipes be removed, to acquire a central position on the same wall.  Wording on the Marble Tablet to be in letters cut and coloured are proposed as follows
"In Memory of Ald. F. Stratford J.P. who died Feb 24th 1952. For 27 years Beloved Hon Lay Pastor of this church"
6 of the 7 members present of this committee voted for this recommendation.  Further to this recommendation the committee wish to bring to the meeting a suggestion for a "children's corner" in memory of our late pastor and would be ready to go into any details on these lines if the church so wished.
[This tablet can just be seen in the old picture of the sanctuary, entitled Church Interior, under the banner on the left hand side       click here to view]


The recommendation was discussed and some were of the opinion this was not a large enough tribute to Mr Stratford: suggestions were made to the highest of sums, namely a new pipe church organ. 
Memorial Fund opened After great thought it was pro by Mr S Delderfield sec by Mr E Carey that the Memorial Fund be opened immediately and it should close the week before the Harvest Festival Sept 7th.  This would enable the church at its next meeting to discuss the matter in the light of the amount subscribed.
Mr S Delderfield's loan accepted  The offer of Mr S Delderfieldhad been in mind during all the discussion and it was pro by Mr E Carey, se by Mr J Foskett that we accept the offer , all aggreed.  The chairman thanked Mr Delderfield, saying, knowing our brother as he did, he knew the loan he was offering would be spread over 10 years or more if the church so wished.
Harvest Festival   After a short discussion and appeal for the Harvest Effort when the Rev W.R Miller Area Superintendent would lead us in thanksgiving.  It was aggreed that the charge for the Harvest Tea on the Monday be raised to 1/6 adults & 9d children this year.
Social Club   On the announcement of any other business Mrs J Preston suggested that the School Room be opened one evening a week during the summer months for the welfare of the youth in the church.  This suggestion met the approval of many and it as aggreed that if ladies came forward to take charge of these gatherings of young people, the people of the church would readily aggree to Youth Social Club being started.
Mr L Owen raised a vote of thanks of this church to Mr J.T. Brooks for his great help and leadership in taking the chair at this meeting. Mr Field seconded Mr Owen's remarks.
The chairman pronounced the Benediction and all friends formed in partaking Tea and Biscuits. so ended this happy thoughtful meeting.
                                                                        R A Brooks
Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting held 22nd Sept 1952 at 7.30
38 Present
Prior to the meeting a short prayer and praise service was held, led by Mr L Owen.
The meeting open with a hymn and a prayer.
Mr R Brooks taking the chair apologised for the absence of Mr J T Brooks of TRING who had been asked to preside over the meeting, he had a severe cold and had sent a message, with all good wishes.
Minutes of the last meeting were read, past and signed.
Arising from Minutes   Mrs R Brooks suggested that the success of the Harvest Festival be placed on record, the Rev W.R. Miller Area S. had conducted the Sunday Services, and with a Successful Tea & Sale over £30 was raised.
Baptismal Service The Chairman referred to the baptismal service on Aug 31st when Mrs Fiela and Mr J Purton Jun. passed through the waters of Baptism. The service was conducted by the Rev E.J. Whitby of Boxmoor.  These two friends were received into church Membership by Mr J. T. Brooks of Tring our lay preacher for Sept 7th at the monthly communion.
[marginal note states] (Note) The Rev E J Whitby conducted two week-night meetings on Baptists and Baptism both were well attended.
Letter from Mr H East   The chairman read a reply letter from Mr H.E. East of Hemel Hempstead, to the chapel boundary.  He stated that he would not assist in the suggestion of the church purchasing some of his land at the rear of the church.  His reason for not doing so had been communicated to our own late pastor Ald F Stratford.  Mr R Brooks the chairman referred to the letter as rather vague and suggested we left the matter.
Letter from Church Council A letter was then read from Mr Hines [?] Sec. of the Berkhamsted Free Church Council re helping the renewed activity of the local Y.M.C.A.  The letter asked the church to support a Bring and Buy Sale to be held in the near future, after some discussion it was aggreed that some of our Members would
help in this way.
Letter from Mr Claude Barker re Church Deeds   A 3rd letter was read from Claude Barker and Partners solicitors Watford re. the Church Deeds.  It stated no trace had been found of the Church Deeds, but the matter was now in the hands of the Charity Commission.  The chairman stated if no trace was found, the Charity Commission was the Authority that would give sanction to the church to draw up New Deeds, but at the moment we could only wait for further developments
Herts Baptist lay Preachers Ass. After a few words from the Chairman about the good work being done by the H.B Lay preachers; it was pro by Mr J Foskett sec by Mr F Shelton that £2 be donated to the Ass. from the Church Funds, all aggreed.
Resignation of Caretaker   It was with great regret that the chairman had to announce the resignation of the Caretaker Mrs H Davis.  He thanked Mrs Davis coupled with Mr Davis and Miss Davis for the good work they had done over so many years and he hoped they would carry on until other arrangements could be made.
All aggree with these remarks. The chairman then suggested, with the ladies of the church approval that a Rota system for cleaning the church would probably work satisfactory.  The ladies each week being placed on a Rota to do the cleaning as and when they wished when the church and schoolroom was free from activities.  All readily aggreed to this suggestion and Mr Foskett was asked to take the ladies names of those willing to help after the meeting.  It was also aggreed that the men friends helped in the scrubbing and cleaning the outside places when this was necessary, to this the men aggreed.
Keys for Side Entrance The Chairman then passes on the suggestion to have extra keys cut for the side entrance of the church to enable each organisation, and officers to have their own key.  Mrs Axtell made this a proposition, Mrs Carter seconded and it was carried unanimously.  It was also aggreed that Mr F Shelton 7 Bell Lane Northchurch should have a key for any emergency that might arise.  After discussion on the size of the present side entrance keys, it was decided to accept Mr E Carey offer to fit a Yale lock on the door, and the meeting asked him to purchase the necessary number of keys.
Flowers   After discussion it was decided to introduce a Rota system for the Flowers placed in the church each Sunday.  Mrs E Carey our Flower Sec. aggreed to the discussion, and asked the people to give me their names, then she would make out the rota and place it on the vestible notice board.  Our flower sec. informed us, she still had some money from the last collection.  The chairman suggested that Mrs Carey should still hold this fund and use it for any emergency, which might result in this system.
Memorial to our Late Pastor   It was announced that Mr L Owen had received £21.8.6 to the Memorial Fund to our late pastor.  After much discussion it was decided by the meeting (2 not voting) that the committee's proposal for the erection of a marble tablet be accepted and that a new committee be formed to bring the church proposals on how it was best to spend the remainder of the money.  The committee appointed were the following Messrs Carey, Parry, Axtell, Carter and Ashby.
Any Other Business   Mr A Wilson announces as leader, that the "Blue Caps" Concert Party was temporarily disbanded and on behalf of all the members of the Concert Party he wished to hand over to the church £2.12.3½ toward the purchase of New Baptist C Hymnals.  The chairman thanked Mr Wilson and all its members for the work , and help the Concert Party had done & hoped it would soon resume its activities.  He thanked them for the money and the thoughts behind it, hymn book would be purchased with this sum.
Resignation of Mrs H Davis as leader of Womens Own  The Chairman regretted to announce the wishes of Mrs H Davis.  He stated she had asked him to tell the people of the church she had resigned from the leadership of the Womens Own, but was continuing as secretary.
This concluded the business and the meeting closed with the Benediction at 9.35 pm after which tea and biscuits were served.
                                                              R.A. Brooks
Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting held Oct 27 at 7.30
29 Present
The meeting opened with a Hymn and Mr L. Owen lead in Prayer.
Minutes were read, past and signed.
Yale Lock for Side entrance   Mr R Brooks chairman, referring to the minutes on the new lock expressed thanks to Mr E Carey & Mr A Wilson for the good work done in fixing the "Yale" lock and the church now had 12 keys for the side door.
Tablet to our late Pastor   In reference to the memorial tablet to our late pastor:  a drawing of the wording in actual size, which had been sketched out by Martin & Son Stonemason Berkhamsted was handed round to all Members present and it was aggreed unanimously to accept the design as shown.
Hymn Book   The Chairman announced that 9 B C Hymnals ad been purchased with the money given by Mr Wilson's Concert Party.
Coronation of Queen ElizabethCommencing fresh business a letter was read from the Northchurch Parish Council asking the church to send representatives to a meeting on Oct 31st which was being called to discuss celebrations for the coming Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  On the pro. of Mrs Davis sec Miss F Halsey Mr S Delderfield was elected, also Mrs Ashby was pro. by Mr Carey sec by Mr Davis and all aggreed with a unanimous vote. 
Church Deeds   The Chairman then read a letter from Claude Barker, Watford re the church deeds.  It stated a reply had been received from the Charity Commissioners,  they do not appear to have any record of the Northchurch Baptist Church or to hold any Deeds relating to the Church property.  The chairman stated he had seen Mr Peter Clarke (one of the partners of Messrs C Barker) who was in charge of the negotiations for the church.  He had advised, writing to the Charity Commission and ask their permission to appoint new trustees, suggesting the Baptist Union for that purpose and permission to draw up new title deeds on a pattern of the New Trust Deeds that were being taken up at the present time by new churches of the denomination.  The meeting were of the opinion that nothing could be done, or decisions made at this stage.
The Northchurch Trust   The Northchurch Trust was the next business regarding the interest payment on £1002½% Consols.  For two years the Trust had had 3 trustees namely Messrs Baker, King and Purton.  Mr S Purton the payee had now been abroad for 12months and wished to resign from this official capacity.  After discussion Mr A Wilson proposed we had the interest payment paid direct into the church Banking account, and that a new Trustee be appointed, this was unanimously aggreed.


Old Graveyard Bell Lane   Discussing the old graveyard in Bell Lane it was pro. by Mr Carey sec Mr Wilson that Mr S Delderfield & Mr H Bruton be appointed to go into the condition of the site to see what could be done, this was aggreed to, and later it was suggested that some of the men who were able would start clearing the surrounding hedge the following Saturday.   The secretary promised to get in touch with the owners of the neighbouring field for permission to enter[?] the meadow.
[marginal note] site rented to Mr Hellier Grange Farm, Bovingdon 2107.
Appointment of Womens Own Leader   The Chairman at this stage announced Mrs A Holland 16 Shrublands Ave Berkhamsted had been asked to take over the leadership of the Women's Own and she had aggreed to do so.  The chairman then asked the meeting to approve this appointment, adding she was known to all and had been a great Christian friend to the church.  All voted in favour.
J.Y.P.F.  It was then reported , the Junior Young People's fellowship would be starting on Monday evenings.  Mrs Axtell with other helpers were making the arrangements with help from the Y.P.F.
Benevolent Fund   For the distribution of the Benevolent Fund this Christmas time, it was pro. by Mrs Axtell sec by Mrs Wilson that Mrs H Davis distribute gifts of money to needy Church friends, as had been the practice of our late pastor for so many years.  All readily aggreed to this proposal.
Parish Church Cemetery   On the announcement of any other business The question of the Parish Church Cemetery was brought up.  Mr S Delderfield was given permission to see the appropriate authority and report back.
Community Singing   Community hymn singing for Sunday evening service was brought up by Mr Carey.  Mr J Purton pro. community singing after the evening worship.  The sec. stated he would contact Mr A. Stratford who was booked to lead us on Nov 16, and ask him if he would conduct 30 minutes of Hymn singing after the evening service.  Also he would ask Mrs A Bradshaw if she would arrange a community singing service in the new year.
New brick wall  The proposed new brick wall was the next question and the chairman stated, it had been aggreed to leave this erection until the Spring on the advice of the builders.
S School Treat   Mr Carey then asked if any thing had been arranged for the Children's Treat at Christmas.  And he was assured that the Sunday school would be giving the usual Treat and it was coming before their committee in the next few days.
Offering Prayer   Mrs Carter then put forward the suggestion that the sidesmen taking up the free will offering on Sunday be asked to wait at the front of the church while a prayer for the offering was made.   It was aggreed, this was a good suggestion and the chairman hoped at some future date this arrangement would be made.
Gas radiators   Mrs H Davis brought up the poor condition of the gas radiators in the school room.  It was pro. by Mrs R Brooks sec by Mrs Ashby that Mr Axtell be asked to look at the gas radiators.  All aggreed.
This ending the business the meeting closed with the Benediction by the chairman at 9.10 after which tea and biscuits were served.
                                                R A Brooks
Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting held Nov 19th 1952
Chairman Mr R Brooks Sec.         26 Present.
Meeting opened with a hymn followed by prayer from Mr L Owen.  The chairman expressed in a few words why we had had to call a meeting 3 weeks after a long & happy church meeting and he was pleased so many had come. 
Minutes were read, past and signed.
Arising from minutes.  Thanks were expressed to Mr Axtell for the work he had done repairing the gas radiators.
New Trustee for the Northchurch Trust   Commencing the business it was agreed by all present to appoint 2 new Trustee to the £1002½% Consols which been named Northchurch Trust.   Those appointed and aggreed to stand were Mr F Shelton of 7 Bell Lane and Mr E Carey 33 Granville Road.  Old Trustees are Mr Baker Wigginton & L King Northchurch.
Church Trustees and Deeds   The Chairman reported on the latest developments towards the appointment of New Trustees for the Church and he had received from our solicitors at Watford a copy of the New Model Deeds draw up by the Baptist Union.  After expressing the importance of the decisions the church had to take in this matter he asked the Meeting if they would appoint a small committee of males present, suggesting 4 to join the 2 deacons to read and discuss together the New Model Deeds and for the committee to report back to the next meeting of the church.  After discussion it was aggreed to have a committee with the deacons to go into all matters regarding Church Deeds & Trustees.   All unanimously aggreed to the appointment of Mr H Bruton Mr S Delderfield Mr A Wilson & Mr E Carey to this committee.
Report of the Parish Coronation Committee   Mrs Ashby reporting on the Coronation committee suggestions for the village activities, stated proposals were afoot to have a Service of worship at 11 am & Fancy Dress Parade at 1.30. pm.  Free tea for children & old folk with dancing and fireworks in the evening.  A street by street collection to the fund was being arranged.
Old Cemetery   Good reports came next on the work commensed to clear the old cemetery of undergrowth etc and it was suggest a notice board be erected to draw the attention of people, that the ground was a cemetery so as rubbish would not be placed there in future.  Mr L King promised to supply the board and Mr Axtell was asked to write the wording.
Letter from Berkhamsted re Parochial Cemetery   The chairman then read a letter from the Parochial Church Council asking for assistance in the maintenance of the cemetery at Berkhamsted.  It was expressed by several present that we at Northchurch should contribute to the Parish Cemetery at Northchurch, to which thought the meeting aggreed.  Mr S Delderfield then reported on his interview with Mr Tom Ashby regarding the Parochial Cemetery at Northchurch.  Mr Delderfield stated he had had every assurance from Mr Ashby that money's we had given were all spent on cemetery maintenance.  With this report the meeting aggreed to the proposal by Mr E Carey sec. by Mrs H Davis that £3.3.0 be sent to the Church Council immediately and a retiring collection for this aim be arranged.
Appointment to Tea Committee The chairman asked for an appointment to be made for 1 lady on the tea Committee, owing to the passing of our beloved sister Miss A Halsey.  Mrs Field was pro. by Mrs Davis sec by Mrs Axtell and all unanimously aggreed.
[Alice Mary Halsey died aged 71.  She was born in Northchurch in 1881 apparently living in the village all her life.]
Church Cleaning Rota   It was then asked if the ladies were happy in the way the church cleaning & Rota were going.  All concerned that were present aggreed everything was working well and wished the Rota to continue.  Mr L Owen was thanked for effort made in purchasing two hair brooms and handles so cheaply.
Any Other Business  At the item of Any other Business Mr L Owen pro & Mr A Wilson sec that the secretary Mr R Brooks should be allowed expenses, all aggreed.  The audit of Books , on Church finance was raised and it was aggreed that Mr G Rance should be asked to do this work after the close of the year Dec 31st.  Mr E Carey taking up what the chairman had said at the commencement of this meeting, regarding frequently held business meetings stated he for one was in full aggreement of meetings being called at anytime when business needed to be discussed such as in this happy meeting tonight.  With a request to have a ledge fixed under the reading desk on the rostrum the meeting closed at 8.45 pm. with a hymn and a prayer.
                                                   R A Brooks
Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting held 21.1.53 Wed 7pm
25 Present
The meeting opened with a hymn.  Mr L Owen followed in prayer.
Mr R Brooks chairman read the minutes of the last meeting which were past & signed.
Arising from Minutes Coronation Com.  Mr Bruton in the absense of Mrs Ashby and Mr S Delderfield reported from the Coronation Committee that a street & road collection had been arranged and all was going well.
Collection for Burial Ground  Next on the agenda came the fixing of Feb 8th after the evening service for the retiring collection for the Northchurch Burial Ground.  It was suggested and all aggreed that a basket be placed in the vestable the following week for those unable to attend the worship of Feb 8th.
Memorial Tablet   The Chairman announced the cost of erecting the Memorial tablet to our late pastor Ald F Stratford was £10.8.0 and the Memorial Fund stood at £21.8.6 concluding this statement he felt sure that the remaining balance could be used in some suitable way to our late pastor at a later date.
Church Deeds and Trustees   A report was received from the deacons & Committee of four appointees to go into the matter.  The chairman stated the matters had been thoroughly gone into and the Fuller Trust Deeds of 12 pages though written in very legal terms, had the approval of the committee and we recommended the meeting to accept them.  In fairness to all present, it was proposed that certain parts of the Deeds be read to the meeting.
Mr A Wilson then read items on Use of Premises, General Management, Ministers, Occasional Preachers, Alteration of Trusts, Constitution & Meetings of the Church, the latter item referred to Membership, Minister Deacons and Elders, General Church Meeting, Special Church Meeting, Moderator & Minutes.  Each section was discussed before the reading of the next item and all aggreed to the following resolutions.
1. That the Baptist Union Corporation Ltd be appointed Sole Trustees of the Church and premises.
2. That the Baptist Union Corporation Ltd be asked to adopt the Fuller Trust Deeds referred to in Section 4 of the Baptist & Congregational Trust Act 1951 in respect of the Property.
Open Membership   Between the passing of the two resolutions a Ballot was taken on open or closed membership for the church.  All present voted for open membership.  25 papers were counted.
Any Other Business   Mr G Foskett brought a letter from the Lords Day Observance Society on the proposed freeing of Sundays which was to be debated in Parliament.  The Chairman explained a copy of the same letter had been received and had been signed by many present and had been returned.
Annual Church and Congregation Meeting   Mrs H Davis pro. Mrs Axtell seconded that the annual Church and Congregation Meeting should take the form of a supper and social gathering this was aggreed by all.  Mrs R Brooks then asked for extra help on the tea committee and readily had several offers from the ladies present.  The date proposed for the meeting was Sat Feb 28 at 7 30pm.  This was unanimously carried.
As there was no further business the chairman pronounced the Benediction after which all enjoyed a cup of tea and Biscuits.
                                                             R A Brooks   23/3/53
Reporton Annual Church & Congregation Meeting held 7.30 pm Sat 28 Feb 1953
43 present, including guests Rev & Mrs E.J. Whitby, Mr & Mrs A Holland, Mr & Mrs J.T. Brooks, Mr & Mrs A Stratford.
The meeting took the form of a supper (ham and tongue)
Sec Report   After grace and a good meal the Secretary Mr R Brooks opened the reports.  After stating the sad loss the church had had in Feb by the passing of our late pastor Ald F Stratford, he spoke of the ready response he had received from lay men in the surrounding districts to fill the pulpit on Sundays.  All had aggreed we had been given good messages Sunday by Sunday.  The work as Secretary had been hard to take over from our beloved Lay Pastor, but all in the Church had united together and outside help had been given from Me & Mrs A Stratford which very few knew of.
Special service mentioned included the SS. Anniversary conducted by our friend Rev E.J. Whitby of Boxmoor who had also baptised 2 friends in August and the Harvest Festival Services conducted by the Area Superintendant Rev W.R. Miller.  The Secretary gave praise to the people for their loyalty and work done for the church with special reference to the Spring Cleaning of Church and School Room.  Continuing he said 7 church and Congregation meetings had been held with an average attendance of 31 but the Communion services were not so well attended.
Legal aid to establish new trustees and Deed had been going on since March and Mr Peter Clarke (Claude Barker and Partners Watford) had shown great interest in all the church's wishes; much progress had been made as most of the friends were aware.  Concluding the secretary expressed his hope that we should soon have a leader to further our Lords work in the Church.
Treas. Report   Mrs R Brooks giving the financial, reported a balance of £103.2.2 in the Church Fund.  Memorial Fund stood at £21.8.6 and the Communion Fund had a balance of £1.2.9.
S. School   The secretary Mr L Owen for the Sunday School reported a good year with 68 scholars, he expressed his wish for someone to come forward as superintendant.
SS. Treasurer Mr A Delderfield reported a good balance in the Sunday School Fund and in the S.S. Outing Fund.
Y P Fellowship   Mr Shelton sec & Mr H Bruton gave encourage reports on the Y.P.F meetings on Tuesday evenings and expressed the sound financial position the fellowship was in.
Junior Y.P.F   With 16 members, the Junior fellowship had had a happy session lead by Mrs L Axtell.
Women's Own   Mrs Holland leader of the Women's Own spoke of the lovely spirit she had found and the helpful way the Committee had worked with her.  Membership was 62.
W.O. TreasurerMrs R Davissent a detailed report on the finance which showed a good sound balance.
ChoirMentioning the choir the chairman Mr R Brooks thanked its members for the help given each Sunday evening in worship.
Flowers   Mrs Carey reported the Rota system started in the year had proved its self and only twice had she been called to buy flowers from the fund which stood at 19/6.
B.M.S.  Miss N Davis reported sending £36 19 9to the B.M.S. and gave special thanks to the effort of the children.
Concert Party   With a big thanks to all its members Mr A Wilson reported the activities of the Concert Party.
Auditors   As our friend Mr G Rance was sick the chairman stated he had audited the Church Books and all was found correct.
With a few brief words of welcome to the guest; the Rev E.J. Whitby and Mrs Whitby gave best wishes to the church.  Mr A Stratford & Mr A Holland gave a few words. 
50 years Lay preachingMr J.T. Brooks gave an encouraging speech to the Church followed by a personal statement,  as the chairman had announced it was 50 years come next month since he started Lay preaching.  He had started as a substitute to his father at 14 yrs old.
The chairman thanked all for their kind words and thoughts, and calling for a special appreciation by all the church people for the guests, the happy fellowship closed with Prayer.
                                          R A Brooks    13/4/53
Minutes of Church Meeting after evening worship Sunday March 22nd 1953
13 Present
The meeting opened with prayer by the chairman Mr R Brooks.
The secretary giving reasons for calling the meeting asked members if they were willing to accept into membership of the church, old friends and worshippers of the church, if names of these friends were given.  All readily aggreed to the following proposal which was sec. by Mr E Carey That friends wishing membership be received in on Easter Sunday on acceptance of the members.
The following names were then proposed and seconded.
Mr L King              pro.  Mr R Brooks              sec   Mr L Owen
Mrs D Parry            "     Mr A Wilson               "      Mrs Carey
Mr J Parry               "    Mr H Davis                 "      Mr Wilson
Mrs L Carter            "    Mr A Wilson               "      Mr L Owen
Mrs N Wilson           "    Mrs H Davis               "     Mrs R Brooks
Mr J Shelton             "   Mr A Wilson                "     Mr L Owen
Mr H Bruton             "   Mr L Owen                  "    Mr E Carey
Mrs A Bruton            "   Mr L Owen                  "   Mrs H Davis
All were unanimously voted into the church fellowship each name being call individually to the vote.  The chairman hoped that other names would be put forward to the next church meeting which had been announced for a week tonight.   This ending the business the meeting closed with the Benediction.
                                           R A Brooks  
[It would seem that adopting open membership (a member no longer needed to be baptised by immersion as a believer) as the church meeting had approved in January 1953    enabled a number of regular worshippers to join the fellowship]
[Jack and Dorothy Parry, mentioned here and clearly already well established in NBC were to remain members for another 50+ years until their deaths, Jack in 2004, Dorothy in 2008]
Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting held Monday March 23rd
27 Present
The meeting opened with a hymn and prayer was offer by Mr L Owen.
Minutes of the last Church and Congregation meeting were read past & signed.
Arising from Minutes   Mr A Wilson voiced a vote of thanks to the ladies who catered for the Annual church and congregation meeting which took the form of a Supper sec. by Mrs Carter, all aggreed.
Sent to the Free Church Council  Business commenced with the chairman Mr R Brooks asking the meeting to approve the annual subscription of 10/6 to the Free Church Council this was past unanimously.
BU Meetings   Calling for 1 Delegate to the Baptist Union Meetings in London Mrs H Davis pros. Mr Carey sec. Mr A Delderfield all aggreed.
Two delegates were then asked for to attend the County Association Meetings which were being held at Kings Langley on Wed June 10th.  Mrs H Bruton was pro by Mr H Davis and sec. by Mr R Brooks.  Mrs Wilson was pro by Mr L Owen sec by Mr S Delderfield.
Spring Cleaning   The Chairman asked if arrangements could be made for the Spring Cleaning of church and school room.  Mrs H Davis suggested we did as last year.  Mr A Wilson pro we started the work on the week commencing April 20Mrs L Owen sec and all aggree we carried on as last year on this date.
Trustee Deed   The chairman reporting on the progress made with Messrs Claude Barker, Watford, said he had received the legal document for signature making the Baptist Union Corporation Ltd sole Trustees of the church & Building.  It was aggreed by the meting that a Church Meeting be arranged for 13 April and should start at 7 pm for the signing of the document and for the election of church officers.
Membership   Mr R Brooks speaking of the arrangements made at the church meeting on the previous evening, stated 8 friends had asked to become members and hoped that other friends of the fellowship for so many years would place their name before the church meeting to be held the following Sunday evening.
Tree in Old Cemetery   Bringing up the suggestion to have the large tree removed in the old cemetery, the chairman thanked those who had made inquiries in respect of this work.  The meeting aggreed to leave the tree standing taking thought of what the work might involve;  a meeting of the men was suggested should be arranged to erect fence each side of the tree to avoid cattle roaming into the grave yard.

Lilies for Easter   Mrs Carey raised the suggestion that was going forward to have Arum Lilies for the ministry of flowers on Easter Day.  All aggreed the arrangements be left to Mrs Carey and friends were asked to subscribe as those felt able.
Remarking on the happy spirit this meeting had had the chairman pronounced the Benediction and all friends enjoyed Tea & Biscuits.
                                                                             R.A. Brooks

Minutes of Church Meeting after evening worship Sunday 29th  March 1953
11 Present
The Chairman Mr R Brooks opened with prayer.
The secretary recalled the previous meeting when 8 of the friends of the church had been voted into fellowship after interviews.  Asking for any further names the following were proposed and seconded.
Mr S Delderfield                pro. Mr E Carey                 sec.  Mrs H Davis
Miss N Dell                         "    Mr L Owen                  sec   Miss F Halsey
Miss J Mayo                        "         "                             sec            "               
Mrs Axtell                            "   Mr E Carey                   "      Mrs V Carey
Mr L Axtell                          "          "                             "              "
After each name all were unanimously accepted into membership.
The names of Mr & Mrs J Purton coupled with Mr A Delderfield were brought forward and arrangements were made for visitations by Mrs N Davis and Me E Carey.
The chairman then asked the meeting to aggree that a letter be sent to our two friends at Hemel Hempstead Mr & Mrs A Stratford expressing the thanks of the church for their gift of an electric clock in the chapel.  All aggreed a letter be sent and the meeting closed with the Benediction.

                                                                             R.A. Brooks
Minutes of Church Meeting held Mon 13th April 1953
Present 23
The meeting opened with Hymn 514.  Mr L Owen lead in prayer.  Minutes were read past & signed.
Arising from Minutes.  Arising from minutes the Chairman Mr R Brooks spoke of the happy and blessed time the church had had at Easter when 12 friends were received into Fellowship by the visiting preacher Mr S Poultney of Watford.
Mrs H Davis pro. a vote of thanks be given to Mrs E Carey for the floral display of Arum Lilies on Easter Day Miss F Halsey sec. all aggreed.  Mr A Wilson asked about interviews with Mr A Delderfield and Mr & Mrs J Purton.  Mr E Carey reporting on the former stated he had spoken to Aubrey but he didn't feel inclined to become a member.  Mrs H Davis reported Mr & Mrs Purton could not accept membership at the moment.
Mr L Owen spoke of the work done by Mr & Mrs Brooks as Secretary and Treasurer.  A vote of thanks was aggreed upon on the pro of Mr A Wilson and Mr E Carey seconding.
Signing of Trust Deeds   The signing of the church Trust Deeds following.
The Chairman Mr R.A.S Brooks signed and Mr L Owen and Mr H Bruton witnessed the signature,  after the unanimous vote of a proposition by Mr A Wilson sec by Mr N Davis that the Baptist Union Corporation be sole Trustees.
Election of Diaconate   The chairman referred to the resignation of Mr S Purton from the diaconate and all aggreed the appointment of Mr Baker, formerly made a life deacon to become an Elder.
Nominations were then referred to and all aggree that 7 seven deacons be appointed :-
Mrs H Davis                   nominated   Mrs R Brooks     sec.  Mr R Brooks
Mrs R Brooks                       "            Mrs Carey            "     Mr E Carey
Mr L Owen                           "           Mr Bruton             "     Mrs Bruton
Mr H Bruton                        "           Mr L Owen            "     Mrs L Owen
Mr A Wilson                        "            Mrs R Brooks        "     Mr R Brooks
Mr E Carey                         "             Mr R Brooks         "     Mrs R Brooks
Mr R Brooks                        "            Mr E Carey           "     Mrs E Carey
several were nominated twice.
The Chairman then announced the first deacons meeting would be on Friday at 8pm.

Election of Organist   Mr Brooks voiced the feeling of the meeting by thanking Miss K Davis for the way she had served the church at the organ.  Miss H Dell pro. Miss K Davis as organist Mrs Bruton sec.
Deputy Organist   The chairman then was hand a letter of resignation from this office by Mrs L Owen.  He asked Mr L Owen if he would take a message back to his wife expressing the thanks of the church for the help Mrs Owen had given at the organ for so many years.  Mrs E Carey was pro by Mrs Davis sec by Mr Bruton all unanimously aggreed to this appointment.
Flower Sec   Mrs E Carey was pro by Mr J Parry Mrs H Bruton Sec. carried
Auditor   Mr G Rance pro by Mr S Delderfield sec Mr A Wilson  carried
Sick visitor   Mrs H Davis pro by Mrs Wilson sec Miss H Dell carried
Tea CommitteeThe deacons wives were pro by Mrs Carter sec Mrs Axtell all aggreed should, with Mrs H Davis & Mrs Brooks constitute the Tea Committee.
Free Church Council Rally   Mrs Davis was appointed the church representative on the tea committee of the Free Church Council.  10/- was approved be subscribed from the church fund to the Rally refreshments.
Any other Business   The matter of Spring cleaning was discussed and all agreed the church cleaning be commenced on Monday April 20th and the schoolroom on May 11th.  Ladies and gentlemen would meet together for these duties.
Sidesmen   Mr E Carey pro and Mr H Davis sec all aggreed that the same sidesmen be appointed for one year these were Mr G Rance, Mr J Foskett, Mr H Bruton and Mr A Delderfield.
Door Stewards   The secretary thanked all, for these services in the duties of doormen the Rota system had worked well and all aggreed it continued.
SS Superintendent   Mr L Owen stated he had been temporary SS Supt. since 1946 and asked to be put on a proper Basis.  Proposition by the chairman that Mr L Owen's name be brought to the SS teachers as superintendant and reported back to the church for confirmation.
Mrs H Davis proposed that a piece of boarding be placed against the wall in the vestibule book shelf to save the rubbing of hymn books against the wall; after discussion it was aggreed the work should be done.
Mr E Carey brought up the matter of an outside shelter in which to store surplus chattles it was aggreed this should be discussed at a later date.
The chairman stated that under the will of our late lay pastor Ald F Stratford the church would benefit to the extent of £100.
The happy meeting closed with the Benediction follow by the friends partaking of Tea and Biscuits.
                                                              L.G. Owen
Minutes of Church Meeting held Tuesday 7.30 May 26 1953
18 Present
Meeting opened with a hymn and prayer by Mr A Wilson.
Minutes were read past & signed.
Male Sick visitor   Arising from minutes appointing a male sick visitor to friends was referred to and the members aggreed the deacons should arrange this matter.
SS Superintendent  Appointment of S S. Superintendent was again discussed and it was aggreed that such appointments should finally be brought to the church, our present superintendent Mr L Owen also aggreed on this point.
Shelves in Vestible   The Secretary thanked all friends for the effort at Spring Cleaning it was a good job well done.
Refferring to a discussion in our last meeting for a protection board at the back of the book shelves in the vestible, Mrs Axtell pro Mr H Davis sec and all aggreed that Mr J Parry be asked to purchase wood for the job.
Mr L Owen stated reasons for the resignation of Mrs Owen as assistant organist when this was refferred to by a member.
Chairman   Mr L Owen in the chair, explained his appointment by the diaconate as chairman for church meetings & confirmed the appointment of treasurer (Mrs R Brooks) & secretary (Mr R Brooks).  After a few remarks of the happy fellowship we had had & were having Mr Owen called the next item.
Finance   Mrs R Brooks treasurer gave a short report on finance and it was aggreed special effort should be made to raise money for the church fund. 
Bazaar The diaconate was in favour of a Bazaar at some future date.  After some discussion Mrs Axtell suggested a small bazzaar just before Christmas this was pro. by Mr E Carey sec Mr H Davis that one be held on Sat Nov 28th  all were in favour.
Suggestion by the Chairman that a meeting of church and congregation be called to discuss the effort was agreed to and the date fixed was 15th June.  It was also aggreed
that this years effort be the finances of a big Bazaar the following year.
Harvest Festival   The secretary announced the harvest festival services would be on Sunday Sept 20 conducted by Mr A J Alexander Dyer of King's Langley.
Mr F Stratford's Memorial Fund   The money left over from the fund in memory of our late pastor was refferred to and a suggestion that a new pulpit light be purchased with the money, all aggreed this matter should be brought up at the meeting of Church and Congregation on June 15th.
Cemetery Fence   Next on the agenda was the fence around the old cemetery.  Mr E Carey stated meeting of men had been called and the job would be done in the near future.
Consol interest  The secretary explained that the interest for the £100 consols was being paid into the church account each quarter: as it had been paid to persons in the past for keeping the old cemetery clean he thought at least to bring it to the meeting for a ruling on the matter.   Mr A Wilson pro and Mrs H Davis sec that the place be kept tidy by the men of the church as it had been done in the last twelve months and any expenses would come from the consol interest out of the church fundall aggreed.
Church RulesThe meeting after hearing of rules which had to be draw up for the church, suggested that the whole matter be left to the diaconate to bring forward to the church, Rules for their approval:  this was passed unanimously.
Church China   As many members were aware of the shortage of cup and saucers it was pro by Mrs H Davis sec by Mrs Axtell that 50 cups and saucers be purchased and each organisation be asked to contribute towards some and that this matter be brought to the church and congregation meeting of June 15th..
Any other business   Mr J Parry stated that a piano stool could be made from the wood in the old organ in the vestry which no one used now.  All aggreed to this good suggestion and left it to Mr Parry to make arrangements for the improvement.
This ended the business the meeting closed with the Benediction and fellowship over Tea and Biscuits.
                                                  L.C. Owen
 [The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953]


Minutes of Church and Congregation Meeting held June 15th
The meeting opened with a hymn and prayer.
Mr R Brooks was in the chair.
The chairman recalled why this meeting had been called, to give all our friends an opportunity in arranging a small Bazaar on Nov 28th
After discussion the meeting decided (1) the sale be called a Christmas Bazaar; (2) It should be opened at 2.45 pm. (3) Mr A Stratford or Mr A T. Read be asked to open the sale (4) 5 stalls should be organised namely Church stall (Fancy) Fruit & Veg (Men) Stationery & Cards & Toys (YPF Fellowship) Sweets & cakes (Sunday School) Groceries, plus tea and refreshments (Womens Own)  (5) Committee be formed including 1 from each organisation. (6) Competitions arranged by Mrs Carter & Mrs Axtell. (7) Concert after sale by Mr A Newman's party Chesham.

The purchase of cups and saucers was then discussed and Mrs R Brooks, Mrs H Davis & Mr S Delderfield were appointed to purchase 50 cup & saucers, one condition was the china should be a standard type so it could be replaced at any future date.
All aggreed to the purchase of a pulpit light with the money remaining of the memorial fund.  This ended the business the meeting closed with a hymn & Benediction.
All friends then enjoyed tea and Biscuits.
                                                                     L. C Owen
Minutes of Church Meeting held Sept 2nd 1953 Wed. 7.30.
Present 23
Mr L Owen was in the chair; the meeting opened with a hymn and Mr R Brooks led in prayer.
Minutes of the last church meeting were read , past & signed.
Arising from minutes, it was stated a meeting of the S School teachers was being arranged and S School Superintendent Mr L Owen would be appointed to that position.  It was also aggreed that Mr S Delderfield be approached re the cost of fencing all around the cemetery on Bell Lane and a big thanks was voted for all the men who had done the work.  Thanks went to Mr J Parry for the work he had done in the vestible re the hard board behind the hymn book shelves.
It was reported that the deacons had aggreed to visit all male friends as and when sickness was known.
Letters   Letter was read from Claude Barker & Partners coupled with the statement of account for the business transacted on behalf of the church, all aggreed the sum charged had been a friendly gesture on their part.
A letter from Fred Fantham re construction of the brick wall was read.  It stated the cost would be £100 to £110 dispite the advance in cost of labour & materials.  The raising of this money it was aggreed should be the aim of the Bazaar in Nov.
Church Rules   The reference of church rules & that these would be brought to the church at a later date was aggreed to.

Cups and saucers   Mrs H Davis stated that 50 cup and saucers at 3/11 each had been purchased & the Women's Own would give £4 towards the cost.
Christmas Bazaar   Mr R Brooks reported that the committee for the Bazaar would be meeting.  Mr A.T. Read had aggreed to open the sale and Mr A Newman of Chesham had aggreed to bring a party along for a concert in the evening.
Pulpit Light   Pro Mrs Davis sec. Mr Carey that Pulpit Light as illustrated be installed with remains of the money in Mr Stratfords memorial fund.  The chairman stated it would cost more than the money we had in the fund and suggested that some of our friends might wish to give to the cost when it was installed and the cost known.
Electricity   Report was given by Mr R Brooks on the new tarrif that had been arranged for electric supplies.
Flowers  With aggreement by all that the ministry of Flowers had and was being done well, it was further suggested and aggreed to, that the window near the memorial tablet to our late Pastor should be the position where friends could place flowers at any time for special occasions they wished to remember.
Home Work Fund   It was unanimously aggreed that the offering given at the Oct communion should be given to the Home Work Fund.
Contact Club   The chairman asked the meeting if it would aggree to the men of the church starting a Contact Club in the school Room.  After some discussion as to the aids and objects of such a club all aggreed.
Any other Business   All aggreed that the notice board should be repaired & that Mr Ashby be asked to do the work.
Sick and aged   Mrs Wright pro Mr Davis sec that a little gift be sent to our aged & sick friends out of the communion fund, all aggreed
Door handle    Reporting the poor state of the door handle approaching the School Room Mr King was asked to obtain a new one and fix it.
This ended the businessthe meeting closed with the Benediction followed by Tea and Biscuit.
                                                         L.C. Owen

Minutes of church meeting held 26th Oct 19537.30 pm.
Chairman Mr L. Owen        Present 25.
The meeting opened with a hymn & prayer by Mr R Brooks.
Before minutes were read Mr R Brooks asked the members present if they would aggree to Mr J Foskett a member of the congregation remaining as an observer, all were in favour, no one voted against.  Mr Foskett stayed through the whole meeting.
Minutes were read past & signed.
S S Superintendent   Arising from minutesThe Chairman Mr L Owen announced the meeting held by the S School teachers when he was officially appointed superintendant.  Mr R Brooks recall this happy meeting and asked for a vote confirming this office which Mr Owen had held for so long in an unofficial capacity.  All voted for.
Cost of China   Mrs R Brooks stated the actual cost of cups and saucers was £8.15.0 the retailer had reduced the price from 3/11 to 3/6.  £4 had been promised by the Women's Own and £2 had been received from the YP. Fellowship for the cost of Same.
Erection of Wall   Mr Brooks expressed his pleasure at the start which had been made for the erection of the brick wall on the left hand side of the church property.  Mr S Delderfield pro Mr J Parry sec and all aggreed that the trees growing along the sides of the church boundary should be cut down, the suggestion of planting shrubs in their place was left for the present.
Contact Club   Mr E Carey reported on the first meeting of the Contact Club which had been a great success & well attended.
Mr L King was thanked for fixing new door knob.
Application for Membership  Announcing the next business the chairman called on the secretary to speak on the application for membership of Mr & Mrs A Stratford (son and daughter-in-law of our late pastor) . He stated, as the 2 friends were well known to all present and most knew of the interest and help both had given to us over many years; he would not go over the great Christian standingMr & Mrs Stratford had, both with the Baptist and Methodist in the district.  Mr Stratford and his wife had been baptised and were members of Boxmoor Baptist Church in years past.  As organist at Marlowes Methodist Church for the last 27 years we all can imagine what a discussion this call must have been to Mr Stratford, and he, Mr Brooks gladly put this application to the members.  Suggesting a vote should be taken by ballot to which all aggreed.
Two scrutineers were appointed:  Mrs Carter and Mr S Delderfield.
 Voting was for the approval of Mr & Mrs A Stratford's application for membership with a view to possible leadership in future if the church so desires.  25 voted Yes unanimous vote.
Bazaar Nov 28   The coming bazaar was then discussed and it was aggreed the grocery stall should be run by the ladies of the church.  Mrs Davis pro Mrs Wilson sec that Mrs J Parry be in charge of this stall all aggreed.  It was stated the Women's Own were going ahead with a Christmas Tree effort from which fancy goods etc would be shown & sold from.
Church Rules The Chairman announced that the next meeting would be a special church meeting for the discussion & approval of church Rules.
Any other Business   Mrs H Davis spoke of her wish to see the sidesmen standing at the communion table after the offering had been taken up while the prayer was given.  Pro by Mrs Carey sec Mr H Davis That a prayer be given for the offertory at all Sunday services and that the sidesmen wait at the table during the prayer, this was carried unanimously.
Mr L Owen remarked on the young people who stayed to the Sunday morning service.
Mr Brooks mention the Monday Prayer & Praise meeting which was being led by a member of the diaconate each week.  He also mentioned the work Mr H Bruton had done in planting bulbs in the grass verge at the front of the church.  Most of the bulbs had come from our late pastor['s] orchard in Hemel Hempstead.
Mrs Wilson mentioned church Hymn Books.  Mrs Brooks stated 8 large and 6 small books were purchased with money from the concert Party, only an addition 10/- had to be added from the Church Fund.  Mr Owen stated the small church hymn books now in use were not adequate for Sunday morning worship as most of the pages in the children section were missing.
This ended the business and the happy meeting closed with prayer followed by a cup of tea and biscuits.
                                              L.C Owen
Minutes of Meeting held 9 Nov 1953   7.30
Chairman Mr L. Owen     17 Present
The meeting opened with a hymn and prayer by Mrs H Davis.
Minutes were read past and signed
Trees round Buildings   Arising from Minutes.  The trees growing around the church building were referred to, and all aggreed to a suggestion by Mr A Wilson that all he trees should be taken down.  After a long discussion Mr S Delderfield pro that trees should be cut down and it be left to Mr H Bruton to decode how many shrubs were needed for either side, this was sec by Mr A Wilson and carried.
Sidesmen   It was aggreed by all that the arrangement made for taking of the offering at morning and evening Sunday worship was a great improvement.
Mrs H Davis secretary of the Women's Own stated £4 had been paid to the church for china.
Letter of Transfer   Starting new business.  A letter was read from Rev H Charleston Methodist Minister of Hemel Hempstead and Watford circuit, the following is a copy of the letter to Mr R Brooks, church Secretary.


Dear Brother
I commend to you Mr Albert F Stratford of Marlowes Methodist Church, who desires to be transferred to the membership of Northchurch Baptist Church.
 Mr Stratford and Mrs Stratford (whose transfer of membership must also be included) have given many years of devoted and much appreciated service to our church.
We are sorry to lose them from Marlowes, but are glad they are ready to serve at Northchurch in the fine tradition of the late Alderman F Stratford.
We pray for God's blessings upon your Work & Witness and trust that Mr & Mrs Stratford will be increasingly happy in the fellowship of "Northchurch"
                       yours sincerely
                                 H Charleston


All aggreed to the letter of transfer and was accepted by all.  The secretary stated that Mr & Mrs Stratford will be received into church membership at the communion Service of the 1st Sunday in the New Year.
Election of Officers   The meeting then confirmed the appointment of Mr R Brooks as secretary and Mrs R Brooks as church treasurer by a hand vote after both had been pro by Mr Davis sec Mrs Carter.
Church Rules   The secretary speaking of church Rules for which the official meeting had been called stated the diaconate had received a specimen copy of the suggested Church Rules drawn up by the Baptist Union.  These were read by Mr A Wilson.
Number of deacons   5 Deacons were pro by Mr Wilson sec by Mr L. King and all aggreed.  After full discussion the meeting approved all sections of the Rules and with a pro by Mrs N Davis sec by Mrs Carter that these rules be accepted by the church, a vote was taken and all were in favour.
As there was no other business the happy meeting closed with the Benediction followed with Tea & Biscuits.
                                                                 R Brooks
[Regrettably, a Copy of these Rules was not recorded with the Minutes]
Minutes of Church Meeting held Dec 14th
Present 21
The Meeting opened with a hymn & prayer by Mr R Brooks.
Minutes were read past & signed.
Arising from minutes Mr R Brooks stated printing of Church Rules had been delayed an estimate was being given by the Kingsgate Press but had not so far been received.
Mrs Brenda Carroll Transferred to High St. Baptist   The Chairman read a letter from Mr Oliver Timson sec of the Berkhamsted Baptist asking for the transfer of Mrs Brenda Harrowell [although the heading refers to Carroll the text of the minute refers to Brenda Harrowell]  All aggreed that a dismission form should be forwarded.  It was report that Mrs Harrowells two boys were regularly attending the Berkhamsted Baptist SS.
Cost of Wall   The Treasurer announced £102.15.0 had been paid to Mr Fred Fantham of Northchurch for the erection of the east wall, general aggreement was expressed at the Sum charged.
Pulpit Light   Secretary stated £11.10.6 remained in the Memorial fund.  For the extra cost of the Pulpit Light Mr S Delderfield pro Mr E Carey sec that the remainder of the cost come from the general Church Fund this was carried 1 voting against.
Date arranged for Invitation as Lay Pastor of the Church   The secretary stated Mr & Mrs A Stratford would be received into full membership on Sunday Jan 3rd.  Mr A J Alexander Dyer was the visiting lay preacher for the day and would conduct the communion service.  Jan 7th was suggested for a special church meeting to invite Mr A Stratford as our lay pastor, this was aggreed to.  General discussion took place on future church work under the leadership of our brother and many voiced the feelings of all , at the expectant happiness we felt.  Opinions varied as to the number of Sunday services we could ask our new Lay Pastor to conduct but it was aggreed in the light of Mr Stratford's leadership of all societies connected with the church and the amount of speaking and preparation it would entale we should ask him to conduct (two) one Sunday (services)  every six weeks [ie one Sunday, but both services] and let any time when supplies were difficult.  This was proposed by Mr A Wilson and sec by Mrs Davis all were in favour.  Expenses were discussed and it was aggreed to leave this matter for 6 months after the secretary stated this was the wish of Mr Stratford.  It was aggreed we made the annual church and congregation meeting the church welcome to Mr & Mrs A Stratford,  this would be the early part of Feb.
The annual church meeting would be the end of January.
Election of Deacons  The ballot for the election of a full diaconate then took place. 
Mrs R Brooks and Mr S Delderfield were appointed scrutineers.
There were 8 nominations and the following 5 were elected:
for 3 years   Mr H Bruton & Mr L Owen
for 2 years   Mr E Carey and Mr A Wilson
for 1 year    Mrs H Davis
Five Ballot papers were used by members entitled to vote who were unable to attend the meeting.
Mr Bruton was thanked for planting the laurels at the side of the church.
Bazaar   Mr E Carey wished a record to be made in the minutes of the Christmas Bazaar he stated it had been a great success a wonderful spirit had surrounded the whole effort and with the help of Mr A Newman's concert party in the evening nearly £77 had been raised.
When any other business was called 1953 Expenses for secretary & treasurer were mentioned by Mr Carey and all aggreed that the treasurer should be permit to pay out same.
Finally Mr Carey expressed his opinion and thanks to all, for the way all the members of church and congregation had worked together since the passing of our own late pastor.
This concluded the business and the happy meeting closed with the Benediction followed by Tea & Biscuits.
A F Stratford                                         Jan 7th 1954