Minutes of Northchurch Baptist Church
Part 8     1954 - 1960

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[These Minutes are taken from the fourth Minute Book which covers the period 1952 - 1962]

[The interregnum is over.  The church has been without a Minister since 1952 following the death of Ald. Frederick Stratford, who had been Pastor for 26 years.  The new Lay Pastor is Frederick Stratford's son Albert, already well known to the fellowship but joining from Hemel Hempstead Methodist Church.  This section of the Minutes starts with his first meeting and ends with him announcing his retirement. ]

Minutes of Special Church Meeting held 7th January 1954
Before the Meeting opened Mr L Owen in the chair asked members present to appoint Mr A F Stratford to be chairman of the meeting, this was pro. by Mr E Carey sec by Mr H Davis and unanimously accepted.
The Meeting opened with a Hymn and prayer by the Chairman.  The secretary read the minutes which were duly past and signed.
Arising from minutes the printing of church Rules came under discussion and all aggreed to the pro. of Mrs R Brooks sec by Mrs N Wilson that the matter wait for the next meeting when the estimate was to hand from Rickett & Son as well as from Carey Press.
Appointment of Lay Pastor   The next business was appointment of Lay Pastor to the church.    The secretary Mr R Brooks then asked the chairman if he would retire for this item & Mr L Owen took the chair.  With a pro by Mr H Davis and sec by Mr J Parry that we appointed Mr A.F. Stratford of 20 London Rd Hemel Hempstead as Lay Pastor of the church the vote was taken by a show of hands and the count proved it to be a unanimous vote.
Mr Stratford was recalled and Mr L Owen gave him the decision of the meeting and welcomed him as our Lay Pastor.  In reply Mr Stratford thanked the people and spoke of the thought and prayer that had been given by his wife and himself since the deacons had asked him to consider becoming leader of the church and he now felt very happy to take on this work for the Lord at Northchurch.
Home Work Fund   The secretary then read a letter from Rev W.R. Miller area Superintendent being his new years letter to the churches.  Arising from this, a lengthy discussion follow on the church's contribution to the Home Work Fund.  It was finally decide as we had increased our contribution by almost twice the amount in the past year we should bring this matter up at another business meeting in the near future to see what other help could be given,["to further increase" is crossed out and replaced by..] in support of the the [repeated] Home Work Fund.
Annual Church Meeting   The date was aggreed to for the Annual Church Meeting was Wed Jan 27th at 7.30.  The date aggreed to for the Annual Church and Congregational meeting was Sat 30th Jan at 7.30 pm.  All were in favour of the meeting being made a supper when it was hoped all friends would join in.  As already it had been past in the last church meeting this evening was to be the Welcome to Mr & Mrs Stratford.  Guest would be invited; the Ladies Tea Committee would arrange the supper, and no charge would be made but a basket would be at the door if any felt they would like to contribute to the cost of the evening.
Heating of S Room   The pastor calling for any other business, heard a statement that the friends who worked in the kitchen from time to time had complained of the cold atmosphere, could not some heating be installed.  Discussing this, it was aggreed that Mr Brooks approached the Eastern Electricity Company with a view that heating be installed and that further discussion should come before the deacons on this matter & brought to the church.
This concluded the business the chairman pronounced the Benediction and Tea and cakes were served.
                                 A F Stratford
                                                      (Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Annual Church Meeting Jan 27th
Present 22
The meeting opened with hymn and prayer by the pastor.
Sec Report   Mr R Brooks gave the following report.  A happy year to look back on, for blessings have come where difficulties were facing the church at the beginning of the year.
Membership   Membership has increased from 28 to 40. One transfer has been sent to the friend[s] at Berkhamsted.
Communion   At the Communion an average of 26 attended the 12 services.
Supplies   Supplies for our Sunday worship have been taken by 28 Laymen & 2 from the regular ministry this occasion being Lay Preachers Sunday April 12th.
Congregation   Congregation increased to the end of the year & the morning attendance was up 100%.  We can truthfully say great blessing have come from Sunday worship.
Prayer   The prayer life of the church increased, the deacons have done a great work in this, by leading our Monday Prayer & Praise meetings on many occasions.
Specials   Special services included Community Singing Evening Easter Sunday when 12 of the fellowship were received into membership; S.S. Anniversary May 17th ; Harvest Festival Sept 20th and the Christmas Carols on Dec 20th which to me was the best ever.
Great work during the whole of the year was done by the ladies of the church. including cleaning the church & schoolroom week by week.  The men were busy on several jobs including Tidy of old cemetery, Spring cleaning and cutting of trees round the building.
Improvement   Improvements have taken place such as, new hymn book[s], church china, new tariff for electric supplies. 
In Feb the memorial tablet to our late pastor was unveiled & later a pulpit light was installed.
Bazaar   Nov brought a unity of social purpose, which ended in the Christmas Bazaar being a great success.
Business Life   Business was heavy involving 5 church and congregation meetings & 7 church meetings.  New Deeds were drawn up.  The Baptist Union Corporation Ltd was appointed sole trustees.  Church Rules were passed and a Diaconate was elected of 2 ladies and 5 men.
Final    Blessings came at the end of the year when our two friends Mr & Mrs A F Stratford asked for membership, for the fellowship knew that a greater year was to come under the leadership of Mr Stratford.
Treasurers Report    Mrs R Brooks reported Balance from 1952 £124.10.8
Collections £134.18.7    Retiring Collections £6.3.7 ;  Home Work Fund £8.17.2  
BMS £28.14.5;  Bazaar etc £153.11.4
Expenditure    Electric £70.13.0    Gas £11.16.5    Wall at side of church   £102.15.0    Other expenses £150.11.8
Balance £83.8.1
At this stage the pastor called for a vote of thanks to the secretary and treasurer. this was pro. and sec. and unanimously carried.
Morning SS Superintendent   Mr E Carey report that the attendance of children to the morning school had kept us [up?] (25 average) and it was encouraging that some of the older scholars were staying to the whole of the morning service.      
Afternoon SS Superintendent   Mr L Owen sent a report that there were 69 scholars to begin the year.  8 had joined, 15 left and 3 of the class had been made teachers.
20 scholars sat for the scripture exam and were placed 6th.  Christmas Party was a great success.  The children collected for the Dr Barnardos home.  The Anniversary services were conducted by Mr John Mortimer of Wallingford and Mr A T Read gave his 25 address to the children at the afternoon meeting, afterwards he was presented with a New Standard Edition of the Bible.  Mr Read invited the scholars to compete in a Coronation Scrap book competition he gave 5 prizes for the event.  June 27thwas the school outing to Clacton.  Thanks were expressed to the teachers & Mrs A Bradshaw for training the children in the singing.
SS Treasurer   Mr A Delderfield sent report of General Fund was £9.14.0Outing Fund   £11.7.0
Y.P.F. Sec.  Miss K Davis secretary of the Y.P. Fellowship stated the attendance averaged 30.  Devotionals were held 1st Tuesday evening in each month when responses were given by all present.  A Daffodil Show was successfully held when Mr F Delderfield judged the exhibits.  Whit Monday outing was to Eastbourne.  Visits were made to New Mill, Boxmoor & Tring.  Evenings arranged included Musical, Games, Social & a watchnight service on New Years Eve.   
Y.P.F. Treasurer  Mr H Bruton reported income £25.18.5 and a balance to end of £10.17.2
Women's Own Secretary   Mrs H Davis reported a happy year under the leadership of Mrs A Holland.  A choir had been formed under Mr A Wilson.  Clubs for the benefit of members were run by Mrs A Bruton Mrs Ashby&  Mrs L Owen.  The women had took an active part in the bazaar in organising and running the Christmas Tree.  Outings were made to Margate & Hampton Court.  Support was given to the upkeep of a bed in a missionary hospital.  A successful social was held in the new year when husbands and friends of the 60 members were invited.
W.O. Treasurer   Mrs Davis reported a balance at bank of £15.  Cash in hand £1.12.10.
Choir Report   Miss  M North reported a balance of £3.7.4
Mens Contact Club Sec.  Mr E Carey sec. recalled that the Club only started in Nov. to run fortnightly but had now decided to hold meetings each week.  Various competitions were being run.  One night the ladies had been invited and a talk had been given by Mr Cox (Saddler) of Chesham.  The Club had 30 members.
 B.M.S. sec  Mrs H Davis reported the missionary moneys were a little down on last year but £32.1.9 had been sent.  Thanks were expressed to the teachers and the scholars of the S.S. who had raised £10.19.7 of this sum.  15 Magazines, 9 Wonderlands & 1 Quest were being purchased.
Flowers   (Mrs Carey flower sec reported a little money in hand.)
Election   Election of officers followed.  All the following were unanimously elected.
Secretary Mr R BrooksTreasurer Mrs R Brooks
OrganistMiss K DavisAsst OrganistMrs E Carey
SidesmenMr G RanceMr J FoskettMr H BrutonMr A Delderfield
Sick visitorMrs H DavisAuditorMr G RanceBMS. secMiss H Davis
This ended the Annual business.   The pastor declared the meeting closed.
                                A F StratfordLay Pastor
Minutes of Church Meeting held Jan 27th  after Annual Meeting.
The Pastor Mr A F Stratford was in the chair
Minutes of the last meeting were read, past & signed.
Printing of Rules    The first business was the estimate by Messrs Rickett & Son for the printing of church rules.  Mr S Delderfield pro MrH Davis sec that we gave the order for 250 copies of the Rules at a cost of £3.6.0 all aggreed.
Building Insurance    The chairman explained that the buildings were now insured for £7500 at the premium of £4.10.0.  It was suggested that £15000 would be a more business like sum all aggreed but it was pro. by Mrs Wilson sec Mr Parry that a letter be sent to the Baptist Insurance Co. for details of the coverage for organ & movable fixture etc as proposed by Mr Peter Clarke of Watford.  All aggreed.
Late Pastor Legacy  Regarding the £100 Legacy from our late pastor, the chairman put it to the meeting a suggestion from the deacons that the £100 be place as a deposit a/c at the Westminster Bank.  This was duly pro by Mr L Axtell sec by Mrs Davis.
Application for Membership It was stated 2 of our friends who had been worshipping with us for several months had asked for membership by transfer.  All aggreed that the Secretary write the Baptist Church at Kensal Rise London for Mr & Mrs Mabley transfer.  Also the pastor gave names of friends he had interviewed regarding membership and he recommended to the church for membership Mrs Wright of NorthchurchMr & Mrs J Purton& Mrs Ashby.  The chairman making this a proposition and being sec by Miss G Mothersole all aggreed that the friends should be received into full membership the following Sunday at the communion.    
Pastor's Induction Statement    The pastor Induction Service was being arranged for Wed March 24th when Mr A.T. Read, vice president of the Herts Baptist Assn, would take the chair & Rev W.R. Miller & Rev E G Whitby would give addresses.  All aggreed that the Tea should be at 5 30 pm, and the Induction Service a[t] 7.30 pm & leaflets to be printed for this very special occasion.
J.Y.P.F    It was stated Mrs S Delderfield would be willing to take the Junior Fellowship, which had not been run this year if she could get some help, all appreciated this offer & the chairman wished it all success.
Flower Sec Report    Apology was then made from the chair for omitting the report of our good Flower Sec. Mrs E Carey at the Annual Meeting.  Mrs Carey reported a little money in hand and thanked all the friends for their help in the flower Rota.  Mentioning the Easter Sunday flowers, Mrs Carey suggested friends should give in money, for this Easter Day.  After discussion Mrs Carey pro Miss Mayo sec that a retiring collection be taken on March 14th and that Mr N Bruton be in charge with the ladies , to decorate the church for Easter Sunday.  All were in favour.
Late Cannon Jefferies   Before closing the meeting the pastor read a letter from Mrs Jefferies.
This ended the happy meeting and the chairman closed with the Benediction.
                                 Albert Frederick Stratford
                                                    Lay Pastor
Minutes of short church Meeting held after worship in the evening of Sunday Feb 20th
The pastor placed before the members present the transfer of Nr & Mrs C.F. Mabley received from Kensal Rise Baptist Tabernacle.  It was unanimously aggreed our friends be received into full membership at the communion on Sunday March 7th.
With thanksgiving & prayer the meeting closed.
                                 Albert Frederick Stratford
                                                    Lay Pastor
Minutes of Church Meeting held March 17    7 30 pm
Chairman Mr A F Stratford                     30 Present
The meeting opened with a hymn and prayers by the Pastor.
Minutes were read past and signed.
Arising from minutes.  The Chairman stated the retiring collection for Easter flowers was postponed one week as March 14 was Home Work Fund Sunday.
Reference to the Tea at the Induction Service.  It was pro by Mrs A Wilson sec by Mr L Owen that we made no charge for Tea all aggreed to this proposal.
Mrs S Delderfield stated that the Junior Fellowship held on Wed evenings was going very well with good numbers each week.
Insurance of the building enquiry brought a statement from the Secretary that the contents of the building as well as the structure was insured for the sum of £15000, after discussion it was decided the church was adequately covered.
A statement from the chairman praised the work done to the roof and window in the Kitchen by Mr Axtell all aggreed to a vote of thanks.  also thanks for Mr Wilson for filling cracks in the wall of the church.
Heating of School Room    First of new business was Heating of Schoolroom.  Secretary read estimate from Eastern Electricity Board which came to the sum of £170.5.0 for installing with[?] 4 Thermovent heaters in the schoolroom and one in vestry and one in kitchen.  After much discussion on running costs in day-time, which would be 6/- an hour for schoolroom alone, it was pro by Mr E Carey sec by Mr S Delderfield that we obtained estimate for increased Gas heating from the Eastern Gas Board.
Disposal of Rostrum in Schoolroom    Mr Wilson made a proposition that we dispose of the Rostrum in the Schoolroom sec by Mr L Owen. An amendment pro by Mr R Brooks sec by Mr Carey that the matter be gone into with a committee appointed for this to report back to the church.  The amendment was aggreed to by 25 vote, none voting against [but presumably 5 abstained].  Mr Wilson, Mr Carey, Mr Axtell, Mr J Purton & Mr J Parry were appointed to the committee with powers to call in anyone to help in their report.
Decorating the exterior of the Church    The chairman announcing the painting of  the outside of the church buildings aggreed that this item would be best left to await the heating installation costs.
Christmas Bazaar    It was decided to hold the Christmas Bazaar on Nov 27th  Mr A Wilson pro Mr Axtell sec. that a Bazaar committee be formed as in previous years with an additional representative from the Junior Fellowship all aggreed.  Ex-officio would be the deacons plus Mrs A Holland leader of the Women's Own.  It was suggested that the secretary asked Mrs Crussell of Watford to open the Bazaar and Mr Peter Clarke to take the Chair.  Second choice to be Mrs Claude Barker & Mr C Barker all aggreed to these names.
Any other Business    Mr Axtell was asked from the chair the cost of releading the vestry roof, he stated approx £22.  Mr S Delderfield pro Mr H Davis sec that we should ask Mr Axtell to do the work, all aggreed including Mr Axtell.
It was asked that a record be placed in the minutes of the Annual Church Supper which had been a great success and happy time of fellowship.
Spring Cleaning    April 25 was pro. as the spring cleaning effort, this was by Mr A Wilson Sec by Mr L Owen. all aggreed this week be set aside for the annual clean.
This ended the business, the happy meeting closed with the Benediction, followed by tea & Biscuits.
                                            A.F. Stratford
                                                      Lay Pastor    (11/5/54)
Minutes of meeting held May 11th8pm.
The Lay Pastor Mr A F Stratford was in the chair
                                                                                 Present 27
The meeting opened with a hymn & prayer.
Minutes were read past and Signed.
Rostrum in the School RoomArising from minutes The Pastor explained about the suggested removal of the rostrum in the School Room.  It had been examined and recommended that it be left as the floor underneath was rough Concrete.  The Chairman referred to the postponement of the Spring Cleaning work April 25 as so many other events had been planned for that week.
Mr Axtell stated that re-leading of the vestry roof would start in a few weeks.
ChairmanThe pastor gave a few welcoming remarks to the members present.  Thanked all for the support given to the S School upon their Anniversary Day.  Thanks went to Mr Parry for making the piano stool and for a roller for moving the heavy piano to and fro.  The Chairman gave a few words on the Greater London Crusade and of the wonderful meeting held on the closing Saturday evening at Wembley Stadium when many of the Church members were among the 120000.
From the great evangelical crusade we all had received blessing & as a result the pastor had visited Mrs North who had asked for membership:  with a report on Mrs North by the Pastor, Mrs Brooks pro.  Mr Owen sec that she be accepted into membership, all aggreed and prayer was offered.
New Communion glass standsThe Pastor thanked Mr J Parry & Mr E Carey for making the two new communion glass stand which were used for the first time on Easter Sunday, Mrs Axtell seconded it.
Eastern Gas Board estimate for heatingMr Brooks read out the estimate received from the Eastern Gas Board for additional gas radiators in the school room.
All aggreed to theprop. by Mr S Delderfield sec by Mrs H Davis that we had the work done.
The treasurer stated that a bill for £9.5.6 had been payed to the water works company for repairs to the lead in from the main supply on the high road.
It was aggreed to postpone the Spring Cleaning work till after the installation of the additional gas heating.
Election of 2 Delegates to Assn Meetings For the next Assn Annual Meetings as New Barnet Mrs Bruton pro sec by Mrs A Wilson that Mrs H Davis and Mrs R Brooks should be the two delegates from the church.
Building BoundaryThe Meeting discussed the possibility to purchase a small piece of land at the rear of the building which now had become the property of Mr Skidmore.  It was aggreed that the deacons should go into the matter and report back to the church.
Mr L King expressed thanks for all the services at the organ Miss K Davis was doing.
Mention was made re the tidying up of the cemetery. 
The secretary recorded the happy Induction Services of our Pastor on March 24th & expressedthe church's desire that at the next meeting the matter of Expenses for the pastor should be raised.
New curtains and runners were suggested for the school room windows.
This ended the happy business, the Pastor pronounced the Benediction and all partook of tea & biscuits.
                A F Stratford   (Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Church Meeting held August 27th  54   7.30.
                                                                             24 Present
The meeting opened with a hymn followed by prayer from the Pastor.
Minutes were read past & signed.
Arising from minutes Mr L Axtell reported that roof of the vestry would be releaded within a short time.
Transfer of land at rear of Building   The Chairman Mr A F Stratford made a statement (on the transfer of a portion of ground the gift of Mr Skidmore) that all the cost of transfer would be met from church Funds.  He mentioned the generosity of Mr & Mrs Skidmore and hoped the transfer would not take long.  All happily aggreed with what the pastor had said.
Chairman The pastor expressed his pleasure as the numbers of members present.  He read a happy letter from Mr & Mrs Carey which stated they had arrived safely in New Zealand.  Mention was made of a letter and Old Bible which had been used in the old chapel's Sunday School in Bell Lane and all aggreed that a letter of thanks be sent to Miss Sear of Queens Road Berkhamsted who had given us both the letter that her grandfather had written, and the Bible.


[The aforementioned grandfather would be James Sear, long-time Sunday School Superintendent in the old Chapel. For more about James Sear click here and refer to section about the Sear family.  For more illustrations from this bible click here.   The bible itself was still in the church at the time of writing in 2014]


Mr Sear's Victorian bible

Mr Sear's Victorian bible

Cupboard in vestry   Thanks was expressed to Mr J Parry for the making of a spacious cupboard in the vestry, our friend Mr E Carey had assisted him on this good work before his farewell.   All aggreed to these thanks.
Heating of Schoolroom   Mr Brooks reported that the Eastern Gas Board Berkhamsted had promised to install the new heating in the School room by the second week in Sept. adding that the 2 existing radiators would be renovated.  All aggreed that work should go ahead.
Spring Cleaning   Pro. by Mr Brooks and sec by Mr Axtell that spring cleaning of the church & school room should be left till early next year.  Amendment was made by Mrs H Davis that the church be cleaned,  as there was no seconder the proposition was carried.
Diaconate vacancy   The deacons made a recommendation that the vacancy on the diaconate [from Mr Carey going to New Zealand] be held over until the election of deacons at the end of the year.  This was prop by Mrs Davis sec by Mr J Parry and all aggreed.
Morning SS Superintendent   The chairman recalled that Mr E Carey had been morning SS. Superintendant and that at a recent teachers meeting Mr H Bruton had been appointed to this office.  All aggreed to this appointment.
Home Work Fund   After suggestion it was unanimously aggreed that the Oct communion collection be taken for the Home Work Fund, this pr. was made by Mr L Owen sec by Mrs H Davis.
Flower Sec   Appointment of Flower sec was next on the agenda and Mrs H Bruton was pro by Mrs H Davis sec by Mrs L Axtell and all aggreed.  The Chairman at this stage mentioned the Memorial Window and hoped friends would use it at al times for flowers
Old Cemetery  Mr H Bruton stated it wanted a cleaning up and it was all aggreed by the men that they got together to get the work done.
Notice Board   Reporting the bad state of the Notice Board for the church [?] It was suggested by Mr A Wilson that the Secretary be instructed to get estimate on cost of repair and rewriting of the Board.  Mr S Delderfield pro. that Mr J Parry & Mr L Axtell repair and paint the Board before it was sent to a sign writersec by Mr H Davis past unanimously.
Christmas Bazaar The Pastor reported from the Bazaar committee stated it would be held Nov 27 and opened by Mrs H.V. Crussell with Mr Peter N Clarke in the chair at 2.45.  It was aggreed that admission be free, that leaflets be printed with the programme of the concert the price to be 1/-  Stalls had been suggested as last year.  Competitions by Mr Axtell and Mr B Winter:  Concert would be given by Mr H Newman's Part[y] Chesham.  Ending the report the chairman mention the offer by Mr F Shambrook to show his model theatre.
Any Other Business Calling any other business a complaint was made regarding water coming through the kitchen ceiling.  Mr Axtell stat this would be redressed with the releading of vestry roof.
Light on Organ   A new light was suggested on the organ and that the work be undertaken by Mr J Parry.
Retirement of Rev W R Miller   A letter was read by the Pastor from the Herts Asst Sec. Rev Hagger [student Pastor at NBC 1906-1908] re the Retirement of the area superintendent Rev W.R. Miller and announcement of the reopening of Bovingdon Chapel on Sept 25.
New Hymn Board   Mr J Parry asked the chair if there would be any objection to him making a new Hymn & Tune Board.
Pastor's expenses   At this juncture Mr & Mrs Stratford wished the meeting well and left.  Mr R Brooks recalled the Pastor's statement of £7.10.0 for his expenses for the work he was doing for the church.  The pastor hoped for nothing more as it was for the love of the work and the people he had undertaken the Pastorate.  The secretary putting the facts to the meeting asked for discussion on the matter.  All aggreed to the pro of Mr S Delderfield which was sec by Mr A Wilson that the Pastor be given £10 expenses to be paid twice a year in £5 and that the matter be open to review in 6 month.
This ended the happy meeting the secretary closed with the Benediction.   After which Tea & Biscuit were served.
                                    A F Stratford(Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Special church meeting held Nov 19 1954
[the words "Special church" added later in pencil]
Mr A F Stratford in the chair                     22 present
Opened with a hymn & prayer.
Minutes of the last meeting were read past & signed.
Arising from minutes Mr Stratford stated all the work mentioned in the previous minutes had been done.
Thanks were extended to Mr L Axtell, Mr J Parry & Mr J Dunbavand, Mr H Davis & Mr L King also for all the men that had worked to tidy the old cemetery.
The Pastor also mentioned the Ground at the back of the building were still in the negotiation stage & the members would be informed immediately when a settlement was made.
Presentation to retiring Area Superintendent Rev W R Miller   Commencing the business a letter was read from the Herts Baptist Ass. concerning the retirement of our area superintendant Rev W.R. Miller.  The pastor pro that £2.2.0 be sent to the presentation fund this was sec by Mrs R Brooks & carried.
Election of Deacons   Nominations for the two vacancies on the diaconate were give, these were Mr H Davis retiring deacon and Mr Jack Parry.  as there were no further nominations the two friends were appointed to a 3 year term of officeAll aggreed to this appointment.  At this stage the pastor stated Mr & Mrs Wilson and family were expecting to have to leave the district, but Mr Wilson had aggreed to continue on the Diaconate until he leaves, this arrangement had been welcomed by the fellow deacons.
Report of Bazaar Committee   Reading the report from the Bazaar committee, the pastor assured the members that all the stalls had been finally arranged.  Presentation of bouquet & buttonholes would be made the flowers would be given by Mrs Fred Delderfield.  A hymn (1st verse) was aggreed to and Mr A Wilson would give the opening prayer.  Mr Axtell raised the matter of prizes for the competitions and several present offered to give articles suitable.  The meeting aggreed that a Bazaar advert be put into the Gazette.
Treasurer   Mrs R Brooks gave a statement regarding finance, the balance in hand to date was £38.1.5
Watchnight Service   Speaking on the proposed Watchnight Service the Pastor suggested that this social & service be a combined effort and that the meeting appoint 2 friends to join with the Y.P.F. committee.  Mr R Brooks prop and Mr L Owen sec Mrs Ashby & Mrs R Brooks.
Any other Business   Mr A Wilson aggreed to see if he could fix lights for Ladies toilet.
Pastor's Anniversary date fixed were March 16th or 23rd.  Tea at 5.30 followed by evening meeting.
This ended the happy meeting.  The Pastor pronounced the Benediction.  Tea & Biscuits followed.
                                               A.F Stratford   Lay Pastor
Minutes of Annual Meeting held Jan 20th 1955
Present 21
The meeting opened with prayer by the Pastor Mr A F Stratford and a hymn.
Minutes of the last annual meeting were read past & signed.
The Chairman   The pastor stated it was impossible to write down or assess the full value of the church work over the year.  One great preveledge the people had done was to maintain the witness which had been handed down to us through the Gospels.  The pastor stressed the witness all were making to the Faith by coming to the Sunday
services.  Worship through the year had been a rich blessing and was very important to the Spiritual life of each member.  All the church organisations were vital to the life of the church & we had much to thank God for.  Many had given special service and he referred to the ladies who had cleaned the church and schoolroom week by week; the work done by the men in cleaning up the old cemetery, one name he would mention was Mr L King who had done many a full day working on this job.  Mr A Wilson & Mr J Parry were mentioned in regard to electrical and wood work and Miss K Davis, Mrs L Owen and Mr J Purton had done vital service on the organ and piano.
The pastor concluded with a general thanks to all for the work done, which he had made this year such a success and which had rendered great service for our God in the village of Northchurch.
Secretary's Report   Mr R Brooks the secretary reported membership had increased from 40 to 49.  All new members had gone through visitation or recommendation. 
13 Communion services were held with an average attendance of 34.  Morning congregations had been good with higher averages in members higher than previous years. 
28 men and women had occupied the pulpit during the year for Sunday worship our own Pastor had taken 25 Sunday services.  On many Monday evenings during the twelve months Prayer & Praise meetings were held.
Treasurer's Report   A full report of income and expenditure was given by Mrs Brooks concluding with a balance in hand of £124 .4.7.
Morning S School   Morning Superintendent Mr H Bruton stated the average was 28 present out of 30 on the register.
Afternoon S S.  Mr L Owen superintendent report 63 in the school with an average of 60 attendance.  24 had joined and 22 left.  Mr E Carey had been missed after leaving for New Zealand but Mrs F Shelton had come back and given valuable service with all the other teachers.  The anniversary was a great Success.  Morning and evening service taken by Mr Percy Juggins of Romford and the address in the afternoon was given by Mr A.T. Read Berkhamsted.
July 3rd the scholars were taken for a day's outing to Clacton.   For the Scripture exam 11 sat & awards were 6 1st 5 2nd.  The Christmas party was again one of the high lights.
S S. Finance   Financial statement was given for the Sunday School.   £29.10.6 was received in the fund £28.2.6 paid out leaving a balance of £14.5.0(£2.17.0 in outing Fund)
Y.P.F Secretary   Miss K Davis sec of the Y.P.F. gave a list of meetings held.  Visits were made from & to Boxmoor & Tring.  Successful and happy were the Whit Monday outing to Southsea & the New Year's Eve Social & Watchnight Service.
Financial Y.P.F.  Mr H Bruton spoke with reflects [reflections] on many years and concluded with a balance of £6.14.1
Women's Own   Reports were of a very happy year with Mrs Holland as leader.  Outstanding were the outing to Brighton, New Year's Social and visit from & to Chesham Tring & Boxmoor.  Mrs Sear was sick visitor and support had been maintained for the Mission Hospital bed.
Average attendance was 60 and Balance stood at bank £13.11.11, cash £7.8.8½
Choir   With a small choir activity had been limited but the Christmas Cantata was great appreciated.
Contact Club   The Contact Club had been well supported.  Various speakers had been to the club.  Open night was the occassion of John Dickinson's Film Unit.  The Christmas Party had the added support of Mr F Shambrook's miniature theatre:  membership stood at 28.
Balance in hand £5.19.2
Home Work Fund   The Secretary of the Home Work Fund reported record sum collected £16.14.3 including £7.4.8 collection at Pastor Induction Service.
B.M.S.  Miss H Davis secretary of B.M.S. Fund reported £11.18.4 had been collected by the Sunday School and increase of £2.1.5 on the previous year.
J.Y.P.F.  Mrs Delderfield leader of the J.Y.P.F reported the average attendance had been 15.  Many happy meetings were being held.
Flowers   Mrs H Bruton thanked all for the support they had had in flowers for Sunday worship.
Election of Officers
The secretary was reappointed on the prop of Mr A Wilson sec Mrs A Stratford and passed.
The treasurer Mrs R Brooks on the prop. of Mrs J Parry sec by Mr H Davis was appointed to the office for another year.
The Pastor thanked secretary & treasurer for the work both had done.  In reply Mr Brooks expressed the thanks of his wife & himself and called for a vote of thanks to be recorded to Mr & Mrs Stratford for their work over the past year this was sec by Mrs H Davis and carried unanimously.
Miss K Davis was appointed church organist being prop by Mr A Wilson Sec Mr R Brooks and carried.
Sidesmen were reinstated with the usual show of hand Mr J Foskett Mr G Rance Mr H Bruton & Mr A Delderfield.
Mrs H Davis aggreed to carry on the good work of the church sick visitor.
Mr G Rance was voted as church auditor.
With a general expression of thanks to all the members of the church for their loyalty, energy and help throughout 1954 the meeting was closed by the Pastor.
                                        A F Stratford   19-1-56
                                                     Lay Pastor
Minutes of meeting held after the Annual meeting Jan 20 1955
21 Present
The Pastor stated he had been asked by Mrs R Davis to have her name brought before the members for church membership, he himself had had a long talk with her and could recommend that the church appoint 2 friends to visit the lady.  All aggreed that Mrs R Brooks and Mrs H Bruton be appointed to see Mrs R Davis and report back to the church.
This being the only business the pastor closed with the Benediction.
                                    A F Stratford(Lay Pastor)
[This was Mrs Rose Davis, still a member into the 1980's]
Minutes of meeting held after Sunday evening worship. Jan 30 1955
25 Present
The Pastor Mr A F Stratford opened with prayer.
The Pastor stated that the meeting had been called to hear reports from two of our own members regarding the request from Mrs R Davis for membership.
Mrs R Brooks reported having talked with Mrs R Davis who had been in membership with the Salvation Army prior to the cor [corps] been disbanded at Berkhamsted, she was a regular worshipper Sunday mornings and had an interest in all the church work.  Continuing Mrs Brooks stating She had pointed out the responsible that membership entailed, and in all, she felt Mrs R Davis loved & served our Lord.  Mrs H Bruton stated she had seen Mrs R Davis separately from Mrs Brooks and was happy to say she had come to the same conclusions, that Mrs R Davis was desirous & fixed to become a member of the church.
The pastor thanked tow ladies for the reports and the meeting aggreed that Mrs R Davis be received into membership, and have the right hand of fellowship at the February Communion.
The meeting closed with prayer.
                                         A F Stratford   (Lay Pastor)
Minutes of the Church Meeting held April 26th 1955
30 Present
A hymn opened the meeting followed by a prayer from the chairman Mr A F Stratford.
Minutes were read passed & signed of the previous 3 meetings.
Business continued as nothing came from the minutes.
Women's Own Leader resigns   A statement was made by the Pastor review the past year & winter's work, continuing he knew we all would regret the resignation of Mrs Holland from leader of the Women's Own owing to personal circumstances.
Retirements   The chairman thanked Mr J Purton for his services at the organ when Miss K Davis has been absent and hoped that rich blessing would be with Mr & Mrs S Delderfield & Mr H Davis in their retirement. 
Visitations  Mr Stratford stated he wished publicly to thank his wife, who, during the past weeks had been visiting friend of the church in hospital & in the village.
Exemption from Rates   The secretary read letter from The Inland Revenue which finally exempts the church from any rate charge.
Spring Cleaning   Prop. by Mrs Axtell Sec. Mrs H Davis that the Spring cleaning of the buildings be commenced May 9th all aggreed.
Delegation to Herts B.A.  The chairman giving dates of the Herts Baptist Assn meeting asked for 2 church delegates.  Mr L Owen pro Mrs A Wilson sec that Mrs H Davis & Mrs S Delderfield be appointed all were in favour.
Delegate to B U Mtg   The Pastor announced that Mr R Brooks had been appointed delegate to the Baptist Union Meetings in London.
Treasurers Statement   Financial statement was given by the treasurer stating the Church Fund stood at £126 & the Communion Fund £3.12.5.
Bazaar   Relating to future activities the Pastor asked for discussion.  After many suggestions it was aggreed to a proposition made by Mrs Ashby sec by Mr S Delderfield that a Bazaar be held in the spring of 1956 the date was pro by Mrs H Davis sec by Miss F Halsey and carried.
Time of evening service   It was aggreed to keep the time of evening worship 6pm after discussing the matter.
Collection Recepticles   Prop by Mr Axtell & sec by Mrs A Wilson that we have new recepticles for church offeringsthis was approved by all.  Prop Mrs A Wilson sec by Mr A Wilson that we have Bags.  Amendment pro Mr S Delderfield sec Mrs R Brooks that we have Plates.   After a vote by the show of hands it was aggree to have BagsProp by Mr R Brooks sec by Mr S Delderfield that the Pastor purchase 4 bagsall aggreed.
Light of rostrum   Discussion follow on the lighting of the rostrumPro by Mr Purton sec by Mrs Wright that new light be installed on the rostrum and that the Eastern Electricity Board be consulted & the matter left to the deacons.
Heating Pipes under seats  It was aggreed after the pro of Mrs Carter Sec by Mrs Wilson that the deacons see about fixing some of the heating pipes under the pews before the coming winter.
Easter Communion   The Pastor stated the fixing of Easter Communion had come before the diaconate and now brought the matter to the church and it was aggreed that the service be held in the evening, after a proposition by Mr S Delderfield sec Mr L King and an amendment pro by Mrs Wright Sec Mr Wilson that it be in the morning after the morning service had been voted on.
Morning Communion   The holding of morning communion services was then discussed all aggreed we held a service after morning worship on the 3rd Sunday in May and this be continued on the 3rd Sunday in the month for 3 months when it would be again brought before the church,  all aggreed to the proposition by Mrs Carter & sec by Mr R Brooks.
Church & Pastor's Anniversary 1956   It was pro by Mr S Delderfield sec by Mrs Axtell that the Anniversary for Church & Pastor be held on March 21st 1956.
Renovations   Church Renovations came under discussion and after many has spoken the pastor suggested we thought the matter over and bring it to the next meeting.  It was then pro by Mr Parry sec by Mrs Axtell that we get two estimates one for the whole of the school room & one for the walls & windows of the school room when emulsion paint would be usedthis was aggreed to.
 Membership   The Pastor stated he had seen Miss Jessie Verney re membership.  The meeting appointed Mrs H Davis & Mrs R Brooks to visit Miss J Verney and report back at the next meeting.
This ending the business the happy meeting closed with prayer by the pastor.  Tea & Biscuits followed.
                                    A F Stratford(Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Church Meeting held in School room June 2nd 1955
23 Present
The Pastor Mr A F Stratford opened the meeting with hymn & prayer.
Minutes of the meeting were read passed & signed.  pro Mr A Wilson sec by Mrs H Davis.
Arising from minutes it was stated no move had been made by the Eastern Electricity Board re the lighting at the front of church.  Suggestion were made that other estimates be sort [sought] for the work suggested but it was aggreed that we await the reply from the E. Board.  The spring cleaning effort by many friends was referred to and remarks were made by several on the cleanliness of the building inside and out.
Renovation of School Room   The first [crossed out in pencil later] business the church had recommended regarding the renovation of the school room as to estimates being obtained, had not been proceeded with and the pastor said full discussion of this matter would come up on tonight s ["s" is added later in pencil] agenda.  All aggreed that the new collection bags were ideal and thanks were expressed to the pastor on his choice.  The secretary stated he had written to Rev Henry Cook for the Pastor's anniversary but had not received a reply.
Chairman   The pastor in a few remarks referred to the happy and much appreciated time of the S S Anniversary, the rug purchased for the vestry, and the work done in Spring cleaning.
Membership   Reports were given of the visits to Miss J. Verney for church membership.   Both reports from Mrs H Davis & Mrs R Brooks expressed the earnest desire of Miss Verney to serve the Lord through the church and to support the work faithfully as she had in the past, all aggreed that Miss J Verney be received into membership.
Further application was read by the pastor from Mr Fred Wilson it stated Fred had been to one of the Billy Graham relays [rallies] from Scotland and had made a decision for Christ.  He was desirous of baptism.  The members received this with great joy and appointed Mr H Bruton and Mr L Owen as visitors for Church membership.
Mr L King's report of the Bell Lane Land   Mr L King reported that the Bell Lane cemetery was being used as a rubbish dump, he had removed all the rubbish dumped there but thought the matter should be mention to the police, he stated he had a key to the cemetery gate.  Mr Stratford asked for volunteers to tidy the ground up and it was aggreed to leave it to the men to do what they could in this matter.
Renovation of School room   Again the renovation of the school room came under discussion and after Mr Stratford had expressed to the meeting the hopes he had had that some of our men would be willing to take on the work during the evenings of August. A pro. was made by Mr A Wilson sec by Mr J parry, that Mr L Axtell and Mr J Purton be responsible for the work and that costs of mentioned be paid by the treasurer, all aggreed.  It was suggested that the vestry kitchen & toilets be done as well.  Referring to the minute past at the last meeting re the matter Mr H Davis pro and Mr A Wilson sec that this previous minute be cancelledall aggreed.
Any other business   Mrs Wilson stated the Sunday school would like some suitable pictures hung on the schoolroom.  The chairman thanked Mrs Wilson for this information and all aggreed this be discussed at a meeting later.
Mr J Parry aggreed to do the necessary repairs at the back of the organ, also to examining the wood covering the baptistry.
No further developments in regard to the ground at the rear of church building.
The Pastor referred to a letter he had received from the Rev E.J. Whitby re the opening of the new Church at Belmont Road Hemel Hempstead.  It stated seats would be reserved for 3 of our members and a donation from the church would be appreciated.  Mr S Delderfield pro that £5.5.0 be sent this was sec. by Mr L Axtell and all aggreed.
This ended the business and the happy meeting closed with the Benediction.  Followed by fellowship over Tea & Biscuits.
                                     A F Stratford    (Lay Pastor)
Minutes of meeting held after Sunday evening worship   June 26th
23 Present.
Reports were received from Mr H Bruton & Mr L Owen on visitation to Mr Fred Wilson.  Both reported Fred was ernest in his desire to serve the Lord through the church , and wanted to be baptized.  Both reports were accepted & aggreed to, Fred being received into membership next Sunday, July 3rd.
                                 A F Stratford    (Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Meeting held Aug 30th  7.45 pm
Present 23
Meeting open wit a hymn & prayer was taken by the pastor.
Minutes of the last meeting were read, past & signed after pro by Mrs Ashby Sec.by Mrs Delderfield.
Chairmans RemarksThe pastor Mr F Stratford, [throwback to previous pastor this is Mr A F Stratford] in the chair remarked on the summer months just ending and praised the happy fellowship we have received at the Sunday Services and the great work in the Sunday School.
Baptismal   Baptismal service had been conducted by Rev E J Whitby of Boxmoor Aug 14th when Mr Fred Wilson passed through the waters of baptism.  Miss Jessie Verney was greeted to the church meeting having been received into membership on Sunday June 5th.
Decoration of School room  Continuing the pastor expressed the thanks of the church to all the men who had done work for the church during the summer months.
Under the direction of Messrs Purton & Axtell the schoolroom had been beautifully decorated and all were grateful for the work done at so little expense.  Also two ladies had been present at the final scrub and clean up "One big thankyou". 
Gifts   Thanks was given to Mr & Mrs Delderfield for the gift of a brass bowl suitable for holding flowers to stand on the communion table.    The chairman announced the gift of a gas ring for use in the kitchen and thanked Mr & Mrs Owen for such a useful article.
Arising from minutes concl.
Harvest   The chairman announced Sept 18th was the day set aside for Harvest Thanksgiving and Mr L Wright of Watford would conduct the 11 & 6 pm services.  All aggreed to have the usual Tea & Sale on the Monday and after much discussion it was decided the price for the tea should be 1/6 adults 9d children.  The decoration of the church was left to Mr H Bruton and his helpers.  On the Sunday afternoon at 2.30 it was announced the children would have their harvest service of gifts, singing and recitations.
Ground at rear of church The Secretary stated negotiations were almost complete regarding the gift of ground at the rear of building, and it was unanimously aggreed on the pro of Mr S Delderfield Sec by Mr L Owen that a letter of thanks be sent to Mr Skidmore from the church as soon as all was complete.
Organist   The pastor expressing the great help Mr J Purton had been at the organ and all aggreed to a pro by Mr L Owen Sec by Mrs H Davis that Mr J Purton be appointed church organist.  [Miss Kathleen M  Davis the previous organist married Mr ArthurE J Ashby and moved out of the area leaving this vacancy.]
Morning Communion   Praise was expressed at the communion services held after the morning worship during the summer and Mr J Parry pro that we had four morning communion services each year Mrs H Davis sec and all aggreed.
Spring Bazaar   In the next business the Spring Bazaar was discussed, date was left open and Mr Davis pro sec Mr L Axtell that Mrs Claude Barker be asked to open the Sale.  Mrs Delderfield pro that all organisations of the church nominate 2 person to form the Bazaar committee, this was sec by Mrs Axtell and aggreed upon.
Rev Henry Cook BU President Church & Pastor's Anniv.  The Chairman announced March 7th was the date fixed for the Church & Pastor's Anniversary and Rev Henry Cook had aggreed to speak at the evening service.
Chapel Cleaning   Difficulty was voiced regarding the Church Cleaning Rota. and it was pro by Mrs Purton sec by Mrs Brooks that Mrs Davis be asked to take over Chapel cleaning as from Sept 1st.  After Mrs Davis had aggreed all voted in favour.  It was aggreed that the deacons discuss and decided on duties etc.
Curtains for Schoolroom   Curtains for the windows in the newly decorated school room were discussed and all aggreed these were needed.  The chairman then suggested the ladies got together for the purchase of the curtains.   This was made a pro by Mrs Brooks sec by Mrs Axtell and carried.
The secretary recorded a vote of thanks to the chairman for his services at this meeting and for the good work he had done amongst us as our pastor over the past months.
This concluded the happy meeting which closed with the Benediction, followed by tea & biscuits.
                   A F Stratford               (Lay Pastor)
                              Oct 10 1955
Minutes of Meeting held 8pm Monday Oct 10th 1955
Present 23
The meeting opened with a hymn, followed by prayer, chair was taken by the pastor.
Minutes were read past & signed.
Arising from minutes.  It was stated the curtains for the school room were being dealt with by the ladies and all would soon be seeing them hanging in the nicely decorated schoolroom.
The pastor when asked could not report any further developments re the gift of land at the rear of the building.
It was announced Mrs Claude Barker had been approach to open the Bazaar in the Spring and full hopes would be that she will accept. 
Mr Stratford gave a short report,  the harvest festival was the high light of the report.
Following the survey of the minutes all joined in singing a hymn.  A short Psalm was read and the secretary offered prayer.
Lighting on rostrum  The chairman opening the new business asked the meeting to accept the estimate for the rostrum lighting and repairs to the tube heating in the church, the Eastern Electricity Board estimate was in the region of £3.  After some discussion Mr Davis pro that the estimate be accepted and the work put on hand as soon as possible.  Mr Wilson sec and it was carried by a majority.
Bazaar Committee.  The chairman stated that the representation from the various organisations had been appointed to form the Bazaar committee.  It was aggreed that two should be appointed by the church, Mrs Wilson pro Mrs Ashby sec by Mrs Axtell   Miss Dell was pro by Mrs Davis sec by Mr Bruton.
Northchurch Cemetery   Next on the agenda was discussion on Northchurch Parish Cemetery.  After many had spoken it was aggreed that in the event of an upkeep subscription being asked for by the Parish council the church send £3.3.0Mr Delderfield pro Mr Wilson sec.
The report on organisation brought a statement by Mrs Delderfield that the Junior Y.P.F had commenced and was being held in the school room on Wed at 5pm.
Sick VisitingThe chairman stated he had visited our old members and life deacon Mr Baker now living in Wiggington.  Both he and his wife were delighted to hear of the work in the church.  Several other friends had been visitedMrs Curl was away on holiday;  the pastor expressed the sad passing of Mrs North since our last meeting.
Christmas gifts to lay preachers   It was unanimously aggreed to the suggestion by the pastor that we sent to our lay preachers a small gift with greetings at Christmas.  Mrs Wilson pro Mrs Davis sec that 10/- book tokens be bought and sent with the church's greetings and appreciation to those who had served the church so well in 1955.
Any other business   Mr J Parry was thanked by the pastor for building two cupboard on top of the entrances to the schoolroom.
Thanks were given to the anonymous giver of a brass stand now used for flowers in the church. 
Reference to the childrens Harvest serviceMr Bruton was thanked for the decorations and appreciation to Miss Glynis Parry and Mr Fred Wilson.
Ending the happy meeting the pastor offered prayer.  Members had fellowship over tea & biscuits.
                                      A F Stratford   (Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Church Meeting held Nov 21st 7.45 Monday
26 Present
After a hymn the Pastor Mr A F Stratford offered prayer.  In the chair the  pastor gave a short talk on previous events.
The secretary then read the minutes of the last meeting which were duly passed & signed.
Arising from minutes Mrs H Davis stated the curtain[s] now hanging in the windows were a great improvement to the Schoolroom.  Secretary reported Mrs Claude Barker had accepted invitation to open bazaar in March.
Financial State  Mrs R Brooks gave the up-to-date financial position of the church fund. £114.17.2 in hand.
Election of Deacon   The Chairman stated Mr A Wilson was the only nomination for the vacancy on the diaconate and the meeting unanimously aggreed to Mr Wilson's re-election for 3 years.
Visitations & gifts   Reference was made of a visit Mrs Stratford had made to one of our old members Miss Blyth [ church member since 1901] and the chairman   stated he had had two anonymous gifts of £1 for the church fund.
Tea Pots   The meeting was then asked if the church would purchase new Tea-Pots and after discussion a pro. was made by Mr L Owen sec by Mrs Wilson that the purchase be made, all aggreed.
Cleaning materials   Mrs R Davis pro. that cleaning materials be purchased as needed this was sec by Mrs G Mothersole and all aggreed.
Carol Service   The pastor stated that the carol service would be held on Dec 18th, this service would commence at 6.30 pm to suit the younger members who had an afternoon carol session at Ashlyns School.   At this service the pastor suggested an illuminated Christmas Tree for the front of the church and that people be asked to bring gifts of toys and place at the foot of the tree.  All aggreed to the suggest and asked that the gift be sent to Spurgeons Homes for Boys and Girls [this tradition of Christmas gifts to Spurgeons Homes continued until 2012].
Christmas Day   As difficulty arose to arrange visiting preachers for Christmas day services the secretary asked the meeting if it would aggree to the Deacons taking the two services.  All aggree that the deacons conducted the services between them.  It was expressed the hope that Mr & Mrs Stratford had a happy Christmas away from home.
Watch night Service   The Y.P.F. had arranged for a New Years Eve social to be followed by a watchnight service conducted by the pastor.
Flowers   Mr H Bruton stated flowers were very expensive at the present time and he thought one vase on the communion table should be used in this period.  The meeting aggreeing with Mr Bruton thought that a plant could be purchased to stand in the other vase on the rostrum and asked him to purchase a plant which would be paid for by two ladies.
Bazaar   Suggestion for the Spring Bazaar were asked for so that the committee could discuss them.  The arranging of a concert for the night was discussed and the secretary was asked to contact the Congregation Ladies.
Any other Business   It was suggested that arrangement be made to hold the morning communion services when the Pastor was leading the morning worship, this the secretary made note of.
Church decorations   All aggreed that Mr H Bruton undertook the decorating of the church for Christmas and that all friends bring holly etc on the Saturday Dec 17th.
This ended the business, the happy meeting ended with the Benediction.
                                            A F Stratford       (Lay-Pastor)
Minutes of annual Church meeting held Thursday Jan 19th 1956
Present 23
The meeting opened with a hymn and the Pastor Mr A F Stratford offered prayer.
The chairman gave a welcome to all present and called on the secretary to read the minutes of the last annual meeting.  Minutes were read past and signed.
Nothing arising from minutes.
Chairman's Report.  The pastor expressed the thanks to our God for all the rich blessings we had had in 1955.  The church had maintained its witness each week, especially in Sunday worship, to the peoples of the district.   Continuing he impress that the church exists primarily for the worship of God, all other things were good and work which we must continue but were always to be classifies secondary.  He thanked all members as a whole for the help and support given mentioning the work done to decorate the school room and other large jobs.
The resignation because of marriage and leaving the district by our Miss K Davis now Mrs Ashby had been a sad loss but our fellow member Mr J Purton had ably took over the duties of organist; in all things we could give thanks for 1955.
Secretary Report   Supporting all our pastor had said Nr R Brooks summarised the red letter days of the year. all had been notable successes.  The membership stood at 51 having not been rebased over the 12 months.
Thirteen evening communion services, 4 morning communions had been taken and were well attended by our members.  Church congregations had been well maintained with a small increase to the morning worship.  The lowest attendance was 25 at an evening service (save Christmas Day (19)) on the wettest Sunday of the year.  20 men and women have served us preaching from the pulpit and we are thankful for our lay preachers.  Our pastor conducted 25 Sunday Services.
Treasurer Report    Mrs R Brooks gave the financial report. 
Balance from 1954                       £124. 4.7
Income for 1955: (plus balance)   £412.14.5
Expenditure                                   £307. 0.8
Balance to end                               £105.13.9
Benevolent Fund
Balance from 1954                         £3.17. 8
Income                                          £11.18.6
Expenditure                                   £12. 6.9
Balance to end                                 £3. 9.5
Details were given resulting in these amounts.
SS Morning Super.  Mr H Bruton morning superintendant reported 24 scholars and mostly 100% attendance to the special weekly service at the Sunday morning worship.
SS afternoon Super.  Mr L Owen afternoon superintendant reported 65 scholars, the usual highlights had been Anniversary, Afternoon harvest service, 10 sat for the scripture examination results were 5 first 5 seconds, SS outing in July was to Margate.
The scholars with the great help of the teachers had given 2 concerts and the children had made a collection for Dr Barnardo's Homes.
The SS Fund had a balance in hand of £8.
Y.P.F   Mrs A Wilson Secretary to the Y.P.F reported a good and happy Fellowship with many more of the younger people attending.  Speakers at the Tuesday evening meeting had been excellent.  Mr Bruton the treasurer stated the £10.14.8½ was an increase balance on last year. £19.0.8 was raised during the year.
Womens Own   The secretary of the Womens Own Mrs H Davis given a full report, stated the meeting had been unable to appoint a leader but the year had been carried on well by committee.  Mrs Clark was pianist.  Outstanding activities were Concert in March, Outings to Reading & Bedford, Womens Own Sunday taken by Miss Helen Smith and Mrs G Cooper and the Rally when Miss Russell was the speaker.
Mrs R Davis treasurer reported £63.11.4 was raised and there was a balance of £3.7.0
J Y.P.F   The J.Y.P F leader Mrs S Delderfield thanked Mrs Wilson for the help given. Average attendance was 18 and the meetings had been well worth while. 
8/- was in hand.
Choir   The Choir with Mr J Purton organist had had a good year. Special service was at Christmas and each week the singing had gone well£3 was in the fund.
B.M.S.  Mrs H Davis secretary of B.M.S. Fund reported £36.15.2 was raised an increase of £2.19.0.on the previous year.
Home Work   Mrs R Brooks for the Home Work Fund reported a record year of £22.9.0.
Flowers   Mrs H Bruton flower secretary thanked the friends for the wonderful display of flowers we had given each Sunday and reported £2.4.6 had been raised at the Sunday retiring collection for the extra flowers at Easter.  Balance was 11/7.
Election of Officers   Secretary  Prop. by Mr L Owen sec by Mr J Parry that Mr R Brooks carry on for another year.  Carried unanimously.
Treasurer Prop. by Mr Wilson Sec by Mrs H Davis that Mrs R Brooks carry on for another year.  Carried unanimously.
Flowers  Prop. by Mr R Brooks sec by Mrs Davis that Mrs H Bruton be appointed flower secretary for another year.
Organist  Prop by Mr S Delderfield Sec by Mrs Davis that Mr J Purton carry the duties of organist another year.  Carried unanimously.
Sidesmen  It was aggreed that the sidesmen be elected for one more year.  Mr J Foskett    Mr G Rance    Mr H Bruton    Mr A Delderfield & Mr J Parry.
Sick Visitor  Mrs H Davis aggree to a unanimous vote.
Auditor  Mr G Rance was appointed auditor for ensuing year.
This ended the happy annual meeting and the Pastor closed with prayer.
Interval    Tea and Biscuits
                             (  A F Stratford   Lay Pastor
                                                24/1/57                               [brackets not closed]

Minutes of Church Meeting held after annual meeting Jan 19th
23 Present
The pastor opened the short meeting by reporting that so far we had not been able to arrange a concert for the evening of March 24th the day of the Spring Bazaar. 
The Church and Congregation meeting & supper he stated would be held Feb 11th.
After some discussion on large plates for the catering utencals [utensils] it was aggreed that this matter be defferred to another meeting.
The meeting aggreed that Mr Brooks should approach the Eastern Electricity Board re the light on the Pulpit.
This concluded the short meeting and the Chairman pronounced the Benediction.
                       Lay Pastor   A.FStratford                   1/5/56
Minutes of meeting held Feb 13 [1956]
23 Present
A Hymn was sung to open.  The Chairman Mr A F Stratford prayed.
Minutes were read past and Signed.
Arising from minutes.    Mr H Bruton stated he had not been able to obtain suitable fern [?] for the Rostrum.
Mr A Wilson prop Mrs Davis sec that a vote of thanks be recorded to Mr Bruton for the splendid Christmas decoration of the church.  The Pastor made reference to the Church Supper held previous Saturday, it had been a happy successful time.
Bazaar   The Pastor reporting on the last meeting of the Bazaar committee brought forward the committees suggestion (which had been aggreed to by the deacons) that the Spring Bazaar would be better postponed until Oct.  After a long discussion this suggestion was made a proposition, and the members aggreed to the postponement by 20 votes to 2.  The date then fixed for this financial effort was Oct 20th and the proceed would go for the cost of painting & renovating the outside of the Church & Schoolroom.  The name should be Autumn Fair, the committee to remain the same.  For Opener and chairman it was aggreed that the secretary write the two ladies who were coming for the Spring Bazaar and ask them to open and chair the Fair on Oct 20th.  For the concert it was aggreed that Marlowes Contact Male voice Choir be asked to come.
Easter  After discussion it was aggreed that a Good Friday service be held at 6.30 pm if on[e] was not arranged at that hour by the Free Church Council.  Mr Bruton aggreed to do the floral decorations in the church for Easter day.
Text on Rostrum    With the increased lighting on the Rostrum the dullness of the wood work & text was raised.  After views were expressed it was aggreed that Mr Purton & Mr Axtell be asked to revarnish the woodwork at the back of the rostrum & that the Sec contact Mr Rickett who wrote the Text in the early 30s to advise us on the best means for the scroll & wording.


[This scroll was a bible text high above the woodwork on the wall seen through the arch.
This was the back wall between the Sanctuary and the Schoolroom behind.  
By the 1980's it had been painted over.
The photograph also clearly shows the revarnished woodwork].


Any other business   It was suggested that one of the notice boards was deteriorating but the members were satisfied when assurance was given that repairs on this was in hand.
Electric fire was suggested for the position at the organ, all aggreed that one be purchased.
The happy meeting closed with the Benediction after which Tea and Biscuits were had.
                                          A F Stratford(Lay Pastor)   7/5/56
Minutes of Church Meeting held after evening worship on Sunday March 18th & 25th.
March 18th the Pastor Mr A F Stratford read letter of transfer from Luton Congregational Church &  [blank space left]    Mr & Mrs Jones.   All aggreed that the two great friend of the church be received into membership.
Application for membership for Mrs Taverner was expressed by the Pastor , and the meeting appointed Mrs H Davis & Mrs L Axtell as visitors.
March 25th   The meeting heard the report of Mrs H Davis on the visiting of Mrs Taverner.  Mrs Axtell had been with her at the time and in the views of both Mrs Taverner was a keen Christian and in every way suitable to become a member.  All aggreed.
                                Both meeting concluded with the
                                A F Stratford(Lay Pastor)
Minutes of meeting held May 7. 1956.
15 Present.
The Pastor Mr A F Stratford open with prayer followed by hymn.
Minutes of the last 3 meetings were read past & signed.
Arising from minutes.  The pastor reported that Mr Rickett the Sign writer & printer had the matter of the text over the rostrum in hand.  Re the Bazaar it was stated Mrs Claude Barker President of the Herts Baptist Assn had been willing to open the Sale in Oct. and Mrs A Bradshaw to take the Chair.  No reply had been receive from Marlowes Baptist Contact Club re concert by their choir on the evening of the bazaar.
The Chairman gave a summary of Church activities which were full of encouragement.
Secretary read a letter from the the [repeated] Lay pastor of Bovingdon Baptist Mr A J A Dyer with their appreciation of a gift of one pound.
Land at Rear of Building   Letter was read from the Baptist Union Solicitors Ellis & Fairburn re the land at rear, the donors [?] solicitor asked that a 9 inch wall be built along the boundary and maintained by the church.  After much discussion it was prop by Mr S Delderfield Sec by Mrs Wilson that we wrote our solicitors stating that the narrows access left after a 9" wall had be erected did not warrant the expence involved.  This was carried unanimously.
Bazaar   Reporting on Bazaar it was stated the Womens Own were work well to this end.
Parish Cemetery   With any other business the Northchurch Parish Cemetery contribution was brought up, and much reminiscing was heard.  After discussion it was aggreed that the Pastor wrote the Rectory Rev Bernard Hughes to clarify the position stated by some of the members.
This ending the happy meeting
                            which closed with the Benediction
                       A.F. Stratford   (  Lay Pastor
Minutes of Meeting held 13 August 1956
21 Present
A hymn was sung, & the pastor Mr Stratford taking the chair offer a prayer, and gave a welcome to all the members.
Minutes were read past and signed.
Arising from minutes. No comment.
Chairman remarks followed when the good services of lay preachers were mentioned.  Mr C Beetley of Chesham one who had served the church 30 years was ill but good reports were coming in about his health.  The Pastor brought to notice that the winter work would be starting in 6 weeks and urged all to support all the meetings held; Especially the Young Peoples Fellowship.
£2 gift Treasurer Mrs R Brooks had received a gift of £2 from the Committee of the Northchurch Coronation Fund, a letter of thanks had been sent to Mr L Cook.
Close of negotiations for land at Rear.  The Secretary read a letter from Ellis & Fairburn solicitors.  Re cost of negotiations for the land at Rear of building prop by Mr A Wilson sec by Mr L Axtell that a letter be sent to Mr Skidmore, this was aggreed to.
Parish Cemetery £5.5.0 Annual   The Pastor stated he had written to the Rectory Rev. Bernard Hughes and had attended a Parochial Church Council regarding the Cemetery.  Our views had been stated at that meeting and he (the Pastor) was in a position of understanding re the cemetery.  After some discussion it was pro & sec and carried unanimously that we send ANNUALLY £5.5.0 towards the cost of the upkeep.
Bazaar    Discussing the Autumn Bazaar the pastor was pleased to state that the Chesham Concert Party was coming in the evening.  A suggestion was made that we all had a get together evening before the Bazaar, and it was aggreed that on Sept 25 at the Y.P.F. Social the Men of the church had a stall of Fruit Flowers etc. for the benefit of the Bazaar Fund.
General maintenance was discussed and Mr J Parry aggreed to do the necessary repairs to the ladies lavatory door.
This ended the business, the Pastor closed with the Benediction and all took part in Tea & Biscuits.
           (A F Stratford                                     Nov 28 1956
                    Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Church Meeting held Wed 7.30 Nov 28th
24 Present
Singing of a hymn followed by prayers by the chairman Mr Stratford opened the meeting.
Minutes were read past and signed.
Arising from minutes, the Pastor remarked how very successful the Bazaar had been raising £86 all the details had been discussed at a recent meeting of Church & Congregation.  [no minutes exist for this meeting]
The Pastor asked the meeting if they wished to enter into Lay Preachers Sunday April 28th  pro by Mrs Davis sec by Mrs R Davis that Pastor E.J. Wells be notified all aggreed.
Letters were read from Rev Hagger sec of the Herts Baptist Assn re the work in the county.
Election of Deacons   The chairman read out the nomination for the diaconate Mr L Owen & Mr H Bruton (both returning deacons) as there was no other nominations he announced them reelected for 3 years.  All the meeting were happy at this statement.
Disposal of Surplus   The Pastor raised the business of spending money we had in hand, mentioning some of the suggestions from the Church & Congregation meeting held on Nov 7th  which were Carpet in aisles; Replacement of tiles on roof; painting outside; Repairs to Porch and Hymn Books.
Organ overhaul   Mr S Delderfield stated as we had the money he proposed the organ builder should be call in to overhaul sec by Mr Parry it was aggreed the Secretary write Messrs Stevens Ltd 9 Leighton PlaceLeighton Road Kentish Town London N.W.5.
Hymn Books    Purchase of hymn books came under discussion and it was aggreed on the Pro of Mr H Bruton sec by Mrs L Axtell that 12 Large and 36 small book be bought.
Committee for Building maintenance.  Discussing the maintenance of the building, the pastor pro, a Committee be formed to go into the matter and report back to the meeting what they considered should be done.  All aggreed.  Mr J Parry Mr L Axtell and Mr J Purton were pro by Mrs R Davis sec by Mr Owen, all voted in favour that the three friends form the committee and that they report back to the Pastor.
Christmas Parcels   To   our old friends the meeting aggreed that Christmas parcels be given and that Mr & Mrs Stratford be given a free hand in giving these gifts.
Book tokens for Preachers.  Reflecting last years appreciation to our Lay Preachers it was pro by Mr S Delderfield sec by Mr Davis that Book Tokens be sent to 17 of the Lay Preachers who served us in the year.  Pro by Mr R Brooks sec by Mrs Ashby that our pastor Mr Stratford receive a Book Token for £5 carried unanimously.
Large Plates   Purchase of Large plates was mentioned and 6 doz was aggreed upon.  Pro by Mrs Davis sec by Mrs S Delderfield that these be bought and Mr Ashby kindly offered to purchase them through the Trade.
Church & Congregation Supper   The Pastor ask if the members wished to carry on with the Church & Congregation Supper.  Mr L Axtell pro Mrs Davis sec that we carry on as usual.
It was announced that the Y.P.F. would hold a Social on New Years Eve followed by a watch night service.  The Pastor hoped all would support the Y.P.F. effort and the church would sponsor any arrangements the Young People wished to make.
 Date of Annual Church meeting was fixed for Jan 23rd .
Any other Business   The chairman called for any other business and it was mentioned that the Sunday School was short of Funds.
Gift to S.S.  after discussion the meeting voted that £10 be hanged [handed] over to the Sunday School treasurer Mr Albury Delderfield.
Some of the members expressed the wish for a toy Service on Dec 23 rd and arrangement were made for a Toy and Carol service for that Sunday evening.
Christmas Decorations   Decoration of the Church for Christmas was aggreed to, and Mrs J Purton was asked to undertake this work.  Mr Davis offered a Christmas tree and it was stated one had been offered by Mr North.
The Choir   Mentioning the Choir Mrs Purton suggested that the young people be asked to join the choir.
This ended the happy meeting and the pastor closed with the benediction.  All then had Tea & Biscuits.
                                  A F Stratford     ( Lay Pastor
                                                                           April 10 1957
Minutes of Annual Meeting held in the Schoolroom 7.30 pm Thursday Jan 24th
Present 19
Chairman Mr A.F. Stratford
The Pastor opened the meeting, a hymn was sung and prayer offered.  Minutes were read past & signed.
The pastor in the Chair gave a welcome to members and reported on the main activity of the church, the witness to our God and his Saving grace.  Preaching helped the church witness, but the most important part was the presence of each member at the worship of God in this place.
The pastor thanked all secretaries and treasurers for their work during the year.  Our organist Mr J Purton had given splendid service and Mrs H Bruton had organised the flowers well.  The men friends that had given much time & labour in repairs & decorations to the building were thanked and the pastor stated he was sure that all the members appreciated their efforts.  He concluded:- all this work for the church no matter how small was work for the glory of God and a witness in the village.
Secretary's Report   The Secretary R Brooks thanked the Pastor for all his work and efforts over the year and stated he was sure all the members joined him in thanking Mr and Mrs Stratford for all they had done for the church.
Reporting, the prayer meeting had been attended by an average of 11 members.  Over the 104 Sunday services the Pastor had taken 35.  24 other Preachers served is mainly Laymen16 took 1 service.  6 took 2.  1 took 3. 9 took 4.  1 took 5.  1 took 6 services.  Average at morning and evening worship were 21 adults and 21 children;  42 adults in evening.   Seven church meetings with a attendance of 25 were held.   Holy Communion took place on 12 evening and two mornings.  Membership by the Book was 51 the Members Registers was read.   Concluding the secretary reported 3 friends were received in during the year 2 by transfer 1 by visitation.
Treasurer   Mrs R Brooks reported Income for the year was £382,  £105 had been carried over from the previous year.  Expenditure amounted to £333 and balance in hand was £154.13.4.
Sunday School   Mr L Owen stated morning school attendance was the same as previous reports24 scholars.  In the afternoon school 63 were on the register. 
5 Sunday efforts were mentioned which included the outing to BrightonScripture Exam (10 sat)   Collections for the B.M.S.  Dr Barnardo'sHome Work Fundand the concert at Christmas was a success.
From the treasurer Mr A Delderfield, Mr Owen reported a balance in hand of £16.
Y.P.F.  Mrs Wilson the secretary of the Y.P.F. reported a successful year;  15 young people regularly attended the Tuesday night meetings.   Miss Pat Axtell had taken over the Treasurership and had ended the year with balance of £10.14.3.
Womens Own   Secretary of the womens own Mrs H Davis reporting progress stated the fellowship was still without a leader.  Mrs Geary had been coming to the meetings as pianist.  Meeting had been arranged by committee, which included Womens' Sunday in Oct. and the Rally following.  B.M.S. gifts had supported a cot.
Mrs R Davis treasurer reported income of £30.16.3 and a balance to end £13.6.3.
B.M.S.  Mrs H Davis secretary of the B.M.S. reported an increase in gifts with a total amount of £37.6.1½ .
H Work Fund    Home Work Fund secretary stated £23.15.6 had been raised.
Choir   Reporting on the choir the pastor expressed the help the members had given in leading the singing during evening worship.
Flowers   All aggreed that the ministry of flowers had been the best ever during the year.  Many friends had helped.  13/4 in hand.
Election of Officers    Secretary         R Brooks    pro L Owen        sec Mrs A Wilson
                                   Treasurer Mrs R Brooks     pro Mrs Wilson sec  Mrs H Davis
                                Organist          J Purton       pro R Brooks     sec   Mrs H Davis
                                 Flowers     Mrs H Bruton     pro R Brooks     sec  Mrs Ashby
                               Sick Visitor Mrs H Davis      pro Mrs Axtell   sec   Mr H Davis     
Sidesmen as previous.  J Foskett, G Rance, H Bruton, A Delderfield, J Parry.                              
                                    Auditor           G Rance      pro H Davis       sec L Owen
This ended the happy meeting which closed with prayer.
                           A F Stratford(Hon Lay Pastor)
Minutes of church Meeting held after annual meeting.
The Pastor Mr Stratford asked for dates to be fixed for the Annual Church & Congregation Meeting.  It was decided that this be held on Feb 13 and a Supper arranged for March 2nd
* Application for membership & Baptism was brought for for [repeated] Miss Pat Axtell and the meeting aggreed that Mrs H Davis and Mrs Ashby should be visitors and report back.
This ended the business and the pastor closed with the Benediction.  Tea & Biscuits followed.
* Miss Pat Axtell was baptised on March 17th by Rev Sidney Harris Berkhamsted.  Received into membership April 7th by the Pastor.
[she was married the following year 1958 to Maurice Hussey]
Minutes of Meeting held April 10th
Present 22
The Pastor Mr Stratford opened with a hymn & prayer.
Minutes of last Meeting were read past & signed.
Arising from minutes.  The Pastor stated organ had been overhauled.  Plates had been purchased also large and small hymn books.  The Pastor expressed special thanks to Mr & Mrs Purton, Mr Parry & Mr Axtell for the Christmas decorations.
The treasurer Mrs R Brooks stated the balance in hand was £117.17.5.
Pro by Mr Brooks sec by Mr Delderfield that Mr & Mrs Wilson be appointed delegates to the Herts Assembly Meeting at Watford in June.
Mrs Stratford was appointed delegate to the Baptist Union Meeting.
A letter was read containing the resignation of Mrs Bruton from Flower Secretary.  The Pastor thanked Mr & Mrs Bruton for the work they had done in this office for many years.  After many had expressed appreciation Mrs Wilson pro Mrs Davis sec that we accept the resignation and Mrs Wilson pro Mr Axtell sec that Mr & Mrs Shelton be asked to carry on the work of flowersAll aggreed.
Revision of church Roll was discussed.  Mr Axtell pro Mrs Davis sec that matter be discussed in the diaconate and suggestions brought to the church.
Easter Communion, all aggree to hold a communion service after the evening worship of Easter Day.
Renovation   The Committee set up to examine buildings reported their findings. 
Mr A Wilson pro Mrs R Davis sec that the front porch & floors be given priority. 
Mr Delderfield pro an amendment sec by Mrs Wilson that the outside be prioritised first.  The amendment was defeated.  After discussion it was decided that Mr Axtell of Aylesbury be asked to go ahead with the porch and floor.  Estimate was £35 for Porch and £15 for floors.
Secretary thanked committee for the work they had done and all aggree that this committee be kept in being for future repairs.
Concern was expressed over Y.P.F. meetings during the Summer,  it was thought 1 meeting a month could be arranged.
This ended the business and the meeting closed with prayer followed by T.B. and fellowship.
                    A F Stratford(Aug 29 1957)
                               Lay Pastor
Minutes of Meeting held Aug 29th
17 Present
After a hymn the Pastor (Mr Stratford) in the chair opened with prayer. 
Minutes were read past and Signed.
The pastor gave the meeting details of the work done on the porch which had been much larger than the committee's report at the last meeting, the cost of £87.9.6 had been paid.
In the chairman's remarks, the Pastor thanked all for attending the meeting and asked for a full support of the two Sunday Services.
After stating that the Harvest Festival Services would be held on Sept 29th conducted by Mr C Cook of Spurgeon's College Discussion followed on the tea and sale which had been held for many years following the harvest Sunday.  Some were of the opinion that we discontinued the sale and gave the gifts of produce to charity.  The disappointing results of the tea last year was expressed.  After a full discussion Mr R Brooks pro. that Harvest Sale proceeded as usual and the tea be omitted, this was sec by Mrs Davis and carried by a majority.  Mr L Axtell was put in charge of the Sale and time fixed to start 7 pm.
The pastor expressed the hope that all would aggree to the holding of the Congregational meetings which were so successful last winter.  All aggreed that they be held once a month, commencing date Wed Sept 25th
The church Membership Roll   was referred to; a number of names were now showing on the register who had, by the church rules, long cease to be church members.  The pastor promise that a revision would be made in the near future.
The secretary reported with regret that the Door Steward rota had fulfilled it usefulness and asked the meeting to aggree that Messrs H Bruton, L King, H Davis and J Foskett be door stewards with the duties falling once every four weeks all aggreed.
At any other business all aggreed that the spring cleaning be left till after the Harvest Festival.
The happy meeting ended with the Benediction followed by weak tea and biscuits.
                              A F Stratford(Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Meeting held Sunday 22nd Sept
The full congregation of members were present.
The Secretary R Brooks stated in the absence of the Pastor, that Miss Groome who had lived in the village some years and know[n] to all had asked for membership.  Letters had passed between our Pastor and Miss Groome and Mr Stratford was completely in aggreement that this be brought to the church this evening.  Mr H Bruton stated he would like to propose we accepted Miss Groome in to membership.  Mr L Owen seconded and with several commenting on the good work Miss Groome was doing in the village.  The vote was unanimous.  The meeting closed with the Benediction.
                                    25/11/57A F Stratford(Lay Pastor)
Minutes of meeting held Nov 25th
23 Present
The meeting opened with a hymn.  Mr A Wilson gave thanks in prayer.
Minutes were read past and signed for the two previous meetings.
Arising from minutes.  The Chairman Mr Stratford recalled the Harvest Festival and the blessings we had received.  Mr Cobly [?] of Spurgeons College had ably took the two Sunday Services.
The Pastor in his remarks thanked all present for coming and stated what a very happy meeting we had at the recent Church & Congregation Supper.
Letters were read re the Week of Prayer Jan 6-12.  Tuesday meeting was being held at our church if the members aggreed all voted in favour.  A   letter was read from the secretary of the Herts Baptist Assn Rev Hagger.  The Chapel Case for 1958 would be Abbots Langley.
[This chapel case fund was to support small fellowships in the area.]
Election of Deacons   Election of two deacons followed, those nominated were Mrs H Davis & Mr J Parry.  Mrs A Wilson pro Mrs Axtell sec that we gladly re-elected our two friends.  Carried unan.
Toy Service   Arrangements for a Christmas toy Service was discussed Dec 22nd,  all aggreed would be very near Christmas for the toys to be dispatched for arrival on time.  It was finally decided it be held Dec 15th.  Decorations to the church for Christmas was left to Mr Axtell, Mr Purton and Mr Parry.
Date of Annual Church Meeting was fixed for Jan 21st 1958.   
Annual Watchnight Service   After a lengthy discussion the meeting aggreed not to hold a watch night Service   this year.
Lay Preachers Book Tokens   The giving of book tokens to lay preachers who had served us during the year was aggreed to on the pro of Mrs Carter sec by Mrs H Davis.  The Secretary asked the members to vote a Book Token to our Pastor in appreciation of the services rendered. In [it] was unanimously carried.
Revision of Church Roll   Discussion centred on church membership and names on the church register.  A proposition was aggreedto and pro. by Mr Axtell Sec by Mrs A Wilson that letters be sent to all members that have not attended or corresponded with the church.  This was carried.
             The Pastor closed with the Benediction
                       Fellowship was continued in the usual manner
                 A F Stratford      (Lay Pastor10/3/58
Minutes of Annual Meeting held Feb 10th 1958
25 Present
The Meeting opened with a hymn, the Pastor Mr Stratford prayed.
Minutes of the 1957 Annual Meeting were read past & signed.
The Pastor in the chair thanked all members for the work each had done in 1957 stating no matter how small the job had been for the church it was work for our God.
Sec Report   The Secretary R Brooks reported a membership of 50. 1 Baptism had taken place and many happy meetings of the fellowship there had been on Sundays.  Mr Stratford had taken at least 29 services and 24 Preachers had occupied the Pulpit (mostly Lay men) during the year.  On behalf of all the members present & the church the Secretary thanked Mr & Mrs Stratford for all the work both had done during the year.
Treasurers Report   Mrs R Brooks the treasurer reported ending the year with a balance in hand of £72.9. we had started with £154 but expenses had exceeded income which totalled £309.  £87 had been spent on repairs to Church Porch & floor.  The Benevolent Fund taken at the communion services had been over £16.  Gifts distributed by the Pastor & his wife was over £13 and the balance was £3.12.2.
S Sunday   No Report given
Y.P.F   Mrs Wilson secretary of the Y.P.F reported 39 on the register. Average attendance to the Tuesday night meeting had been 22.  15 teenagers.  Cycle trips & treasure hunt had been arranged during the Summer.  The Y.P.F. Sunday was a great Success and programme arranged had been varied.
Treasurer Y.P.F   The Y.P.F Treasurer Miss P Axtell reported a balance of £6.17.7 with Income £14.11.0 & Expenses £7.13.4.
Womens Own   Secretary of the Womens Own Mrs Davis reported a very happy year, with some difficulty speakers had been arranged for the Wednesday afternoon meetings.  Mr Stratford had taken the first Wed in each month and many members had attended other Women's meeting special gatherings.  Mrs Johnson was the B.M.S secretary & Mrs S Delderfield the sick visitor.
Treasurer of the Womens Own Mrs R Davis reported fully on income of £27.12.9 & had finishing the year with a balance of £3.2.10½.
Choir   Reporting for the Choir the Pastor expressed the difficulties he had in coming along to the Thursday night practices but the choir had met on many evenings during the year and had given valuable help to the singing on Sundays.
Junior Y.P.F.  The Junior Young Peoples Fellowship meeting early Wed evenings had run successfully during the evenings of darkness, an average of 9 children had attended, and evening arranged were Bible talks, hobbies & games.  Mrs Owen had given valuable help to Mrs S Delderfield leader of the meetings: the membership was 12.
B.M.S.  Mrs N Davis B M S secretary for the church reported a record giving over the year £40.10.5special thanks was given to the Sunday School for their effort on many Sundays during the year.
Flowers   Mrs F Shelton reported 26 names were on the Sunday Flower Rota and she thanked all friends for their splendid support; at the end of 1957 the Flower fund had 8/6 in hand.
Home Work Fund   Reporting on the Home Work Fund Mrs R Brooks stated £25.11.3 had been sent to the Herts Baptist Assn H.W.F. treasurer Mr A J Read.  She thanked all friends for the support given, especially the members with H W Fund Boxes in their homes.
Election of Officers   The Pastor introducing the election of officers proposed Mr & Mrs R Brooks as secretary & treasurer all aggreed.
Mr Brooks in reply thanked all the members but did stress the need for a change in these two offices, especially so, for in the not too distant future he and his wife were expecting to move house, 8 miles from the church.
Mr J Purton organist was thanked for the work he had done throughout the year at the organ, and was unanimously appointed organist for the year.
Again Mrs F Shelton was appointed flower secretary.
All aggree to Mrs H Davis appointment as sick visitor.  Thanks was also given to Mr & Mrs Stratford for their work in sick visiting.
Sidesmen were voted on as the past year their names being J Foskett, G Rance, H Bruton, A Delderfield & J Parry.
Mr G Rance of Tring was appointed auditor.
This ended the happy meeting and the Pastor closed with the Benediction.
            A F Stratford(Hon Lay
                         Pastor    April 11 1959.
Minutes of Church Meeting following Annual.
The Pastor asked the members for suggestions regarding Easter flowers.
It was aggreed to have retiring collections on March 9th & Feb 29th.
Date for church meeting was fixed for March 10th.
Date for church & Congregational meeting was fixed for March 8th to take the form of a Supper.
The meeting closed with the Benediction.
         A F Stratford(Lay Pastor)
Minutes of meeting held March 10th 1958 7.30
23 Present
The Pastor Mr A Stratford was in the chair, a hymn was sung followed by prayer from the chair.
Minutes were read past & signed pro by Mr Wilson sec Mr Axtell
Arising from minutes, it was aggreed to postpone the Easter flower collection until March 13th.
Report was given by the pastor.
Revision of Church roll, the pastor read letter, which was aggreed should be sent to several of our friends, whose names were still on the register.
Building Committee reported tiles off the roof, gutterings & drain pipe needed painting with all the outside woodwork.  After being discussed the meeting aggreed that estimates be asked for this work, from R Brooks New Mill Tring, H.S. Axtell Aylesbury & A F Maunders Ringshall.
Any out business, it was suggested that Stop of wood be placed at the school room
door to keep out draft.  First Aid Box was suggested and aggreed should be purchased.
It was aggreed to purchase this year one Baptist Hand Book, all Aggreed on pastors suggestion that the secretary had £3 expenses.
Delegates to the Baptist Union meeting were Mrs A Stratford & for Baptist Missionary Society meeting Mrs H Davis.
Mrs Bruton thanked Mrs Stratford for her sick visiting.
This concluded the business, the happy meeting closed with the Benediction followed by a cup of tea.                              
                            A.F. Stratford   (Lay pastor)
Meeting from June 19th 7.30
24 Present
The pastor Mr A F Stratford was in the chair, a hymn was sung followed by prayer & scripture reading.
Minutes were read, past and signed on the pro of Mrs Axtell sec Mr Bruton.
Arising from the minutes.  The chairman thanked Mr Parry for work done on woodwork in the schoolroom.
The Secretary report a letter had been sent to Mrs Metherell wife of the late Rev Metherell minister of Kings Langley.
In the chairman opening speech, mention was made of a recent Free Church Council committee when plans were made for the exchange of pulpits during a Sunday in the New Year.  Next Spring an evangelistic campaign run by the Free churches of the town and an engagement secretary to avoid important dates in the Free churches clashing.  Mr Stratford commented on the happy visit we had had last Sunday, the occassion of a visit from the area superintendant Rev Douglas Hicks.  Thanks were expressed to all members attend this meeting.
Renovation   Discussing the renovation of the church building the estimate by H.S. Axtell of Aylesbury was accepted on the pro by Mr King sec Mr Wilson. Cost would be £72 for painting, renewing tiles and guttering. Stripping and reroofing the two side porches was aggree by the meeting to be left over.
Pro by Mrs Axtell sec Mrs Brooks that a gift day be arranged & social evening to pay for this work, all aggree that the day should be Wed Oct 22nd.  Gift day envelopes were suggested and Mr Stratford was given the responsibility for printing & distribution:  the ladies committee was given the task for refreshments.
Next church meeting was arranged for Sept 1 to discuss Harvest & extra efforts.
Concluding the business the pastor thanked the men for cutting the grass and clearing up the surrounds of the church.
Tea and Biscuits followed the Benediction.
                                      A F Stratford
                                          Hon Lay Pastor   ( 1/9/58
Minutes of Church Meeting held Sept 1st  1958
Present 13
Pastor opened with hymn & prayer.
Minutes were read past & Signed.
Arising from minutes the Secretary stated that Mr H.S. Axtell had been instructed to paint the overside wood & iron work Maroon & terra-cotta.
Chairman   Mr Stratford in the chair, report on the meeting of the Free Church Council, stating an Evangelical campaign was being arranged and had asked the churches for persons to make house to house visitation.
Harvest Festival   Mr R Wallis president of the Herts Baptist Assn was conducting the services for harvest and would [be] speaking to the children in the afternoon.  Aspects of holding a harvest sup[p]er was discussed but it was decided to delay a decision owing to the small number present.  Harvest Sale was aggree should be as usual, sold by auction and Mr Brooks pro sec by Mrs Davis that Mr Axtell be in charge.  Decoration of the church, it was aggreed that Mr Shelton and Mr Axtell be asked to do this work.
Gift Day   Oct 22nd Gift evening, it was decided that the envelopes should be brought in by 7 oclock and that Mrs Bradshaw of Boxmoor be asked to open them.  Refreshments for this evening was left to the Ladies Tea Committee.
The Treasurer stated she was still holding £6.18.1 from the disbanded Mens Contact.  Mr H Davis pro Mrs Davis sec that the money be put into the renovation Fund.
Any other BusinessThe Secretary stated that 2 Padlocks had been bought for the front gates.  Keys would be found in the vestry cupboard.
This ended the happy meeting and the Pastor closed with prayer.
                          All stayed for tea & biscuits.
                       A.F. Stratford    (Nov 24th 1958)
                               (Lay Pastor)
Minutes of Church Meeting held Nov 24th 1958
Present 23
The meeting opened with a hymn followed by prayer from the chair.
Minutes were read past & signed.
Arising from the minutes.  The Pastor asked for a vote of thanks from the meeting to the members and friends who arranged the Harvest Decorations especially Mrs F Shelton & Mr L Axtell who took charge.
In chairman remarks the Pastor thanked all for the effort made at the Gift day, it was a wonderful response with total gift of well over £70.
First business was the election of deacon, the retiring deacon Mr A Wilson was thanked for what he had done and the members elected him again for three years.
Christmas parcels for the aged& needy were discussed , and aggreed that the Pastors wife Mrs Stratford repeat last years gifts, one or two other names were suggested and aggreed to.
The secretary reported he had had the usual appeal from the local branch of the British & Foreign Bible Society for a retiring collection all aggreed that this be made after worship on Nov 30th.
Benevolent Fund, the offering at the Dec Communion service would be made special to supplement the Funds for Christmas gifts.  The chairman recalled how the church had sent many of our lay preachers Book tokens for Christmas in past years, after discussion all aggreed that this year 10/- Gift tokens be sent to 17 friends with the usual token for the Pastor.
The chairman then raise the subject of Home Work Fund as the Home Fund Secretary has reported a big decrease on the money given so far.  The Pastor made an appeal for gifts during the next month.
All aggreed after discussion and a pro by Mrs Davis sec by Mrs Brooks that we hold a
Toy Service on Dec 14 in the evening and that the service start at 6.30 instead of 6 pm.
The Pastor then read the resignation of Mr J Purton as church organist, after referring to the good work Mr Purton had done , it was aggree that a new organist be appointed.  Mrs Wilson pro, Mrs Davis sec that Mrs L Owen be appoint with Miss G Parry as deputy, it was carried.
Christmas Church decorations, Mrs Shelton Mr Parry & Mr Axtell were appointed to arrange the decoration of the church and it was suggested that the Christmas tree be placed at the side of church.
The chairman reported that exchange of Pulpits were being arranged for the second Sunday in January, that same evening a united communion service would be held at the High St Methodist.
It was expressed from the chair that the outside painting of church had been left too late and it was pro by Mr Brooks sec by Mr Delderfield that this be postponed till the spring & that Mr Axtell of Aylesbury the contractor be told to do immediately the repairs to gutter & tiles.
The pastor stated he was happy to report Bre[n]da Axtell & Pat North had applied for baptism & membership.  The meeting aggreed to the pro of Mrs Ashby sec Mrs R Davis that Mrs L Owen and Mrs Delderfield act as church visitors and report back.
From the meeting Mr A Wilson gave a vote of thanks to Mr Stratford.
The Pastor stated our old friend Mrs Bradshaw had to undergo a serious operation.
This ended the happy meeting which closed with the Benediction.
A F Stratford        Lay Pastor        Feb 9 1959
Minutes of meeting held Feb 9th 1959
Present 22
All joined in a hymn of praise followed by prayer from the chairman Mr A F Stratford.
Minutes were read past & signed on the pro of Mrs Ashby sec by Mrs Delderfield.
Arising from minutes Mrs R Davis asked when nominations for the position of deacon were asked for during the Sunday notices in November could it be stated if vacancies were for baptised members or otherwise, the chair assured the meeting this would be clearly stated in future.
Several comments were made on how nice the church was decorated at Christmas.
The chairman stated 13 parcels had been taken to friends over the Christmas period and were really appreciated.
The toy Service had been a success and a letter from Spurgeon's homes had been sent to the church for the toys etc sent.
17 Lay Preachers very grateful for the gift Tokens sent.
The pastor mentioned the splendid way all friends had contributed to the flowers on Sundays and thanked all.  Continuing the chairman remarked on church activities on Sundays and asked all members to attend each service.  The Sunday School scholars had declined over the last 12 months & stressed the opportunity we all had to encourage the children to some to S School.
Election of officers followed.
organist   Mrs L Owen    Deputy organist Miss G Parry    Pro Mrs Wilson
Sec Mrs H Davis
Flower sec  It was proposed by Mr Bruton sec Mrs R Davis that Mrs Shelton be written to and asked to carry in this office.
B.M.S. Sec  Mrs H Davis pro Mrs Carter Sec Mrs Wilson
H.W. Fund Sec  Mrs R Brooks    pro Mrs N Davis sec Mrs L Owen
Sick visitor  Mrs H Davis
Tea Committee  Deacons wives, Mrs Delderfield, & Mrs R Davis all aggreed to the pro by Mr Delderfield sec Mr Axtell.
Sidesmen  It was aggreed to the following Mr Foskett Mr A Delderfield Mr J Parry   Mr H Bruton & Mr Jones.
Door Stewards  Mr L King    Mr J Foskett    Mr H Davis   Mr Bruton
Auditor   Miss B Riddle :  pro by Mr Delderfield sec Mrs R Davis that the appointment of secretary and treasurer be made at this meeting, all aggreed.
Secretary    Mr R Brooks    carried
Treasurer    Mrs R Brooks      "
Old Cemetery   Discussion took place re clearing of the old cemetery after letters had been read from the chair: those letters from Mr L King gave details of how this work had been started   Mr Delderfield pro Mr Axtell sec that the bill for the work done be paid from the Church Fund & that in future all work to be done within the church affairs must be brought before the Church for their approval.
Spring Cleaning   Monday March 13th all aggreed should be the commencing day for church Spring Cleaning.
Report was given by Mrs Owen on her visit with Mrs Delderfield to Miss Brenda Axtell and Mrs Pat North re membership. After discussion the meeting unanimously aggreed both should be received into membership and that a baptism service be arranged.
Annual Church Meeting   The date fixed for the Annual Church & Congregation Meeting was Sat April 11th details would be arranged.
Any other Business.  Mrs Carter raised the question of a Sale of work etc at the end of the year to support the Church Fund.  The chairman expressed the meeting wish that we call another meeting in the near future to discuss a Bazaar.
                   The Pastor closed the meeting with the Benediction
                                                 Tea & Biscuits followed
                                 A F Stratford   (Lay Pastor)
                                              March 5 1959
Minutes of meeting held March 5th 1959
Present 21
All joined in a hymn followed by prayer from the Chairman, the Pastor.
Minutes were read past and signed on the pro of Mr J Parry sec Mr Davis.
Nothing arising from minutes.
Mr Stratford told the meeting the preachers for lay preachers Sunday were Rev Victor Henman South Oxhey & Rev J.O. Hagger.  Thanks was expressed to the caretakers Mr & Mrs H Davis.
The Secretary read letters re the Central Area Assembly to be held Oct 9th & 10th.
Church Organ   The Chairman stated that Messrs Stevens the makers of the organ had carried out a days work tuning and making temporary repairs and more repairs were needed to put the organ in a first class condition.  Mr J Parry pro Mr Owen sec that the work be done.
Bazaar   Discussion took place re the holding of a bazaar in the Autumn.  All aggreed that it should be held on a Wed and the date pro by Mrs Owen sec by Mrs Carter was Nov 4th.  All aggreed that Mr Brooks church secretary be secretary of the Bazaar.  After much discussion all were in favour that the church & congregation worked together without a committee and that the money raised should be for the wiring of electric light.
S School   Mr L Owen superintendant reporting on the Sunday Schools finances stated the fund stood at £8 before prizes had been purchased.  The number on the register was 38 with an average afternoon attendance of 35.  All the meeting voted in favour of £10 being forwarded from the Church Fund.  It was expressed that the service on Monday after the Anniversary be discontinued all aggreed, and to the suggestion that the prize giving be held on a Sunday afternoon arranged by the teachers.
Easter Communion   All voted in favour of an extra Communion after evening worship on Easter day.
Easter flowers   A retiring collection for Easter flowers was fixed for March 15th
The treasurer Mrs Brooks stated that Miss B Riddle had audited the church books and thanks was expressed to Miss Riddle.
This ended the business, the pastor closed with the Benediction.  Tea & Biscuits followed.
                            A F Stratford   (Hon Lay Pastor)
                                        May 21 - 1959
Minutes of annual church & congregational Meeting which took the form of a supper on Sat April 11th 
34 Present
The Pastor Mr Stratford thanked the ladies for arranging such an enjoyable spread.
Minutes were read past and signed of the 1958 Annual meeting.
Sec Report   The sec Mr R Brooks reported that membership stood at 48 over the year.  Miss Blyth one of the oldest members died [Miss Blyth had been a member since 1901 having been converted at an evangelistic rally in Luton led by Gypsy Smith] At the revision of Church Roll in Sept. 6 were taken off (2 by request; 2 left the district; and 1 as no communication had been received. [ ) ]
Attendance at church worship averaged 45:  25 am: 33 pm.
Average 8 children at morning Service.
Pulpit was supplied mainly by our Pastor and lay preachers.  29 by our pastor 14 am 15 pm.  26 preachers came during the year including special visits from the Rev Douglas Hicks & Mr Leslie Willis.  One of our members Miss Groome took 4 Services.  5 church meetings were held, attendance averaged 22 which was over 50% that could attend.   The Church & congregation meeting was a great success, it took the form of a supper and was held in March.  Concluding on behalf of the church the sec thanked the Pastor and his wife for another year of leadership and thanks was given to the door stewards and caretakers.
Treasurers Report   Mrs R Brooks given [giving] the treasurers statement reported we finish the year with £130.3.7.  A full statement of accounts were given and accept by all present.
S School Report   Mr L Owen superintendant & secretary gave scholars for morning school was 16; afternoon 37, it had been a happy year with parties arranged at Christmas & in the summer.  Balance in hand £19.16.0.
Y.P.F.  Mrs Wilson secretary of the Y.P.F. reported a successful year.
Y.P.F Treas   Y.P.F Treasurer stated the year started with £6.17.7½ income had been 4.17.2½ and the balance in hand was £5.0.1.
Womens Own   Mrs H Davis secretary of W. Own thanked all the members for the support stating that the meetings had been happily run for another year by a Committee.  Mr Stratford had taken the 1st Wed in each month with various speakers at other meetings.  4 new members were received in.
W.O Treasurer   Mrs R Davis gave report on Women's Own finance and the fellowship finished up with a balance of 14.13.10.
B.M.S.  Mrs H Davis reported £38.15 had been sent over the year to the BMS £10.13.6 had been given by the Sunday School.
Flowers   Mrs Shelton the flower secretary gave a report on the finances.  Retiring collections for Easter had raised £4.5.6 and there was a balance in hand of £1.7.9.
Home Work Fund   Home Work Fund sec. stated £25.10.0 hand [had] been sent to Mr A.T. Read the countys H.W. Fund Treasurer. 
J.Y.P.F.  Mrs S Delderfield expressed the happy meetings of the fellowship thanking Mrs L Owen & Sylvia for their help.  Outings had been arranged during the Summer months.
Concluding the Pastor thanked all members & friends.
Fellowship followed and ended with the Benediction.
         (A F Stratford)  May 9th 1960
                                    Lay Pastor


Minutes of meeting held 21st May
22 Present
The Pastor Mr A F Stratford opened with prayer.
Minutes were read past & signed.
Arising from Minutes the secretary stated that the Rev J.O. Hagger had not been able to come for the Lay Preachers Sunday owing to illness but worship was conducted by Sister Joy Ford., Leavesdon Rd.
Starting the business the chairman put forward the resignation of Mr H Davis to the Free Church Council committee.  The meeting duly approved Mrs A Wilson & Mrs H Davis as church representatives.  The chairman thanked Mr Davis for his services on the committee.
Tree in Cemetery   The secretary reported a letter he had had from the BUDC re removing a branch of a tree in the old cemetery as the land adjacent was for building development.  After discussion Mr Axtell pro Nr S Delderfield sec that we asked the council to fell the whole tree at fence level.
Rewiring   The much discussed matter of rewiring the whole of the old electric wiring of the church and school room.  Mrs Wilson pro Mrs Davis sec that the work should be put in hand and that ideas for the arrangement of lighting system be sort from the Eastern Electricity Board with prices and brought to the members at the next meeting.
There was no other business and the happy meeting closed with the Benediction, fellowship followed.
                                A F Stratford(Hon Lay-Pastor)
                                      Sept 8 1959
Minutes of church meeting held 23 June
13 Present
Minutes opened with a hymn follow by prayer by the chairman Mr Stratford.
A summary of the minutes of the previous meeting was read.
 Secretary stated he had been in touch with council re the tree at the edge of the cemetery.   The chairman thanked all men that were helpers in tidying up the grass & hedge around church & cemetery.
Harvest Festival had been arranged for Sunday Sept 13 when the Rev Arthur Bury [?]
of Belmont Road Church Hemel Hempstead would conduct the 11 & 6pm worship.
Rewiring   Secretary read quotations from the Eastern Electricity Board for rewiring.  After discussing the quotations the meeting aggreed to a pro by Mr Wilson sec Mr Parry that we accept the quote for £131.8.6 which provided for 12 new light fittings on the wood beams in the church.  It was aggree that 2 sample lights be installed before purchase of the whole was made, so that members could state their opinions.  One extra point was aggree up in the school room.
The Pastor asked the members to aggree to the July Communion offering for the Home Work Fund.
This ended the business and the meeting closed with the Benediction.
            A F Stratford(Hon Lay Pastor)    8-9-59
Minutes of meeting held 8 Sept 1959
20 Present
The Pastor Mr A F Stratford was in the chair and the meeting opened with a hymn & prayer from the chair.
Minutes of the last 2 meetings were read past & signed.
Arising, it was asked if any action had been taken re the tree in the Bell Lane cemetery.  Nil.
Chairman RemarksThe Pastor thanked the many helpers to the church and mentioned Mr H Bruton & Mr H Davis re the cutting of grass.  The importance of the Harvest Festival services was stressed.  A letter was read from Mr & Mrs H Bruton with thanks to the church for the remembrance on the passing of Mrs Bruton's mother Mrs Roff.  [almost certainly Emma Roff who died in Hemel Hempstead aged 97]
Business discussed was the Harvest Sale on the Monday evening and all aggree that this would be the usual auction and starting time 7pm.
Electric Lighting   The Pastor gave a report on the progress on rewiring and lighting.  Eastern Electricity Board reps were meeting us in the church.  Mrs R Brooks stated the lights in the School room were much better, all aggreed.
Bazaar   Arrangement for the Bazaar Nov 4th were discussed.  Mr A.T. Read Treasurer of the Herts Baptist Ass. had stated he was willing to open the Sale and all aggreed that Mrs A Bradshaw be asked to take the chair.  Time of opening was fixed 2.45.  Name to be Autumn Bazaar and all were in favour that leaflets and small & large posters be printed & written.  The arrangement for a thanksgiving service during the evening was aggreed to.
Any other Business   The question of buying bulbs was raised and Mr Bruton reported he had obtained some, all aggreed to this effort.
Secretary stated he had heard statements re the colour of paint on the rear church doors, he assured the friends of the deacons decision for the colour of paint to be used.
This ended the business and the happy meeting closed with the Benediction.
                                        A F Stratford
                                                (Nov 23rd 1959)
Minutes of meeting held 23rd Nov 1959.
21 Present
After a hymn the Chairman Mr Stratford opened with prayer.
Minutes were read past and Signed.
Arising from minutes Mr L Owen commenting on the Bazaar which was opened by Mr A T Read with Mrs A Bradshaw as chairman express the success it had been when £108 had been raised, also the social evening & fellowship that followed which was lead by the Pastor it had all been most uplifting.
Reports on the Harvest Services were encouraging.
The Pastor in his remarks thanked all for the work done at the Harvest Festival and at the Bazaar.  He regre[t]ted that the electric light installations in the Church were not complete but expected final fittings to be fixed in the New Year.
Election of Deacons   Mr L Owen & Mr H Bruton were re-elected.  Thanks were expressed for their services during the last three years.
Bible Sunday   All aggreed to a retiring collection on Sunday 3rd Dec for the British & Foreign Bible Society.  It was stated at this stage we should as a Church contribute to the Refugee Year Fund, after comment it was aggree to put the item on to the agenda of next meeting with reference to a gift evening in Feb 1960.
[1959-1960 was announced as World Refugee Year by the United Nations. with the aim of clearing all the refugee camps still left after the Second World War. It achieved some significant results, especially in Europe where all the refugee camps were closed by the end of 1960.]
Dec 20th all aggreed to a Carol service in the evening; and arrangements were made for the church to be decorated.  Mrs R Davis's Christmas tree was mentioned.  It was decided not to have a watchnight Service.
Mr L Axtell was asked to repair the roof of vestry & kitchen.
Mr L Owen & Mrs A Wilson were appointed to purchase a rug for use at the side of the organ.
Discussion took place re new notice Board and it was decided to raise the matter again in the New Year in the meantime to ask our young friend Miss S Owen to touch the lettering up on the old Board.
Some time was spent on ways of circularizing the village with information of services & Sunday school.  Opinions were noted and would be brought up again at next meeting.
All aggreed to the sending of gift vouchers to Lay Preachers and the one to the Pastor.  Mrs Stratford reported that the Christmas parcels to many friends & old members of the church was in hand.
Appreciation was expressed regarding this years Womens Sunday when Sister Eileen Rogers conducted worship.
Ending the business, the happy meeting closed with the Benediction followed by Tea & Biscuits.
                               A F Stratford(Lay Pastor   March 31 - 1960
Minutes of Meeting held Jan 25th 1960
22 Present
The meeting opened with the usual devotions, the hymn Praise my Soul the King of Heaven was sung followed by prayer.
The chairman explained the absence of Mr & Mrs Brooks owing to indisposition.  Mr A Wilson was asked to record the minutes of the meeting.
In the absence of the Secretary the minutes of the previous meeting were left in abeyance.
The first item concerned the Notice Board in front of the church.  Miss Sylvia Owen had renovated the letters which had greatly improved its appearance.  Mr J Parry pro Mr H Davis sec that a vote of thanks be recorded to Miss Owen; carried unanimously.  Further discussion brought a pro by Mrs Wilson Sec by Mrs Ashby that arrangement be put in hand for a new notice Board.  Mrs carter making an amendment sec by Mr Axtell that it should be left until the next meeting given [giving] members opportunity to note and determine the best position for a new Board.  This was carried.
World Refugee Appeal, many ideas for raising money were put forward.  Mrs Owen pro Mr Davis sec that the annual meeting be combined with a supper and that gifts be brought for this worthy cause.  All aggreed.   It was also aggreed that envelopes be distributed for the appeal and that the supper be free to all, the date fixed was
March 9th 7.30.
Wording of a folder to distribute in the village was read and approved, but printing of same was left for the time being.
Discussing the time for the commencing of Sunday evening worship Mr Davis pro Mr Axtell sec that the time of 6 oclock be retain.  An amendment followed by Mr Parry sec by Mrs Wilson that the time be 6.30.  On a show of hands, 9 in favour of 6.30,
10 in favour of 6.00,  3 abstentions.
A request for the loan of cups and saucer to Berkhamsted Baptist on 24th March the occasion of Mrs Harris being installed President of the Herts Baptist's Womens' League.  The request was aggreed to on the pro of Mrs H Davis sec by Mrs Wilson.  Congratulations to Mrs Harris on her election were expressed from the chair and the meeting aggreed that these be sent to her from the church.
Any other business.  It was expressed that the completion of the church lighting be soon made.
The happy meeting closed with the Benediction followed with a Social Half Hour and light refreshments.
  A F Stratford   (Hon Lay Pastor)
                       Mar 31-  1960
Minutes of Annual Church & Congregation Meeting held 9th March it took the form of a supper.
39 Present
 The ladies of the tea committee arranged a real meal and grace was given by the Pastor Mr A F Stratford.
Miss G Parry sang solos.
Sec   After supper the secretary open the reports stating that the preacher at Sunday worship had total 31 mostly lay men & women.  24 services had to be taken by the Pastor.  Morning attendance averaged 22, evenings 32.  5 church meetings had been held averaging 20 members.  2 new members had been received into the church.  The Re-wiring of the church & school room lighting had been achieved.
Treasurer   Mrs R Brooks gave a full report ending with a balance in hand of £131.9.4 and £3.5.1 in Communion Fund.
S School  Mr L Owen superintendant & secretary reported scholars numbered 24 and 10 for morning school.  He expressed thanks to Miss G Parry & Mrs Delderfield for the help given to the children.  £18 was collected by the school for Dr Barnardo.  Mr A Delderfield SS Treasurer gave a balance of £22.14.7.
Y.P.F.  Mrs A Wilson Y.P.F. secretary reported average attendance of 16.  A request was asked that members pray for the Y P F.  Miss B Axtell treasurer reported balance of £4.1.6.
Women's Own   Miss H Davis secretary of Women's Own gave a good account of the Wed fellowship; 9 new members an inspiring Women's Sunday and a happy New Years party.  Mr Stratford had taken the meeting once a month.
Mrs R Davis women's own treasurer reported income £37.7.2 and balance of £5.10.2.

Choir   The funds for the choir stood at £1.16.2.
Home Work Fund   Mrs R Brooks stated £25.2.6 had been given to the H.W. Fund.
Missionary secretary Mrs H Davis reported over £38 had been given.
 J Y P F   Mrs Owen for the J.Y.P Fellowship stated members total[l]ed 13, average attendance 10, and reported a happy outing to St Albans.  Balance in the fund was 5/5.
Flowers Mrs F Shelton report a balance of 10/6 in the Flower a/c and thanked all members for their effort on the rota.
Election of Officers   Secretary R Brooks    Treasurer Mrs R Brooks
Organist          Mrs G Owen             Flower Sec        Mrs F Shelton
B.M.S.              Mrs J Parry               H Work Fund   Mrs R Brooks
Sick Visitor      Mrs H Davis              Tea Committee as before
Sidesmen         as 1959                    Door Stewards   Mr L King   Mr J Foskett  
                                                      Mr H Bruton and Mr G Bates
Auditor           Miss B Riddle
Envelopes were then open on behalf of the World Refugees, the sum given was £38.4.0.
Pastor gave his report thanking all members & officers.
                                               R Brooks
Minutes of Special Church Meeting held March 31st 1960
28 Present
A hymn was sung and the pastor Mr A F Stratford offered prayer.
Minutes of the 2 previous meetings were past read & signed.
Arising from minutes.  It was aggreed that business re notice board should be held over to next meeting.
£38.4.0 was the nett result of the appeal to members & Friends for the World Refugees.  It was put on record that our young friend Miss G Parry had left the church to go nursing in a London hospital.
Chairman   Mr Stratford giving part of his report at the annual meeting stated he would be relinquishing his duties as pastor of the church at the end of September but would still retain both his wife and his own membership.
The secretary R Brooks gave thanks from the church to Mrs Stratford and the Pastor and gave a short picture of ways the church could take in the light of our leaders decision.  Discussion then took place on the Church's future ending in all aggreeing to ask the Rev Douglas Hicks area superintendant to come and discuss the matter with the Members.
Treasurer stated that Mr Axtell had done the roof of the vestry and kitchen was being decorated.
It was stated that £2.2.6 was given as a retiring collection for Easter flowers.  The meeting Closed with prayer from the Chair followed with the usual Tea and Biscuits.
                A F Stratford(Hon Lay Pastor)  30-5-60