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Twickenham United Reformed Church

Our History: Annual Report, January 1859

Our church minute books only go back to the re-formation of the church in 1882, and our knowledge of church life before then is very patchy. In our archives we do have copies of the annual reports produced in 1859 and 1860 which fill in some of the gaps. The former is reproduced here.

Annual Report

The Independent Church, Twickenham

Presented to the Annual Meeting of the congregation, 24th January 1859

Minister: Rev. George S. Ingram

Committee: Henry Wright; Charles Allison; Andrew Bowring; Archibald Brown; Francis Kemp, Secretary and Treasurer

Auditors: Eldred Sayers, John Treherne

Sunday School: William Cole, Supt; Charles Allison, Sec.; William Steven, Librarian


Quarterly Subscriptions Account
Subscriptions received during the year 149.5.0 Paid Rev. G.S.Ingram 158.1.9
One-half Anniversary collection £5.16.9
Collected in box in vestibule £3.0.0
Incidental Expenses Account
Balance in hand 1 January 1858 1.18.4½ Sunday School Collection 7.10.0
Collection Lady-day Quarter 6.8.4 Chapel-keeper, Wages 6.0.0
Do. Midsummer do. 7.13.8 Supplies for Pulpit 13.3.0
Do. Michaelmas do. 6.15.1 Harmonium Expenses 6.11.3
Do. Christmas do. 7.6.6 Cleaning, Painting, &tc 14.10.2
Do. 24th October (Special) 8.8.7½ Sundry Repairs 6.6.9
Do. for Sunday School 7.10.0 New Pews, Window Blinds &tc 22.16.0
One-half Anniversary Collection 5.16.9 Gas 6.2.9
Surplus proceeds of Social Meetings, 25th March and 29th September 3.8.8 Printing 3.2.0
*Balance due to Treasurer 30.15.11

The above Accounts Audited and found Correct, Eldred Sayers, John S. Treherne.

* It having been felt desirable to liquidate this Balance at once a Subscription List has been opened and about £10 contributed, additions to which any Member of the Committee will be glad to receive.

The Collections for the Poor at the Monthly Communion Services have amounted to   £17.4.3
Of which there has been disbursed   £17.2.6
Leaving in the hands of Rev. G.S.Ingram, the Treasurer of this Fund   £0.1.9

The increase in payment to our esteemed minister (say £50) has been obtained not more from new subscriptions than through a few fixed augmentations of former subscriptions begun in the second and third quarters of the year. It is suggested that if the example of those few individuals should lead to but slightly increased liberality on the part of the other seat-holders, the amount would be raised to £200 per annum. This sum the Committee are most desirous of reaching as a fixed minimum.

The increased expenditure on incidental expenses account has arisen mainly from the enlarged pew accommodation supplied, the cleaning of the interior of the Chapel, and the discharge of sundry outstanding accounts omitted to be paid previously.

The weekly contributions received in the box, in the vestibule of the Chapel, have been quadrupled during the past year. The amount so collected, however, is susceptible of considerably further increase, without producing any strain on our resources. The attention of occasional worshippers, not seat-holders, is respectfully invited to this opportunity of aiding the Congregation.


During the year there have been fourteen admissions to the Church Membership, of which six were of people from other Churches. The only erasure from the Roll has been the name of Mrs Ingram, who, after much suffering endured with true Christian heroism, died on June 27th - In her death the Congregation are not only bereaved in their Minister's bereavement, but all fell that a beloved personal friend has passed from amongst us, for, (as wrote a friend from a distance) "her lowliness and dignity, her truthfulness and courage, her kindness and gentleness, and the loveliness of her cheerful and childlike piety, won the esteem and affection of all who knew her". Our mournful sense of loss could only be lightened by the remembrance of her removal having been to a happier sphere, where followers of her faith and patience may hope to rejoin her. A tablet to her memory has been placed in the Chapel by the Church and Congregation.

The total membership is now forty, exclusive of twenty persons who are regular communicants, although remaining members of other denominations. About fifty sittings have been allocated to new comers in the course of the year. The attendance of casual worshippers has been large, especially on the evening services.


The principal subjects of Sabbath morning discourse, have been thirteen Lectures on the Gospel of John (concluding a course of one hundred and thirty-one); and the first twenty-eight of a course of Lectures on the book of the Acts of the Apostles, now being delivered. The subjects of evening Sermon have in general been miscellaneously selected from both Testaments. As special Services there may be mentioned the anniversary Sermon on the second of June, by the Rev. Newman Hall, from the words "Despise not the day of small things" (Zech. IV. v.10); and that on the fourth of July, by the Rev. David Russell, of Glasgow, from the text "Cast thy burden upon the Lord" (Psalm LV, v.22), the latter a deeply interesting and impressive discourse, preached with particular reference to the then recent death of Mrs Ingram.

The Wednesday evening Prayer Meeting has been better attended since held monthly, but it would be gratifying were there yet more generally embraced, an opportunity for social worship, the appreciation of which must bear closely on our spiritual prosperity.

The conduct of the public service of song has continued to improve. The choir would be glad of the assistance of their fellow members of the Congregation in the discharge of this important and agreeable duty. They meet for practice every Saturday evening at half-past eight o'clock. Mention may here be made of the classes for music, which have been held in the school-room during the last and present winter, under the direction of Mr Evans of London. These classes, although not in formal connexion with the Chapel, were promoted with a view to the improvement of its music, and have doubtless contributed thereto.


The Sunday School has prospered greatly during the year. The average weekly attendance of scholars has been one hundred and thirty, (or fifty percent about last year's) and of teachers eleven. The Library has recently been re-arranged, and now contains two hundred volumes, which are well-read by the scholars. There have been one hundred and sixty-eight small hymn books, and thirty-one bibles sold in the school during the year. The children, with teachers, and friends to the number of one hundred and fifty, made a pleasant excursion to Virginia Water, in August. The social meetings of the parents and friends of the scholars, held at the close of each year, have been of a most interesting character, and have had a manifest tendency to the success of the school. At the meeting recently held, one hundred and twenty parents, with about fifty other friends and visitors were present.

The teachers are inconvenienced by a deficiency of school accommodation, although three of the classes meet apart from the others. There could scarcely be a better application of the liberal zeal of a christian community than the extension of so hopeful a field of labor.

The teachers acknowledge the help received from the week Evening School for working lads, held in our school twice weekly during winter, which although unsectarian in its constitution and management, yet contributes materially to the extent and preparedness of the ground operated on by the Sunday School. It is noticeable that the teachers, five in number, are all in connexion with this Congregation. The attendance at the week Evening School is forty-five.

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While this brief review of our past year is not without its sadness, it yet presents ample occasion for gratitude and encouragement. Trials may be sharp but if sanctified to our detachment from earth and advancement heavenwards, let heart and lip extol the sender. In our spiritual teacher, and in our various comfortable and happy circumstances we are singularly blessed as a christian society. And, further, we would be most humbly thankful, that with the entire harmony and mutual good will which reign among us, as well as in the vitality and progress marking our different institutions, there are not wanting external indications of a real growth in christian sentiment and principle. By deeper humility, enlarged love, and fruits of both more abundant, may it in future appear that the Lord our God is more and more exalting, His glorious name in the midst of us.

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