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Twickenham United Reformed Church

Our History: Annual Report, March 1860

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 latter is reproduced here.

Annual Report

The Independent Church, Twickenham

Presented to the members of the congregation, March 1860

Minister: Rev. George S. Ingram, 1 Arundel Villas

Committee of Management: Henry Wright; John S. Treherne; Andrew Bowring; Archibald Brown; Charles Allison, Secretary and Treasurer

Auditors: Eldred Sayers, George Tidmarsh

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

In continuance of the practice adopted last year, your Committee accompany the financial statement with a short report on the operations of the community during their term of office; they had intended to present the same to the congregation at a meeting similar to that held before, but circumstances having arisen to prevent this, they have deemed it advisable to delay its publication no longer.

Your committee regret that it cannot report that the subscriptions for our Minister's services have amounted to the anticipated minimum of 200l, and although there is an increase on the former year, yet it must be felt by all that the remuneration he has hitherto received for his valuable ministrations, the loss of which all would have greatly to deplore, is very inadequate to his desert. It is to be borne in mind that while the amount of subscriptions are voluntary, and no favour is shown in the allotment of sittings, yet seat-holders are not expected unduly to avail themselves of these conditions but they are invited to contribute to the utmost of their ability, not by constraint, but willingly, as God has prospered them, towards the adequate remuneration of His servant; it is therefore hoped that a further effort will be made by all to present to him at the end of the current year, some more substantial proof of the esteem in which he is held, that he may have a refreshing impulse to stimulate him in his labour of love.

One important auxiliary as a source of income which began well has now almost ceased, viz. the Collecting Box in the vestibule; if our friends would systematically and regularly present small offerings through this channel, a very large amount would almost imperceptibly be raised; visitors especially, who are studiously and cheerfully accommodated, ought to testify to the privilege they enjoy by a more marked expression of gratitude.

The balance of the incidental expenses account will be found greatly diminished, and in a comparatively satisfactory condition; under ordinary circumstances the quarterly collections are adequate for the current requirements.


The attendances at the services have on the whole been satisfactory, and there are now only 14 sittings unlet; we have lost a few friends consequent on the openings of Chapels at New Hampton and Teddington and there have been about the usual fluctuations and changes incident to a congregation such as ours.

An evening service on Thursday's has been commenced but it would be more encouraging to our pastor if a larger number attended; by a little thoughtful arrangement of domestic duties we think this might be effected.

The Sabbath services commence in the morning at 11, and in the evening at 7. The Lord's Supper is administered after morning service on the first Sabbath of each month, when any christian friends desirous to communicate are always welcome.

A project for giving additional accommodation to the congregation has been in consideration and steps have been taken to arrive at a plan and estimate, but the death of Lady Shaw having thrown the terms of tenure upon which the Chapel is held into uncertainty, it has been deemed advisable to suspend further operations until we are placed in a more definite position, nothing however under any circumstances will be done without the concurrence of the congregation.


This important feature as a means of leading the service of song in our worship still engages the attention of many members of our congregation, and it is generally admitted that the character and expression of the singing has materially improved, nothing approaching display is aimed at, the object being to introduce music simple enough for all to unite in, suitable in character and rendered unto God from the heart in the best manner that the lips can express it.

The Choir meets for practice every Thursday evening at half-past eight, and efficient additions to its numbers will be gladly received.


The Sunday School still flourishes and now numbers 14 teachers and 150 scholars, with an average attendance of 120. The library is in active operation and 250 volumes are in circulation. During the year 154 Hymn Books, 20 Bibles, and about 1200 periodicals have been sold to the children at half-price. A Tea Meeting of about 120 of the Parents was held in January, and most profitably addressed by several friends. The children made their annual trip to Virginia Water in the summer accompanied by their teachers and several friends, in all about 220 persons, and spent a very delightful day. A quarterly examination duly announced is regularly held, at which friends in the congregation may arrive at some idea of the efficiency of the school, and their presence would be welcome and encouraging. The teachers desire gratefully to acknowledge the readiness always manifested by the congregation to forward their efforts in promoting the interests of the school in every way.

The week evening school for working lads still continues; 54 names are on the book, with an average attendance of about 20.


Bible Classes for young men and women are held weekly on Monday evenings, at the Rev. G.S.Ingram's house; the attendance and interest displayed by their members has been very satisfactory.


Several of the ladies of the congregation are united in this good work and have already met with and supplied a good many demands on their efforts. Fresh subscriptions of money, &c, or personal assistance will be gladly received to this most useful department of christian usefulness. A shoe club is also being organised.

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With these few remarks your Committee resign their office into your hands; their duties, which only appertain to the secular interests of the congregation they have endeavoured to perform to the best of their ability, and they are thankful for the co-operation they have received at all times.

While many things remain to be accomplished and improved, there is much to be thankful for in our position and the progress that has been been made, and let us hope that individual and united efforts will continue, that we may advance in the true principles of christian association and usefulness, so that our influence as a church may be apparent, and that we may be knit together in love, making this part of the Master's Vineyard to abound in fruit to his honor and glory, and bringing to us his present and eternal happiness.

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