Main Street Community Church

Press Notes on St Dunstan’s 1945–1949


Church Appointments

There was a good attendance at the vestry meeting held on Thursday last week in the Endowed School, Overton, the Rev Dr M W Myers (vicar) presiding. Mr Francis Bibby was elected vicar’s warden and Mr John F Hughes people’s warden. The following sidesmen were elected:- Parish Church: Messrs M Steele, JS Jenks, R Shelbourne, A Jones, A Sutton, O Claybrook, J E G Finnerty, F J Kydd, A Willis and J Unsworth. St Dunstan’s Church: Messrs E Greenway, G A Warburton, L G Ness, J Hopley, J Ellis, W Halfpenny and J E W Walker. Bridge Mission Church: Mrs Walley, Messrs J A Massey and Austin E Oates.

Mr Francis Bibby handed to the Vicar a cheque for the Easter offerings of £43 12s 4d and to Mr A E Oates, lay reader, £5 5s 7d.


Harvest Thanksgiving

There was a good congregation at the harvest thanksgiving service at St Dunstan’s Church on Sunday. The church was very tastefully decorated with corn, flowers and fruit. Mr A E Oates, lay reader, took the service and Mr J W F Valentine was the preacher. The choir rendered the anthem “Father of mercies” by Rev Vine Hale in excellent style, the solo being sung by Mr J Trevor. The organists were Mr Percy Jones and Mr Brian Tudor.


Church Effort

A rummage sale in the Parish Room on Saturday for St Dunstan’s Church expenses realised £45. The stall holders were Mesdames E Greenway, W Walker, W E Tudor, Norman, L Helsby, A Martin, T Hutchings, J Hancock, Miss Barns, Messrs G A Warburton, Oates and Percy Jones. The doorkeepers were Brian Tudor and Alan Lewis. Competitions were won by Mesdames Hale, Duncalf, Hoose and Stanley.


Parish Church Canteen Closes

After serving thousands of meals to Service men and women the Parish Church canteen at the Parish Rooms closed last week. From the outbreak of the war, the canteen was open 6.0 to 10.0 pm daily and every Sunday afternoon, and was used by men and women of all services. Billiards and table tennis were played and there was also a piano and wireless set, and writing materials were always available.

Upwards of 50 local men and women gave there time in running the canteen.

We understand the canteen run on similar lines by the members of the Trinity Church at their Church House will remain open for several weeks to cater for the few Service men and women remaining in the district.


Carol Service

A carol service was held at St Dunstan’s Church on Sunday Evening. The choir sang several carols and a quartet “The Cradle song” was sung by the Misses Barnes and Hemingway, Messrs A E Oates and J Trevor. Four juniors, Misses Margaret Bell, Joyce Wilson and Muriel Burkhill and Master John Martin sang “Mothers of Salem”. The choirmaster was Mr Percy Jones and the organist Master Brian Tudor. The service was conducted by Mr A E Oates.


Bequest to the Church

The late Miss Hilda Hayes, who in her lifetime was so generous to the church, has left her house and grounds for the use of the church in Frodsham.

Writing of this bequest in the Parish Magazine, the vicar says: “She has left her house, garden and the large field adjoining this and some other land for purposes of the church in Frodsham - that is for the site of a new church, school or other buildings, including a residence. One of her wishes was that this beautiful site should be preserved as an open space for the enjoyment and recreation of the people of Frodsham. ”

“Frodsham has now the chance of a lifetime for securing a central open space, which without spoiling the beauty of the view, and paying regard to miss Hayes’ wishes for the preservation of her house and garden, has room also for the provision of several buildings of which Frodsham is in urgent need. I do not think that the churchpeople here can provide all that can be desired but it is possible that some arrangement can be made for a worthy memorial.”


St Dunstan’s Church

They had lunch and tea at the Holborn Café where arrangements had been previously made. The weather was fine and all had an enjoyable day. Mr A E Oates (lay reader) and Mr Percy Jones (choir master) who had made excellent arrangements accompanied them.


The Old Market Charter

1661 to Earl Rivers, ancestor of the present Lord of the Manor, the Marquees of Cholmondeley, was quoted at the meeting of the Parish Council in reply to a question as to whether the market was permitted to open in the morning.

The charter, granted to Earl Rivers “his heirs and assigns henceforth for ever, to have, hold and keep one market to be held and kept on Thursday every week at the village of Frodsham”. Fairs were also allowed on May 4th and August 10th each year, the latter date being the feast day of St Lawrence to whom the Frodsham Parish is dedicated.

The market is still held each Thursday on the north side of Main Street, but the fairs have not been held for many years.


Coal was Harvest Gift

A piece of coal was included in the harvest offerings at the harvest festival service at St Dunstan’s Church on Sunday. The choir gave the anthem “Father of Mercies, God of Love”. Mrs M Hemingway and Mr J Trevor were soloists. Mr W Halfpenny was organist, and Mr Percy Jones , choirmaster. The address was given by Mr A E Oates (lay reader).


“Iron Church” Remembrance

Mr A E Oates conducted a special remembrance day service on Sunday in St Dunstan’s, the “iron church”. The choir, led by choirmaster Mr P Jones, and accompanied at the organ by Mr Halfpenny, sang the anthem “What are these that are arrayed in white robes?” (Stainer). The usual Sunday community hymn singing took place after the service.


Few Visitors Came By Car

Although the Easter holidays brought many hundreds of visitors to Overton Hills and the district, the petrol restrictions made Main Street unusually quiet.

Mersey View Pleasure Grounds were well patronised and picnic parties and rambling clubs were to be seen on Overton Hills.

Harry Jarman’s band played for dancing in the Mersey View Pavilion on Saturday and Wilf Field’s band on Monday. The Frodsham Silver Band, under Acting Bandmaster C Rogers, played selections during Monday afternoon. Many visitors spent a while in the beautiful grounds of Castle Park.

St Dunstan’s Church

The church was decorated for the Easter Sunday evening service when the choir gave the anthem "Christ is risen" (Maunder), Mrs Kirby was soloist; the organist was Mr W Halfpenny; and choirmaster, Mr Percy Jones. The service was conducted by Mr A E Oates (lay reader).


United Nations Service

A special United Nations service was held at St Dunstan’s Church on Sunday. A detachment of the Cheshire Regiment Cadets attended under RSM Davies and members of the 2nd Frodsham Girl Guides with Capt Mrs Eaton. The choir gave the anthem “Oh taste and see how gracious the Lord is.” The lessons were read by Margaret Bell and Cadet Davies. Mr A E Oates (lay reader) conducted the service and gave the address. Mr. W Halfpenny was the organist.


Carol Service

A carol service was held in the St Dunstan’s iron church on Sunday. Misses Margaret Bell, Joyce Wilson, Sylvia Berry and Ann Turner sang “How Blessed was the Day” while Mrs Kirby, Miss Hemingway, Mr Alan Bradburne and Mr J Trevor sang “The Cradle Song of the Blessed Virgin” and with the full choir “Holy Night”. Mr Oates conducted the service, and Miss M Bell and Master David Davies read the Lessons. Mr W Halfpenny was the organist and Mr Percy Jones, choirmaster.

[Note: Comments from those who remember indicate that Percy Jones also played the organ sometimes. Mr W Halfpenny was Bill Halfpenny.]


Iron Church, St Dunstan’s

Sunday was the ninth anniversary of the reopening of the church for evening services. There was a large congregation and the choir sang the anthem, “O Taste and See.” There were special hymns and Mrs Kirby sang “The Holy City.” Mr Oates conducted the service, and Miss Margaret Bell and Master David Davies read the Lessons.

[Note: The evening services had been restarted at St Dunstan’s as there St Laurence’s Parish Church could not be blacked out.]


St Dunstan’s Spring Clean

With soap, scrubbing brushes and hot water supplied by a neighbour a small company from the Cadet Corps spring cleaned St Dunstan’s Iron Church last week. They completed the task in one evening — to an organ accompaniment by the officer-in-charge.