Castlethorpe Wesleyan Chapel

The Castlethorpe Chapel opened in 1811 - the last service to be held there was on May 20th 1979

Castlethorpe Wesleyan Chapel - newpspaper articles

Croydon's Weekly Standard 02 November 1872

TEMPERANCE ENTERTAINMENT. – On Saturday, Oct. 26, a public tea was provided in the Wesleyan school-room, of which upwards of fifty friends partook. After tea an entertainment was given by the Band of Hope and adults. The music was well conducted by Mr. T. Dawson, of Wolverton Station, who gave an excellent speech at the commencement.

Programme: recitation, “My new Alphabet,” J. Onley; recitation, “Shut up the Drink Shop,” G. Nicholls; “Dare to do right,” choir; dialogue, “Danger,” S. Cowley and J. Osborne; recitation, “Susan Paine and Ben Bobbin”; recitation, “The Child’s Pleadings,” C. Nicholls; “Listen to the Temperance Call,” choir; recitation, “Churchyard Voices,” W. Gregory; “The little Temperance Soldier” recitation, “Mind how you Bargain, lads,” Miss Daniels; recitation, “A Shot at the Decanter,” S. Cowley; “There’s an Angel waiting for you,” choir reading, “The Soldier’s Dream,” J. Osborne; “Stand up for Jesus,” choir; recitation, “Close the Ale-house door.” The meeting broke up about nine o’clock, and all seemed satisfied with the evening’s entertainment.

Croydon's Weekly Standard 30 May 1874

GOOD TEMPLARS.- A meeting was held in the Wesleyan Schoolroom, on Thursday last under the auspices of the Ten Sisters’ Lodge of Good Templars, Stony Stratford, for the purpose of forming a branch lodge, the result of which had not reached us when we went to press. Mr. G. Smith, of Newport Pagnell, occupied the chair. The speakers were Messrs. Rodwell, Arkwright, and Burgess. Glees, songs, and recitations added much to the pleasure of the evening.

Northampton Mercury 05 January 1878

CASTLETHORPE-Christmas Tree. On December 27th a public tea was provided in the school-room adjoining the Wesleyan Chapel by the Band of Hope Society, when upwards of 100 sat down to tea. sat down tea. In the evening a Christmas tree was lighted up, heavily laden with useful and fancy articles, which was well patronised, and in short time the tree was cleared of articles; after which sociable games were indulged in.

Northampton Mercury 15 June 1878

CASTLETHOBPE.—WESLEYAN SCHOOL On Sunday last two sermons were preached by Mr. Baker, of Towcester, to good congregations. On Monday the children had their annual tea and treat in the School-room, after which a public tea took place, and was well attended. In the evening a public meeting was held in the chapel, when addresses were delivered by Messrs. Grimes, Swannel, and other friends, on Sunday school work. Collections were made at the close of each service on behalf of the school funds.

The Bucks Standard 02 October 1879

CHAPEL ANNIVERSARY AND HARVEST FESTIVAL. In connection with the above a public tea was provided in the Schoolroom on Saturday last, to which a good number sat down. In the evening the harvest thanksgiving meeting was held, when addresses were delivered by the Rev. T. Waugh, Connexional Evangelist, who kindly consented to come from Wolverton, where he was conducting mission services. The address he gave was listened to with rapt attention. Messrs. Mead and Swannell also spoke, and the Rev. J. Bentley presided. On the following Sunday three sermons were preached by Mr. Osborne, of Crewe, to good congregations, especially that at night, when the place was full. The chapel was very nicely decorated with flowers, fruit, and vegetables, the rostrum presenting a tasteful appearance. Great praise is due to the ladies who were responsible for the decorations. Collections were taken which realised £2 14s. 11d.

Northampton Mercury 15 November 1879

CASTLETHORPE.—A Band of Hope Entertainment was given the School-room, on Saturday, the Band of Hope choir and members. Mr. John Olney, sen., presided, and delivered short but appropriate address. The secretary read the report, which, on the whole, was considered favourable. Subsequently recitations were given E. Bennett, K. Sprittles, T. Bennett, E. Olney, C. Harris, E. Sprittles, readings Miss E. Compton, and dialogues by W. Clarke, J. Olney, D. Cowley, and others. The choir gave some very appropriate hymns. The collections were good.

The Bucks Standard 17 December 1887

WESLEYAN BUILDING FUND – ENTERTAINMENT. – A social gathering of the member, Sunday school teacher, friends, and those interested in the Building Fund of the Wesleyan Chapel was held in the Schoolroom, on Wednesday evening, December 7, when upwards of 80 spent the evening together. Mr. John Onley, sen., occupied the chair, and the following programme was gone through in a very able manner; - Duet, “No time like the present,” Mr. Geo. Nichols and Miss S. Compton; song, “Mind your own business,” Miss Compton; quartet, Miss Nichols, Miss Compton, Mr. O. Nichols, and Mr. H. Cowley; solo, “Come let us join our cheerful songs,” Mrs. Onley; recitation, “Paddy’s speech,” Mr. Richardson. (At this point there was an interval of 40 minutes, during which the company partook of refreshments). Solo, “Beyond the smiling and the weeping,” Mr. Spring; duet, “They are gathering home from every land,” Miss C. and Mr. G. Nichols; duet, “Have you been to Jesus for the cleaning power,” Miss Compton and Mr. Spring. Recitations were given by Messrs. G. Rainbow, W. Onley, O. Nichols, W. Giles, T. Rainbow, J. Harris, and Mrs. J. Richardson.

The Bucks Standard 31 December 1887

CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES. - On Tuesday last, a public tea and Christmas tree was held in the Wesleyan Chapel and schoolroom, for the benefit of the chapel funds.

Northampton Mercury June 09 1888

CASTLETHORPE. TENDERS are Invited for the ENLARGEMENT of WESLEYAN CHAPEL, CASTLETHORPE, The lowest or any tender not necessarily accepted. Plans and specifications to be seen at Mr. Rainbow’s, Castlethorpe. Tenders to be sent in to Mr. Giles, Castlethorpe, on the 16th of June, 1883 endorsed “Tender”.

Northampton Mercury 14 July 1888


The Wesleyan cause at Castlethorpe is not an old one. It is young and vigorous. Its promoter is at present living, and was present, Wednesday to participate in the ceremony of laying the foundation-stones of an additional building. The old chapel was very small, being simply a room 26 feet long by 20 feet wide. It was a " right little tight little " place, and the spread and popularity of Methodism in the village has literally burst its narrow bounds. The North wall has been taken down, and the chapel will be extended in that direction. The contractor Mr. T. Islip, of Victoria-street, Northampton, who working under the plans of Mr. W. Poole, architect, of Woburn Sands. It is expected that the total cost of the building will be about £340, and of this £123 was in the bank before the commencement of Wednesday's meetings. The foundation stones were laid by Captain Verney, R.N., and Mr. Grimes, the founder of Wesleyan Methodism in the village. Before the ceremony a short prayer meeting was held an improvised plank and canvas tabernacle erected close by, and short financial statement was made by the Rev. J. Harris, superintendent of the circuit.—Mr. Grimes, in laying his stone, "blessed" it with 20 guineas.—Captain Verney placed a £5 note upon his stone. Addressing the company assembled, he said this was the first foundation stone he had ever laid, and he should always remember it with gratification. He was convinced that the enlargement of their chapel would be for the glory of God and the good of man. When he was


he used often to on shore in the trenches of Sebastopol. Sometimes when he used to go into the more advanced trenches he used find that since his last visit new outworks had been thrust out, and there had been extension of the batteries, which caused great harassment to the enemy. They in Castlethorpe were engaged in a great war that would last as long as life. It would always be battle of good against evil; of all the powers of strength of good and upright men and women against all the evil influences of the world. (Cheers.) He hoped and believed that that day a fresh outwork and fresh battery were being made which would prove harassing to the enemy their best friends could wish. (Loud cheers.) —Bricks were also laid by various people. Three little girls—Harriet Bennett, Annie Harris, and Polly Eakins, who had collected over £2 each, being the bricklayers. It was announced that Mr. P. Howard, of Bedford ; Mr. S. Denny, of Castlethorpe (late of Daventry) ; Mr. R. Shelton, of Leightonstone ; and Mr. G. Harper, of Wolverton, had each sent a guinea. Various other donations were also received, and number of people afterwards laid bricks, paying sums varying from half-a-sovereign to half-a-crown for the privilege. After the stones were laid, the company adjourned to the wood and canvas temple, where after short service, an address was delivered by the Rev. J. Wamsley, chairman of the Bedford and Northampton district. He said they were not there


He was able to see faults in the Church to which he belonged well as all other human Churches. There was but one Church that was perfect, and that was the Church in which no trace could be seen of the human hand, or of human genius— the Church swayed by the mind of the Infinite. Mr. Wamsley went on to speak of three aspects of Methodism—the spiritual, the experimental, and the practical. He related that a few evenings ago he was talking to the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, on the subject of the “down grade" controversy. He told Mr. Spurgeon that it was remarkable fact that never since the foundation of Methodism had there been doctrinal controversy. Mr. Spurgeon said that that was wonderful, and asked what was the cause. Mr. Wamsley replied, “Because we bring up all our men to the scratch every year." No honest man could go through the facings their ministers had to go  through every year unless he held to their doctrines. Every man was asked, ”Do you still believe our doctrines ?" There was the question; there were the doctrines. If he did not believe, then he must leave the Church. Some ministers of other Churches had said, "It is narrow." Mr. Wamsley had sometimes found the narrowest lanes to be the broadest after all. So-called "great breadth" was often great narrowness. He once heard George Dawson preach against the 39 articles, calling them narrow, and finishing up his sermon by laying down three general principles. How could 39 be narrower than three? A collection taken at the close of the meeting amounted to 17s. 6d.—A tea followed, to which about 90 sat down. The tables were presided over by Mrs, Loveridge, Mrs. Nichols, and Miss E. Nichols.—The total proceeds of the day amounted to over £40, so that, with the money in the bank, nearly half the money required now raised.

The Bucks Standard 12 April 1890

WESLEYAN MISSION SOCIETY. On Good Friday meetings were held in connection with this society in the Wesleyan Chapel. In the afternoon the Rev. A. R. Humphrey’s (circuit minister) preached to a numerous congregation. This service was followed by a tea meeting, which was well patronised. In the evening a meeting was held, which was presided over by Mr. J. Knight, of Wolverton. The chapel was comfortably full. The chairman, in opening the meeting, pointed out the claims the society had on their Christian feeling. The Rev. Mr. Humphreys presented the report, which was of a satisfactory character. He then addressed the business of the success it had achieved. Messrs. Sharp, (senior) and Rose (Hanslope) followed with practical addresses, and those present were urged to contribute liberally to the collections. Mr. Sharp (junr.) having engaged in prayer, the collection was taken, and amounted to a good sum. The chairman having been thanked, the meting terminated with the singing of the doxology.

The Bucks Standard 16 February 1895

ENTERTAINMENT. An entertainment was given on Wednesday, February 13, in the Carrington School by the Castlethorpe Branch of the S. James’ Happy Home Union. The first part of the programme commenced by the choir singing “Onward, young crusaders, “ followed by a recitation, “The trumpet,” by Willie Compton; a vocal duet, “From the belfry olden,” by Dorothy Whiting and Annie Luing; a song by the Rev. B. J. Corder “I heard sweet spirit sing,” with violin accompaniment by Miss Newbury; a recitation “Our daily bread,” Annie Luing; song, “ Funiculi Funicula,” Miss Gregory; piano solo, “ Violet Bells,” Dorothy Whiting. The second part of the programme consisted of a service of song, entitled “The children’s hour,” the Rev. W. J. Harkness reading the service. The Misses Gregory and Compton sang as a vocal duet “The Angels of our home,” a solo was given by Master Gregory, entitled “deal gently with that erring one,” and one by Miss Compton, “Beautiful Home.” The choir then concluded the service by singing the “Young Crusaders’ National Anthem.” The entertainment on the whole was very satisfactory, and we hope it will lead on to greater things, and that more of the children will join the Union.

The Bucks Standard 26 October 1895

BAND OF HOPE ANNIVERSARY. The anniversary of the above society was held on Saturday, October 19, when a public tea was provided in the schoolroom to which about 60 sat down. In the evening public meeting was held in the Board School, when Mrs. Jennie Walker, “The Yorkshire Nightingale,” gave a powerful and eloquent address to a good audience. The Rev. W. K. Greenland presided, and part of the Wolverton Wesleyan String Band played several selections, under the leadership of Mr. Swain. Mrs. Walker also sang some solos which were much appreciated. On Sunday Mrs. Walker conducted three services in the Wesleyan Chapel to good congregations, especially in the evening, the building being crowded. Solos were sung at each meeting by Mrs. Walker, and collections were taken at each in aid of the Band of Hope funds, the result being very satisfactory.

The Bucks Standard 25 January 1896

SOCIAL EVENING. On Wednesday, January 22, a social evening was held at the Wesleyan schoolroom for the purpose of raising a fund to start a ladies sewing class for a coming sale of work at Easter, in order to clear off a debt of £55 on the heating apparatus at the Wesleyan Chapel, and friends being anxious to do this a committee has been formed to carry out the arrangements. The musical part was entrusted to Mr. G. C. Nichols who had the assistance of the Misses Rainbow as accompanists. Refreshments were in charge of Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Rainbow, Mrs. Giles, Mrs. Baugh, Miss Sprittles, Miss Sharp and Miss Cowley. Mr. G. Rainbow presided. The following is the programme, and great credit is due to all who took part in it. Duet, “They are waiting,” Mrs. Sprittles and Mrs. Day; song “The stowaway,” Mr. W. Rainbow; solo, “Not lost, but gone before,” Mr Simmons; recitation, “The bank of faith,” Mr. J. Harris; chorus, “Jerusalem my happy home,” Choir; recitation, “The parson and the dumplings,” Mr. W. Rainbow; solo, “Your mission,” Mr. J. C. Nichols. During the interval refreshments were served round, after which the second part was continued as follows: duet, “Joy cometh in the morning,” Miss S. Bennett and Mr. W. Rainbow; dialogue Mr. T. Rainbow (Robb Rose) and Mr. W. C. Giles (Jeffery Jones); song Miss. A. Day; recitation, “A cure for love,” Mr. H. T. Rainbow; quartet, “The Xmas good night, “ Misses Nichols, Simmons, Messrs. Day and Harris. The collection realised over 17s.

The Bucks Standard 11 April 1896

WESLEYAN CHAPEL.- In order to endeavour to reduce a debt resting upon this place of worship for the heating apparatus, a sale of work was opened in the Board schools on Easter Monday. The takings realised about £29

The Bucks Standard 02 October 1897

CHAPEL ANNIVERSARY AND HARVEST FESTIVAL. In connection with the above a public tea was provided in the Schoolroom on Saturday last, to which a good number sat down. In the evening the harvest thanksgiving meeting was held, when addresses were delivered by the Rev. T. Waugh, Connexional Evangelist, who kindly consented to come from Wolverton, where he was conducting mission services. The address he gave was listened to with rapt attention. Messrs. Mead and Swannell also spoke, and the Rev. J. Bentley presided. On the following Sunday three sermons were preached by Mr. Osborne, of Crewe, to good congregations, especially that at night, when the place was full. The chapel was very nicely decorated with flowers, fruit, and vegetables, the rostrum presenting a tasteful appearance. Great praise is due to the ladies who were responsible for the decorations. Collections were taken which realised £2 14s. 11d.

The Wolverton Express 27 November 1903


The second anniversary of this guild was celebrated on Saturday, Sunday and Monday last. On Saturday a tea was provided in the Wesleyan Schoolroom at five o’clock, when about forty sat down. At 6.45 an entertainment was commenced, consisting of solos, duets, trios, recitations, band selections, etc., kindly rendered by the following. Messrs. D. Faulkner, Johnstone, Coleman, Scott and Mrs. Johnstone (Wolverton), Mr. Foddy (Potterspury), Miss M. Rainbow, Messrs. A. Sprittles, A. Richardson, W. Bennett, and others (Castlethorpe), and the Potterspury Orchestral Band, which gave some very good selections. The entertainment was presided over by Miss Swirles, of Northampton. The Secretary (Mr. J. Whitmee) read the report of the Guild for the past year, which was a very good one. Miss Swirles spoke for about a quarter of an hour on the possibilities of Wesley Guild. A collection was made which amounted to 16s. 3d. A vote of thanks to all who took part in the programme, especially to the friends who so kindly came from Northampton, Wolverton and Potterspury, proposed by Mr. Lee and seconded by Mr. Richardson, brought the entertainment to a close. A most enjoyable evening was spent by all.
On Sunday two services were conducted by Mr. J. Denny, C.C., of Silverstone, who kindly consented to take them at a very short notice for the Rev. Pollard, who was unable to come owing to the death of his brother. Mr. Denny preached two very good sermons. The Choir, under the leadership of Mr. Middleton, gave an anthem at each service. On Monday evening the Rev. D. Clayton, of Stony Stratford, brought the anniversary to a close by giving an excellent lecture on “Macedonia: its wrongs, sufferings and remedies.” Mr. Whitmee must be congratulated on the way in which he performed his duties as secretary.

Northampton Mercury 24 June 1904


The first united summer rally of the Northampton District of Wesley Guilds was held at on Saturday, when a large number of Guilders and their friends assembled from Northampton, Wolverton, Woburn Sands, Fenny Stratford, Newport Pagnell, Sherington, etc. The subject of "Junior Guilds," ably introduced by the Guild Secretary (Rev. W. B. FftzGerald, of Leeds), created much interest, several members taking part in the discussion which followed. The company then adjourned to the Council Schools, where the prettily decorated and heavily laden tables did great credit to the energetic Tea Committee, and gave promise of what, proved be an excellent repast. After tea the company broke up into parties and visited various places of interest, a couple of hours being enjoyably spent rambling through this rural district. The grounds of Mr. C. Borrett and Mr. C. Whiting, kindly thrown open the Guilders by their owners, were a great attraction, their rustic beauty and picturesque settings being welcome changes from the rush and turmoil of present day life. The beautiful peacheries of Mr. Clark, together with his glass-houses, were also visited, in which the eye was allowed to feast upon what will no doubt prove to be a feast for the mouth in very short time. The historic associations connected with the ruined castle and the old church also found some enthusiastic admirers, a large party rambling round the walls. At the evening meeting the little chapel was crowded, the chair being taken by Dr. Lyth, of  London who was supported by Rev. W. B. FitzGerald, Rev. C. A. Pollard, circuit superintendent, and Mr. Carter, evangelist. Dr. Lyth gave a thoughtful and earnest address on "Character building," his treatment of the subject being much appreciated. The Rev. C. A. Pollard addressed the Guild members with words of encouragement, and led them in the singing of Dr. Burton's celebrated Guild hymn, the war cry of the Wesley Guilds. The treat of the day was, of course Mr. FitzGerald's stimulating address, which captivated his audience. "Looking after Number One" was his subject. The reverend gentleman treating the same from a necessitous point of view, showed how such an -action could be pure and unselfish only by the advancement benefits and interest for our fellow creatures, under which circumstances it could be of a high and lofty character. Miss A. Rushton, of Northampton, was the soloist, and during the meeting very prettily sang "The priceless gift" and " Sunshine and rain." A vote of thanks all who had taken any part was proposed by Mr. Carter, and carried with, acclamation. The following ladies and gentlemen acting on the various committees are to be congratulated upon the grand success attending their laborious efforts: Mrs. Cowley, Misses Jennings, Thomas, and Hunt (Wolverton), and Mrs. Burbidge, Cowley, Sprittles, Whitmee, Lee, and Misses L. and M. Rainbow, H. and A. Burbidge, Cowley, Richardson, Stratton, Geary (Castlethorpe), Misses Denney, Hunt, Knight, Swannell (Wolverton), and D. Cowley, H. F. Nicholls, F. Nicholls,  E. Richardson, A. Richardson, H. Cowley, R. Sharp, W. Bennett, and J. Cowley (Castlethorpe). On Sunday Rev. W, B. FitzGerald delivered special Guild sermons morning and evening to large congregations. In the afternoon a musical service was held, presided over Mr. J. Denney, of Wolverton, Miss Claridge, Brickhill, was the soloist, and the Rev. W. B. FitzGerald gave instructive address on '"The Gentleman's Psalm." Special anthems were capitally rendered by the choir, under the conductorship of Mr. Middleton, at each service.

Northampton Mercury 26 October 1906

CASTLETHORPE. Concert.— very successful concert was given on Saturday last in the Council School, Castlethorpe. It was arranged by the Sunshine Committee of the Young People's Class, which is held in connection with the Wesleyan Chapel. The Sunshine, since its commencement some four years ago, have paid hundreds of visits to the sick and aged people of the village, in many instances taking with them such necessaries the sick-room as grapes, beef-tea, etc. They also have distributed parcels each Christmas to the widows and old people. It was with a view to increase the funds for the practical part of the work that the concert was given. The venture proved a great success, and the funds benefited to the extent of about .£5. The Vicar, the Rev. W. J. Harkness, was in the chair. After the Secretary’s report, Mr. Harkness briefly addressed the meeting, addressing helpful remarks to the Sunshine Committee in their work, and wishing them every success. The following ladies and gentlemen took part :—Pianoforte solo, Mr. H. Middleton; songs, Mrs. Thomas, Miss Cooper, Mrs, Middleton, Mr. A. Bullard, and Mr. A. Petts; recitations, Mr. W. Hay; violin solos, Mr. T. S. Cales, A.C.V. Mr. H. Middleton was the accompanist. The committee desire to express their thanks to all who so generously assisted.

Northampton Mercury 06 November 1908

CASTLETHORPE. Concert. —A grand sunshine concert was held at the Council Schools on Saturday evening in aid the Sunshine Fund, which has for its purpose the helping of the poor of the district. The Vicar the Rev. H. J. Harkness, occupied the chair. The balance-sheet the fund was read the secretary pro tern. (Mr. Lee). It showed balance on the right side of 7s. Following the business part of the meeting a delightful concert was given, the following being- the programme: —Pianoforte solo, “Come back to Erin,’ Madame Boutal, A.L.C.M.;' song, “The star of Bethlehem” (Adams), Mr. Arthur Pitts; recitation, “ The ostler’s story,” Mr. Fred Mutton; song .“Twickenham Ferry’ (Marzials), Madame Alexander, Silver Medallist, L.A.M.; violin solo. “ Allegro Brilliant” (W. T. Hart), Mr. Percy Sharp; duet, “O lovely peace,” Misses Sneesby and Irons; song, “The King the Forest,” Mr. Harry cornet solo, “Men of Harlech” (Hartman), Mr. J. W. Webster; violin solo, “Intermezzo from Cavaleria Rusticana” (Mascagni), Mr. Percy Sharp; song, “Thora” (Adame), Miss Sneesby; recitation, “Not in the programme,” Mr. Fred Mutton; song. “Farewell to summer” (Johnson), Madame Alexander. Silver Medallist, L.A.M.; pianoforte solo, “’Dance Napolitaine (Smith), Madame Boutal, A.L.C.M.: song, “The Diver’’ (Hatton), Mr. Harry Lloyd; recitation, “ Rubenstein’s piano playing” (Jud Browning). Mr. Fred Mutton (encored), “40 and rears ago” given; song, "The message” (Blumenthal). Mr. Arthur Petts; solo, “Angels ever, etc.,” Miss Sneesby. “God save the King.” Refreshments were handed round intervals.

Northampton Mercury 12 February 1909

CASTLETHORPE. Guild Rally. —A guild rally took place at Castlethorpe Saturday, a number of friends being present from Northampton. Tea was served in the Wesleyan Schoolroom, a good company partaking. An interesting programme was next submitted, for which Mr. A. Cochran was responsible. Among those contributing were: Miss Buffon (mandolin solos). Miss Carter, Mr. A. E. Elliott, Mr. Bind (songs), Mr. Sellars, and Mr. P. Mundin (recitations), Mr. A. Cochran (readings). Mr. Faulkner accompanied the songs. Later a public meeting held. Mr. A. Cochran presided, and appropriate addresses were given by Rev. H. Dawson (Woburn Sands) and Rev. W. Brook-Hirst (Regent-square, Northampton). Mr. A. E. Elliott Church, Northampton), sang Nazareth.” At the close refreshments were served, and thanks were accorded the Castlethorpe friends for the excellent arrangements.

The Wolverton Express 02 December 1910

FOREIGN MISSIONS. The annual missionary meeting was held in the Wesleyan Church on Saturday evening. Mr. E. Richardson occupied the chair. Mr. H. Bird, of Wolverton, secretary for Foreign Missions in the Wolverton Circuit, gave the report. Addresses were given by the Rev. B. W. Curner and Mr. J. Swannell. Songs were given during the evening. The proceeding amounted to £5 11s. 8d.

The Wolverton Express 21 April 1911

The usual Good Friday services were held in the Wesleyan Church on Friday last. In the afternoon, Rev. D. B. Stothard preached an appropriate sermon from Mark, c. 14, v. 26. The service was followed by a public tea, to which a large number sat down, and in the evening the Church was crowded. Rev. Bernard W. Cuzner introduced the Chairman, Mr. J. Ruff, of Hanslope, who referred to the good work done by lowly workers in the village. Mr. G. H. Faulkner presented the financial statement, showing a balance in hand. Rev. D. B. Stothard then gave his popular lecture, “From Cobbler to President, or the Story of Sammy Bradburn.” The proceeding were brought to a close by Mr. J. Marsh and Mr. G. H. Faulkner moving votes of thanks to all who had contributed towards the success of the anniversary. The proceeds were in aid of the Trust Fund.

The Wolverton Express 12 April 1912

n accordance with their usual custom the Wesleyans held their Chapel Anniversary on Good Friday, Rev. J. D. Paul, of Northampton, preached in the afternoon, a thoughtful sermon from “The Princess digged a well.” In the evening the chapel was well filled. Rev. B. W. Cuzner opened the meeting, and introduced the Chairman, Mr. Geo. Wildman, of Wolverton, who gave a brief address. From the report presented by the Secretary, Mr. G. H. Faulkner, we learn the total income of the Trust for the past year was £27 18. 2. and the expenditure £18 7s. 6. The freehold of the property has recently been acquired from the Lincoln Corporation. Rev J. D. Paul then delivered his lecture on “Sketches of the Abolition Movement of Slavery in America.” At the close a hearty vote of thanks was given to Mr. Paul for his instructive and able lecture. The proceeds of the day were in aid of the Trust Fund.

Northampton Mercury 11 November 1927

CASTLETHORPE A remembrance service on Sunday was conducted on similar lines to that of last year, but was held in the Wesleyan Church instead of the Parish Church. A party of 18 ex-service men assembled near the British Legion headquarters and proceeded the church where the service was conducted Rev. H. Adams the Circuit minister, who was assisted by the Rev, W. J. Harkness (vicar). Mr. Adams gave the address, whilst Mr. Harkness took the lessons and prayers. The church was crowded. The service was completed at War Memorial, where the hymn, “O God, our help,” was sung, and a wreath was placed on the memorial by Mr. Burbidge, the chairman of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion. Other flowers were also deposited. The Vicar pronounced the Benediction, and the service concluded with the singing of the National Anthem. A collection on behalf of Earl Haig’s Fund realised £3 1s. 6d.

Northampton Mercury 03 February 1928


The quarterly meeting .of the Stony Stratford and District Local Preachers’ Association was held in the Congregational Church, on Saturday. Following tea, the business meeting was presided over by Mr. J. Carter, of Wolverton. It was decided to send a letter sympathy to Mr. W. Baylies (Roade) on the loss of his wife, and to Mr. J. Marsh (Castlethorpe) on his prolonged illness. Tributes were paid to the memory of Mr. Brittan Harris. It was decided to send a letter expressing the gratitude of the association to Captain George Bowyer, M.P., that he voted against the adoption of the revised Prayer Book in the House of Commons. Arrangements were made for the next quarterly meeting Whaddon.. At public meeting in the evening, when the Rev. John (vice-president) occupied the chair, the president (Mr .J. Carter) delivered his presidential address, in which he dealt with “The Preacher: His Call and Influence.”

The Wolverton Express 20 March 1928


Wesleyan Church. – Special gatherings were held at Castlethorpe Wesleyan Church on Good Friday when a visit was received from the Rev. W. Ralph Rutter, of Regent’s Square, Northampton. He preached in the afternoon to a large congregation which included a number of visitors from Wolverton. Tea was served in the schoolroom and about 60 sat down. The tables were superintended by Mrs. Nichols, Mrs. Cowley, and Mr. W. Nichols. At a public meeting in the church in the evening, Mr. W. Pack, of Wolverton, presided and Mr. Rutter spoke of the challenge of the times and of the solving power of Christianity.

Northampton Mercury 03 January 1930


SALE WORK AND CONCERT.—In connection with the Wesleyan Church, Castlethorpe, a successful sale of work and concert took place on Boxing Day. A public tea was provided in the Schoolroom, and was opened by Mr. A. Austin, of Woburn Sands, who was supported by the Rev. A. T. Dean, superintendent minister. The concert was given by the children and young people, and was greatly enjoyed. Refreshments were provided after the concert, and a social evening followed. The proceeds, after all expenses were paid, amounted to £32 4s. 5d. for the heating apparatus fund.

Northampton Mercury 10 June 1932


“If you do so, I hope that the Almighty God will strike the place, and perhaps He will, and then I will go and sow salt on it”

THIS startling statement was made Mr. John Olney, of Castlethorpe, to a man who promised that he would pay for the church room if he won a prize in the Irish sweepstake. Mr. Olney was speaking at a business meeting of the Stony Stratford and District Church Council, he said that it was of little use approaching members of Parliament on the matter of sweepstakes and lotteries. They had a Government now that was partly useless.

Northampton Mercury 23 June 1933


The quarterly meetings of the Wolverton Methodist Circuit, held at Sherington, took the form of farewell gatherings to the Rev. Arthur T. Dean, the superintendent minister, who is removing to Aylesbury after being stationed at Wolverton for four years. He made the presentation of a long service certificate to Mr. J. Olney, of Castlethorpe, for 50 years local preacher. Mr. Olney, who was born at Castlethorpe on June 4, 1858, holds a unique record. He began at Sunday School in 1862 and eventually became in succession teacher, secretary and superintendent at Castlethorpe.

Northampton Mercury 07 July 1933


ONE of the best-known local preachers in the Wolverton area is Mr. John Olney, of Castlethorpe, who recently completed 50 years’ service in that capacity. The village churches owe much to his devoted services, and for the Sunday Schools especially he has done a wonderful work.

Mr. John Olney

It was through Mr. Olney that the late Mr. William Bagshaw became a lay preacher. Forty years ago Mr. Olney took as the text of one of his sermons, “There’s a lad here,” and his words so impressed William Bagshaw, then a youth, that he determined to give his service to the cause. His services were accepted, and he became one of the most eloquent local preachers in the district. Wolverton readers will remember that Mr. Bagshaw died suddenly when at a dinner at the Technical College nearly three years ago.
Mr. Olney tells an amusing story of his first preaching engagement at Cosgrove. The steward met him at the vestry door, and somewhat gloomily remarked, “We had Mr. – last Sunday, and now you to-day, and we might as well have nobody.”
In recognition of his services as a local preacher, Mr. Olney has been presented with a certificate of merit.

Northampton Mercury 27 April 1934


Re-opening services have been held following the redecoration of the church. The special preacher was Mr. Percy Hawkins, of( Luton. A musical service was contributed to by the choir (conducted by Mr. A. Richardson), Miss Grace (Olney), and Miss Winifred Clarke (solos). Mr. Hawkins and the Rev. F. Hudson (superintendent minister, Wolverton) gave addresses. The collections were for the trust funds.

Northampton Mercury 13 December 1935


An entertainment was given in the Methodist schoolroom consisting of solos, recitations and part songs in character. A humorous dialogue entitled “Tastes Differ” caused roars of laughter from the splendid audience. Mr. Fred Mills was chairman and collection was made for the Boxing Day effort.

Northampton Mercury 13 November 1936



A Wolverton Methodist local preacher, Mr. Herbert Morgan, collapsed while reading the lesson at an Armistice service in Castlethorpe Parish Church, on Sunday afternoon, and died shortly afterwards.

Northampton Mercury 11 July 1947

A well-known figure in Methodist circles in the Wolverton district, Mr. John Olney, of Castlethorpe, who is 89, can claim the unique record of having attended 82 school anniversary services at the village church.
For 68 years he was a teacher in the Sunday School, and has been a trustee of Castlethorpe Methodist Church for 66 years. During his 66 years as a local preacher, he preached at the Stony Stratford Silver-street Methodist Church on more than 200 occasions.
For many years Mr. Olney’s only means of keeping his appointments on Sundays was by walking, and his longest journey was to preach at North Crawley—26 miles on foot.
He is a widower and his marriage partnership lasted 50 years, all but three months.
Mr. Olney has lived at Castlethorpe over 61 years—49 years in the same house.

The Wolverton Express 20 October 1950

A.B.C. Market.- An A.B.C. market was held in the Council Schools Castlethorpe on Saturday 7th October. Mr. Leonard Nichols introduced the opener, Mrs. S. Lawson, of Wolverton, who was supported by the Rev. Rogerson and the Rev. Norman Barker. Teas were served by the men. A concert was given in the evening by the West End Methodist Choir. The gratifying result of this effort was over £50 which goes to the Methodist Church Trust Fund.