PART SEVEN

PLACES OF WORSHIP

 

From the early days of farming and peat cutting, places of worship became necessary.  In those days most people were religious and followed various denominations

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

In 1896 the small number of Catholics in Thorne and Moorends was boosted by the influx of Dutch peat workers.  By the early 1900s, this was becoming a problem.  Mass was held in various premises, depending on the availability of priests.  Sometimes Mass was held in Crowle, Carlton, the Town Hall in Thorne and later in the Moorends County School House and in houses in Moss Terrace.

In 1906 the new Parish containing Thorne and Moorends was created.  Masses were then undertaken by the Belgian Father Ceslas Vermeulen, later assisted by Father Ryan.

In 1912 Father Vermeulen secured the lease of a plot of land from the owners of the proposed Thorne Colliery.  A corrugated iron building was erected on this land in the area of Vermuyden Road.

After the 1914-18 War, Father McGarity took over.  Much later, after the colliery was working and the size of the colliery village increased, it was realised that the prime position for the necessary sewage works was on the site of the church.  The owners of the colliery had to refuse to extend the lease and couldn't offer an alternative site.  The building was dismantled and moved to an area near the current site of St. Joseph's Church in Bloomhill Road.

A vacant bungalow on adjoining land to where the old church was sited was purchased for Father McGarity, later the remaining land adjacent to the bungalow was also purchased, being the ideal site for the new church.  In 1938 the new Priest, Father Dolan, arranged for work to start on the new church; this was consecrated in 1939,  The old church was used as a dance hall, affectionally known as 'the sweatbox'.  This part of Bloomhill Road was often referred to as 'Catholic Lane'.

 

 

The Catholic Church outside and inside

 

ANGLICAN/CHURCH OF ENGLAND

The sinking colliers inhabited a colony of wooden huts near the brickyards, nearby a larger wooden building, with a corrugated zinc roof was built by Pease and Partners in which their Anglican workers could worship.

 

The first sinkers Mission Church

C M Cooper of Colchester designed St Wilfrith's Church.  The church is built on a concrete raft bought by the Bishop of Sheffield's 100,000 Guinea Appeal.  Mrs Shearburn of Snaith Hall, who raised funds for the new church fund, laid the foundation stone on the 19th Sepember 1934.  Bishop Burrows blessed the stone.  A copy of that day's Yorkshire Post with other documents of the day was placed in a copper cylinder and rests underneath the foundation stone.  Nine months later, on the 22nd June 1935, the Bishop came back to Moorends to dedicate the completed church.  The sound of church bells came from a loud speaker, projecting the sound from a tape recorder in the vestry.

Outside and Inside of St Wilfrith's Church on West Road

 

Although the church was opened in 1935, the licence for marriages didn't come about until 1940.  Mr and Mrs Laurence Edwards were the first couple to be married there.

In 1956, the Bishop solemnly consecrated St. Wilfrith's Church, making the Rev. Fred Clark, who served from 1951 to 1958, the first Church of England vicar in the new Parish of Moorends.  During his time in Moorends he organised the building of the new vicarage and the wooden Church Hall in 1953; many parishioners were involved in it's construction, it was located between the new vicarage and Mr Knapper's house - the Colliery manager.

The Rev. Fred Herrington was another vicar that left his mark on the village.  Apparently, he was instrumental in organising an amateur dramatic group named the St. Wilfrith's Players, who staged a number of plays in the village.  St Joseph's Players followed on from this group.

A small cemetery for cremated remains surrounds the church in the Garden of Remembrance.

METHODIST CHAPEL

There was a small Methodist Chapel, believed to have been the first religious building in Moorends, that was built in the early 1800s amd measured approximately twenty square feet, bridging the dyke on the right side of Goole Road, travelling towards Goole.  It is thought that this building was sited somewhere in the area of the new pit road, after Moss Terrace.  The chapel was demolished just after the the turn of the century.  A replica of this building can be found today, standing back a little on the right side of the road, leading to Sandtoft, from the direction of the Green Tree, just before the bend in the road where the wooden house is located.

The new Northgate Methodist Chapel was built in 1928 on the same land as it's predecessor, which was built in 1846.  One of the first Wesleyan preachers was a Dutch peat worker called Yandi Yung, he also worked at Moorends Mill parraffin works.

The Methodist Chapel on Northgate in the late 1990s

 

From 1975 the chapel no longer held services; Methodist services were then held in the Old Folk's Centre on West Road.  The Chapel was later purchased by Thorne Town Council out of the proceeds of Thorne Town Lottery, adapted by the Community Industry and was used as a community centre from 1983.  In the earleier days, part of it was used as a baby clinic.

SPIRITUALIST CHURCH

The Siritualist's sevices were started in 1924 and meetings were first held in rooms above Wayners paper shop, they were known locally as the 'spirit rooms', On Marshland Road.  Later a wooden building was provided in Newholme Drive.  The new brick built church was built in 1997 on the same site.

The first Spiritualist Church in Moorends

PENTECOSTAL CHURCH

The first Pentecostal Church was a corrugated iron building that was erected at the rear of Darlington Grove.  The congregation now worship in the old primary school on Peel Hill Road in Thorne.

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

The old Co-op building on Marshland Road that had previously been used as an amusement arcade and bingo hall, was renovated and modernised in 1979; it then became Kingdom Hall.  The Jehovah's Witness congregation have held their meetings and celebrations there since 1980.

 

From the early 1900s until the early 1980s, the 'Whit Walks' took place on Whit Monday and most denominations took part.  Each group from Thorne and Moorends would collect in Moorends; they would form a procession, usually led by the Catholic Church, and in the early days they would walk or ride on the decorated floats. following their banner, local bands and choirs, around Moorends and then from Moorends to the grounds of Thorne Hall, later known as Thorne Memorial Park.

One of the Whit Walks walking around Moorends 

Everyone seemed to enjoy the occasion.  Sadly by the 1980s, all congregations were diminishing and the parades became an event of the past.

 

 

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