Winsham-Record of Ministers and events surrounding their appointment-1791-1927

The Rev John Hemsworth was succeeded by the Revd Harrington who continued the pastor for some years, when circumstances necessitated his removal.  In 1810 the Rev Wm Durnford from Plymouth Dock took the charge, and the cause became a very flourishing one.  The old Chapel being found too small and inconvenient, a new one was built in 1811 together with a dwelling house for the Minister adjoining, and a piece of ground behind the Chapel was given for a garden for the Minister by Mr Hugh Trenchard of Maudlin.  During Mr Durnfordís pastorate, several new Chapels were built in the neighbourhood, and the congregation at Winsham, which crowded the Chapel when first erected, declined considerably in consequence: many of the members, and others, attaching themselves to the new places, as nearer their own residences.  Mr Durnford died in 1829 and was succeeded in 1830 by the Rev Thos Childs of Mevagissey, who was in delicate health when he came and lived only till 1832.

The Revd. John Wells of Lambrook became the next Minister in 1832, and continued till 1836.  The cause had now dwindled down to a very low ebb, and as a change of Minister was considered desirable, Mr Wells was requested to leave, and in 1837 the Revd David Evans from Stringstone Somerset succeeded him.  Mr Evans continued here till 1859 when he was afflicted with an illness which confined him to his bed for six months, and left him in such a shattered state of health, that it was suggested to him to resign, which he did.  The cause still continued in a dead and lifeless state during the whole of Mr Evansí residence here, and the congregation very small.  After Mr Evans, the Revd John Cooke Westbrook was called to the pastorate at Michaelmas 1859 and filled the office until Xmas 1861, when he resigned the charge in consequence of ill health.  He was a delicate man, and totally unfit to combat with the mass of sin and error which for so long a time had been accumulating in this place.  There was, however, a little sign of revival during his ministry, and a slight increase in the congregation.  At his suggestion this book was bought and all the records of the church, and other entries made in it up to this time but he quite neglected to keep it up and all the transactions during his ministry were obtained and entered after he left.

In February 1862 the Rev W. Gooby late of Alexandria, Egypt, received a cordial and affectionate invitation to become the Pastor which he accepted.  In April of the same year he was solemnly set apart to the work of the Christian Ministry.  He continued to exercise his ministry with considerable acceptance until December 1864 when he resigned the pastorate in consequence of his having received and accepted a call to the Congregational church in Newbury.  During his pastorate the school-room was erected.

In January 1865 the Rev Thomas M Prentice, of Maryborough, Ireland, received a unanimous invitation to become the pastor.  This invitation he accepted. In May of the same year he was ordained to the Christian ministry.  During his ministry the Chapel was thoroughly renovated and repaired, and candles with which the Chapel had been previously lighted, gave place to paraffin lamps to the great comfort of the worshippers.

Nov 13th 1882 At a public meeting called for the purpose a Purse containing Twenty six sovereigns was presented to the Rev T M Prentice on his removal to Tettenhall Wood Congregational Church Staffordshire.

Jan 7th 1883 The Revd Alfred Griffin of Bath having accepted an invitation from the Church and Congregation commenced his pastorate.


November 1892 the Rev J Hall began his pastorate which lasted until December 23rd 1894.  The congregations had gone down and for 6 months the services were conducted by various Brethren from Chard and Ilminster.

Mr Fred Wm King was appointed Evangelist and began his work on Sunday June 2nd 1896.  Closed I Nov 29th 1899, having accepted the pastorate of Charmouth Church.

Mr H Hammond was appointed on Dec 1 1899 and commenced his ministry Jan 7th 1900.  Many particulars of ministry entered in printed report and minutes.  Mr Hammond closed this period of his ministry here Sept 13th 1903 to take up work in Oakehill district.

October 28 1903.  Mr John Jeremiah Jordon, of Pitney and Low Ham, commenced his ministry here, which owing to failing eye sight he had to close Oct 26th 1905.

Nov 5th 1905 Mr Weardale Phillips commenced his ministry; further particulars in printed reports and minutes, was ordained after passing County Union Exam and left for Enfield, after closing his ministry here Feb 24th 1907.

March 10th 1907, Mr Hammond came from Nettlebridge to again take up the ministry here but as stated in minutes closed his ministry Dec 6th 1908.

Jan 7th 1909 Mr J Taylor of Lydeard St Lawrence commenced his work here, see minutes for particulars, June 25th 1911 left for Broadwindsor.

July 16th 1911 Mr Edgar J Stamps of Honiton commenced his work here as Evangelist.  March 1914 removed to Lydeard St Lawrence as Evangelist there.

April 1914 Mr W J Gadsby removed from Kingsdon and Ilchester to take up his work here and remained until February 1918 when he left to take the pastorate of Bishops Hull, Taunton.

Mar 14th 1918 Frederick John Pavey from Milverton and Bishops Lydeard commenced duties here, removed to Kingsdon and Ilchester May 16th 1922.

Mr W Williams removed from Kingsdon and Ilchester on May 16th 1922 and rendered valuable service to the Church until April 20th 1925.  His services were appreciated by all.  Removed to Bishops Hull.

Mr H J Haggett commenced duties here on June 24th 1925.  He had previously been engaged in missionary work.  His ministry was active and greatly appreciated by many.  During his stay the schoolroom was renovated including the outside steps, the manse repaired and also money raised for the manse roof.  A YPS was formed, which helped the life of the church.  The cradle roll was introduced to the Sunday School and a Sunday School hymn book procured for its use.  He closed his ministry on Sunday, Sept 25th having received a call from the church at Milborne Port at the farewell communion service 4 were welcomed into membership.



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