Picnic Tea Their 'Good Friday Effort'
Ilkeston Advertiser 12, Mar, 1982
By the late sixties numbers had fallen dramatically through lack of interest and there was only a handful of people still attending, most of whom were women.
"Mr Charles Bowley, who was Sunday School superintendent, always said he wanted a chapel at West Hallam and Maurice and Hilda Stephens said they would give us some, land on High Lane which used to be a pottery yard."
The old building was bought by Mr Ivan Webster for £800 and he has used it as a timber store ever since. The last service at Mapperley was conducted by Ilkeston Methodist lay preacher Mr John Moorley.
Mr Webster wanted to take over the building immediately, so from August, 1969, until December, when the new £4,500 building was opened near Mapperley crossroads, services were held in the summer house of Ilkeston solicitor Mr Herbert Brewer at 137 High Lane West.
At the dedication service conducted by the Rev Arthur Snell, then the Superintendent Minister of the Ilkeston Methodist Circuit, the church's oldest member, the late Mrs Hannah Bridges, 84 at the time, was presented with the key to the church by William Wood Ltd. from Heanor, who did the building.
The building, however, is only a temporary one and within the next few years a permanent brick building must be built or the Methodists will have to think again about a home.
Services on a Sunday are always in the evening except on the fourth Sunday in every month when there is an extra family service in the morning. Sunday School, under the leadership of Mrs Valerie Baker and teachers Mrs Margaret Morton and Mrs Ann Wathey, meets on Sunday mornings.
On Tuesday nights the Men's Fellowship led by Mr Jack Parkinson, also a lay preacher, meets in the church, and on Wednesday evenings it is the turn of Mrs Barbara Hart's Women's Fellowship. The other evening meeting is the relatively new Brownie pack led by Brown Owl Mrs Linda Grebby on Fridays.
Other Important positions in the church are held by Mrs J East, chapel steward and treasurer; Mrs Betty Trusell, secretary, and Mrs Connie Cresswell, Mrs Hilda Stephens and Mrs Ida Horsley look after the building itself and the land round it. The organist is Mrs Kathleen Burton.
Superintendent Minister of the Ilkeston circuit is the Rev Brian Dams, but West Hallam has its , own minister, Pastor Cyril Mills, who took over "The Triangle" of West Hallam, Stanley and, Smalley Common Methodist Churches in November.
A strong advocate of Christian Unity, Mr Mills, who lives at The Manse, Kenilworth Drive, Kirk Hallam, trained for the Methodist ministry from 1949 to 1951 and served for two years in British Honduras where he was ordained.
He returned to England and spent two years in the Belper circuit and resigned from the ministry in 1956. Since then he taught at St Thomas RC Primary School, when he temporarily became a Catholic, Stanton Vale School, and spent two years with the Church of England Children's Society. He now teaches at Arnold and Carlton College of Further Education in a scheme run by the Manpower Services Commission.
For Mr Mills it is not a full-time ministry, for he spends two days a week in pastoral work and three Sundays preaching, but he is deeply involved with The Triangle. "I like the idea of all three communities working together and there is still a need to become even closer," said Mr Mills.
“Twenty to thirty people attend the West Hallam church regularly and most are older people but there is an exciting young element as can be seen by the recently formed Brownie pack”
Mapperley Wesleyan Chapel
Eight months later on Tuesday June 8th 1875 the building was dedicated by the Rev. B. Gregory of London. He preached at an afternoon 2-30pm service and a 7-00pm evening service.
A large tent was erected for the event with tea arranged for 4 o' clock. Collections were taken at each service in aid of the Building Fund.
Stalwarts included The Fletchers of Head House Farm and The Stephens of Mapperley Brook.
Very few items of the crockery remain today but are much sought after by collectors.
Roger Wood 2011