Elders Letter September 2018
It’s funny what you notice, what you don’t notice and what you accept
without giving it too much thought. When Ally and I first joined Crosby
URC we heard mention of ‘The Martin Chapel’ - we knew where it was
but I doubt we ever really thought about why it was so named.
Then at Christmas John Wild ensured the Martin Chapel stained glass
window was illuminated at night and we hopefully took more notice of
the window and its depiction. At some point we would have absorbed
the fact that the beautiful window had been installed in honour of the
first Minister at Crosby URC, the Reverend Thomas Henry Martin but
we probably asked no more questions about him or his ministry.
The inclusion of the church as a venue for Heritage Weekend brought
the naming of the chapel and the installation of its window to life for
us but it has only been since I met the Reverend T.H. Martin’s
granddaughter and family that I realise what a significant contribution
this man and his family made to Crosby URC.
By chance in April this year I was called by Susie of Bluebell Stalls on a
Friday evening. As she was setting up the tables for the following day
a family had arrived at the church and asked her if they might view the
‘small’ window which was dedicated to her grandfather. I set off to
meet the family with little thought to how affected I would become by
this chance meeting. They had travelled to Crosby from Cardiff, on
their way to the Lakes for a holiday, in the hope of seeing the
stained-glass window dedicated to their late grandfather and were so
thrilled to see it. I spent quite a while talking to the family and showing
them around the church and a friendship struck up.
Since that chance meeting, I have kept in touch with Daphne Kipling
and she has forwarded to me a number of documents and
photographs including one of her own granddaughter playing the
piano which was presented to her grandfather upon his retirement by
the fellowship and also the wedding photo of the Reverend Martin in
the grounds of the church with the details of all the people in the
photo. The wedding was the first to be conducted at our church on
25 th July 1900. Amongst the other items is the original hand written
letter from the Committee of Crosby Congregational Church inviting
The Rev Martin to accept the position of Minister of this Church.
It makes for some fascinating reading and I intend to include the
photographs together with the other fascinating documents as a
display for the Heritage Open Day event Thursday 13 th September –
Sunday 16 th September. I hope I have pricked your interest…..