In 1906 or shortly before, a circular was passed around the parish of Chipstable hoping to convince everyone of the need to support the building of a Church Hall for the people of Waterrow.  It ran as follows:

“The need of some Room at Waterrow, belonging to the Church has always been felt, and, as time has gone on, increasingly so, and at length it has been decided to build a Mission Room for use on Sundays for an Afternoon or Evening Service, and a Sunday School, and to act as a Parish Room for general secular and social work.”

Dry as sawdust.  But the fact remains,  a lot of people pulled together to make it happen, not least the new Rector of the day, Revd J H Rees who had only come to the parish in 1905.  Mr Gamblin of Stawley was able to begin work in 1907;  he built it strong and he built it well, the final cost of construction being £350.  What a pity that Revd Rees should suddenly die and miss seeing the building opened on 26th February 1908, and licensed for Divine Service three days later on 29th February 1908.  It is on the same unusual day, 29th February, one hundred years later that we hope lots of people will come and enjoy the fun of a centenary celebration barn dance in that very hall.  How many such events have been held  there down the years, what a cloud of memories to surround us!   

We are fortunate to have a hardworking group of people committed to maintaining and improving the hall.  Very much in the spirit of Revd Rees and his team one hundred years ago, we have set ourselves a daunting task:  to extend the building;  to provide better kitchen, toilet, storage and meeting facilities; and to equip the hall well  to meet the needs of local people now and in the generations yet to come.  Although we have applied for grants from all and sundry (jumping through countless hoops along the way), we will still have to find a great deal more than £350 before we see the modern equivalent of Mr Gamblin of Stawley bringing his van to our door.  So please do continue to support the fundraising events, and if we pull together now as they did in 1906/7, we will soon get there.

The hall at Waterrow has been a wonderful facility for precisely one hundred years.  It is still used by many local groups and societies, it is still able to provide a focal point for the community, and for the last few years we have also begun to use it again for regular services suitable for all the family at 11.15 on the fourth Sunday of most months. 

The service at 11.15 on 24th February will be a special one to celebrate the centenary.  Why not join us?  Why not join us every fourth Sunday?

Graham Owen

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