Our Church History - Mid Nineteenth Century

Article Index

Mid Nineteenth Century

During this time there were reports of remarkable happenings among many people in the area. In the 1860s, people from different congregations and denominations held joint prayer meetings. Quite spontaneously several children’s prayer meetings arose – at one time there were around a dozen children’s prayer meetings in Pulteney. Some of them with 40 –50 children present. The impulse to pray took their parents and teachers by surprise.

There was generally more interest in spiritual matters in the community but the long difficult years had not been without a legacy for the congregation. The scanty church records of the period are dull and factual apart from a few insights to the local ‘psyche’. The Managers refused to pay the fue duty and informed the British Fishery Society that ‘ they did not hold themselves responsible for it not being proprietors of the Church’. A manager was dismissed for being ‘ over-officious’ and ‘counting the offering during the prayers.’ In 1871 we find the managers of the Church contacted Presbytery about ‘the state of the buildings’. The church had an accumulated debt of £614 16s 10d. The people were poor and ‘a great many were unable to give anything till after the fishing’. The seats at the front of the gallery were let at two shillings and sixpence per annum. The grass round the church was to be let ‘to the best possible advantage’ - three shillings per annum seems to have been the going rate. However the general increase in religious interest brought a new determination within the congregation.