The Welby Mission Church in Melton is holding a special reunion weekend this Saturday and Sunday to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
The community is invited to attend the event (2-5pm on Saturday and 2-4pm on Sunday), which will include a presentation of photos of the church throughout the years, historic memorabilia, talks by former Sunday school teachers and leaders, and refreshments.
Organiser Ann Musson said: “Although Welby Lane Mission was founded in 1935 by Miss Janet Crosher following a tent mission for children on waste on Sysonby Street, it was not until 1956 that enough funds - £3,500 - were raised to build a brick church to replace the wooden building with rafters.
“The official opening took place on February 18, 1956, and was performed in a snowstorm by Mrs Ruth Crosher, sister-in-law of the founder. All the ministers of the town and members of the town’s Urban District Council were present.
“After the current church was built in 1956, the old wooden building continued to house the large Sunday school, youth groups and events until a new hall was added onto the church in November 1994.
“Like most Melton churches during the 1950s, the Mission as it was known, had a very large Sunday school and many Meltonians will recall attending the large primary class, held in the back rooms of the old wooden hall, being taught by Mrs Dorothy Wainer, and especially singing the choruses ‘Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam,’ ‘Zacchaeus was a very little man,’ and ‘I’m H-A-P-P-Y.’
“The highlight of each church year was always the Sunday School anniversary. Excited children climbed the enormous wooden platform to perform word-perfect recitations and songs to the crowds of delighted parents.
“I’d really like to see former church members, pupils of the Sunday school, Joy Hour, Youth Fellowship, campaigners and other youth groups attend this special reunion weekend and renew friendships.”
A Sunday anniversary service “service of church memories and blessings” will take palce at 10.45am, taken by Deacons Malcom Johnson and Pete Musson. Former Pastor, Rev Richard Massey, who left the church in 1980 to become Principal of Birmingham Bible College, will be speaking at the evening service at 6.15pm.
To attend or for details about the reunion call Ann Musson on (01664) 568192.