Craster Methodist Chapel
On May 30, 1887, three months after its registration for the solemnisation of marriages, Craster Methodist Church had its first wedding - that of 26-year-old local fish curer Charles Archbold and Grace Boaden, of Seahouses. " Charlie " Archbold, well-known Methodist, later moved from Craster to Seahouses. The history of the chapel from now on largely unfolds in the pages of the trustees old minute book - a record of service in His name gladly undertaken by Craster men and women, many of them up to their life's end.
Inside the minute book cover are listed the names of the first trustees ; and the second entry on January 11, 1890, records the appointment of M. Stephenson, secretary ; W. H. Archbold, treasurer; Thomas Smailes and Ralph Archbold, doorkeepers ; John Grey to attend to the heating apparatus ; the chapel to be cleaned and whitewashed during the year. The minutes signed by William Holland.
At their meeting on March 28, 1891, the trustees recorded " our gratitude to God for His blessing in enabling us to clear the chapel of remaining debt; also to the many friends of the cause who have so frequently and kindly aided towards the realisation of the above."
With the death in 1894 of trustee and treasurer William Henderson Archbold, former secretary of the chapel fund-raising appeal, and a ground donor, his wife Margaret having predeceased him, the Methodist community lost a noted stalwart. The family's presentation of an organ to the chapel in memory of their parents was also in recognition of " the religious awakening in North Northumberland in which they played a prominent part."
William Dawson became chapel lamp-lighter in 1896.
Pulpit alterations and the addition to the chapel of a Sunday School room in 1897 cost £226. In the same year, the names of only four of the original trustees - Matthew Stephenson, Ralph Archbold, John Smailes, and John Stanton - figured in a revised list, newcomers being James Tait Archbold, John Archbold, Thomas Grey Archbold, Robert Taylor, John Grey, Thomas Atkinson, George Atkinson, William Simpson, Robert Smailes, and George Scott.
George Scott, Robert Taylor, and T. S. (Tom) Grey, successive long-serving Sunday School superintendents, were all local preachers, as was Edwin Gregory, who succeeded Tom in charge of Sunday School, to be followed in office by Mrs. George (Violet) Hall and Miss Carol Grey, the latter the present superintendent.
A credit balance of £I Is. 7zd. was shown in the church accounts for 1898.
The year 1900 -opened with John Stanton as secretary. T. G. Archbold, treasurer; Edward Archbold in charge of chapel cleaning; and Ralph Archbold, William Dawson and John Grey carrying on as doorkeeper, lamp-lighter, and fire-lighter respectively. The trustees showed their appreciation of the voluntary work as chapel cleaners done by Miss Mary Margaret Smailes and Miss Mary Grey by presenting them with Bibles.
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