How It Began - In a Paint Factory
A. H. Taffs, 2, Hyde Valley, Welwyn Garden City
Ten years ago a handful of saints, who were attached to the St. Albans assembly and living at Welwyn Garden City, hired the office of a paint factory, bought a few chairs and with an organ given them in answer to an advertisement, set up a testimony; thus saving a journey of seven miles. The opening was quite a humble affair, but we would like to record our great indebtedness and appreciation of the practical fellowship given in finance, prayer and presence by St. Albans assembly and others, then and since.
Our numbers grew slowly and after a year we moved to a room in a group of buildings known as the Peartree Boys' Club. This was a small improvement but the place was difficult for strangers to rind. The war years were a struggle but valued help was given by visitors taking rest away from raided London, and some from the Forces. Then in early 1946 the authorities gave us notice to quit indicating that our course wan to apply to the Council for accommodation in the promises called the ' Community Centre, ' about half-a-mile away. This cast us upon God for guidance, as our chief concern was for our Sunday School of some 120 scholars. However we saw that the move was inevitable and although we regretted losing some, others have come in their place.
So now we gather the Sunday School in the convenient dance hall using the stage for the Girls' Bible-class; the primary of some 30 young children having an adjoining room. This is quite the largest of the assembly's activities. Many scholars have passed through the school and we have seen the Holy Spirit at work among them to their salvation, but we cannot get the older boys to stay, a difficulty common to most Sunday Schools. A sisters' meeting is held once a month in the evening. Young People's hour is on Wednesdays and Praise and 1 'ray it with BibIe-reading follows the same evening for the adults. We have found this a valuable item for increasing attendance and giving help to those who get little spiritual atmosphere throughout the week.
Some of the disadvantages of meeting as at present are: (a) Having to book six months ahead, and the uncertainty of booking between periods for special meetings, (b) Noise of others gathering in adjoining rooms causing distraction, (c) Being mistaken for other religious organisations. Our desire is, of course, to have a hall of our own, and we have a. small building fund to be used for any project that may seem to be God's will for us,
Tracting, advertising in local newspapers and on hoardings, circulars to parents of our Sunday School scholars, and house-to-house visitation have all been attempted, but best results in reaching adults come from the children themselves. For a hoarding advertisement we were able to secure a prominent position in the town. A double crown coloured poster giving details of our meetings with a suitable text is displayed on the footbridge of the railway station. We ask for earnest prayer that God may send into our midst other permanent helpers to strengthen our hands in maintaining a goodly testimony hi a rapidly developing area, so that more souls may be won for our worthy Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.