This year commemorates the centenary of the Western Counties and South Wales Evangelisation Trust. Formed in 1904, the Trust was established following the exercise of brethren in the West of England and South Wales to hold the legal titles of Gospel Halls and to provide them with the benefits of the professional experience of the trustees.
The trustees, of course, have changed over the years but comprise men of wide experience of assemblies, which are recognised by the Charity Commission as ‘Open Brethren’. Whilst it is recognised that some may dislike and disown this (or any other) title, it nevertheless ensures that in the event of closure of an assembly or diminishing numbers, the property does not fall into the hands of groups of individuals who seek to establish themselves in a building without purchasing it and whose interpretation of Scripture is at variance from that of the original trustees.
During the past century 130 assembly properties have been vested in the care of The Western Counties Trust. Of these 80 remain and 50, sadly, have closed. Proceeds of sales are invariably used to assist new buildings, improvements and repairs. The location of Trust properties has widened in recent years and the present distribution covers the southern half of England and Wales.
The trustees act in an honorary capacity and do not in any way seek to influence the spiritual affairs of assemblies. They recognize the independent responsibility of each to look to the Lord alone for guidance and direction in spiritual matters, nor does the Trust make any charge for the assistance it provides.
‘We would ask you to join with us to thank the Lord for His faithfulness over these 100 years and to thank Him for the faithful men that have sought to serve the assembly testimony in giving of their time and energy to this most needful task fulfilled by the Trust. We would of course value on going prayer for the wisdom and capacity to keep this support forthcoming until the Lord calls us to glory at His coming’.
From time to time the Trust receives requests to redistribute items used by assemblies no longer functioning. This has occurred at West Monkton near Taunton where they have redundant Golden Bells and Hymns of Faith hymnbooks. Anyone needing them would be welcome to have them.
Please contact Brian Knowles at [email protected]
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