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Published Apri, 1826, for the Congregational Mag.by BJ Holdsworth. S'Pauls Church Yard. London

THE

CONGREGATIONAL

MAGAZINE

No. 4. N. S.]

APRIL, 1825.

[Vol. VIII.

RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE INDEPENDENT CHURCH IN YORK,

NOW UNDER THE PASTORAL CARE OF
THE REV. JAMES PARSONS.

namun In municipal honour, York has the capital of such an extensive always been reckoned the second division of the kingdom should city in England. It contains about furnish no larger congregation than 23,000 inhabitants, and twenty-four is usually found in a small village; Episcopal churches, besides seve- and as to contributions to the Misral other places of worship. A sionary Society, Dissenting Acachapel having been erected in demies, and other kindred instituGrape-lane, about forty years ago, tions, the congregation at Jubberwhich was supplied for some time gate was nearly a blank; while by ministers in the Countess of some ascribed this anomaly to the Huntingdon's connexion, Mr. Sa- supposed unconquerable prejudice muel Whydown was sent by that of the inhabitants against nonconbody of Christians, in the year formists, others thought they saw 1796, to officiate here; but a se- the cause of such unusual congreparation having soon afterwards gational depression, in the very taken place, the grounds of which ineligible situation of the chapel, we are not able to state, he and the ineffective quality of the withdrew with the Seceders, and ministry. formed them into an Independent The church being considered as Church, and erected a small cha- dissolved, and the chapel given pel in Jubbergate, which was up to the trustees, a few friends at opened by the Rev. Messrs. Par York requested the interference sons and Howell, December 28, and assistance of their brethren in 1796. Mr. W. having involved the county; in consequence of himself in some pecuniary diffi- which a meeting was held in Jubculties, and meeting with little en- bergate Chapel, November 22, couragement in his ministry, left 1814, Mr. Rust, of Hull, in the York in 1800, and was succeed- chair, to deliberate on what ineaed by Mr. Godfrey Thurgarland. sures might tend, through the DiThe cause continuing in a lan- vine blessing, to the revival of reguishing state, after preaching ligion in the congregation. The here for fourteen years, Mr. T. Rev. James Bennett, the Rev. was induced to resign his charge, Edward Parsons, Rev. William but he still resides in York, keep Eccles, the Rev. William Howell, ing a respectable school.

with various other ministers and It had often been a subject of representatives of the Yorkshire surprise and regret, that while congregational churches, were thus numerous congregations in the brought together, when it was Independent connexion assembled unanimously resolved, that the at Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Hali- place should be supplied for some fax, and other towns in the county, time by a succession of approved

New SERIES, No. 4.

preachers-that anothor chapel, preached appropriate to the occacontaining 1000 sittings should be sion by the Rev. Messrs. Raffles, built in some eligible part of the Cockin, and Bradley, and colleccity, the trustees giving up the tions made in aid of the building title-deeds of the old one, to be fund, to the amount of £110. 13s. sold in aid of this purpose-and The premises were conveyed in that a committee, composed of trust to Messrs. Rawson and Clap. friends to the object, should be ham, of Leeds, and Messrs. Watappointed, of which Mr. Thomas kinson and Pritchett, of York, Watkinson, York, should be who promptly came forward at a treasurer, and the Rev. James time when serious obstacles imJackson, Green Hammerton, secre- peded the progress of the undertary.

taking, to give personal security The projectors of these evan- for money to a considerable amount. gelical schemes were encouraged As the finances of the congregato hope, that success would finally tion at first fell short of the calculacrown their labours; the congre- tions, and the trustees incurred a gation was now larger every Sab- considerable expense in an unsucbath-day than the chapel would cessful resistance of the assessment contain; many seemed to become of the chapel, the most strenuous the subjects of new and better feel- endeavours of the committee were ings toward Dissenters; the mini- necessary to meet the expenditure; sters, too, delighted with their Messrs. Arundel and Jackson were fortnight visits to York, increased therefore deputed to visit Leeds, the number of patrons, by the Sheffield, Rotherham, Hull, pleasing tidings which they con- Wakefield, Whitby, and other veyed to their own congregations; towns, to solicit pecuniary aid ; a greater number of coadjutors but their most successful applicawere found in York itself than were tion was made in London, where, at first expected, who helped those by the peculiar countenance given much who laboured in the Gospel. to the case by their metropolitan But still the erection of an edifice, brethren, the sum of £568. was at the estimated expense of more

obtained. Several individuals

prethan 3000 guineas, when only sented liberal donations to the ob£120. collected in the city by per- ject; and as some of them have sonal application from street to since gone to their reward in heastreet was in hand, and the rest ven, and the survivors have been was to be provided by donations taught better than to seek the and loans in other places, and that praise of men, it will not perhaps at a time when there was a general be deemed indecorous to record depression of trade, led the com- the names of Thomas Wilkinson, mittee to pause; so that it was not Thomas Wilson, and John Ogden, till February 26, 1816, that the Esqrs. London; Thomas Walker, first stone of the new chapel was Esq. and the Rev. James Bennett, laid; a garden and house having Rotherham; George Rawson, Esq. been previously purchased for a and Messrs. Clapham, Leeds; Mr. site and burying ground in Lendall Pritchett, York. for £1000. The chapel is 57 feet The total cost, including the by 53, with an excellent Sunday expense of erecting a gallery for School and a vestry under a part the Sunday scholars in 1823, and of it, and was designed by Messrs. the travelling expenses of miniWatson and Pritchett, architects, sters in collecting, has been about York. It was opened November 7, £3800., of which sum £1200. have 1816, when a numerous congre- been contributed by the people gation assembled, and sermons were themselves, and about £1500. by

friends to the object in other places, lar, he is eminently useful; many and £1100. remain at present as

persons have been converted under a debt on the chapel. Small his preaching at York; and his weekly contributions and collec- numerous hearers rivetted to his intions made at the anniversaries will structions, by nails fastened in a continue to operate in liquidating sure place, hang on his lips with it at the rate of £100. a year, while profound attention. The chapel, the seat-rents are appropriated to which will seat upwards of 1100 the minister's suppoit, and the auditors, is found too small; the monthly collections are found ade- number of members is now 110; quate to provide for the interest, 38 of them have been added to the and incidental expenses.

church during the last year, and the A congregational church, con- greatest mutual attachment exists sisting of ten members, was orga- betwixt the pastor and the flock. nized in December 1816, in the As the health of Mr. Parsons bepresence, and by the assistance of gan to fail under the weight of his Messrs. Eccles, Jackson, and Con- labours, and a further scope for useder. Though the congregation and fulness presented itself, Mr. W.H. church gradually increased after Cook, who studied at the Indepenthe second year, a work of greater dent College, Rotherham, was endifficulty than any which had yet gaged last July, as his assistant. He been overcome, was still to encoun- takes the afternoon service at Lenter in the appointment of a pastor. dal Chapel, and preaches every Prayer was made unto God without Sabbath evening and Wednesday ceasing by the church on this im- in Walmgate, on the east side of portant subject; and many friendly the city, where a small chapel has conversations were held, and vari- been lately fitted up, which is also ous inquiries made, by the leading used as a Sunday School. The persons in the committee and prospect of usefulness here also is church, with a view to an eligible very encouraging. Mr. C. likesettlement. Some fear was ap

wise preaches in three or four vilprehended, that the congregation lages in the vicinity, and it is in would decline, when its taste for contemplation to open a room near novelty ceased to be gratified; at the river Ouse, for the purpose of any rate, it was expedient to exer- preaching to the mariners. 'When cise more than usual caution, lest, it is considered, that the church after so much pains and property and congregation are about twelve had been expended, and no little times the size which they were in expectation excited among evan- the old chapel-that 500 poor gelical Dissenters, the present children are taught in the schools prospect should be blasted, through which have been established-that the want of a combination of £120. a year is now raised for the talent and piety in the person London Missionary Society* —that who should fill the pulpit.

this interest, from being one of the It is generally known, that in weakest in Yorkshire, has become, the beginning of 1822, the church in a few years, one of the most and congregation unanimously flourishing—those individuals who elected the Rev. James Parsons, have devoted some of their time then a student at Idle, who, after and substance to this cause, will due deliberation, accepted the invitation, and was ordained Octo

* The total raised per annum now by ber 24, in the same year. To say donations for the support of the ministers,

seat-rents, collections, subscriptions, and any thing of the popularity of this interest on debt, Missionary Society, Sunyoung minister would be a waste of day Schools, itinerancies, &c. is about words; but he is more than popu

£800.

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