In 1952 various things happened to cause disagreement within the group and one day we were without a committee and had no one to organise things. One of our much loved friends, the Reverend Peter Couchman, a Baptist Minister, who sincerely believed in the Seven Principles of Spiritualism, did not want to see this group of spiritualists disbanded and, although he was a very busy man and did not live in the district, he took charge of things himself for about six weeks. During that time he organised a Committee of members to run the services each Sunday and arranged for each member to take a turn to be Chairman for the evening. This meant that each committee member was quite able to be Chairman and, in this way, we would not be left again with no-one feeling confident of leading the services should anything happen to one particular person. This proved a good idea and has been carried out, with great success, ever since.
Two of those chosen for the committee were Mr and Mrs Creswell, known to us all as 'Timothy' and 'Rose'. They were the only two members to remain as committee members all through the years until they eventually passed to Spirit many years later. 'Timothy' was Founder President of our Church and 'Rose' was Secretary. They both gave all their love and enthusiasm to the movement and everything that was done was for the good of the Church and for everyone connected with it. They also put in all the hard work it was possible for any two people to do. To us all, they were the Church.
'Timothy' and 'Rose' had held spiritual healing sessions in their own home for many years and were well known in Potters Bar for this work. Many people received much help and benefit from them and their helpers in spirit. This healing work is still carried on in our Church today, with the help of many friends in Spirit and on the earth plane.
Eventually, as Potters Bar grew in size and population, the Co-operative Hall was required by the Co-operative themselves to enlarge their premises, so they could no longer let out the hall and we, therefore, had to find alternative accommodation. They were sorry about this and, naturally, this made things very difficult for us. We had no money behind us - only a matter of coppers in the 'kitty' and the meetings were run on a week to week basis financially, relying on the generosity of members, in collections, for the paying of expenses. After a lot of enquiring and looking around, we managed to rent a top room in an old house called 'Elm Court'. It was a small room - very bare, with just the loan of some chairs. We were allowed to keep our organ in the room, but we had to store the rest of our belongings, needed to make our little altar, in another small room during the week. It was bitterly cold there in the winter and so our dear 'Timothy' and 'Rose' used to bring paper, wood and coal in a bucket to get a fire going before the friends arrived for the service. We knew this room was only a temporary measure and, as we were all anxious to get a place of our own, it seemed the only thing to do was to start a building fund. We had many meetings to discuss ways and means of raising money. Whist drives were held at the home of 'Timothy' and 'Rose' and much fun was had at such functions. We also held all kinds of raffles for raising money. Mrs Watts, my mother, bless her, did a lot of knitting and made many large fruit cakes for us. Each member had a half-crown out of the fund to try to make it into one pound in a year.
Friends who wanted to become members of the Church paid a small monthly subscription and were called 'founder members'. 'Timothy' expertly made some small wooden models of a Church which we hoped our own building would look like, and these were distributed to friends who took them home and put in any money which they could spare at any time. 'Timothy' also built a huge thermometer, with large figures denoting £.s.d and this was displayed in the room. As the money came in, a pointer was moved to indicate the amount we had accumulated. I am sure everyone enjoyed all these various activities.
Time passed by and the little room was generally full to capacity. Friends brought flowers each week and there was a very nice atmosphere when the services were held. Healing was given afterwards to all who needed it.
We were all on the lookout for somewhere in the district where we could eventually have a permanent church of our own and many negotiations took place with various people and bodies of people to try to find something which we would be able to afford. We met with very many disappointments.
We used to hold very good jumble sales in one of the downstairs rooms at 'Elm Court' from which quite a bit of money was raised to help swell the fund. These sales were very hard work, but we all enjoyed it as we knew we would one day reach our goal.
Then, one day, our dear friend Joan (who is now our President) saw in the Potters Bar Press an advertisement of a place for sale. She thought this might have possibilities and contacted 'Timothy' and 'Rose' and also the rest of the committee. We all went on a Saturday morning to look at the place, which was a building in Hill Rise, Potters Bar, used to sell second-hand furniture. It was the shell of a building, but we could see the beginnings of our own little Church.
Of course, there was much to be done. Meetings were called and various matters discussed. Applications had to be made to the local Council and then their discussions at the Council meetings took place before we knew whether we would be allowed to go ahead with our project. Many weeks went by while all this was going on. We also had to make sure we would be able to get a mortgage from a building society. Our dear 'Timothy' was a tower of strength in all this and, being a business man too, he knew the way to go about all this work. Our dear 'Rose' was behind him all the way, giving him the support he needed and, of course, Spirit were behind us too, guiding us in this search for a place where spiritual work could be done in Potters Bar. Plans were drawn up and put to the Council, who laid down certain things which had to be done. At last we had enough money to put into the building fund to be able to have a loan from a building society. And then things began to move.
Another lot of bricks had to be built inside the existing walls to make them double and the front of the building, which was only of wood, had to be pulled out and built up as it is today, with glass bricks. Things progressed gradually. One of our Church members, Mr Page, was in the building trade and so he undertook the work. I know it was all a labour of love that went into the building of our little Church. Our dear 'Timothy' designed and provided the wooden interior and each founder member contributed something which was needed to make the building complete. So you will see our little church is, indeed, a sanctuary of love to the Divine Spirit.
We knew we would have to move out of the little room at Elm court but kept hoping it would not be before our Church was completed. But, one day, we were given seven days in which to move out. It was a job to know what to do. However, once again, we were helped. We were able to rent a room at the house on the bridge in Potters Bar which the Red Cross had as their headquarters. We could not put our belongings into the building as it was full up with Red Cross equipment. We managed to take the organ to the man who was going to overhaul it for us and he held on to it until the Church was ready. Various other items were distributed around for the time being and so, once again, we were able to hold our Sunday services and carry on the work for Spirit. We had had the use of this room at the Red Cross headquarters many times in the past for our social functions and we always had a very nice social evening and Bring and Buy stall there before each Christmas, when all friends joined together in a happy atmosphere. You will see, therefore, that it was not too strange for us to hold our Sunday services there. Also, we now had that wonderful feeling that it would not be too long before we were able to be in our own little Church.
Weeks went by and there was much activity going on in Hill Rise. Things began to come into shape and looked so lovely - we were all feeling very pleased and uplifted. At last the day dawned for the dedication of our very own Church, on Saturday 13th June 1964. What a thrill it was for us all when that day arrived. 'Timothy' and 'Rose' had worked so very hard and all the members had done their best, as far as was possible and so, with all the help from Spirit too, we had achieved what, at one time, had seemed almost impossible. Every seat in the church was taken and more were put in wherever we could find a space on that Saturday afternoon. The service was simply wonderful. My own dear mother was able to attend the dedication service and also the first Sunday service, but she was not able to go out any more. However, she did live to see the Church completed, which she loved so much.
We were now able to hold healing services in our own Church, which we did and still do on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday evenings. We have had many, many people come for healing and I am sure very many of them have received great help and upliftment.
Over the years, whoever has come into the church, to work on the rostrum as a speaker or demonstrator, has said what a wonderful atmosphere abounds. That same spirit still manifests today and all members work in love and harmony, endeavouring to keep the light shining so that our Church may be a refuge of peace and tranquility to all who enter.