Warsash United Reformed Church – Church History 1811-2011
When the need for some place for religious worship at Warsash was first mooted the Rev. John Flower, who was then Pastor of Titchfield Chapel, came to Warsash and talked the matter over with a few of the inhabitants. It was desirable that the place should be as near the centre of the village as possible and Ivy Cottage was the obvious choice. The necessary arrangements were made and the first services were held on the 19th July 1811, and conducted by the Rev John Flower. From that time services on the Sabbath were conducted by students from the Bible College at Gosport, and the Rev John Flower took the services on week nights.
The next record is that Mr I Bevis built a small Chapel near the corner for which he charged a rental of 6 guineas per annum. In this Chapel the Rev John Flower continued to conduct the week night services and the services on the Sabbath were taken by friends from Portsea, Gosport and other places.
In the year 1846 Mr James Gray of Fishhouse, gave a piece of land in the corner of a field between Warsash Corner and Yew Tree farm as a site for the erection of a Chapel. The foundation stone was laid on 22nd July 1845 and the independent Chapel opened on 30th September 1845. The Car Park to the right of the Church building today is where this Chapel stood. On the RH photo you can see the present building in the background.
The new chapel was opened on May 26th 1890 and for that it was decided at the church meeting “admittance to the new chapel be by shilling tickets, the same to invite one to the tea and the after meeting in the evening.” By this time the Church was part of the Hampshire Congregational Union and would have been known as Warsash Congregational Church. The photo on the left shows the Church under construction in 1899.
- 1899-1903 Revd. William Bennett (from Bridgewater)
- 1905-1910 Revd. Thomas Jones (from Somerset)
- 1911-1914 Revd. G.L. Roberts (from Wilton)
- 1914-1919 Mr Edgar Jones (from Leicester)
- 1920-1924 Mr Sidney Pay (from Ashford)
- 1925-1930 Mr B Deary (from Ryde and St Lawrence)
- 1931-1933 Revd T Lee Hudson (from Emsworth)
- 1934-1940 Revd T.J.Davies (from Portsmouth)
- 1940-1948 Revd. Grant Osborne (from Lymington)
- 1948-1951 Revd. F Whitbourn (from Manchester)
- 1951-1955 Vacancy
- 1955-1962 Revd. S,G, Woodget (from Basingstoke)
- 1965-1971 Pastor Noyce (from Bitterne)
- 1972-1978 Revd. Ron Phillips (from Nottingham)In 1972 the Church became part of the newly formed United Reformed Church)
- 1979-1980 Revd. Michael Playden (Joint ministry with the Solent Churches in Locks Heath and Sarisbury Green.
- 1981-1983 Revd Ray Whittle (from Wigan)In 1982 the Church got it’s famous banner above the door – Jesus is Lord.
- 1984-1985 Revd David Geddes (from Dorset)
- 1986-1994 Revd. Miles Parkinson. Since then the Church has been in vacancy and led by a team of Elders.