“We Will Arise and Build” – Nehemiah 2:20
There is a spot, bright, pleasant to be found
Place of high hopes and interests profound
O’er Tuffley Bridge, ‘neath Robinswood it lies-
Summit of moment to so many eyes,
Tis Tuffley’s hope to build a House of God
A fine new Church upon this soft green sod,
This wish lies deep in many a heart today,
Through difficulties may be in the way
And Tuffley’s Vicar, triumphing o’er fears
Sees in this Church his hope of many years
From out this Church God’s Message yet shall ring
And praise and prayer ascend to Heaven’s King
There shall be larger room for souls to come
And find in God’s own House a rest and home
In prayer continuing – with hands not slack,
United in one aim – all shall look back
In time to come, on purposes fulfilled –
So let us all today “Arise and build”
New Tuffley Church Consecrated: Culmination of 20 Years of Work - Gloucester Journal, 1940
The results of 20 years work in Tuffley was recognised by the large gathering of people, including the Mayor and Corporation who attended the consecration of St Barnabas Church on Saturday. “The consecration of this spacious and imposing church is the culmination of a long period of effort extending over more than 20 years” said the Bishop of Gloucester (Dr A.C.Headlam) who performed the ceremony.
When I first came to this diocese, Tuffley was just a district of the parish of St Paul’s. The temporary church had been erected and was burdened with a very heavy debt. Since then, the debt has been paid off, the parsonage built and St Barnabas made a separate parish. Now at the end of it all comes the consecration of the permanent church and it becomes a fully equipped parish.
The church, which cost over £13,000 to build, was designed in the modern perpendicular style by Mr Cachemaille Day, and was build by Messrs W. T. Nicholls Ltd. It seats 500 people and is typical of the modern trend of architecture with its simple lofty lines and well-lit interior. The large window at the east end, together with tall narrow windows along the sides, give it a bright and clean appearance [….]
Long before the ceremony was due to commence the church was packed and there were many people who could not be accommodated inside. The Mayor (Mr Trevor Wellington) and Corporation, with the City Member (Mr H.Leslie Boyce) and Mrs Boyce and the Sheriff (Col.J.H.Collett) and Mrs Collett attended in state and were given reserved seats.
The ceremony began outside with the presenting of the petition to the Bishop praying that he would consecrate the church. The petition was signed by the incumbent, the Rev T W Lambert, the churchwardens (Mr E. Bernard Evans and E.H.Clifford) and other parishioners and it was present to the Bishop by Mr F.W.Duart-Smith, the chairman of the building committee at the main entrance to the church. A procession led by the Cross bearer and choir then made the circuit of the outside of the church singing the hymn “Blessed City, Heavenly Salem”. […]
“When I see all those rows of ill constructed houses, I feel that not only are they hygienically harmful but injurious to the souls of those who live in them” said the Bishop “I hope that in any efforts made in the future for the better housing of the poor and people of this country every effort will be made to make our cities not only convenient, but also beautiful to look upon”
Before the congregation sang the hymn of St Barnabas "O Son of God” during the service, the vicar expressed his personal appreciation and thanks for the encouragement from the whole congregation of Tuffley so that the building of the church might be brought to a successful conclusion. They were still liable for about £8000, which, he said, was not much when they thought of the amount that could be spend on organs of destruction.
The consecration was completed by the celebration of Holy Communion yesterday morning, when the Bishop of Gloucester was the celebrant.
Thank you to those who so carefully recorded and collated these events so that we may still read them today. Thank you also to Gloucester Archives for keeping them safe all these years!