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| Rimington & Middop | Paythorne


Descendants of Robert Dodgson

The Methodists of Paythorne

The Intriguing History of Paythorne's Ribble Stepping Stones

Paythorne What's in a Name?


Quick Links To Chapters

Introduction | Church Council Membership 1979-80 | The Methodists of Paythorne and Paythorne What's in a Name? | Travelling Preachers | John Wesley in Paythorne? and Legal Documents | The Skipton and Clitheroe Circuits and The New Chapel | Sunday School Reminiscences and Village Decline | Clitheroe Circuit and Rise and Fall | George Hargreaves and Success at Last | Misleading Statistics! and High Water and Centenary Celebrations | 50 More Years | And the Future... and References |


George Hargreaves

In 1888:

Just when it seemed that the Chapel would have to be closed, a change for the better came about in an extra ordinary way. Mr. & Mrs. Hargreaves of Bank Top had a grandson (just out of his teens) and he was breaking their hearts because of bad habits. Lodging with them had been a young fellow, a porter employed at Newsholme station and known as Jim Stott ... It was in order to keep George away from the place where he usually passed his Sundays that Jim  now living at Monebent  Head  invited George to tea  Bolton-by-Bowland Chapel was celebrating its anniversary and George was expected to accompany the family to the evening service .... The sermon dealt with Pilate's condemnation of Jesus to crucifixion, knowing Him to be innocent .... the preacher exclaimed "How many men today are like Pilate! They find no fault with Jesus, yet they crucify Him in their lives."

.... the sermon had made a deep impression on George .... the result was  to use an old Methodist phrase  he came 'under conviction', and one morning in the following spring when, as he was reading the last few verses of Galatians before starting out to work, he was converted....

The next week George went to tell the good news to Mr. & Mrs. Barrett and to express his conviction that the school should be reopened.... "Gladly" was the reply "if there is anybody to play the organ" .... thereupon a bargain was struck, that as soon as George could play three tunes, Mr. Barrett would open the school .... In about six weeks, the school reopened to an attendance of perhaps a dozen. Mr. Barrett arranged to attend on alternate Sundays with Mr. Smith of Wilcross ... It was the joy of Mr. Barrett's life to sing some soul stirring melody, preferably with a good chorus .... his favourites being "Blessed Assurance", "I feel like singing all the time", and "There's a work for me and a work for you".

George Hargreaves also wrote of Mrs. Barrett:

Difficulties, trials, disappointments  all troubles could be taken to Mrs. Barrett.

 and of John Smith of Pye Cross:

A walking encyclopaedia  intensely religious, whose aim was to pass his knowledge on to others.

For the next few years the membership remained very low, despite the increase in activity and assistance from members at Chatburn, also a visit by 'Mission Band 2' a group of 'exhorters' who took services around the circuit.

In 1892:

For the first time in its history Paythorne sent a representative to the Quarterly Meeting  Afterwards !he Paythorne delegate was introduced to his colleagues  "This young man comes from the Nazareth of the Clitheroe Circuit"  Mr. Parker of Whalley, an ex‑circuit steward, probably had in mind the burden laid on the circuit by Paythorne, for he answered, perhaps inevitably, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? None has yet come for this circuit!"

The following year George Hargreaves became an exhorter and a class leader, and went on to be a full local preacher in 1895.

Success at Last

George Hargreaves was the first of three 'Georges' from Paythorne, each 'products' of the Chapel. The 'second' was George Lambert who was an extremely mischievous lad, who was also an expert at disrupting the lessons of his Sunday School teacher  George Hargreaves! In 1897, however, George Hargreaves left Paythorne to live in Waddington and the necessity of finding a new Sunday School superintendent arose:

Another miracle of grace happened. George Lambert  the erstwhile mischievous youth ‑ attended a service at Horton and .... determined to consecrate himself to the Master. He told the school on the following Sunday of his change of heart and those who had been accustomed to laugh at everything he did or said, thought he must be joking as usual .... He began to interest himself in evangelistic work, assisted in the Hellifield Railway Mission, became a local preacher and organised a week's mission in the Chapel where one of many converts was George Parsons.

Many years later, George Parsons recalled:

It is now nearly thirty years since I became a member and teacher. There were few members and scarcely sufficient teachers to,supply the classes. This may explain why one so young and inexperienced had the opportunity of' taking a prominent part in the work.

The men who influenced me the most were William Barrett, John Peel and George Lamb ' ert. They were devoted to the little Chapel and gave of their best to the work. I owe a great debt also to George Hargreaves who had moved to Clitheroe, but who took a deep interest in the Methodist cause in his native village....

Looking back over the years, I feel devoutly thankful to God for the gracious and inspiring influences which came into my life in the tiny wayside Chapel, for influences made possible the experiences that have come to me since and opened out the way to a wider ministry.

In 1905, George Parsons left his home in Horton and entered the Methodist ministry, in which he served until his death in 1973. During his ministry he returned many times to take services at Paythorne.

The Sunday School in 1906. Seated centrally is William Barrett. The back row includes George Lambert on the left, George Hargreaves in the centre, and George Parsons, second from the right.