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January 1921

HASTINGS (Rev. H. E. Edridge).—At a Church social Mr. Turner, secretary, voiced congratulations of members on appointment of Mr. Edridge to presidency of Union. Sunday School anniversary services reached high water mark. The singing, led by an efficient orchestra, came in for unstinted praise. Mr. Berridge was the capable conductor. Pastor Lascelles conducted the morning service. Our Pastor preached to a packed church in the evening. The annual tea and entertainment were likewise successful. A sale of work on December 8th realised the pleasing sum of £150, for which we are devoutly thankful. Such a result is highly pleasing to the members of the Ladies' Guild, who work so loyally throughout the year for the effort. Through the generous offer of a friend a piano has been made possible for the primary department. A concert held in aid of same fund proved very enjoyable and successful.


Hastings Young Men's Council

The Council's preparatory programme has met with every success. Two special devotional and inspirational meetings were held and addressed by representative ministers of the town.

The meetings were held upon a week night, an average of sixteen attending. On the afternoon of Sunday, 5th December, over 60 young men met at the Y.M.C.A, rooms to hear Mr. Con Strack, of Napier, address them upon a right understanding of the modern religious position. It was a meeting charged with the Holy Spirit and one that will remain in the minds of all concerned for many a long day. Tea was served afterwards, about 45 participating.

The Council lies practically decided to concentrate upon one united meeting monthly for the next year, with an occasional public gathering, addressed by Dominion speakers. This programme and an active hospitality work should establish the movement securely.

The Council has already been recognised and approved of by the various ministers, several of them voluntarily' paying a high tribute during the last Sunday's services. Information would be gladly given by the hon. secretary, P.O. Box 19, Hastings, if desired by other centres.


February 1921

HASTINGS (Rev. H. E. Edridge).—A most successful church picnic was organised on Boxing Day, over 100 journeying to Clifton. Our Sunday School picnic, held on New Year's Day at Tomoana, was marred by a tragic occurrence. One of our teachers — Miss Florence Smith—who could not swim, went for a bathe, and got out of her depth and was drowned. Plucky efforts were made to rescue her, and in the attempt four or five others had a narrow escape, and were brought out in an exhausted condition. Everything was brought to an abrupt finish. At the Sunday services our pastor paid a loving tribute to the appreciated help of Miss Smith in the Sunday School and the choir, and a vote of condolence was passed to the bereaved friends. A large number attended the funeral. Rev. C. D. Gardiner, of Feilding, has occupied, with great acceptance, the pulpit during Mr. Edridge's holiday, spent at Petone.


May 1921

HASTINGS (Rev. H. Edridge).—Evidence of a fruitful ministry was again demonstrated on Sunday evening, April 3rd, when nine candidates professed their Lord in baptism. Mr. Edridge preached a telling sermon to a large congregation on the sacred rite. A pretty and impressive wedding was solemnised on April 6th, when Mr. Edridge united two of our esteemed church members, Miss Widdop and Mr. Len. Compton. We are prayerfully seeking God's guidance for the one to be our spiritual leader in succession to Mr. Edridge.


June 1921

HASTINGS (Rev. H. E. Edridge).—Our pastor's closing ministry has witnessed a great in-gathering, for which we are profoundly thankful to God. Nineteen baptisms during the past month is surely a record which gives cause for gratitude. We have been pleased to welcome back our old friends, Mr. and Mrs. W. Collins, after an absence of two years in the Old Country. Mr. Collins was formerly a deacon, and Mrs. Collins the leader of the Young Women's Bible Class. We hope soon to see them in active service again. We are naturally exercised as to the choice of the successor to Mr. Edridge. Our fervent prayer is that guidance may be given in this critical hour of the church's history.


July 1921

HASTINGS (Vacant).—We farewelled our beloved pastor, Rev. H.E. Edridge. The Sunday services were largely attended, the church in the evening being literally packed. Obviously the parting messages were delivered with feelings of conscious emotion, but Mr. Edridge bore up bravely, and his last note was a strong appeal to the unsaved. A record Communion service followed. The farewell on the following evening was of a public character. Mr. W. Turner, senior deacon, presided over a crowded gathering, including a large contingent from Napier. Speeches eulogising the splendid work, done by Mr.Edridge during his sojourn in Hastings in connection with the church and among the community, were made by Mr. W. Hart (Mayor), Mr. J. Holmes (Editor "The Broadview"), Mr. S. Peck (Secretary Y.M.C.A.), Rev. Gibson (Anglican Church), Rev. Angus McBean (Methodist Church), Mr. A. Stevenson (Superintendent Sunday School), Mr. F. E. Barley (representing officers and members), Mr. R. Sowersby (representing congregation). Rev. P. Ramsay (Presbyterian), who was absent through illness, sent a kindly message. Pastor M. W. P. Lascelles spoke on behalf of the Napier Church. Mr. Turner in well chosen words made reference to the general regret of losing Mr. Edridge, and as a mark of their esteem he presented him with a beautifully designed illuminated address in oak frame, which set forth the appreciation of a devoted people to a faithful pastor, and in addition a cheque for a substantial amount. Mr. Florance also made a presentation of a Roslyn rug from friends who had been greatly blessed by Mr.Edridge's monthly services at Pukahu. Mr. Edridge, in a feeling reply, expressed gratitude for the tokens of the love and esteem from the many friend she would sadly miss. For any service he had been able to render he gave God the glory. The singing of "Blest be the Tie that Binds" terminated the memorable proceedings. Friends from Havelock North recognised Mr. Edridge's appreciated monthly meetings by making his last visit the occasion of presenting him with a sum of money. The loyal and loving services of Mrs. Edridge in connection with the Ladies' Guild and the B.W.M.U. received tangible recognition by the presentation of a set of stainless knives and a salad bowl. Miss Gladys Edridge was the recipient of a Bible from the Young Women's Bible Class.


August 1921

HASTINGS (Vacant)—We have been favoured by a visit from Miss Beckingsale, who addressed the Sunday School scholars, spoke at the week night meeting, and a gathering of the B.W.M.U. Her inspiring messages were much appreciated. A Chinese class has been started, under the leadership of Mr. W. Turner; their presence at the Sunday evening services is very encouraging. The annual prize-giving in connection with the Young People's Worshipping League took place on a recent Sunday, when quite a number were the happy recipients of useful books. We have been greatly blessed and assisted at our Sunday services by the visits of Revs. J. Laird, C. D. Gardiner, Keith Ewen, Pastor Atkinson, and Mr. Jamieson, of the C.I.M. We are waiting with, prayerful longing for a spiritual leader to be directed to Hastings. We are pleased to report that interest in all the various agencies is being well maintained. The Ladies' Guild presented Mrs. Thompson with a silver hot water jug on her leaving for Cambridge. Tribute was paid to her long and loyal services as a Guild member.


September 1921

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—We are pleased to report that Rev. T. Keith Ewen, of the Berhampore Church Wellington, has accepted a call to the pastorate. We are looking for a time of rich, spiritual blessing when he comes amongst us. Good congregations have assembled to listen to Revs. Stanley Jenkin, A. J. Grigg (B.A.), S. Beckingham, H. B. Hughes (M.A., B.D.), whose messages were greatly appreciated. The visit of our late pastor, Rev. H. E. Edridge, proved a time of happy re-union. A crowded church on the Sunday evening bore testimony to the abiding influence of his life and labours in our midst. A concert and jumble stall resulted in over £30 being raised to pay off the debt on the Sunday School piano.


October 1921

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—Hastings was included in Miss Gainsford's itinerary of the churches. Her visit in the interests of our own missionary sphere of labours meant added stimulus to the members of the B.W.M.U., and those who were privileged to hear her public lecture. Rev. T. Keith Ewen commences his ministry amongst us the first Sunday in October, and a welcome social will take place on the following Tuesday. We are devoutly thankful to God for the sustained interest in the various activities of the church during the pastor-less interval.


November 1921

Hastings reports settlement of Rev. Keith Ewen on October 2nd; large and highly appreciative congregations to opening sermons. Choir under Mr. J. Bewley greatly assisted. Over 80 at first Communion. Public welcome meeting was presided over by Mr. W. Turner. Kindly words spoken by Presbyterian, Anglican. Methodist and S.S.A. ministers, also by Y.M.C.A. Secretary, also by Mr. A. Stevenson representing the church. A congregational social of a highly successful nature also held. Combined B. Classes added to welcome ceremonies. Mr. Ewen addressed them on the Sunday afternoon on "Fitness," and the young men had a welcome tea prepared after class.


December 1921

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—We are pleased to report highly successful Sunday School Anniversary Services, conducted by our Pastor. Numbers had to be turned away at the evening service. The choice selection of hymns were beautifully rendered by the children, under the baton of Mr J. Bewley. An efficient orchestra assisted. The addresses were most appropriate to the occasion. A tea and concert mid-week resulted in splendid gatherings. The Superintendent, Mr A. Stevenson, gave a very encouraging report. Pastor M. W.P. Lascelles, who was present with a big contingent from Napier, conveyed kindly greetings. An Old People's Day was arranged for the following Sunday, when the anniversary hymns were repeated. A large number of old folk responded to the invitation to be present, and motor cars were placed at their disposal. The church was crowded in the evening. The Day's Gatherings were characterised by a brightness that must have meant rich blessing to old and young. We appreciated the glowing reports of Conference from our two delegates—Messrs R.E. Barley and L. Compton.

N.Z. Baptist Magazine

Since the first days of the church, Hastings Baptist submitted regular summaries of church life and events to the New Zealand Baptist Magazine.  As part of the centenary archive those updates have been collected and reproduced here.  It is a catalogue of people and moments that have shaped the church’s story.