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January 1931

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).—Our sale of work, opened by Mr A. Hoby, was a great success. The gratifying sum of £80 was raised for church funds. We are indebted to members of the Women's Guild for the mouths of devoted toil they put in to make such a result possible. Everyone worked with a will, and the effort was characterised by a splendid spirit of co-operation. To the joint secretaries, Messrs Fear and Roberts, a word of praise is due. The newly formed Junior Choir, trained by Mr J. Bewley, occupied the choir seats on a recent Sunday morning, and they created a splendid impression with their special part in the service of praise. Potential talent was much in evidence. Dr W. H. Pettit spoke at a week-night meeting on "Christian Science: Is it Christian? Is it Scientific?" Members of the Young People's Institute concluded their year's activities with a successful social gathering. Our pastor has delivered some fine evangelistic addresses of late, and in response to appeals a number have surrendered their lives to the service of the Master. Such tokens are very encouraging, and our pastor and his wife have been greatly heartened by the signs of God's blessing resting on their labours. The regular interchange of pulpits with the Rev. O. MacHattie, of Napier, fosters a good feeling between the two churches, and results in mutual blessing.—F. E. Barley.


February 1931

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).— Sunday, December21, was appropriately marked by Christmas messages preached by our pastor, and the singing of seasonable hymns and anthems. At the close of the evening service the choir, under the capable conductorship of Mr J. Bewley, rendered a delightful programme of Christmas music, which was greatly appreciated by a large congregation. The Sunday School picnic, held on Boxing Day, was well attended, and passed off most successfully, and a church picnic on New Year's Day also proved an enjoyable event. During our pastor's holiday the pulpit has been capably supplied, and the congregations have been encouraging. We rejoice in the fact of further converts as the result of our pastor's stirring evangelical addresses. We look forward to a time of revival during 1931.


April 1931

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).—As soon as possible we resumed worship in the open at the rear of the church building, and our Methodist friends united with us. Later the schoolroom was used, and the combined gatherings were of an uplifting character. We rejoice in the spirit of unity thus manifested. The great upheaval has broken down denominational barriers and brought us closer together. The opportunity of meeting with us was greatly appreciated by members of the Methodist Connexion. We have been favoured by visits from the Rev. J. W. Kemp, of Auckland. After weeks of disorganisation it is gratifying to see our Sunday School and Bible Classes getting into action again. Our pastor and his wife are the guests of the Rev. J. W. Kemp, and we trust that their visit to Auckland will prove beneficial after the strain and stress of the trying experience through which we have passed. May they return with new energy to face the tasks that lie ahead.—F. E. Barley.


June 1931

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).—It is encouraging to see our Sunday congregations getting back to normal, and the various Church agencies in full swing once more. Work amongst the young folk has taken a new lease of life by Mrs Nicholls taking over the leadership of the Senior Young Women's Bible Class, and our pastor the oversight of the Young People's Institute. An opening social attracted a large gathering and proved an enjoyable function. Unpropitious weather militated against large attendances during our Week of Prayer and Thanksgiving. A time of rich blessing, however, was experienced by those who gathered. Our pastor preached appropriate sermons which formed a splendid keynote to the themes suggested for meditation and intercession. We have to record the passing of an aged member, Mrs Ross, after a long illness borne with Christian patience and fortitude. Mr J. W. Berridge, a member of the diaconate, also of the choir, has removed to Invercargill. The choir members recognised in a tangible manner his faithful services over a period of 18 years, and a resolution was added to the minutes paying tribute to the loyalty and devotion displayed by Mr Berridge in the welfare of the Church. —F. E. Barley


July 1929

HASTINGS (Rev. E. Nicholls).—The various church agencies are keeping active throughout the winter months. The Junior C.E., under the leadership of Mrs Nicholls, is progressing apace. A tea and social evening was attended by about 80 members, and the children had a right royal time. Our Worshipping League is also growing, and the presence of so many young people is inspiring both to pastor and people. The week-night Bible study class is attracting a gratifying attendance, and quite a number testify to the help received there-from. Our pastor's lecture on his experiences in the London Police Force proved most interesting. In his own inimitable style of depicting the humour and pathos of London life he held his audience captivated. Our church funds benefited considerably by the effort. A number of our scholars sat for the Scripture examination, but with a forward move in the Sunday School it is hoped greatly to increase the number next year.— F. E. Barley.


September 1931

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).—A bi-monthly report includes the celebration of our twenty-second church anniversary. The Rev. C. Matthews occupied the pulpit on the Sunday, and his stimulating messages were greatly appreciated by large congregations. He also addressed a big rally of Bible Class members, which was followed by a fellowship tea. A congregational social on the following Tuesday was well attended, and a very pleasant evening eventuated. On a recent Sunday morning, members of the Loyal Orange Lodges from Hastings and Napier attended divine service, which was conducted by their efficient organiser, Mr Thornly, whose address was marked by a distinct evangelical note. Our missionary, Miss Rice, addressed a large gathering of B.W.M.U. members and friends, who were delighted with her presentation of facts pertaining to her special field of service. Mr A. Mills, organiser of the Egyptian Mission, kindly preached for our pastor recently. His visit was greatly enjoyed, especially the lantern lecture dealing with work in Moslem lands. Our pastor's eldest daughter, Dulcie, has had to undergo an operation for appendicitis, and we are pleased to report favourable progress. We rejoice in continued good congregations.


October 1931

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).—It is with deep regret we have to record the passing of Mrs Chappell, an active member of the Church, who was held in the highest esteem. The Home-call came suddenly, but she was ready to meet her Saviour Whom she had served so faithfully. To the bereaved husband and two daughters we extend sincere sympathy. It was a great joy to have our late pastor, the Rev. T. Keith Ewen, in the pulpit on Sunday, September 13. He was greeted by a large congregation, and his stirring message revealed that he still possesses wonderful vigour. Our missionary, Miss Rice, addressed a large rally of Institute members on the same date, and on the following Tuesday we were privileged to see in moving pictures the sphere of her labours in India. Her visits were much enjoyed. Sunday School work has been started at Pukahu with an encouraging attendance, and we hope to see good results from the efforts of a faithful band of teachers. Our pastor has been greatly cheered by five candidates presenting themselves for baptism, and we trust it may be the first-fruits of a reaping-time in his helpful ministry.—F. E. Barley.


November 1931

HASTINGS Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).—Assisted by a few friends, our choir, under the capable leadership of Mr J. Bewley (choirmaster), supplied a musical treat in the form of a sacred concert, which was greatly appreciated by a large congregation. The successful effort was in aid of choir funds. Our church was the scene of a pretty and popular wedding recently, when our pastor united in the bonds of holy matrimony Miss Pearl Haymes and Mr F. Hall, who are both actively associated in Church work. Prior to the happy event a choir social was tendered to Miss Annies, and in making a presentation, Mr J. Bewley (choirmaster) referred in eulogistic manner to the long and loyal services rendered by Miss Annies as a choir member. At our last Communion service our pastor had the joy of receiving into Church fellowship a number who had confessed their Lord in baptism. Our pastor and his wife and Mr P. Thetford were our representatives at Conference.—F. E. Barley.


December 1931

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).—Our Sunday School anniversary services passed off most successfully. Large congregations gathered, and the messages of our pastor and the Rev. O. Machattie were appropriate to the occasion. The singing of the children and choir members, under the capable conductorship of Mr J. Bewley, fully maintained the excellent standard of past years, and was greatly enjoyed. The annual concert attracted a big attendance, and the scholars acquitted themselves most creditably in their various items, which reflected great credit on those responsible for their training. An illustrated lantern lecture on "The Moslem World" was given by Mr D. Neilson, which proved very informative and entertaining. We were pleased to receive a visit from Mr Neilson before he and his wife leave to take up work among the Moslems. The anniversary of our Bible Classes was celebrated by a combined rally fittingly conducted by Mr D. Neilson, who addressed a large gathering. A fellowship tea followed. At the evening service the choir seats were occupied by a male choir. Helpful addresses were given by Messrs Wyness and Wiggins, and the event testified to the good work being done amongst our young people. The tennis court in Cornwall Park was officially opened by our pastor, and a large membership augurs well for a good season. Our pastor gave a glowing report of his visit to Conference.—F. E. Barley.

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.