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Whitecroft Methodist Chapel 1928 and a portrait

A Forest chapel.

Whitecroft Methodist Chapel

Tracy wrote (November 2007):

Top photo:
The attached photo is of my aunty Pat James, deceased, have no idea who others are. The granddaughter of Jim Clements. She is 3rd left bottom row. Does anyone recognise the chapel or any of the people?.

Back (Row 2) -Left to right: 1 Ray Phipps, 2, 3, 4 (standing behind) Thomas Morse Price, 5, 6 Rev.George Edward Lawrence.
Front (Row 1): 1, 2 , 3 Pat James, 4 Rev. Sidney Lawrence, 5, 6.

Thanks to Paul Morgan who pointed out (November 2007) that this looks very much like Whitecroft Methodist Chapel in Wesley Road.

Bottom photo:
"This photo was in my grandma Irene James (previously Clements) belongings. I have no idea who the lady in the photo is and wondered if anyone could help?.

Thanks to Peter Essex who added (April 2008): "In case it's Whitecroft, it would be worth finding out the names of the chapel's ministers at about the time suggested by clothing, names etc.   When I was a child in North London, I'd say in the early 1950s, there was a retired Methodist minister living at Golders Green by the name of the Rev W Bertrand Smith.  My father's side of the family were from Lydney or thereabouts, so I remember it coming as quite a surprise to my father (Robert Essex, whose parents lived in Lydney at Forest Road) when the Rev Smith said he had some sort of connection with the chapel at Whitecroft.   I couldn't possibly recognise him from the photo but chances are if there were two ministers present, then one would have been the Superintendent minister who might have come from Lydney, Pillowell or Cinderford".

Thanks to Theo Lawrence who added (May 2008): "Back row far right: Rev George Edward Lawrence, in his probationary year, at Whitecroft Methodist Church, probably 1928. Back row, 3rd from right: Thomas Morse Price, of Westbury House, Pillowell, Church Steward at Whitecroft, and, later, father-in-law to George Lawrence. Minister seated in front row: Rev Sidney Lawrence, George's younger brother, visiting George in Forest of Dean.  He was a Congregational Church minister ...The occasion was a Mission at Whitecroft in 1928"

Robert James added (January 2013): "... Unfortunately I am unable to identify unknown people in this photo. I can however attest to the accuracy of the identity of the church itself. I can also confirm from a reliable source that the foundation stone of this church was laid by my Great Great Great Grandmother a Mrs. Joseph Preest in 1848 the year my my Great Grandfather was baptized in the same church.
My family has had a long association with this church from its inception. My Great Grandfather Joseph James was a circuit preacher in the Forest of Dean and a minister of Whitecroft Methodist Church over a 60 year period 1867-1927. He lived in Yorkley and died there in 1929.
If anyone is able to help me in my search for further information about the forbears of the Reverend Joseph James of the Forest of Dean I would be very grateful. I understand that this James family migrated with the Preest family into the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire England from South Wales sometime during the 18th or early 19th century. The parents of Joseph's wife Emma 1852-1928 were Isaac and Eliza Morse. The parents of Joseph himself 1848-1929 were John and Amy James".

Keith McGraw added (January 2019): "... In reply to Robert James' request for further information on his James and Preest 'forbears', unfortunately I do not have any more information than on his correct 2013 post. My Grandfather's (Arthur Lewis) sister Minnie Lewis married one of Joseph James sons , John Herbert James. Up until 1912, he owned the Lydney Saddlery. In 1912, they emigrated to Saskatoon in Canada to start a new life as Great Plains farmers. There was already a strong Methodist Temporance Community in Saskatoon. We recently visited one of their daughters and extended family who now live in Kelwona in Alberta. We exchanged a lot of family records and old photographs back in Whitecroft Yorkley and Purlieu ,pre 1912, including Joseph James time as minister at Whitechapel Methodist Chapel. We visited John James and Minnie Lewis' grave in Kelowna while we were there. On our return from Canada we visited Whitecroft hoping to see the Methodist Chapel and foundation stone but were saddened to see that it had closed down and was up for sale. I hope it has kept its character in its new life?"

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