• JW Waterhouse

1930: Opening of the Chapel

Account written at the time by JW Waterhouse, 1929-1931, as a private record.


May 16th 1930


To-night the new chapel was opened. Tomorrow is the formal dedication service with all its pomp and university celebrities and worthy Methodists. To-night, thank God, there was no formal ceremony but just a short service of prayer and praise, to God. I do not think He was very far from the midst, I could almost see Him there.


We worshipped Him in the beauty of holiness this evening and as one looked round on the magnificently worked woodwork with which the chapel is panelled. One could not but think of One who Himself was a carpenter.


The chapel is the completion of the work of some two years, yet it will be some five years, probably, before the full completion is carried out. Yet somehow one feels almost as if one would prefer it to remain just as it was to-night, beautiful in its simplicity.



We were just a small company. Dr Hughes, Dr Flew, their families, the College staff and Mr Lamplough who gave the chapel in memory of his brother, a tablet above the door reminds us of him.


Dr Hughes spoke the first words, and they were "let us pray". After a short prayer and the Lord's prayer we sang the first hymn ever to be sung in the chapel which was by curious (or was it?) coincidence "When I survey the wondrous cross".


Dr Flew then read "Except thy Lord build the House..." Then he read Williamson Lamplough's favourite psalm, a psalm he used every day of his busy life, Psalm 127.


Dr Hughes preached on "I was glad when they said unto me"...


Before we parted we sang 912 "How do thy mercies close me round" and after the Benediction "This, this is the God we adore". It is indeed a privilege to be a member of Wesley House at this time. Thank God for all his gifts to me.


The term draws to a close - soon we shall be scattered to all corners of the earth...God knows where. But

"''Tis Jesus the first and the last

Whose spirit shall guide us safe home

We'll praise Him, we'll praise Him for all that is past

And trust Him for all that is to come".