21. Stoke and Longton Circuit

The Stoke and Longton Circuit is comprised of what were formerly separate circuits bearing the respective names of Stoke and Longton. They were amalgamated in 1914 under the superintendency of the Rev. J. Kinnish, and a probationer was stationed at Longton in the person of the Rev. R.C. Noble.

The United Circuit included the Societies of Lonsdale Street, and Boothen in Stoke, Mount Pleasant and Heron Cross in Fenton, and Bourne, Sandford Hill and Normacot in Longton. It is interesting to note that the Stoke Society appears on the first Circuit Plan which bears the denominational name “Primitive Methodist,” and there is every hope that it will carry its colours with every credit into the wider Church of Methodism.

In 1930, during the term of the Rev. Geo. E. Rudram, the present Superintendent, the Circuit honoured its “Pledge,” and invited the Rev. F.G.A. Cook, then finishing probation, to remain as a “Full Approved Minister.” In spite of these days of financial stringency, the Circuit has faced up to its increased obligations with loyal and self-sacrificing devotion.

While we cannot boast of the church premises we should desire at all our places, the Circuit is justly proud of the commodious church and school at Bourne in Longton, now for several years happily free from debt.

Lonsdale St. Church, Stoke, has an attractive interior, and attached are extensive school premises.

In 1928 two building schemes were carried through under the able supervision of the Rev. Geo. Featonby: Lonsdale Street celebrating its jubilee by the addition of its “Jubilee Hall,” and at Sandford Hill the erection of School Hall and classrooms.

A marked feature of this Circuit is its splendid field of service among the young people. Its seven Sunday Schools number 1,270 scholars, and are well organised and staffed. Evangelism has not been overlooked, especially at Sandford Hill, where recently many young people have been won for Christ.

The membership of the Circuit now stands at 500, an increase of 25 since 1914. Our numbers and work, as In the case of many others, have been adversely affected by the industrial depression prevailing, but signs of encouragement are not lacking. Much of our success is due to the strong leadership of able and devoted officials. In recent years the Plan has been built up by the addition of well equipped young preachers.

For all tokens of good and signs of promise we thank God and take courage.


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