History of St Barnabas Church
In 1884, congregations of over 150 were meeting regularly in a room, known as the Mission Hall which was above the Co-operative shop in Park Road, but a room on the ground floor was needed and, at the instigation of the Reverend Alfred Binnie, a fund was set up to purchase an “Iron Room” to be built on the present site. By October 1885, meetings and services were being held in St Nicholas Mission Room, as it became known, on land offered by Mr Hawley.
In 1905, the land on the corner of Albion Row (now Albion Street), was bought for £311.15.0 and a licence was granted on 27th November 1905 “for the church to be used as a mission church in a working class area and for the preaching of the word of God, reading common prayers and in celebrating Holy Sacraments”. The church was renamed as St Barnabas Mission Church and the building enlarged by the addition of a sanctuary, fitted with an altar, font, lectern and a heating system.
The vicar at this time was the Reverend Rowland Forster Hanning and there were two curates. Holy Communion services were held on Sunday morning and evening with a Bible class for men and lads in the afternoon. On Mondays there was a Mothers’ Union meeting in the afternoon and a Temperance meeting in the evening. Baptisms with a short service and address and the choir practice took place on Tuesdays.
The Reverend Hanning conducted the first service of Holy Communion on Sunday 14th January 1906 and his letter in the Parish Magazine states “This is a change bringing new opportunities. I appeal, therefore, to the congregation of the mission church to make all the use they can of this opportunity of gaining God’s strength and grace through this, the greatest of the church services, and of binding themselves together into a strong body of earnest Christians by their mutual intercession at Holy Communion, if possible, twice every month.”