It was decided in 2005 that Low Hill would have to close. Congregations had been in decline for some time but when the Church was found to have severe problems with Dry Rot (and to a lesser extent water damage from a leaking flat roof), the Circuit decided that it was unable to support the continuing existence of the building. The final service was scheduled for 8th May 2005 the Church Anniversary to be led by the Rev. Glennys Bamford.
My final appointment as a preacher at Low Hill was on 20th February 2005 and I decided to take a number of photographs as the Church was scheduled for demolition in June 2005 (it was becoming increasingly unsafe). I chose not to record the parts of the church which were falling down but rather the parts familiar to me in the 20 years I had preached in the circuit.
This particular Sunday was a parade Sunday. Such events were always a bit hit and miss at Low Hill. Often a service would be labeled a parade service on the Plan and subsequently one would be informed that it would not take place. On other occasions (like this one) one might receive a phone call explaining that though it was not shown in the Plan this was a parade Sunday. In later years the organisations were thin on the ground and there were barely enough members present to cope with the flags that were presented. Flags were presented at the opening of the service and the main problem for the preacher was to ensure that the right flags were given to the right person in the right order at the end of the service.
|The Congregation 20th February 2005|
A picture of the Lectern and Pulpit with the Organ behind it. I never used the Pulpit as it was a long way back from the congregation. As you can see the lectern had the advantage of amplification. This was very useful as the central heating system had the potential to drown the voice of the preacher. It was quite a powerful hot air system with very noisy fans which would invariably come to life in the middle of the sermon.
This was located at the side of the organ which meant that preachers were cooked by the hot air (rather than manufacturing it themselves!). This was another reason for favouring the lectern. Despite the difficulty in finding trained organists, the organ was often used on a Sunday although in later years an electric piano with a MIDI link was used on days when an organist could not be obtained.
|This is a picture of the congregation at the end of the service. As a preacher I used to wait at the back to shake hands and say "Good Morning". But you could wait a long time at Low Hill whilst everyone caught up on everyone else's news.|
|A view from the right hand side of the church. Quite an interesting ceiling!|
|Closer view of the communion table and pulpit. The offering at Low Hill in the years I preached there was collected by members of the Sunday School. The children were dismissed by the Preacher saying "The Spirit of the Lord be always with you" to which the children and congregation responded "And also with you"|
|A view of the church looking from the front towards the entrance/exit. The inscription over the door said 'Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life"'|
|Low Hill was a church built to serve a 1920's council estate. The majority of the land was purchased from Showell Farm. At the heart of the estate there is a large roundabout called Showell Circus. Around this area there were a set of small shops, a public house, the library and the Church. The view adjacent is the church as it was seen from Showell Circus|
|This is a picture of the front door of the church. It faced Showell Circus .|
The view of the front door of the church from Leacroft Avenue. This road leads off Showell Circus.
|Another view from Leacroft Avenue showing the rear of the church.|
|The view of the rear of the church from Kempthorne Avenue another road which radiates from Showell Circus.|
|The church hall at the rear of the church this was used towards the end of the church's life for Evening Services until they were discontinued. This part part of the church was badly affected by the dry rot.|
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