Saturday, 5 May 2007

Mountain Chapel Lanteague - Documents

Mountain Chapel
(The above picture was found on a 1993 calendar)
One of the last Trustee's when the chapel closed in 1999 was Mrs Lillian Callnon, who was then the Secretary. After her death in 2006 her daughter Carol Mason acquired papers and account books relating to the chapel and before passing them to the Record Office she has been kind enough to lend them to the History Group for me to make some notes.
Last weekend I went through one batch and yesterday collected another.
Reading through the minutes last night really brought it home to me how much the members loved their chapel - Mrs Callnon said in one place that sometimes there had been four generations of her family at services together.
From the 1970s onwards you read of their struggle to get good attendances at Anniversary Services and Carol Concerts. Their membership dwindled until it was four people - and these so afflicted with age and ill health that you could feel their distress coming through the pages. It brought the people back to life and showed how they had lived - not, as today, that most of them are just names on the grave stones.
It was such a sad day when they finally closed after the Carol Service in December 1999. All their years of trying to maintain and keep the building in good repair came to nothing, for in a few months it was being demolished.
No wonder it broke their hearts.
I'm just so glad that we've done something to try and get the chapel gardens looking something decent - they at least deserve that.
It just makes you think that maybe soon we'll be seeing the same thing happening with Crunwere Church.

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