Stories and pictures adapted from originals in the Surrey Mirror. To see the originals, search the Surrey Mirror at https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
From Centenary Celebrations to Bulldozers: A Sad Farewell to South Nutfield Evangelical Free Church (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 16th February 1995)
For residents of South Nutfield, the sight of the empty and overgrown South Nutfield Evangelical Free Church in Mid Street brings a mix of nostalgia and sadness. In its heyday, the church buzzed with activity, culminating in a joyous centenary celebration in 1986.
The decline began in the early 1990s with the church members relocating to Reigate. Renamed the Acorn Church, another group met in the church for two years, but in December 1992, the Acorn Church disbanded, leaving the chapel empty.
For a while, the Trustees maintained the building, but with the church no longer serving its purpose, the difficult decision to sell the land for development was made. With an outline application for two houses and garages already approved by Tandridge District Council, the final hurdle involves a minor adjustment to one house’s positioning.
This marks a sad end for a church with a rich and interesting history. Local historian Peter Finch traces its roots back to 1866, when a local farmer, grieving the loss of his sons, established a Quaker church in a thatched cow shed. The faith community thrived, leading to a wooden building in 1881 and, finally, the current brick structure in 1886.
Nutfield Free Church Turns 100: A Village Birthday Bash! (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 17th October 1986)
Tony Barber, Ken Sheppard, two of the elders at the Free Church are calling all Nutfield residents for a celebration like no other – Nutfield Free Church is turning 100, and they’re throwing a grand village party to mark the occasion!
On Saturday, October 25th, the church’s blue doors will open for a day packed with fun for all ages. Step back in time to learn about the church’s humble beginnings in a cow shed, when South Nutfield was little more than a cluster of cottages. Witness the incredible journey of this beloved chapel through interactive exhibits and historical displays.
But the festivities don’t stop with a trip down memory lane! Get ready for:
- A puppet theatre
- A model railway
- A fancy dress competition
- Street theatre performances
- The aroma of roasting chestnuts
This isn’t just a church celebration; it’s a village celebration! Nutfield Free Church has been a cornerstone of the community for a century, and they’re inviting everyone to share in the joy. So come one, come all, and let’s raise a cup of tea to 100 years of faith, fellowship, and fun!
South Nutfield Free Church Celebrates Anniversary with Induction of New Pastor (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 10th October 1969)
On Saturday, South Nutfield Free Church celebrated a double dose of joy: its 101st anniversary and the induction of its new pastor, Mr Rodney Latrobe. To mark the occasion, the church held two special events.
The first event was the ordination ceremony, which was conducted by Rev John L Bird, minister of Duke-street Baptist Church, Richmond. Rev Bird was assisted by Pastor Alfred Howick, who was retiring after 18 years of service at South Nutfield Free Church, and R A Ruddock, Redhill General Hospital chaplain.
The second service was led by Rev G A Baker, vicar of Reigate. Rev Baker gave a thought-provoking address on “The Responsibilities of the Church.”
To commemorate the anniversary and induction, a history of South Nutfield Free Church was written. The history can be found on the church’s website, which has been updated to include information about the events that have taken place since 1969.
Mr Latrobe is a native of Reigate and has been involved in church work for many years, and has preached at the Free Church on several occasions.
South Nutfield Evangelical Free Church bids Pastor Howick a Fond Farewell (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 3rd October 1969)
For over 18 years, Pastor Alfred Howick has guided the flock of South Nutfield Evangelical Free Church. But last Sunday was the time to say goodbye as Pastor Howick officially stepped down from his pastoral duties.
A gathering of church members and friends from the village filled the Free Church. To mark this occasion, Pastor Howick was presented with two tokens of their esteem: a generous cheque and a classic fountain pen.
Pastor Howick expressed his heartfelt thanks. He spoke of the unwavering loyalty and support he had received from his parishioners throughout his years of service.
Moving forward, Pastor Howick will trade the manse, church and school room of the Free Church for his daughter’s home in Redhill.
Golden Anniversary for South Nutfield Couple! (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 7th July 1961)
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. O.H. Ashdown of South Nutfield, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last Saturday! They tied the knot at the Baptist Church in Redhill all those years ago, starting a happy journey that has lasted half a century.
Mr. Ashdown, a Lewes native, moved to Redhill at 22 to work for Prudential Assurance. He served the company faithfully for 40 years before retiring in 1948. Beyond his work, Mr. Ashdown is a lifelong cricket enthusiast. He joined the South Nutfield Cricket Club in 1920 and was their regular wicketkeeper until 1950. The club even honored him with a life membership upon his retirement from the game. He’s also a loyal supporter of the Nutfield Football Club, having served as a vice-president.
Mr Ashdown was for 21 years superintendent of the South Nutfield Mission Hall and is still closely connected with the work of this mission. He was also secretary of the Hooley Baptist Mission for eight years.
Mrs. Ashdown, originally from Sydenham, found her way to Redhill during her school days. Her father, Mr. George Pratt, played a significant role in the community as the first superintendent of the Hooley Baptist Mission. Mrs. Ashdown followed in his footsteps by starting the women’s meeting at the South Nutfield Mission Hall. She also has a big heart for children, dedicating much of her time to supporting Dr. Barnardo’s Homes, even organising annual collections in the village.
The couple has been blessed with three sons and two daughters, all of whom live nearby, except their youngest daughter who resides in Newmarket.
South Nutfield Evangelical Church Women’s Meeting Celebrate 40 Years! (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 24th June 1960)
Last Thursday, the South Nutfield Evangelical Church ladies gathered for a joyous occasion – the 40th anniversary of their women’s meeting! The hall buzzed with excitement as Mrs Howick welcomed friends from nearby churches, including Caterham, Godstone, Blechingley, Redhill, Merstham, and even Tollgate.
The celebration began with a hymn. Mrs Ashdown then shared a glimpse into the meeting’s work, followed by a prayer. Dr. Enid Taylor read from the Scriptures, and Mrs. Latham’s solo performance added a touch of musical magic.
The afternoon’s highlight was a talk by Mrs. Bernard Hennell of Reigate.
As the anniversary tea was served, laughter and chatter filled the hall.
South Nutfield Mission Celebrates Harvest and Upcoming 71st Anniversary (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 18th October 1957)
The South Nutfield Mission gathered for their annual Harvest Services and a glimpse into the upcoming 71st anniversary celebration.
Morning service: Mr. H Andrews of Reigate delivered a heartfelt message during the morning service, reminding everyone of the blessings of the harvest season.
Afternoon service: The young teachers of the Sunday School took the lead. Miss Florrie Charman, Miss Wendy Nelson, Miss Janice Leadbetter, Mrs. J Leadbetter, Miss R Burten-shaw, and Miss Pauline Howick all contributed their talents, making it a truly special service.
Evening service: Mr. Alfred Howick, the Superintendent, led the evening service, bringing the day’s celebrations to a close with a message of gratitude and hope.
Capping off the harvest festivities, the Mission choir presented a service of a song titled “Harvest time at the Ebenezer” on Monday evening. Mr. Howick served as the reader, while Mrs. Joyce Leadbetter’s organ playing and Mr. Ashdown’s mandolin accompaniment added to the performance. The harvest gifts collected throughout the week were distributed to the elderly residents of the village.
71st Anniversary Awaits:
Get ready for another exciting celebration! The Mission’s 71st anniversary is just around the corner. Mark your calendars for:
Saturday, October 26th at 7 pm: The Anniversary Service will kick off with guest speaker Rev. E Rudman of Hove. Chairman Lieut-Col D C D Munro DSO MC will preside over the event.
Sunday, October 27th at 11 am: Rev. M Frost from Redhill Baptist Church will lead the morning service.
Sunday, October 27th at 3 pm and 6:30 pm: Mr. and Mrs. Sutton Smith will lead special services, offering further opportunities for reflection and celebration.
Sunday School Fun for All! (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 16th Jan 1922)
The day filled with laughter, songs, and sweet treats for the children of the Sunday School! 48 scholars and 40 parents gathered for a special celebration.
The afternoon began with a tea party. Then, they all sang together their favourite hymn, “Jesus loves me: this I know.”
Mr. Brackley gave a short talk. Next, the children sang the “Sunshine Chorus.”
It was then time for prizes! Mrs. Ashdown and the ladies of the Women’s meeting had prepared gifts of clothes. Mr. W Pook had the honor of handing them out.
But the biggest surprise was yet to come! Suddenly, “Daddy Christmas” himself appeared, jolly and merry. He pulled out toys from the huge Christmas tree.
The fun wasn’t over yet! Everyone, young and old, joined in for a lively round of games. P
The teas were prepared by Mr. and Mrs. E.A Bristow.
South Nutfield Pastor Seeks Exemption from Military Service (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 11th July 1916)
Application was made by W. T. Smith, the mission pastor at South Nutfield Mission for exemption from military service on conscientious grounds.
Mission Hall Celebrates Sunday School with Fun and Games! (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 12 August 1893)
Last Sunday, the Mission Hall buzzed with excitement as the Sunday School held special services and treats. In the morning, Pastor Mr. D Braby led the service, while Messrs. Rivolti, Spence, and Harvey led at the other gatherings.
Then, on Bank Holiday Monday, the fun really kicked off! With Mr. Maw’s kind permission, the Sunday School took over a field near the Mission Hall. At one o’clock, the children marched happily to the field, ready for swings, games, and pure afternoon delight.
But the highlight of the day was a cricket match! The pupils squared off against the teachers, and after a thrilling battle, the young ones snatched victory by 17 runs!
After all that play, a tea awaited at 4.30 in the hall, first for the kids, then for over 60 parents and friends. Mr. and Mrs. Pook (senior and junior!), Mr. Marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Agate, and many more joined the feast.
Following the tea, the fun continued with al mix of races, games, and laughter. But there was an extra surprise! Each child at the school received a special gift, thanks to the generosity of some kind friends.
South Nutfield Temperance Society Gathers for Enjoyable Evening (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 29 April 1893)
The South Nutfield Temperance Society held a lively meeting at the Mission Hall on Mid Street on Monday evening. Villagers of all ages came together to share their talents and enjoy an evening of fellowship and entertainment.
The program featured a variety of acts, including solos, speeches, readings, and recitations. Each performance was met with warm applause and appreciation from the audience. The performers, all local villagers, helped to create a warm and friendly atmosphere that everyone enjoyed.
Earlier in the evening, the Band of Hope also held a successful meeting.
Nutfield Shares Harvest Blessings with Those in Need (adapted from Surrey Mirror article – 18 September 1889)
Nutfield came together yesterday to give thanks for the harvest and help those less fortunate. The community shared a feast of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and listened to inspiring speakers, including one who asked everyone to think about how we use the Earth’s gifts.
The evening started with a cozy tea in the new room next to the hall, which is now used for Sunday School and other meetings. After tea, the hall filled up to hear the speakers. One speaker, Mr. J.J. Jones from Brighton, reminded everyone that many fruits are wasted to make alcohol. He asked people to think about how we can use those fruits better to help feed people instead.
The event ended around 10 pm, but the good deeds didn’t stop there. Reverend J. Chadburn from Poplar in London took all the leftover fruits and vegetables with him to share with people in need in his community.