Something of the history of our church and its people can be gleaned from the memorials within it.
The organ was a memorial to the 1914-18 war and to the men from the church who lost their lives. Two of the wall tablets are reminders of personal sadness. One was erected “In loving memory of C.Q.M.S. E.C. Purse, aged 27, and SGT L.S. Purse aged 21, of the 1st Devons. Sons of S. and E. Purse of this town, who fell during the Great War in France 1914-18”.
The second reads “In loving memory of Percy John Shipman (wireless operator). Aged 26 years, who fell In India, September 29th 1919.
“Son of J and M. Shipman of this town.”
Mr and Mrs Shipman were active members of the church.
The larger communion table is a memorial to “Ellen Furse, for many years a devoted worker in this church. Presented by her husband and family.” (It is believed this table came from Whipton and does not relate to a Crediton family).
The Chancel window is dedicated “To the memory of Minnie Newcombe (1870-1941) and Frederick Newcombe (1872-1946).”
Mr. and Mrs. Newcombe were Mrs Doris Wlllson’s parents and he was the builder of the extension.
The smaller communion table is inscribed “To the glory of God and in loving memory of Bessie Camilla Steer,” and the vase which stands on it is “In loving memory of Milly Newcombe (1880-1951).”
Milly Newcombe served the church in many quiet ways. She cared for the chapel crockery and when replacements were needed would collect and sell watercress to raise the funds. She was Mrs. Willson’s Aunt.
The old pewter communion vessels have the inscription “A memento of Love to the cause of Wesleyan Methodism in Crediton. Presented through the Rev George Curnock by SR October 12th 1845.”
The three daughters of the Rev Cyrus Burge gave copies of Hymns and Psalms for organ and congregation, and these were dedicated on Palm Sunday 1985.
The Rev. Cyrus and Mrs. Burge came to live in Crediton upon their retirement and were greatly loved by the congregation. Their neighbours were the Rev. and Mrs. Frank Chamberlain, who were also held in high regard. Their homes, now occupied by the Rev, and Mrs. S. Dixon and the Rev. Joan Ryeland, are the property of the Ministers’ Housing Society.
The offertory dish is “In memory of a devoted and loving wife, Ada Emily Gray 1977.” Two sets of alms bags were presented in memory of Alfred Braund, 1985, and W.G. Theedom, 1989.
Four of our pioneer workers are commemorated by wall tablets. They read:
In loving memory of WILLIAM STOYLE who fell asleep August 21st 1912 aged 77. For over 46 years he faithfully served this church in all its offices and the remaining debt on its extension was discharged as a grateful memorial of this life’s work. Genesis V: 24.
Mr Stoyle was the Grandfather of the late Mary Tennant.
In loving memory of GEORGE NEWCOMBE who entered into rest 30th August 1913 aged 68 years, For nearly 50 years he was a faithful local preacher in the Exeter circuit:- A Class Leader of this Society, a Sunday School Superintendent, and a visitor of the sick and poor. The memory of the just is blessed.
Mr. Newcombe was the Grandfather of Mrs. Doris Willson.
To the loving memory of RICHARD BROWNING. Entered into rest 1st April 1928, aged 81 years.
“Thou, O Christ, art all I want.”
Richard Browning was a very dear friend of George Newcombe and preached his Memorial Sermon. In the course of the sermon he told of a preaching journey they made together,
“1 recall one on the journeys he and I went together. He was planned at Christow, a place 14 miles distant over some of the worst roads in Devonshire. I was planned at Leigh Cross, about two miles nearer Crediton. It was a bitterly cold day, with sleet and snow coming down. But we had plenty of exercise to keep us warm. We had only a small pony with a conveyance much too big for it. The pony carried us downhill and on level ground, but at every hill we had to get out and push. We arrived home thoroughly tired. I fancy I can see the cheerful fire and the warm slippers awaiting him, and hear him saying as he rested after his hard day’s work “I am at home,” He was tired in but not of the work. At home! surrounded by his loved ones! Back from a day’s work for the Master.”
Such was the calibre of our Fathers in the Faith.
Mr Browning was a cobbler and a Local Preacher. He and his family lived next door to the church in what is now the hairdresser’s shop.
In memory of WILLIAM PERKINS HARPER, who fell asleep February 22nd 1880, aged 72. For upwards of 40 years he earnestly devoted himself to the best interests of Methodism in this town. God honoured him, and the site for this building was purchased through his liberality.
1 Thess. 4: 14.
The Communion Rail has the inscription ‘To the Glory of God And in Loving memory of ELIZABETH and ERNEST STOYLE, also VICTOR F. TENNANT’. The attachment to the rail for Communion cups was given ‘To the Glory of God, In Loving Memory of HORACE JAMES TURNER. called home July 30th 1977, from his wife and family’.
A framed tapestry in the Chancel depicting the Last Supper bears a plaque ‘For His Love to me G.M. TENNANT 1976’.
The two flower pedestals are (1) In Memory of PERCY F. LOBB. A Faithful Member and Steward, December 1968 and (2) In Loving Memory, DORA MARGARET MADGE 1915-1986,
The clock was given in memory of PRUDENCE BALL. 1886-1971.
The latest memorial gift is the lectern, made locally in the workshops of Berry and Vincent, given in memory of MRS. M. TENNANT. This gift was dedicated on November 10th, 1991.