Henry Jordan Midwinter

Date published: 20/06/2013
© Newbury Weekly News









          The City Sunday School, which was for many years carried on in the Boys' Lancastrian Schoolroom, and latterly in the Council School, having been recently amalgamated  with the Congregational Sunday School, it has been desired by many of the supporters and old scholars of the school to recognise the lengthened services rendered by Mr. H. J. Midwinter, J.P., as superintendent for nearly fifty years. At a meeting of the members of the Congregational Church, held on Tuesday evening in last week, a testimonial address and a handsome case of fish knives were presented to Mr. Midwinter in token of appreciation of his lengthened services.


          The Rev. J.W. Harford, in making the presentation, said that they wished to pay tribute of respect to their friend, Mr. Midwinter, on his relinquishing the superintendence of the City Sunday Schools, which, with two years previous office as secretary, extended over a period of 50 years. The amalgamation of the school with the Congregational Sunday School promised to be very successful, and it was felt that some recognition should be made to Mr. Midwinter on his retirement from office, also to his services rendered to the diaconate [sic] for 38 years. Mr. Midwinter was one who worked for the good of his fellow men and for promotion of the Kingdom of God. He was constantly receiving testimonials from old scholars as to the good they had received in the school. His work had been an example of faith, in building up of Christian character and the fulfilling of Christ's purpose on earth. His length of service with that of others, would be an inspiration for the future, particularly to his son, Mr. Walter Midwinter, who had become superintendent of the united schools. Mr Harford also referred to Mr. Midwinter's services as deacon of the church, particularly in connection with the London Missionary Society, and he also  gracefully acknowledged the assistance given by Mrs. Midwinter in her husband's work.  Mr. Harford then made the presentation, the text of the Address being as follows


To Mr. Henry Jordan Midwinter on behalf of the Ministers, Deacons and Members of the Congregational Church, and of the Teachers and Scholars, past and present,  of the City Sunday School, we desire to assure you of our warm and grateful appreciation of the services you have rendered to the School for the period of 50 years, during 48 of which you have worthily fulfilled the responsible   office of Superintendent. It has ever been your aim to maintain a high devotional tone and efficient discipline in the School, added to the inculcation of sound Scriptural instruction to the Scholars, many of whom largely owe  the formation of their Christian character and their success in life to the religious influence which you have constantly exerted in the School.   

          As deacon of the Congregational Church for 38 years, your fellow members would also cordially recognise the services continuously rendered and the unfailing interest manifested by you in the various institutions of the Church; and it is their earnest prayer that you may long be spared to aid and promote the work of Christ in our midst.


                   J.W. Harford, Minister

                   Walter Blacket, Church Secretary

                   John T. Nash, Secretary City Sunday School   

                             July 1915


          Mr Blacket added his testimony to the value of Mr. Midwinter's services, having been for 38 years happily associated with him in office. The high average of contributions to the London Missionary society, was mainly due to his energy and perseverance. As to the City Sunday School, it had been known as “Mr. Midwinter's School,” and recognition was also due of the co-operation in the work of other members of his family.

          Mr. Midwinter in responding, confessed that he thought tangible testimonials to be  out of place, and indeed it was not himself alone who deserved the credit, for other members of the school staff and the teachers had all laboured with himself. Particularly he wished to mention Mr. Nash, who for about 40 years had been secretary of the school, and had frequently corresponded with scholars after they had left the school. He (Mr. Midwinter) assured them he would value most highly the beautiful address and their kind present, as would members of his family, several of whom had been teachers in the school.

          The address, which was most tastefully executed and handsomely framed was by Messrs. W. R.Pratt, Ltd., Ludgate-hill, and the case of fish knives was supplied by Messrs. Burn and Son. 


Newbury Weekly News August 5 1915


Mrs Pattison p. 195

Sources:Newbury Weekly News 5 August 1915

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