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Clock blessing.

A CLOCK COMMEMORATING TWO MAJOR EVENTS

The congregation assembling before the service at 11.15 a.m...

Today the 30th September 2012, beginning at 11.15 a.m. a small service led by our vicar the Rev. Sharon Miles, was held in Church Square, outside the Johnson Institute, better known today as the St Osyth Social Club. The Trustees had erected a clock over the doorway with a plaque stating that the clock was to commemorate both One Hundred years of Parish Church ownership of the building and the year of Her Majesty the Queens Diamond Jubilee. The service was to formally bless the clock on behalf of the Parish and its residents.

A last minute consultation with members of the Choir.

The Rev. Sharon Miles introduces this mornings service

Mr Philip Smith, Trustee speaking about the history and background of the Johnson Institute, pictured behind him.

Philip reads the text prepared by Miss Phil Hendy our Parish historian, printed in full below, with a few word of his own casting a modern perspective

The Johnson Institute
In the last year of the 19th Century a lot of buildings were categorised as unfit for human habitation, these included some cottages and the Queens Head in Stone Alley and Market Square. The owner Sir John Johnson had them demolished. The cottages were not replaced, but Sir John conceived the idea of building an Institute for the working men of the village.
Work was well under way when Sir John died in October 1909. His adopted daughter Mary Mabel Beatrice Watts had the work completed, the Working Men’s club was formed in 1910 and the Johnson Institute was opened in 1911. There were 99 founder members. The Inaugural meeting of the Trustees of the Johnson Institute was held in May 1912 when a formal constitution was signed. As a small conceit, Miss Watts had her initials M.B.W. and the date 1911 built into the west facing façade, of this prime example of late Victorian architecture.
The institute served as Canteen during both World Wars and was designated as the Field Hospital for the 1939 conflict.
Post war use of the institute dwindled, a proposal was made to convert this to a village hall which did not succeed, and it was not until the 1960’s when under the leadership of Churchwarden Andrew Smith the Working Men’s club was revived. The first licence was obtained in 1974, the Social Club is managed by a small committee, answerable to the Trustees, the Vicar and Church Wardens. The Institute is Parish Property.

Written by Phyllis Hendy, Local History Recorder.

Tom Grantham, Trustee reads from ‘Ecclesiastes 3.1-8’, about time


The Congregation with heads bowed in prayer.

The Act of blessing and dedication. The words used by Rev. Sharon Miles are copied below the wall plaque picture

The plaque on the wall below the clock, states its purpose in commemorating two significant events

The Blessing:
Loving God, the maker of all time, bless this clock that reminds us of the one hundred years of this buildings use.
Bless all who continue to use it, that they use time wisely and positively by making bonds of friendship, fellowship and faith, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen

The Clock itself. The service has taken eight minutes

The dismissal blessing given to the small congregation

The three principles today, Mr Philip Smith, The Rev. Sharon Miles and Mr Tom Grantham, trustees all!

Inside the Church was a display of historical papers concerning the Johnson Institute, including a programme of the original opening ceremony one hundred years ago, all this arranged on tables by Miss Phil Hendy. The collection included programmes, photographs, newspaper cuttings and other memorabilia, all held and catalogued in the village museum, where Miss Hendy is a curator.

M.J.T.
2/10/12


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