Despite the continuance of the Great War in 1917 there was cause for joy amongst the Members on 23rd May, when the Secretary, Mr. Bowman, produced the title deeds of the Mission. The record reads, “all present returned thanks to God that in His loving kindness we were able to say the Building was free of debt”. When examining the records one cannot fail to be impressed by the forward looking vision of the officials of that time for, now that the building was paid for, which for twenty-five years had been lit by gas mantles, they turned their minds to electric lighting.

A letter was then sent to the County Borough of South Shields Electric Supply Department, requesting a supply of electric energy, but on 3rd January, 1918, the Borough Electrical Engineer, H. S. Ellis, replied to the effect that the Mission would have to apply for a permit from the Ministry of Munitions authorising the work to be done and the necessary material supplied. Although the application was dutifully made, it appears that no acknowledgement was ever received and the Mission Hall in Wellington Street never did have the benefit of a supply of electricity.

The danger of highlighting the inestimable service given by what has become known as “stalwarts” of the Mission is, that no matter how much care is taken, inevitably someone will be missed out, to the disappointment of surviving relatives. An apology for such omissions is therefore offered in advance.

Notwithstanding this, there are revered brothers and sisters who must be mentioned. Typical examples are James Wilson Brimer and Cuthbert Peel, who seemed always to be linked one with the other. Mr. Brimer, as did Mr. Peel, came into the work of the Mission in the very early days and both held office for most of their lifetime. Mr. Brimer, the Assistant Treasurer was elected as Treasurer in May, 1920, a post he held until his death at well over ninety years of age.

Similarly Cuthbert (Cud) Peel was a tireless worker and Assistant Secretary for many years and despite the fact that when deafness overtook him at an advanced age, he

” a group of Christians working together in a particular district or area, whose Mission is the conversion of the people”.
We will do as we have always done – rely upon God our Father who in His wisdom and graciousness has brought us thus far. The future is in His hands and as we endeavour to honour Him, so will the fellowship receive blessing upon blessing.

Turning back the clock to that October Saturday in 1949, one of the hymns sung in the Wellington Street Mission Hall was, “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah”, and truly, as we have been guided by Him in all things, we see no reason after one hundred years to change our direction.

Finally, readers will agree that we are living in an age of decadence when people have moved away from God and more churches are being closed than are being built. Even the People’s Mission is not immune from disaster, but there is a determination to continue to preach the pure Gospel in a way that will persuade those who hear it to repent of their sin and to know Christ *’ whom to know is life eternal”.

As you read this brief history of the Mission you once loved, we hope that your memories and hearts may be so stirred that you will want to “come back home”.

Sam Palmer,
Chairman of the Centenary Committee
March 1992.