Benefactors - Laying the Foundation Stone

Extract from the Wigan Observer

The foundation stones were  laid, on the 15th May 1907, each being declared “well and truly laid in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” 

Mr. T. Stanley Walker laid the first stone, "in memory of the late Mr. Thomas Walker.” A donation of £100 was placed upon this stone by the members of the mission. The Rev. W. A. Harrison explained that altogether the misión had received something like £4,000 from the Walker family, and in addition to this Mr. Stanley Walker had now given £50, Mrs. Walker, his mother, £10, and Mr. W. Walker, his brother, £5. 

The Rev. Dr. Pope laid the second stone, “on behalf of Miss D. Meiling, in memory of the late Mrs. Samuel Meiling.” Miss D. Melling placed a donation of £100 upon the stone. 

The Rev. Joseph Robinson laid the third stone, on behalf of Wesleyan Methodist subscribers in the Bolton district,” a donation or £225 being placed on the stone from the subscribers. 

Mrs. Peter Gaskell, of Southport, laid the fourth stone, placing a donation of £100 upon it. 

Mrs. Oates Rushton, of Wigan, laid the fifth stone, the donation being £100. 


Mrs. J. F. Simpkin, of Pemberton, laid the sixth stone, in memory of Mr J. F. Simpkin's mother, the donation she placed upon it being £100. 

Mrs. W. AHarrison laid the seventh tone, "on behalf of the Mission congregation and friends placing upon it a donation of 100 guineas. 

Mr. Thomas Melling, of Parbold, laid the eighth stone, “in memory of the Mr. William Melling J.P." the donation being £100. 

The Rev. W. A. Harrison, laid the ninth stone, “on behalf of an anonymous donor, in memory of the late Mr. Joseph Meek, J.P., of Wigan." the donation being £100. 

Mr. S. Meiling, J.P., who is treasurer of the Mission, laid the tenth stone, his donation being £100. 

Mr. W. R. Deakin, J P, who is joint treasurer of the Mission with Mr. Melling. laid the eleventh stone, his donation being also £100. 

At the conclusion of the ceremony the Rev. W. A. Harrison said he did not know what the Mission would have done without the two treasurers, Mr. Meiling and Mr. Deakin. who he rejoiced to see had laid the Iast two foundation stones. 

On the motion of Mr. C. Heap, seconded by the Rev. H. Walmslev, a hearty vote of thanks was passed to those who had laid the stones and given donations, and to all who had assisted in the service.

A further benefactor of the Mission was Joseph Rank, of London, who chaired the Finance Meeting held in the evening of the opening day on 1st April, 1908. 

Joseph gave generously and graciously matched all donations raised on the evening. He was a great believer in self-help and in the principle of "matched funding" which is now a common way of funding but which was innovative in the late 19th century.

A publication to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Joseph:-

The group will research  some of the people mentioned above - "Who were they?", "What did they did", etc.

* The email will not be published on the website.