Side showing the inscription

Bethesda Medallion

Rev. David Leese, a Methodist minister from Doncaster, sent us photos of this medallion. The reverse (above) reads Bethesda Sunday Schools: Established 1802, Building erected 1819, Enlarged 1836, Jubilee 1852.

The front (below) states Methodist New Connexion Established 1797. The double portrait features John Wesley, founder of Methodism, and Alexander Kilham, founder of the Methodist New Connexion. Both Wesley and Kilham were born in Epworth, North Lincolnshire.


Side showing John Wesley & Alexander Kilham

Sunday School Certificate

Sunday School teacher's leaving certificate

Mrs Iris Haley (née Houghton) was baptised at Bethesda on 24 March 1918. Her parents had been married at Bethesda on 18 June 1912. Pictured above is the certificate her mother, a Sunday School teacher, was given shortly before her marriage.

The snap below shows the Houghton family on holiday in the 1920s.

The Houghton family

Tell us your memory

If you are one of the many people with a memory of Bethesda or knowledge about what it was like or what went on there when it was at the heart of a living community, or if you know someone who is such a person, please get in touch. We would like to build our fledgling collection of photos and memories. We would also like to build a sound archive, so recordings of people talking about Bethesda could also be useful.


If you have a memory or photo you would like to share, please e-mail our Memories Co-ordinator.


The first two photos were taken during the Sunday School anniversary outing in 1949. We know who some of the people are – do you recognise anyone else? Yourself, perhaps?




The rest of the photos below are from the outing on 30 April 1950.


Above: Joan Clarke and Mabel Hopkinson. Mabel lived in Vine Street and was a friend of Joan Clarke, who attended the Sunday School with Betty Matthews of Vine Street; Molly Yeomans of George Street; Peter Bowers, Donald and Derek Speed (see picture below); Joan and Doris Cardall (see picture below) of Brunswick Place; and Frederick Walker, whose mother had a greengocer's shop on the corner of Bethesda Street and Mollart Street. Another friend of Joan Clarke, Barbara Dale, married Frederick Unwin at Bethesda in 1956. Joan's sister Betty also went to the church.


Above: Doris Cardall is second from the left.


Above: Front right, Derek Speed; front centre, Syd Mawdsley; back left, George Marriott (Do you know any others here?). Derek and his brother Donald both led many meetings and (as their parents had been) were greatly involved with Bethesda until its closure