Catalogue ReferenceD/MS63
TitleRecords of Whitley Hall (formerly Spring Gardens) Wesleyan Methodist Church
Description[For more information about the records in this collection please contact Berkshire Record Office.]


Society administration
Trustees' meeting minutes, 1926-1952; draft statement of renovation accounts, c.1948; sale particulars and deeds of church site, 1849-1904; place of worship registration, 1906; leaders' meeting minutes, 1934-1951, 1970-1973; annual society or general church meeting minutes, 1934-1950, 1970-2010 (incomplete); Church Council minutes, 1974-2011 (incomplete); collection journals, 1894-1980 (incomplete); anniversary collection accounts, 1935-1943; annual statements of accounts, 1997-2010/1; Benevolent Fund accounts, 1962-2008; Family Committee minutes, 1974-1996; Finance and Property Committee minutes, 1997; correspondence relating to 80th anniversary, 1985-1986; correspondence relating to sale of land adjoining church, 1990-1991; correspondence and papers relating to closure and sale of church, 1992-1999; meeting attendance book, 1969-1991; papers relating to Community Link Scheme, 1988-1989; papers relating to future options for church, 1994-1998; property schedules, 1983-1996.

Society organisations
Women's Own minutes, 1994-1995, and notes on history, c.1987; Network minutes, 1989-1994; Whitley Wives Group minutes, 2000-2018, accounts, 1992-2019, and annual statement of accounts, 1980/1-2019/20; Men's Group photographs, 1987; agreement with Star Risers, 1987; Women's Work minutes, 1981-1986; choir committee minutes, 1893-1923; Garden Show committee minutes, 1921-1936; Dramatic Society constitution, 1952.

Service of the church
Pulpit notices, 1964-1977; special orders of service, 1986-1997.

Baptism registers, 1887-1931, 1970-1997; marriage registers, 1902-1996.

Community rolls, 1993, 1995; list of members, 2008.

Sunday School and Sunday Institute
Cradle rolls, 1960-1997; Sunday School annual report, n.d. [1955]; photographs of Sunday School toy service Nativity play, 1995.

Printed material/Miscellaneous
Newsletters, 1968, 1970; magazine, 1992; history of church, 1956; souvenir handbook, 1966; photograph of church interior, n.d. [1960s]; photographs of actvities, 1986; anniversary leaflet, 1981; Whitley Festival programmes, 1983-1984; children's prayers and pictures used in closing service, 1997.
RepositoryBerkshire Record Office (code: GB 005)
Extent38 vols, 40 bdls, 26 docs
Admin HistoryIn the mid 19th century the Wesleyans at Church Street, Reading [the society which subsequently became Wesley Methodist Church, D/MS 60], established mission work in Tank Road and Mount Street. A Sunday School opened in Spring Gardens, Whitley, in c.1856.

Spring Gardens Chapel was built in 1870 and enlarged in 1873. A new chapel replaced it in 1897. In 1905 the society moved to a Mission Hall in Whitley Street, soon named Whitley Hall.

The building was sold in 1997 to Reading Hindu Temple, but the church continued without premises. It met for worship at the Avenue School, other activities at Christ Church (D/P 170) and business meetings at Tyndale Baptist Church (D/N 28).

After the closure of the Avenue School, the church met for worship in the hall of Tyndale Baptist church. The church's name changed to Whitley Methodist Church.
AcquisitionDeposited in 1974 (acc. 3487 part); July 1983 (acc. 3265); September 1988 (acc. 4292 part); November 1995 (acc. 5703); March 1998 (acc. 6211); September 1999 (acc. 6506); June 2003 (acc. 7222); February 2004 (acc. 7333); February 2012 (acc. 8967); May 2015 (acc. 9626); December 2018 (acc. 10434); November 2019 (acc. 10635); March 2020 (acc. 10680)

Schedule of accessions
Acc. 3487 (part): 1C/1-5
Acc. 3265: 2A/1; 2B/7-8; 2C/1; 4A/1-3; 8/1,5
Acc. 4292 (part): 2B/1-2, 4-6
Acc. 5703: 3F/1-2
Acc. 6211: 2C/2-4; 2E/4; 5A/1-3; 6A/1; 7B/1; 7C/1; 8/6
Acc. 6506: 1A/1; 1B/1; 2A/3-6; 2D/1-2; 2E/1-3, 5; 3A/1-3; 3D/1; 4B/1; 7C/2; 8/2-3, 7, 9-11
Acc. 7222: 8/8
Acc. 7333: 5B/1-12
Acc. 8967: 2A/7; 2B/9; 2D/3-4; 2E/6-11; 5A/4; 6A/2
Acc. 9626: 1C/6; 2A/7-11; 2B/10-14; 2C/5; 2D/5; 2E/13; 8/12
Acc. 10434: 7B/2
Acc. 10635: 3B/1; 8/13
Acc. 10680: 3A/4-6
ArrangementClassification scheme for Methodist society (chapel or church) records

[This scheme shows how the collection is arranged. This collection does not include every type of record in the scheme. See the summary for records included in this collection.]

1 Trustees
1A Trustees' meeting minutes
1B Trust accounts
1C Chapel property [deeds, certificates, licences, appointments of trustees]
1D Correspondence
1E Related committees
1F Other property [eg manse, hall, school]
1G Other

2 Leaders and society stewards/Church Council)
2A Leaders' meeting/Church Council minutes
2B Accounts
2C Committees
2D Correspondence
2E Other

3 Society organisations
3A Women's groups [except Women's Work
3B Men's groups
3C Joint fellowship [except Sunday Institute]
3D Youth organisations [except Sunday School]
3E Missions [including Women's Work]
3F Other

4 Service of the church
4A Pulpit notices
4B Orders of service
4C Ministers' papers
4D Other

5 Registration
5A Baptism
5B Marriage
5C Burial

6 Membership
6A Registers, class books and directories
6B Young disciples
6C Other

7 Sunday School and Sunday Institute
7A Sunday School minutes and accounts
7B Sunday School registers and cradle rolls
7C Other Sunday School records
7D Sunday Institute

8 Printed material/Miscellaneous
Related MaterialRecords in other collections

Circuit records D/MC1, 5-6, 21

Society steward's accounts, 1884-1891 D/MS60/2B/1

Church property file, 1979-1989
Quinquennial inspection, 1991 D/MC6/3A/36

Sale particular of church, 1997 D/EX1473/1

Baptisms, c.1856-1875 D/MC1/7A/1
Access ConditionsWith the exception of registers of baptism, marriage and burial, and other material whose contents have been made public, records of the Methodist Church are closed for 30 years, and pastoral records for 75 years, in accordance with Methodist Church standing orders.

Applications for access to closed records must be made in writing to the County Archivist.
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