When St Edward's Church opened its doors for the first time in 1902, people flocked to worship at the new "Church on the Hill". Built to house a 400 strong congregation, in the early years the church was full with very few empty seats, and unlike congregations today, whole families worshipped together.
St Edward's Church became the centre of the Kingstone and Longcar communities and brought people together. It was natural that, within the community, people formed friendships with people who had similar interests and clubs and societies were formed.
Under the church roof, boy met girl, they married, babies were christened and people came together to pray and give thanks for the lives of the departed. At a time of high infant mortality and a high risk of early deaths from disease and accidents at work, the church and it's societies provided a valuable support network in times of hardship, and were a welcome distraction from the daily grind and an alternative to the local pub or working men's club.
On October 29th 1931, Edward George Lancaster, generous benefactor and Patron of the Living, opened St Edward's Parish Hall that was paid for by public subscription and a generous donation from Mr Lancaster. The building enabled clubs and societies to flourish in a purpose-made building. Prior to this, meetings of clubs and societies had taken place in St Edward's schoolrooms.
On 23rd June 1910 Edward George Lancaster opened St Edward's Institute. The building comprised a billiard room, games room and reading room and cost about £850. It was intended to allow businessmen and workingmen to relax after work, but Mr Lancaster warned that they should not allow relaxation to become the aim and end of their lives.
Full size photographs of groups can be found under individual headings, left. Please contact us if you are able to help us to put names to faces.