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This article is taken from PN Review 49, Volume 12 Number 5, May - June 1986.

Hindhead Highmindedness (part 2) Clyde Binfield


Although George Burnett Stallworthy was born in Samoa (he was the son, grandson and step-grandson of South Sea missionaries), he had come from Norfolk. He ministered at Haslemere from 1883 to 1892 and at Hindhead from 1898 to 1909. In between (and such links are important in understanding the dynamic of call and response) he had been the first minister of a new cause at Poole, called Longfleet. Its chief promoter was an enterprising builder called Habgood, and its tenor may be deduced from its choice of opening preacher, Charles Fleming Williams, 'Flaming' Williams, L. C. C. Alderman, minister of Rectory Road, Stoke Newington, mentor of Ebenezer Howard and the prototype for another Shavian parson, this time in Candida.

At Hindhead as at Longfleet, and indeed at Haslemere, Stallworthy began afresh in a new building if not a new cause.

The Hindhead cause began in the humdrum run of country chapel life in the 1860s, when Isaac Kettle came across from his chapel in Bowlhead Green to lead a Sunday afternoon cottage meeting in Highcombe Bottom. Mr. Kettle's annual tea-party there was known to be a great event. In the 1880s the Haslemere Congregationalists took over the running of the cottage meetings.

By now Hindhead was at the mercy of rich Londoners on relentless safari from Haslemere, panting for the English Switzerland's 'wonderful lavishness of blue distance'. The phrase, 'English Switzerland', to describe all the heights from Fernhurst almost ...

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