Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/317

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PREBENDARY WEBB-PEPLOE, M.A. 273

a Penny Gaff Theatre in Manor Street, Chelsea a building put up during the Crimean War for the use of the soldiers. It was subsequently sold by the Government, and a company took it for the pur poses of a Penny Gaff Theatre. When the lease was about to be renewed, Mr Marston appealed to his congregation to help him to buy with a view to its transformation into parochial use. This they kindly did, but Mr Marston never lived to see it opened. When I arrived there was a debt attaching to the building, and the good people on my first Easter with them paid off ^1,000. Under God, we worked there with the most marked success ; but with the singular result that, after a tide of blessing and prosperity, our mission hall the Penny Gaff Theatre of the past became too respectable, and only those who were in earnest would come regularly. The lesson gained from that experience was that no mission hall should be turned into a regular Church establishment, but should be always kept as a place for breaking new ground, as it were."

" But how did it come about that you have practically two districts under your care besides Onslow Square ? "

" I was coming to that. After a few years we added to our work another large district, containing 5,000 poor, called St Matthew s, Walton Street, and embracing part of the Parish of St Saviour s, Upper Chelsea. There, during seventeen years, we have

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