Sunday, June 19, 2011

U3A, The Hyde Park Chapel and George III

Dear Family and Friends,
One of my jobs is to schedule our Family History Centre for the groups who want to visit. Quite often I book for  U3A groups interested in family history. U3A stands for the University of Third Age. The U3A movement started in France in 1973 andimage spread to England in the 1980’s. The premise is that retired people have a lifetime of experience and, collectively, a vast amount of knowledge that can be shared. Their website says, “U3As are self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning not for qualifications, but for fun.” So U3A groups interested in family history come to our Centre where we give an orientation on the resources and websites we have available. We also always share with them why we do this work and that involves explaining a little about out religious beliefs. Then we bring them down to our Centre and they get started with their research. We are there to help.
One of the ladies I was helping  came with a copy  of the 1881 UK census showing her grandfather. We were able to trace the family back three more generations through the 1871, 1861, 1851 and 1841 censuses. This enabled her to see each individual family unit with parents and children. She was so excited that we were able to find this information and couldn’t wait to share it with her family.
The Hyde Park Chapel
Ken and I are both reading Truth Will Prevail, a history of the Church inclip_image001 the British Isles. I think it’s required reading for every missionary who serves in the British Isles. The title comes from an event that occurred when the first Mormon missionaries came to the here in 1837. Queen Victoria had ascended to the throne three weeks prior to missionaries arriving in Preston, England and the city was still celebrating. A banner with the words “Truth Will Prevail” was displayed. The missionaries took this as a good omen for their work in the British Isles. In 1842, Queen Victoria was presented with a Book of Mormon by Lorenzo Snow. It is now in the library at Windsor castle.
In a chapter written by James R. Moss from Truth Will Prevail, he describes the expansion and establishment of the Church during the years 1951-1971. Just before that time period, in 1945, President David O. McKay had counseled the British Saints to remain in their homeland to help build up the Church. In the 19th century 100,000 Britons joined the church and many emigrated to the US to join the body of Saints there.
In 1955, President McKay said, “There is a great need particularly in the great city of London for a chapel, a church edifice that will be a credit to the Church, that it will accommodate those who are now seeking the truth and about to join the Church. On 26 February 1961, President David O. McKay dedicated the Hyde Park Chapel. I quote James R. Moss, “The Hyde Park Chapel was no ordinary undertaking for the Church in Britain, for it was designed to provide a spiritual showplace for the Church in the minds of those living in the London area. Built in one of the City’s most exclusive districts, only a short walk from the major museums and a focal point for many visitors to London, the chapel was specifically designed to serve a proselytizing function and to help the British people know the Church was in Britain to stay.”
In early fall of this year the Hyde Park Chapel will undergo a major renovation. The Wards, Mission Office, Employment Centre, Centre for Young Adults and our Family History Centre will be displaced for about 6 months. We don’t yet know how this will affect our mission.
Here is a tour of the Chapel and our Family History Centre.
Senior missionaries, Elder Empey, Sister Dewsnup and Sister Empey in the chapel.
The cultural hall.
The door leads down to the Family History Centre.
Entry into the Centre.
President Hinckley’s quote is on the wall in the entry.

In the Centre the windows open up to show the beautiful Princess Gate Mews.
Our friend, Sheila Clappison, a  member of the Hyde Park Ward and Service Missionary for Family History.
Some of the microfilm readers. We have about 25. They are used to read the more than 60,000 parish and other records that are only found on microfilm.
The England London Mission Office. The young missionaries are awesome!
The board in President Patch’s office showing all the missionaries.
The senior missionaries.
More senior missionaries including the Crandalls, Fugals and Robertsons, the family history missionaries.
George III
A couple of weeks ago we went to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Kew has the world's largest collection of living plants.
Inside its grounds is Kew Palace, the smallest of the British royal palaces. It was built by a Dutch merchant in around 1631 and was later purchased by King George III. It’s known as the Dutch House because of its Dutch gables. Despite its name, it is the size of a manor house. Kew Palace was used to hold a dinner hosted by Charles, Prince of Wales to celebrate the 80th birthday of Elizabeth II on April 21, 2006.

George and his wife Charlotte had 15 children and a happy marriage. Kew Palace is more like a family home than a palace.
Ken and a wax head of George III.
I love this portrait Queen Charlotte, George’s wife, that hangs in the palace.
To us it was fascinating because George III was King at the time the American colonies seceded from England. George III was often accused of trying to keep Great Britain at war with the Colonies, even though his own ministers wanted him to give it up. It became a costly war for England and unpopular with the people. George finally accepted defeat and a peace was negotiated. The King later told John Adams, "I was the last to consent to the separation; but the separation having been made and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States as an independent power.”

News From Home
This weekend was the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back. It’s a 188 mile relay race from Logan to Park City. Several members of our family participate nearly every each summer- Curtis, Steve, Andrew, Amy and Molly. This year we added our youngest family member to run- Joseph who is 13, was one of the youngest of the 14,000 runners.  
Congratulations to our participants this year- Molly, Amy, Steve, Joseph and one of the drivers and waterboy, Mark!

Our love to all of you!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)


  1. Always fun to hear from you! I was a volunteer for the Wasatch Back. I saw a couple teenage runners. I was so impressed! What a crazy race, but lots of fun!

  2. How fun... You will be expert Genealogical Buffs in no time at all. Still weird for me to think of you guys as "Senior" missionaries, as you're really not "Senior" at all!

    I don't always comment, but I do enjoy following your work there. Keep Blogging! :)

    ~Emma Miller