Monday, August 22, 2011
The Hyde Park Chapel, Family History and Buckingham Palace with Friends
Dear Family and Friends,
The senior missionaries meet every other Monday evening for Family Home Evening. Because we are getting near to the closing of the Hyde Park building for refurbishing, Elder and Sister Empey, who serve in the mission office, presented a history of the building. I mentioned in a previous blog that our Hyde Park building was build where a V2 bomb was dropped during World War II.
The Empeys presented information from an article written by Clifton G. M. Kerr, who was President of the British Mission from 1955 to 1958. President Kerr wrote that when he was set apart, President David O. McKay said, “There is a great need in the center of the great city of London for a chapel, a church edifice that will be a credit to the Church, that will accommodate those who are now seeking the truth and about to join the Church, a place of worship that will indeed become an international gathering place for the Lord’s people.” President McKay gave Clifton Kerr the charge to find a site for this chapel and said that he would be guided in doing so. There were many building sites around London as a result of the Nazi bombing. About a year after his arrival in England, President Kerr found the site. He said, “As we stood on the site and looked around, we could see that the University of London, four great museums, and Royal Albert Hall were within a two block radius. Also about one half mile away was Buckingham Palace, the home of the Royal Family.”
The church acquired the property and had an architect, Sir Thomas Bennett draw up plans for the building. Because the plans included a Recreation Hall and Bishop’s Office, the London County Council did not give approval, as the area was not zoned for recreation or business. When Sir Bennett questioned church leaders about the kinds of activities that would take place in the church, he said, “Those sound like cultural activities, don’t they?” According to President Kerr, Sir Bennett drew a line through Recreation Hall on the paper work and wrote Cultural Hall and through Bishop’s Office and wrote Bishop’s Study. The plans were approved and today everywhere in the church we use the term Cultural Hall.
The Hyde Park Building was completed and dedicated by President David O. McKay on 26 February 1961. It has, “indeed become an international gathering place for the Lord’s people”. Sunday we attended an open house for a young man from the Hyde Park Ward who has been called to serve a mission in the Irish Scottish Mission of the Church. He is of Jamaican ancestry and his mother is on the staff of our Family History Centre.
Elder Robertson, Elder Fugal, new missionary Omar and his mother, Sharon.
The other day I was helping a gentleman do a scan of some parish records from Wybunbury in the county of Cheshire. The parish register was very old and the language then was quite different from what it is now. Someone had written the alphabet used in the register on the cover page. The first page of the register had some ‘doodling’ that would have been done by the clerk. I did some research on the church and found a picture showing all that remains is the tower of the church of St Chad. These parish records began in 1588 and our Family History Centre has them on microfilm.
The column on the left shows the capital letters. Notice how the capital F is written ff. The middle column shows lower case letters and the column on the right shows how they wrote numerals.
Even though this is the register of a Anglican church, the doodling, according to the patron I was assisting, is Celtic and pagan.
We have all of the membership records of early LDS in England on microfilm. Ken and I decided that we would try to find his 2nd great-grandfather’s member ship record. First we looked in the Minnie Margetts File, which is an index of membership records of early English branch records for the years of 1839-1913. After we found Andrew Ferguson and the time and place of his baptism on the index, we went to our London Family History Centre website and searched the catalogue to find the microfilm number for Rutherglen, Scotland Branch records. This is what we found:
Andrew Ferguson was the first person listed on this page and under him was his wife Catherine. Andrew was baptized 22 September 1844 by Peter Moffet and confirmed 1 October 1844 by Matthew Carruthers. Catherine was baptized 16 September 1844 and confirmed 1 October 1844 by the same individuals as her husband. A sad note follows the entry for Catherine. She died 4 January 1849. She was 30 years old and left several small children. Ken’s line comes through Elizabeth, Andrew’s second wife.
As I have said before, these records tell us the stories of the people who went before us and as we search them, the stories unfold.
Elder Devon and Sister Judy Tufts came to stay with us last weekend. They are serving a CES mission in Birmingham, England, and work with college age young adults. Devon and I worked together at Timberline Middle School in Alpine and retired at the same time. It was so fun to have them visit, share mission experiences and reminisce about the good times and some of the interesting students we had at Timberline. We spent Saturday showing them some of the wonderful places in London. We went to Buckingham Palace in the morning,visited the Churchill War Rooms in the afternoon and played banana scrabble in the evening. The Tufts came with us to the North London Ward on Sunday. We had such a wonderful time with them!
Buckingham Palace was amazing. On the outside I have always considered it rather plain but the inside is very beautiful. There is a wonderful collection of art by Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin and Canaletto.
White Drawing Room
Blue Drawing Room
The State Rooms, used for official entertaining, are the only parts of the palace that are open to the public and this only happens in August and September of each year when the Queen is in Scotland at Balmoral Estate. During this summer opening the wedding dress of the Duchess of Cambridge(Kate Middleton) is displayed.
The Fugals and Tufts in the garden at Buckingham Palace.
What fun to see London in the company of old friends!
Happy school days to all of our sweet grandchildren who start school this week. Bryan and Nick are now 7th graders, Kayleigh and Joseph are in the 8th grade and Josh in 9th. I taught 7th grade to some of their parents, my own children. In elementary are Avery, Matthew, Emily, Elizabeth, Spencer, April, Ryan, Abby and Drew. Carter in in preschool.
Happy 7th Birthday to sweet Avery!
Our love to all!
Love, Elder and Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)