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A Garden Village – Woman Pastor’s Work

November 1929

Mexborough and Swinton Times November 15, 1929

A Garden Village.

Woman Pastor’s Work at Cortonwood.

A Great Spiritual Work.

The first anniversary was a crowning mercy, which brought new vision and a glorious inspiration; the second year has been more wonderful than the first.

This is the keynote a the second is annual report of Mrs. Lindsey Moore, the minister in charge of the Wesleyan Mission Hall at Cortonwood. The pastor’s second anniversary is to be celebrated this week-end, when the preacher will be the Rev. Norman G. Dunning, MA., LL.B., of Cliff College. Mr. Dunning has just returned from world travels, and it is a great compliment to Mrs. Moore’s work at Cortonwood that she has been able to secure his presence for this special occasion.

In transforming the lives of a community of hardworking people, Mrs. Lindsay Moore has accomplished a great spiritual work at Cortonwood. In the first twelve months of her ministry she took the village by storm, and news of her conquests spread throughout the world of Methodism. Cortonwood is held up as a standing example of the great and glorious things that can be achieved by hard work and prayerful enthusiasm.

In her first report Mrs. Moore declared, “The old gospel is winning its way in this new age among hard thinking men, and in a time of unparalleled trade depression. Men who have spent their lives drinking, gambling, and swearing, are filled with wonder at the change wrought by the indwelling Christ.”

Her testimony this year—after another twelve mouths of zealous soul-winning efforts,” is: “The wonder has not gone with the novelty; developments are not less marvellous than beginnings; there have constantly been new triumphs of the gospel of grace.”

Mrs. Lindsey Moore spent her early life in social and religious work in Lancashire, Yorkshire, the East End of London and the Potteries district of Staffordshire. A woman full of energy, enthusiasm and good spirits, she felt the “urge” to greater religious effort three ago on the death of her husband, a former Wesleyan minister at Hoyland.

Indeed, she confesses that it was from this overwhelming sadness that she drew her inspiration. Naturally gifted, she obtained her theological training at the Wesleyan Women’s College at Ilkley

For the past two rears her life has been devoted to  Cortonwood and the record of her achievements spiritually reads like a glorious romance.

The second annual report of Mrs. Lindsey Moore’s ministry is framed in parabolic fashion. In an apt, artistic and convincing way she describes the village as “God’s garden”, each phase and branch of the work of the mission having its special place and fulfilling its special function in a well ordered plan. In a preface to the eport, which will be circulated not only at Cortonwood but throughout the whole of the Methodist mission field, Mrs. Moore writes :—”As I look back over the year the work takes on the aspect of a garden . The garden has been claimed, consecrated, and fenced; reclaimed land for God. It has been dug, cleaned and prepared. Seeds have been sown and roots planted and nourished with care, watered in prayer, and bathed in the dews and sunlight of Heaven.

There is every variety of beauty and colour, for it is God’s garden, and it reflects His mind and His glory. Our Lord said, ‘The good seed are the children of the Kingdom.’ So in this garden, men, women and children are the flowers. They were not always in the garden. Some are born of the incorruptible seed, which is the Word of God. Others are grafted from the wild state of nature. We have seen the promise fulfilled. God has made the wilderness to blossom and the desert to rejoice in the music of the fir and the pine. They that pass by see the diflerence, and say to one another, ‘This land that was desolate is become like the Garden of Eden. The miracle has turned waste into fruitfulness, barrenness into beauty, thorns into fire and briars into myrtle.

The place of howling has become n sanctuary of song and the Valley of Weeping is full of peace and joy. God is in His garden. Ile walks in it in the cool of the evening as he did in the garden of Paradise. The sunshine of His presence makes it glorious in beauty and rapturous with joy. His children look up to Him and are radiant. I wish I had a pen that could tell you all the glory I see and feel, as I watch the growth and beauty of lives redeemed and sanctified in Him. There are storms of wind and rain, lightning and thunder but the Garden is fenced and kept, and all weathers are in His hands.”

“The Garden at Cottonwood,” says Mrs. Moore in the course of the report, “has been gathered from the homes of the people. The pastor has gone from house to house seeking the Lord’s lost children. The search has been full of surprises. What treasures of rare virtue have been found in the unlikeliest of places!”

No words, she says, can describe the weekly class meetings, the average attendance at which is forty, despite the fact that many of the miner members can only attend one week in three. “The testimonies thrill and throb with emotions of praise and joy.” The women “love with Mary’s devoted heart, and serve and contrive with Martha’s capable hands.” The Sunday School, wild and barren two year’s ago, is ever expanding and growing into a, thing of beauty. During the year open-air meetings have been held in every street in the district.