Celebrating 150 years in Watton
A Change of Ownership
In 1977 the Assemblies of God Church purchased the building, with a mortgage being obtained from Assemblies of God Property Trust. The Assemblies of God Church was formed in Watton in the 1930's, and had outgrown their meeting place in the "Upper Room" in Middle Street. The Trustees at this time were Rowland Forder, Ian Austin, Fredrick Godfrey, David Bilverstone and Orlando Turner.
In the early 1980's the front of the church was paneled off, and made into a foyer. Another smaller meeting room, and kitchen were added to the back, making the building more useful for the new congregation it was serving.
The interior of the church 1991
In 1988 Property Trust became the Trustees of the building. Over the next decade alterations continued to be made, the now deteriorating lead work in the windows meant some needed replacing, sadly the cost involved made this largely unviable. In 1994 the vestry (formerly the schoolroom) was refurbished, and another toilet rebuilt on the original foundations. Then in 1998 all the wooden pews and decorative screening were removed, and the floor was leveled and new chairs purchased. 1999 saw the front iron railings taken out, the entrance, built only for pony and trap, widened, and the front gardens replanted. Inside the organ was removed and sold, and a Baptistry built in its place.
The tower was originally a means of access to the balcony inside, above the foyer
In 1992 The Assemblies of God Church and Watton Community Church held a joint baptism service at which 15 people were baptised by immersion. This was the first of many water baptisms by immersion in the Town in living memory. The service was taken by Pastor Chris Pye and Pastor Roger Pawsey
The picture shows a water baptism by immersion