Why St Barnabas Church is also our RAFA Branch Church?

06/11/2014 14:12

St Barnabas in its original tin fabrication form, see picture 1, became after it was replaced, see below, the centre of RAF social and spiritual life in those dark days of 1941, when the RAF took over Morecambe which really became RAF Morecambe.  The words below by Rev Stranks provide the complete answer to why we value St Barnabas Church as our Branch's spiritual and social home.  It was then and so continues today with our Branch Chaplain as the resident parish priest in St Barnabas and we are indebted to him for all the support he has given the Branch including now providing the new venue for our annual Wings Appeal Concert. The pictures below show the original design of the replacement church and what was actually achieved as we have the church today.

The town was then full of R.A.F. personnel, who had
their centre in St. Barnabas's parish. In addition, a depart-
ment of the Post Office had been evacuated to Morecambe

and brought in a large number of people from the South,

many of whom made a notable contribution to the life of
the church. There could not have been a better place to
work in just then or a better group of workers than St.
Barnabas's people. Coming from twelve years service over-
seas, I had a good deal to learn about English parish life,
but my two churchwardens, Fred Child and Herbert Wild
were excellent persons to rely on. Fred Child ran an open
night every Wednesday for members of the R.A.F. and
later for the W.R.A.F. and even in those days of shortages
found refreshments for them and organised entertainments
from local talent or from the forces themselves. I still
recollect those evenings, the packed room, the cheerful
atmosphere, the real talent of the performers with special
pleasure, says Rev. C.J Stranks 1941

"Token of Sacrifice" including pictures

B G Moore

Morecambe and Heysham Times Ltd 1975