Scarborough church’s 50th marked with special service

Church members Joy and David Tomlinson, Michael Street and Les Dolben, with Bishop Alan Tomlinson ahead of the 50th anniversary celebrations.
Church members Joy and David Tomlinson, Michael Street and Les Dolben, with Bishop Alan Tomlinson ahead of the 50th anniversary celebrations.

Scarborough members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) are about to celebrate a very special anniversary.

The church, which is built into the hillside on the corner of Stepney Road and Stepney Drive, is 50 years old.

The genealogy room and library at the church.

The genealogy room and library at the church.

To celebrate the occasion a special church service will take place on Sunday 16 October, starting at 10am.

After the service a tree will be planted to mark the building’s 50th anniversary.

What many residents do not realise is that it was built by the local church members themselves, with the help of members from elsewhere.

In those days (1966) church members were expected to do whatever they could to help build a local church.

Inside the church on the corner of Stepney Road and Stepney Drive.

Inside the church on the corner of Stepney Road and Stepney Drive.

Those who had a bona fide trade such as an electrician or plumber, bricklayer or joiner, were sent to the site and with the help of the local members and a building supervisor the building took shape.

No one was exempt from contributing in some way. Indeed it was considered a privilege by all. Men, women and children toiled away every spare moment they had.

The membership took on the challenge to raise funds to repay 20% of the cost before the building could be dedicated.

“Buy a Brick” was a favourite way of raising funds, and church members embarked upon a number of imaginative ways to raise the required contribution, with the remaining 80% coming from central church funds.

The building was designed to be flexible, so this area and others can be adjusted to accommodate congregations of varying size.

Because Latter-day Saints believe in baptism by total immersion, there is a font downstairs, which is filled with warm water so no-one has to face being baptised in the North Sea.

There are classrooms on two levels which are used for the teaching of lessons using the scriptures which, in Latter-day Saint tradition, includes both the King James Version of the Bible and The Book of Mormon.

Included in the building is the cultural hall. This is used for many activities such as sports, dances and other social events such as weddings.

A well equipped kitchen complete the key facilities and is often used to provide great meal get-togethers.

The well thought out church is still fit for purpose today 50 years after it was built.

Joy Tomlinson, Ward Public Affairs liaison officer, said: “If you are a member who moved away, a member who no longer attends church, or possibly an interested member of the public and wish to meet with us on that Sunday or any Sunday come to think of it, please come along, we will be delighted to see you.”