History: Page 6

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Ministers 1983 to 2017, and Pokesdown 80s into 2000s

Rev. Reg Cook started at RPBC in 1983. His wife, Barbara, started a Mother and Toddler Group at the beginning of 1985 which often operated to capacity, and a keep fit class!

RPBC joined others in the Boscombe East area for an extensive outreach programme to the growing Littledown Estate.

Boscombe Churches decided to hold a joint Sunday evening service every two months in the participating churches in rotation.113

Rev. Reginald J. Cook, Minister at RPBC 1983 to 1997. Photo property of RPBC.

Reg Cook and Maurice Hawkes, helping sort the food at the Christmas Fayre, 1993.
Source: David and Pauline Grant, RPBC.
In the hall, 1993. The Annual Christmas Fayre organised by Guides, Brownies and Rainbows, with this year’s theme being the circus! Source: David and Pauline Grant, RPBC.
Entrance to Pokesdown Station. Date: 24 Sept 1984. Source: ebay davebowman28 (copyright owner unknown)
colour photo of a blue bus driving along Christchurch Road, Pokesdown, late 1980s
A rare photo of late 1980s Pokesdown. Source: Transports of Delight: Somerset and Dorset Independent Buses.

In 1991, with a membership of 146,114 the church celebrated its one hundred year anniversary. Writing in the church’s ‘Good News’ magazine, Reg Cook said:

“…the church isn’t about changing members or ministers, about changing organisations or hymns, but about the unchanging Christ. ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.’ says the writer of Hebrews. ‘O Thou who changest not, abide with me,’ says H.F. Lyte’s hymn. We thank God that amidst all the changes in our life and circumstances there is the unchanging Christ from whose love nothing in life or in death can separate us. That is what we are celebrating in 1991, the same faith that brought together those 25 in 1891 and with the same vision we go forward into the future, not knowing where it will lead us, but sure of the love of God in Christ Jesus.”115

Still got “The Messenger” on it, as it had in 1922!
Source: Alwyn Ladell Flickr.
history booklet by Robert J Jeans
In 1991, Rosebery Park Baptist Church celebrated
it’s 100th anniversary! This booklet of the history
of the church
was written by Robert J. Jeans.

Two nearby changes that may have impacted shopper footfall in Pokesdown were the pedestrianisation of Boscombe’s main shopping area in 1990115a, and the 2003 upgrade from the worn-out Hampshire Centre to the new Castlepoint Shopping Park on the same site.115b

An online search for photos of Pokesdown in the 1990s only yields the demolition of some of the long-established buildings. These losses are looked on sadly now by some, but I’m not sure what the mood was at the time. Was the voice of the Bournemouth Civic Society -who were trying to highlight the loss of buildings with heritage- drowned out by profit, or community apathy, or were these changes seen by some/many as helpful modernisation? What else was going on in Pokesdown during this period? From the point of view of my research so far, it’s a blank, because the British Newspaper Archive currently “only” has Bournemouth newspapers up to 1930s, I haven’t found the later equivalent of Tony Crawley’s 1963 ‘Limelight on Pokesdown’ article, and the Daily Echo online doesn’t start until about 2006. If I get to access new material in the future I may be able to provide more information.

For source of photos and information, see notes 115c and 115d, Sources of Information.
896 Christchurch Road. Date: March 2015.
Source: Alwyn Ladell Flickr.

The 1970s fire station at the top of Seabourne Road was also demolished about 1990 (but it’s hard to imagine anyone missed it).

This Victorian building, 896 Christchurch Road (the former Science, Art & Technical School) was saved after extensive repairs were carried out during 1995-98, by it’s new owners, ‘Help & Care’, with support from  the National Lottery and Charitable Trusts. ‘Help & Care’ occupied this building from 1994 until April 2021, and undertook further extensive repairs, which included restoring much of the original stone work, in 2013.115e

Rev. Philip Parfitt was Minister at RPBC from 1997 to 2006. Philip, Christine (his wife) and Annabel their daughter were all involved with the church. While he was ‘in office’, the inside of the church building was completely re-vamped, the pews removed, the staging at the front also. The pulpit was removed from the wall under the cross (many in the church were unhappy about that), and the whole place painted! It was a huge job, and while that was happening, the services took place in the downstairs hall. New legislation had come  in regarding having disabled toilets, so the Deacons’ Vestry was turned into one, and the door into the church put where it now is. Scaffolding had to be erected for the painting to be done. New furniture was bought – for the church as well as for the hall, replacing the plastic chairs now upstairs. New carpet was also bought for the church.116

Rev. Philip Parfitt, Minister 1997 – 2006 (Photo property of RPBC)
and Philip with Christine and Annabel. Source: David and Pauline Grant, RPBC.

PDF of the newspaper articles and documents is available here. They are images, and not plain text, but they can at least be enlarged for easier viewing this way.

Much excitement in 1999 about the New Year being
the New Millennium! Source: M. Fogg.
Daily Echo 04/01/2000.
colour photo of Pokesdown Station sign at entrance in 2001
The sign outside Pokesdown Station in 2007, before the name change in 2009.
Source: Alexandra Lanes.
colour photo of sign outside Pokesdown for Boscombe station
The sign outside Pokesdown for Boscombe Station. This photo: 2012. Source: Alwyn Ladell Flickr.

Rev. Alison Overton,
Minister at RPBC 2009 – 2017.

Alison was appointed in 2009 as part-time minister. Alison is married to Rev. Grenville Overton, who was then Regional Minister for the Southern Counties Baptist Association.

She was a very able pastor, and encouraged children’s work. Under her, we became involved with Moorlands College, and started to have students from there on placement with us. The first was Seidel Abel Boanerges (see below). At around the same time, we appointed a Children, Youth & Family Worker – Rick Cole, who with his wife Helen, had just finished at Moorlands. Sadly in January 2015 he died from a heart attack, leaving a young widow. He had managed to build up some children’s activities, and his death left the church reeling.

These 2010 and onwards articles are available as plain text (and therefore text-to-audio compatible) by following the link given underneath each to their original source.

Source: Daily Echo
article in Bournemouth Daily Echo from 2010 about a meeting at Rosebery Park Baptist Church to discuss setting up a street pastors scheme
Source: Daily Echo
colour photo of Rev Alison Overton and Grenville Overton
Rev. Alison Overton and Grenville Overton.
Source: Alison Overton.

Alison was much involved with Churches Together in Boscombe, and had suggested the local churches start an Open the Book team, taking Bible stories into a local school. She began the group, which continued the work even during the Coronavirus lock-down, via videos and messages.

colour photo of Rev Alison and youth worker Rick Cole on Pokesdown Green
Rev. Alison Overton and Children, Youth & Family Worker, Rick Cole, and Karon Anderson on Pokesdown Green, June 2014. Source: RPBC Facebook.

She also introduced Boscombe Angels (Street Pastors), of which she was one to start with, but found she could not do that and all the other activities!117 There were six baptisms, holiday clubs, restarting Brownies, the after school club, activity days, Wednesday coffee morning group, Bible study, outreach coffee mornings, plus, afternoon church. Alison retired in 2017.

Ladies Fellowship outing, June 2014.
Source: David and Pauline Grant, RPBC.
colour photo of people stood singing in church
Service in church, Nov 2014. Source: RPBC.
Church group photo,1st October 2017. Source: David and Pauline Grant, RPBC

In 2009 the Pokesdown Mural Project was proposed by a local action group based at Scribe Tattooing, and they secured funding from the council to commission urban artist Soap (aka Adam Klodzinski) to design and paint a mural on the long blank wall along Pokesdown Station platform. Work began on this in June 2011. In September that year it won the Community Rail Awards for Community Arts Scheme.117a

Date this photo: 5 Feb 2012. Source: © Chris Downer Geograph
A March 2012 service in RPBC; handing out newspapers and inviting people in for coffee; Alison preaching;
Alison and Seidel baptise Karon (March 2013); Boscombe Angels (March 2016).
Promotional video for Rosebery Park Baptist Church from 2015!
Source: Daily Echo

Rev Seidel Abel Boanerges was the Associate Minister at Rosebery Park. This post was created to oversee the evangelism and outreach of the church. He joined the leadership team at Rosebery Park in 2012 and served till end of 2015 before taking on a new role as the Director of Outreach at Capernwray Bible School at Capernwray Hall.118

church building by Alwyn Ladell
Church Building, 2015. Source: Alwyn Ladell Flickr.
colour photo of Rev. Seidel Abel Boanerges
Rev Seidel Abel Boanerges,
Associate Minister 2012 to 2015.

The booklet Rosebery Park Baptist Church: The First Hundred Years, 1891 to 1991, by Robert J. Jeans, includes much more detail on things such as internal changes to the buildings, what roles individuals undertook in the church, the different groups and activities run over the years, what outside causes and missionaries we supported, and the people who oversaw the church (called Moderators) whilst we were in-between Ministers.

Post-1991, during the “interregnum” (Minister-less gap!) between Rev. Philip Parfitt and Rev. Alison Overton, Rev. Adrian Thomas acted as Moderator, and retired minister, Rev. Derek Yates became interim minister and helped produce the new church covenant. He remained until Rev. Alison Overton was appointed. Between Rev. Alison Overton and Rev. Simon Bartlett, the interregnum was moderated by Rev. Ian Coffey of Moorlands College, and we appointed Chris Humphries (also from Moorlands) as interim minister.119

The copy and paste citation for this page: The History of Rosebery Park Baptist Church and Pokesdown, Page 6. Author: Michelle Fogg. Date: June 2021. Url: https://roseberypark.org/history/incl-pokesdown-page-6/

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Rosebery Park Baptist Church, 812-814 Christchurch Road, between Boscombe and Pokesdown, Bournemouth, BH7 6DF