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A Brief History | the waterside community church

the waterside community church

A Brief History


A Brief Outline

View an extract from “Friend of Seafarers and Children” by M.J.Roberts

  • 1853 Henry Cook set up the first Ragged Day School and Sunday School for boys, in 80 High Street.
  • Later he started a Boys Industrial Home in 47 Stoke Road.
    1858 Built a Ragged School in 46 South Street (behind Woolworth’s approx)
  • 1869 Built The Portsmouth and Gosport Seaman’s Mission, 66 South Street, which later incorporated a Ragged School for girls. ( to the right of the George & Dragon Pub.)
  • 1875 (approx) Coffee & Reading Rooms in 47 Stoke Road and Beach Street.
  • 1885 (approx) New Mission Hall at Rudmore Place Portsmouth.
  • 1886 (approx) Coffee & Reading Room/Mission at The Quay Portsmouth
  • 1887 He replaced a Wherry (Portsea to Porchester) and another boat ‘Annie’ with two new schooners ‘The Mystery’ & ‘Herald of Mercy’.
  • Later set up a floating mission harboured at Portsmouth, over 27 attended.
  • 1889 Set up a French Seaman’s Mission (& hospital?) in Deauville France.
  • 1890 (approx) Mission Hall in Forton Road Camden Town
  • 1893 had a new auxiliary screw steamer built which could hold 300 people, called ‘The Good News’.
  • 1893 Henry Cook died in the Mission Hall in Deauville
  • 1969 Both The Old Mission Buildings were demolished and a new building sited next to the Gosport Precinct in South Street.
  • Early Trustees

William Hobbs Brewery Owner Stoke Road
Dr Kealy
Messrs J & E Lapthorn Sail makers
Mr Mumby Owner of Chemists High Street & Soda Water/Lemonade Factory
Mr B Nicholson Head of Camper & Nicholson’s Yacht Building Company
Mr O Upfield Draper

The Bethel Mission operated until 2000 when the Trustees handed over the running of the charity to a new church group who named it “The Waterside Community Church”.

In 2018 the new trustees voted unanimously to re name the building after the founder of the charity;

“The Henry Cook Centre” with the church retaining it’s name “The Waterside Community Church”.