During the 1930's students from our Overdale College in Birmingham came to speak at our Sunday Services. In October 1939 Brother W Webley, an Evangelist, came to serve the church. On the occasion of Brother Webley’s 83rd birthday 60 members and friends sat down to a celebration tea. Brother Webley served the church as Minister until 1944.
At the outbreak of war, eight men of the church, like many others, went into the Armed Forces. All returned safely home. A social was held during May 1946 to welcome home our servicemen and also invited were their wives, families and friends. Another social was held in February 1947. A Celebration Tea was held in May 1949 to celebrate 50 years since the church was started. This tea was held at the Congregational Church in Hinckley, now the United Reform Church. This Jubilee photograph now hangs in our Ministers Vestry.
September 1949 Reverend James Garner came to the church as Minister. Weekly Prayer Meetings, Arts and Craft Classes and Faith Teas were held. Rev Garner was asked to become President of the Free Church Federal Council. This he agreed to and the Rev Garner served the church until 1955.
In 1956 Rev A. Naysmith came to the church as part time Minister. With the original list of Trustees now out of date we were obliged to appoint some new ones, this was put into place and new Trustees were appointed in 1959. The Fellowship of Youth was restarted. Rev Naysmith served the church until 1959. During 1962 the church was updated and decorated.
Throughout the 60’s and 70’s the church had no minister, but with the membership strong and working together the church carried on, we had speakers from our own church as well as the local churches and also from the Leicester District of Churches of Christ.
During these years the church had an active programme with lots of Socials, Autumn Fairs, Film Shows, Sunday School Anniversary, The Annual Sunday School Walk Round, Prayer Meetings, Church and Sunday School Outings, Faith Teas, Youth Club, Choir Practice, Ladies Day, Bright Hour and also hosted the Church of Christ Conferences. The Sunday school room was updated and decorated also new curtains were made. During this time a new organ was gifted to the church.
A legacy was left to the church by the late Mr John Mayne of Hinckley; this money was used to have three large chairs made to stand behind the communion table matching the existing Church furniture which was made in the 1950s. A special Service was held on 19th November 1972 to dedicate these new chairs.
With the passing of several members a special meeting was held in May 1975. Mr B Waterton, secretary of Leicester District of Churches of Christ was invited to attend. This meeting was called to discuss if the church would be able to continue and with their help it did continue.
In August 1976 four young American people came to the church, they were given accommodation by four Church members. They stayed at the Hinckley Church for several days, taking services, visiting, and also going with us on the annual Sunday School outing. All agreed that this visit was a success and a boost to the church.
During 1977 a meeting was held regarding the Congregational Churches joining with the Churches of Christ. In June 1977 a special meeting was called with Mr P Morgan and Mr B Waterston who were Church of Christ Officers. A vote was taken and by a majority the church decided in favour of joining. Soon after this the Churches of Christ who voted against joining the United Reform Churches decided to form a new Fellowship of Churches of Christ. The Hinckley church then joined this new Fellowship
A vote was taken at a Church meeting asking for help from the American Brethren. In April 1978 several meetings were held regarding the arrival of the Ministry Team, they arrived in January 1979.The Minister being Mr Tony Calvert along with his wife Angie, Peter and Jan Bowen, and Janet Baines. The ministry team soon began building up the congregation. Bible Studies were introduced, Baptisms were held, the Church began to grow. One of the American Churches donated a travelling Communion Set to the church.
During 1979 an Executive Committee was formed also a Church Magazine was started. In 1980 a group of members attended a conference at Selston Church, Nottinghamshire, when the New Fellowship of Churches of Christ was formed. The new college was to be in Birmingham and to be called Springdale.
During 1981 the church membership rose to forty. The Minister Mr T Calvert and family returned to America in August 1983. During 1985 a Springdale College course was held at the church during that autumn.
Mr Chris Sewell, a student at Springdale College was to come to the church on a regular basis on Sundays and one evening per week, hospitality was arranged for him and family. Mr Chris Sewell received his Graduation Certificate from Springdale in July 1986. The Church unanimously agreed that Chris Sewell would come to the Hinckley Church as minister starting from October 1986. An Induction Service was held on November 22nd for Mr Chris Sewell to welcome him to the church, speaker was Rev Martin Robinson and Harold Merritt both from Birmingham. This service was followed by a tea.
The minister soon began to increase the membership. The church supported Springdale College in Birmingham. An Evangelism Team was formed to support both Evangelism and Missions. Care groups were introduced and Youth Camps, these were much enjoyed by the young people. Membership had now increased to twenty one. The Prayer Meetings and Men’s Group continued and church picnics were held. The Youth Club continued to grow.
In 1991 the church decided that owing to difficulties with another church having the same name as us it was agreed that we should now be known as the Trinity Lane Christian Church.
Springdale students continued to come to the church to gain experience, the Sunday school then changed its time, which encouraged more young people to attend. Bible Schools were also introduced. An Eldership was formed during 1993. During 1995 the church main hall was re-furbished . The pews were removed and replaced with chairs the hall was decorated and new carpet fitted. The membership was now thirty.
In 1996 Minister Chris Sewell officially finished at the church. A special service was held in September to thank him and Pat for their ten years of service to the church.
Also in 1996 Robert Deeming one of our own members and student at Springdale, also working part time at the church became our full time Minister. In 1997 Richard and Yvonne Stitt became part of the Ministry Team serving the church for eighteen months. The ministry at the church continued with The Elders meeting regularly. Sunday School and Youth Work continued together with Care Groups, Mission Team and Maintenance Team. An Alpha Course was held at the church.
In 1999 the church celebrated its Centenary. A special weekend was held to mark this occasion in October with a Flower Festival and Harvest Service.
The Hinckley Herald and Journal dated Thursday 13th January 1999 reported;
“Worshippers ended the second millennium by marking the first century of witness at a town church. The first meetings of what is now the Trinity Lane Christian Church were held in the old cottages at Wykin in 1899 and it is believed the Church moved to the building on the corner of Canning Street the following year.
A weekend of celebrations was organised by the ladies of the Church who arranged flower displays depicting events from the past to present.
Members were reminded of the time when the Sunday Schools’ Festival of Witness procession or Treats was a main event for the Churches and people of Hinckley.
Displays recalled anniversary prize-givings and autumn fayres.
On the Sunday, former minister Chris Sewell was the speaker for the family service. Money raised went to the work of missions.”
In September 2000 Minister Robert Deeming returned to Springdale College to finish his degree course. In July 2002 Minister Robert Deeming resigned from the church.
Later a special meeting was called to discuss the church situation inviting Dan Yarnell from Birmingham to attend. The remaining members decided to take up the challenge and carry on and to invite visiting speakers and students. In September 2002 New Trustees were appointed.
During 2003 the church required major internal renovations. This work was carried out in stages. The main church room was unable to be used, so the church met in the schoolroom. The church was finally reopened in October 2004; author Doreen Irvine was the guest speaker.
In December 2005 Andy Cleaver, a student and ministry trainee joined the Fellowship bringing with him his various talents, working with young people and music.
In the autumn of 2006 a meeting was held to discuss the possibility of Bruce and Maryann Robertson from America coming to the church. This couple are missionaries and members of the Churches of Christ. They would work alongside pastors and encourage church growth within the Fellowship. They arrived in February 2007 and made contact with other local ministers in Hinckley .Whilst at the church they would be willing to lead Bible Study Groups, Mums and Tots, Counselling and Parenting Groups.
In January 2008 Andy Cleaver began working within the church. And the Sunday School which had by now been reopened. He was also involved in “Youth for Christ “and held Nooma study. In the summer of 2009 Andy asked if he could be released from the church, which was agreed. In October the Robertson’s returned to America.
February 2012 Andrew Dudfield began his ministry at the church. In July of the same year, we were approached by “Achieve With Us “, a group that works with people with learning difficulties, about hiring part of the church buildings. The church agreed to this and “Achieve With Us” opened in September 2012.
A new kitchen was installed at the church in January 2013. Andrews Induction Service was held on 11th May 2013 and John Frogett was the speaker. The church continued to support several missions on a regular basis and also holding weekly Prayer Meetings and Bible Studies.
During 2013 the church passageway had a new roof fitted, the floor was boarded and walls decorated. In 2014 the Ministers vestry was updated and decorated and new carpet fitted. The vestibule was also decorated. That year the church became affiliated with H.O.P.E. 2014 for Hinckley and District area.
This report has been prepared by Mrs Evelyn Brown, TLC church’s longest serving member.
In the late 1890’s a group of men from the South Wigston Church of Christ came to Hinckley to meet with some Hinckley Brethren with the view to plant a new church. Amongst these Brethren was a Mr James Cawdron Snr. These Brethren met in a cottage in Wykin, this cottage still stands today, though greatly modernised.
Then a room was rented in Hinckley in 1899 until a mortgage could be raised to buy land and to build a church. The Church at South Wigston continued a close link with the Hinckley Church with finances and ministerial help. The majority of the Hinckley Trustees also came from South Wigston.
The Hinckley Church soon began holding socials and teas to raise money. About this time the “Robin” breakfast was introduced for the needy children of the area. A Sunday school was formed and the membership began to increase so much so that the church was able to take out a mortgage to buy land and build the church.
Several of the Trustees pledged money and the new church opened in 1904, by this time the church had 22 members. The church became a member of the Leicester District of Churches of Christ and also a member of Hinckley and District Churches.
In the mid 1920's a wooden building was built at the side of the church, leaving a garden on the corner of Canning Street and Trinity Lane. With this new building other activities were introduced including a Ladies Group, a Sewing Class and a Choir. Later a Concert Group was formed by the young people who played musical instruments, sang and danced and performed comedy sketches raising money for needy families.