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War Years

The beginning of World War 2 led the church to set aside June 2nd 1940 as the day of fasting and prayer for a lasting peace in behalf of war refugees. Thirty dollars was received and sent to the Methodist overseas Relief Fund. The Charlton Woolen and Ashworth Manufacturing Companies helped with financing church repairs and a new.


The men's brotherhood was begun in 1941. Three men from the church had joined the army. In 1942 the Women's Society of Christian Service worked with the Civilian Defense Plans to use the church kitchen as a canteen kitchen in case of the evacuation of people from the surrounding cities. By the middle of the war years the men's brotherhood had limited its activities because so many men were in the service or were working nights. There was also a ban on pleasure driving and gasoline was rationed; meetings were stopped entirely during the cold months to save and, church services reverted to the vestry again as it had in the First World War


The pastor was positive as he described the state of the church in these war years despite lack of gasoline long work hours hot weather and big victory gardens attendance was good it was proposed to increase contact with men listed on the honor roll of service to let them know they weren't forgotten and those on the home front were trying to hasten their return.


After the war there occurred a revival of interest in the church. The men's brotherhood grew to over 50 members. In two years the total church inrollment grew from 113 to 179 with an average of 55 to 60 attending every Sunday


The worst flood in Charlton 's history wrecked havoc along Cady Brook destroying mills and homes taking six lives. Our church survived with little damage, but the important church papers were lost when the safe of the Charlton Woolen Mill was swept away with the company offices.


The 1970s marked a low in the history of our church because of the rising cost of energy and a continuing decline in membership the decision was made to sell a Parsonage and move to a part-time ministry


Pastor Arthur Roebuck was assigned to the church at this difficult time. As the church entered the decade of the 80s membership began to grow again this renewed interest also signaled completion of a number of much needed improvements, most notably the installation of storm windows and redecorating of the sanctuary


In early 1985 due to significant growth in membership and the resulting increase in the need for ministry it was voted to return to a full time ministry.


Heritage Sunday, 1988 celebrated 198 years of methodism in Charlton and Southbridge with a day long program. Pastor handy of Charlton and passed about well of Southbridge coordinated the program memorials stones were erected by our church in remembrance of salt Graham Shaw, early woman Methodist preacher; and one marking the original Methodist meetinghouse site in Charlton at the batchelder homestead and a plaque was placed on the back shoulder house now located in Southbridge.

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