Film ID:
YFA 3203

TO STRENGTHEN THY CHURCH

1948

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Description

This is a film made by the Halifax Cine Club which follows the aspirations of a boy named Tom to become a priest after his return from the war. While funding for school and church organizations is scarce, the community comes together, and with their help, Tom is able to realize his dream.

The film opens with title and credit cards:
The Halifax Cine Club in collaboration with St. Paul's Dramatic Society Presents
"to strengthen Thy Church"
Cast:

Mrs. Hemmingway - Edith Hirst
Mr. Hemmingway - F. Hirst
Mary Hemmingway - Margaret Nethergate
Bill (Mary's Fianc?) - Geoffrey Washington
John Hemmingway (aged 12) - Peter Gaskell
John Hemmingway (aged 17) - John Gaskell
Tom Hemmingway - Kim Pollit
Kenneth (Tom's Friend) - Michael Pollit
A Headmaster - P.S. Bushell

A painting of the church tower jumps to the real church tower of St. Paul's (?) church. A family walks out of the church, and a young boy runs to catch up with them.

Title - The following evening in the family home

The mother of the house brings out a round double layer cake and puts it on the kitchen table admiring her work. The cake is decorated and reads, Welcome Home. She then walks over to the mantle where she picks up a picture of her son. The father waits on the platform at the train station for the arrival of his son. When the train pulls in, Tom happily greets is father, and the two of them make their way home where the rest of the family is waiting on a bench in the back garden. After exchanging hugs and an initial greeting in the garden, the family gathers around the table for a meal. Tom pulls out an acceptance letter to the ministry, however, he can only attend if he has the proper funding.

Title - "subject to the necessary funds available. "
Title - Next morning

The younger of the boys is eating breakfast at the kitchen table, but is shortly hurried off by his mother as he is late for school. Tom comes in, his friend sits down, and the two of them have a cigarette and a cup of tea while the younger brother runs to school.

Title - John: AT his church school suffers the overcrowded conditions which his headmaster deplores.

The school room is packed full of children who are seated at their desks writing and studying while the headmaster, seated at his desk in the front of the classroom, sits in watch. He leafs through a book called The New Secondary Education, and then fed up, pushes it to one side of his desk.

Back at the house, Tom and his friend read through the newspaper. The front page of The Yorkshire Post reads, "Wakefield Diocese Appeal for £250,000 - Funds for Schools, Training Colleges, and Churches - Churches Tremendous Task by March 31, 1948." The friend, looking at the camera says,

Title - I want some help too. I intend to be a teacher in a church school.
Title - That evening

The family is sitting around the fireplace, and when the mother reaches for her purse, something falls out. It is a bulletin for The Church Council Meeting Friday 26 8pm.

At the meeting, there are many people gathered who listen to a man at the front of the room leading the discussion.

Title - With your help it can be done

There is close up of money on a table being counted and sorted through as well as some writing a cheque from the Halifax Building Society for the amount of £3000.

Title - The day came when Mr. and Mrs. Hemmingway attended the appeals service at the cathedral with offerings from their own church.
Bulletin - All souls Appeal Service Sunday September 7th at 3:30pm

Many worshipers can be seen walking into the cathedral for the beginning of the services.

Title - and so many of the things they had hoped for became possible
Title - Kenneth becomes a teacher in a new church school under his old headmaster

Kenneth and his headmaster exit the school and proceed to walk down the front steps.

Title - John, now 17 leaves for college

With his father at the train station, John boards the train with a suitcase marked for a Theological College, Dulwich Common.

Title - And Tom also achieves his ambition

Tom, now as a priest, is preaching from the pulpit. His family, in the front pews of the church, listen intently with the rest of the congregation.

Title - and so aid us in our endeavour to strengthen they church that it may continually shed they light upon thy world

Tom, in front of the alter, kneels and bows his head in prayer as the film fades to an end.