This commemorates the founding in 1690 of the Independent, later Congregational, Church on the hillside above the River Swale at Low Row. In its early days the church met in a former shooting lodge, donated by Philip, Lord Warton; and only much later did the congregation move down the hill to the present building in the village.
Smarber commemoration services began in the 1930s. This year the service will be held on Friday April 29th at 6.30 pm. Park on the main road at the end of the village by 6.00 pm for guidance up the hill to the site. There will be refreshments in the present church afterwards.
Worship on the Sunday May 1st will be led by the Revd Stephen Collinson, supported by the Parish Choir. The collection will be for the provision of mosquito nets for children in Kenya.
Information from The Link, joint magazine of our Barnard Castle and Swaledale churches – from which the following is also taken:-
Revd Kenneth Wadsworth
This year we at Low Row and Keld Churches particularly remember the Revd Kenneth Wadsworth, born 100 years ago on 16th March 1916.
His ministry to the six churches which made up the Swaledale/Wensleydale group spanned 13 years from the 1968 to 1981, and during this time he took great interest in the history of Smarber Hall Chapel, and Philip, Lord Wharton. In 1990 this inspired him to write a hymn to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the chapel.
Tune: St Anne
O God our Maker and our Friend
the passing years proclaim
change and decay, ’til time shall enf
your love is still the same.
Three hundred summers in the dale
have seen the ebb and flow
of fortune, whilst the hurrying Swale
pursues its course below.
Here winter days are short and cold
but memories are long,
here where our fathers built of old
their faith inspires our song.
And we shall see another spring
renewing all the dale,
good news of Zion they will sing
and hear the oft-told tale.
The Gospel story which remains
our holpe of life and peace,
today the hymns resounds again,
nor shall it every cease.
We cannot tell what future days
will bring or fate may send
in thankfulness and trust we praise
our Maker and our Friend.