The Village Notice Board


Thank you for joining me in my chat with the Reverend David Tennant who coincidently is retiring after more than 25 years here in Hagley and 56 years as a minister starting in Melksham then Hall Green Birmingham, then locum work, before serving the Hagley Free Church and others.
Born in Coventry with a Grammar school education leaving at 16 and training in management accountancy David later went to Bristol Baptist College where upon graduating took a full-time ministry in Melksham for 5 years before moving to Hall Green, Birmingham a large suburban church. “I was very happy there but moved to teach ‘Church Education’ in the Selly Oak Colleges. I did this full time for 20 years, and along with preaching on Sunday’s I served on church councils and did a lot of committee work which I enjoyed enormously” added David. During this period David travelled overseas as well supporting overseas students in the UK.
“In the early 80’s I came to Hagley Free church on some Sundays for special occasions, funerals, and weddings, before finally taking a part time minister role here”.
I asked him how he became a minister and how his faith developed as a young man.
David replied “It was unusual because my parents were not regular church goers but from an early age, I had strong convictions that this is what I should do, I thought carefully about the calling at first but have no regrets whatsoever and it has been very important to me. Making the decision brought peace and contentment”.
“I since learnt that I did have a great, great grandfather who was an untrained preacher who I did not know until recently.
The world has certainly changed since I first became a minister and increasingly believe that churches should come together. Over the years I have had great support from Rev Newton and more recently have met with Lifecentral. Hopefully this is something for the future. I asked how congregations have changed. “Congregations in the Free Church are not growing with a very small number of families, but the church reaches into community with ‘Hand of Friendship’, Guides and Brownies, orchestra and choir groups, and ‘Parent and Toddlers’ and other activities. Whilst the services have seen a drop in attendance the commitment and faith of the regulars remain strong. The hall is very popular and used widely and so the Free Church remains a very important part of the community.”
The Church and Hall were built 1905 and were because of the growth of the village with the local rail connections. It is a united church replacing the Methodist Chapel in Chapel Street.
I would like to extend my thanks and congratulations to David on his retirement and hope David will enjoy his well-deserved rest and have more time to enjoy his love of steam engines and railways.