STONEMASONS working at a picturesque Malvern church were in for a real surprise when they discovered a 149 year old time capsule.
Rowan McKay and James Robinson from Stonemasons of Worcester were replacing the worn Foundation Stone at Lansdowne Crescent Methodist Church.
But during the middle of their normal day to day job, the pair were stopped in their tracks after uncovering the capsule which dated back to 1865 and was located behind the stone.
The broken glass jar that had been shut with a cork and sealing wax contained a copy of The Watchman and Wesleyan Advertiser dated Thursday, July 27 1865.
The front page of the old newspaper carried an invitation to the laying of the corner stone ceremony held on Tuesday, August 1 of the new Wesleyan Chapel to be built in Great Malvern.
The celebrations were to last three days and people from the surrounding area were invited to travel by special trains at cheap fares ‘by liberal arrangements of the railway companies’.
Tickets for the event were to cost 9d (old money) and tea was served at 5pm with all proceeds donated towards the building fund.
To mark the rare discovery, another time capsule was placed behind the new Foundation Stone by Christopher Davis whose family have had connections with the church for more than 100 years.
The capsule’s contents included three 2014 coins, a penny, a two pence and a ten pence, a copy of the church magazine and the new vision statement for the church.
Once the old capsule was discovered, property steward Brian Edwards rang the church Rev Alison Richards to inform her of what had taken place.
Rev Richards said: “It was a great surprise to me to receive a phone call to say they had found a time capsule and it was an exciting discovery.
“It was wonderful to open the old Methodist newspaper and read about the preparations for the stone laying ceremony and to understand that these faithful people were beginning to see their vision of a Methodist Church in Great Malvern coming to fruition.
“We have been able to worship in this church because of their vision over 150 years ago. It was good to be able to place in the new time capsule the church’s vision statement for the future of the church following our review at Lansdowne.”