In 1879 John Edwin Austin, a deacon of Kingston Baptist (also known as Union Street Church), started a Sunday School with 13 scholars in a rented room above a Draper and Milliner’s shop in the High Street. The numbers gradually increased until the room became too small for the work, so in 1890 the Mission moved to the Assembly Rooms in Park Road. Here, in addition to the Sunday School, evening services were added, followed up in the summer by open-air meetings. Numbers continued to grow until by 1905 there were about 160 children on the register, with an average attendance of over 100, and the evening services were also well attended.
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