My father, Raymond Pearce, was a Methodist Minister who served in Newport (South Wales), Neath, Grimsby, Portsmouth, Old Hill (Midlands), Goodrington (Devon), Cannock, and Cardiff.
In Portsmouth he participated in a scheme whereby the Methodists and Anglicans jointly built and used a Church which is now called Hartplain (then it was Cowplain) which was ground-breaking. I think it still is.
My mother, Marjorie, started a children’s play creche (The Toddler’s Club) at his Purbrook Church (now closed, I think) which was so ahead of its time that it was featured on the local TV (both BBC and ITV) and in the local paper. Associated with the creche was a coffee club where mothers, who were often from the Naval estate and sometimes felt isolated, could strike up friendships while their children played safely with some lovely play equipment, well supervised. Bear in mind that this was in the early 1960s, when such facilities were rare.
In Goodrington, my father was friendly with the staff at Paignton Zoo, and Mynah birds, chimps, and a baby elephant joined the service at various times, which was very popular. Again, this was innovative, haven’t heard of it happening in many other places.
After serving as a Superintendent Minister in Llandaff, Cardiff, my Dad retired and he and Mum went to live in Downton, (Salisbury circuit), and revived the little chapel, fundraising effectively for the roof repairs, and running regular coffee mornings. Since he and Mum passed (Dad in 2010 and Mum in 2013) away the Chapel has been sold.