I love history - the ‘roots’ of any area/institution fascinate me and since being called as Pastor I have enjoyed discovering something of the rich history of Pisgah Church and the local area surrounding Cresswell Quay.
We are blessed in this regard in that we have among our members Rob Scourfield, a man with a passion for our local areas past - both narratively and linguistically.
Rob co-wrote two excellent books with fellow local historian Keith Johnston; ‘Down on the Quay’ (A history of Cresswell Quay) and ‘Below the Landsker’ (an introduction to the dialect and folklore of South Pembrokeshire).
Both books are informative, engaging and full of the good humour that so characterises many of the people in these parts. These books, along with the many word of mouth stories I have enjoyed listening to, have helped this ‘outsider’ to gain some small appreciation of the rich events and culture that have helped to shape my pastorate and its environs.
Although interesting in itself, delving into the local history has proved to be more than merely entertaining - after all ‘living in the past’ for its own sake isn’t the healthiest preoccupation for any faith community. The past informing - or inspiring perhaps, the present is a very different thing however. There is much to inspire as you hear of those earliest members labouring, in their poverty, to establish a place of worship here. Meeting first in a local farmhouse, then when the land became available, individually - men and women, carrying the stones up the hill to Pisgah.
The sacrifice and vision of those first local non-conformists continues to set an example of devoted faith to their descendants today. We also have Church records and personal diaries to draw upon which give accounts of every day Pisgah Church and community life in the 19th century. One diary describes how a local man came to faith in a nearby field as he searched for his cow!