1861, 24 year old Thomas Nettleton and his wife* moved to Bromley Common
from Southwark. He had been
a keen Sunday school teacher at his previous church so he volunteered to
help at Holy Trinity Sunday school.
Sunday afternoon, he and his wife were walking along Gravel Road when
they heard singing from one of the cottages.
They went in and found an elderly gentleman teaching some
children to read. Thomas and his wife offered to help teach the children each
Sunday using the Bible as their reading book.
little Sunday school proved popular so they moved into the laundry next
door. Eventually, even those premises were too small and the
leasehold of a plot of land in Plough Lane (now Cherry Orchard Road) was
bought. They built a small
hall there in 1870. The
Sunday school used the hall in the mornings and afternoons and a new
church, the Bromley Common Mission, used it in the evenings.
Thomas ran both the Sunday school and the mission.
ventures were so successful that within two years they enlarged the
hall. In 1877, a classroom
was built at the rear. There were further extensions in 1881 and 1887.
At one time there was also a night school.
due course, Thomas Nettleton retired and, in 1892, the mission hall
became Bromley Common Baptist Church.
The Sunday school continued but, by then, all children attended
other schools during the week.