1. The first letter is the original approach from the London church to Beddome. It was signed by five deacons and 30 members at a church meeting, November 11,1750. Brooks also gives the attached remonstrance or plea.
2. Next follows Beddome's letter saying that he would put the matter to the Bourton church.
3. The church took a month, according to Brooks, to prayerfully consider the matter before unanimously answering in the negative. The answer was drawn up by deacons John Reynolds, John Reynolds Jun and Richard Boswell (Beddome's father-in-law). That letter is also reproduced. It was signed by 37 male members at the church meeting, December 16, 1750.
4. Not content with this, the London church then sent a second letter (again reproduced) this time to the church at Bourton, arguing their case, in light of a resolution at their church meeting of February 3, 1750/1. It was signed by the deacons on behalf of the church.
5. This second application called forth a reply from Bourton, drawn up by the deacons again. This one was read, approved and signed, on the Lord's Day, February 24. Brook says that at the same time the pastor read his answer to the said letter, also in the negative, for which the Bourton church was thankful. Both are given in extenso.
Brooks comments that
“comparatively few ministers are ever called to pass through an ordeal as trying as the one disclosed in the above correspondence, and it may be safely affirmed, that none ever came out with more credit to themselves. By this circumstance, Mr Beddome's uprightness, disinterestedness, and simplicity, are placed above suspicion. We are not surprised to hear that his people were provoked to love and good works. "Shame and confusion" would have belonged to them, had they failed to love him heartily. They strove, however, with fresh zeal to promote his comfort. And first of all, they determined to get out of debt. This debt was contracted partly by the building of the minister's house in 1741, partly by the enlargement of the chapel in 1748, and partly by "strengthening" the chapel in 1750.”
Brooks then quotes Beddome on this:
“In 1750 an unfortunate circumstance happened, which increased the church's debt, for after we had repaired and enlarged the Meeting-house, the main beams of the galleries being poplar, and plastered in whilst they were too green, they rotted away as also many of the joists. So that there was a great danger of the galleries falling, nay, and of the roof too, which then bore upon the galleries. Upon this new beams and joists were provided, the galleries put a foot back, and their seats raised, and two upright pillars put to support the roof independently of the galleries. The charge of which was £25 6s 8d”'
He also quotes from Beddome's own record in the church book regarding subsequent events with regard to the call to London.
“Dec, 15th 1751 Our pastor acquainted us that he had lately received a letter from some of the members of Mr Wilson's church in London, giving him an account, that by reason of difference among the members of said church, about Messrs Reynolds and Thomas, some being for one and some for the other; they were likely to be greatly distressed if not broken in pieces, and that both parties would unite in him if he could now consent to leave his people. That this being the only probable method of preventing a breach, they were forced again to have recourse to him. He also acquainted us that last Wednesday, upon desire, he gave Mr Ball and Mr Hattersly, the meeting at Burford, who renewed their solicitations, pressing his coming to London, not only from all the arguments before used, but from others taken from the present urgent necessity of their affairs. Our pastor, therefore, desired us to pray over and consider the matter till Wednesday, the 25th instant, when he would call a Church-meeting, and receive our answer, by which at present he intended to be guided.
Dec 25th Returned for answer to said pastor, that we could not see the state of the London church to be so distressed as represented, and that if it was, we could not consent to cast ourselves into the same or greater distress in order to help them.”