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Mar 17 12 7:44 PM

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THE REV JOHN W WATERHOUSE, OBE, MA, BD, NCH PRINCIPAL 1950-1969

NATIONAL CHILDREN’S HOME

OUR FAMILY NEWS APRIL 1969

Principal Retires in Centenary Year

A Farewell

Every corner of Methodism and most corners of the child care world of this country are rich in people who count themselves the personal friends of Jack Waterhouse.  Some were his students, some his parishioners, some were received into Church Membership by him and some received into the Sisterhood of the Children’s Home, some have been married by him and some have met him on Committees.  All are his friends – ministers, laymen, children’s officers, boys and girls and child care staff.  All his friends have been worried to see him obviously unwell over the past year or two and it was not altogether a surprise to learn that, on specialist advice, he had decided to relinquish the Principalship this year rather than in 1970.


The Rev John W Waterhouse MA, BD, joined the Children’s Home as a member of Executive in 1944 and became Principal in 1950 on the retirement of the Rev John H Litten, CBE.  He is thus the fifth Principal and the third longest serving of the five.  His illustrious predecessor, Dr Stephenson himself, also succumbed to the physical strains and for the last two years was mainly abroad trying to recuperate, whilst his Vice-Principal and successor, Dr A E Gregory, kept the ship on an even course.  Mr Waterhouse’s gifts had been carefully nurtured by an education that included Sat Pauls School, London University, Cambridge University and the Assistant Tutor’s post at the old Didsbury College.  He was in circuit work at Epsom and Barnet before joining the Children’s Home.  His family have always been very much a part of the Children’s Home.  Generations of students at Stephenson Hall have visited his home and Dr Esther Waterhouse has been an essential part of every occasion at Highbury and Convocation and has also lectured regularly to the Highbury students.


The child care world of 1950 was a new one.  The Curtis Committee, on which Mr Litten had served, reported in 1946.  The Children Act became law in 1948 and Children’s Departments were set up by law in every county and county borough.  What all this meant for the work of the Children’s Home has had to be worked out and the large and complicated machinery of the NCH kept sufficiently flexible to meet new needs  in new ways.  Change but not decay has been the key word of these nineteen years.  Nine branches closed, five transferred to more suitable locations, eight properties used for new purposes and nineteen new Branches opened (including the five transferred from elsewhere).  The amount of specialized work (special and approved schools) increased from 12.5 per cent to 30 per cent.  The number of adoptions arranged annually doubled.  This is an enormous weight of administrative work to have carried through, together with financial implications of capital expenditure and maintaining reserves.


Most friends of the NCH will also remember Mr Waterhouse by a new and characteristic quality he introduced into the Year Books – colour photography (some of it his own), and imaginative topics and titles which caught the attention while illustrating some aspect of child care.  The films of the work of the Home have also attracted considerable attention and the Convocation Lectures, started in 1946, have achieved a very special place in the literature of child care.  It is not surprising that the Principal followed Mr Litten in serving on the Home Secretary’s Advisory Council and the Central Training Council, or that he was awarded the OBE   in 1958.  He was one of the founder members of the National Bureau for Co-operation in Child Care And has played a leading part in the affairs of the National Council of Voluntary Child Care Organizations, of whose journal, Child Care, he was the first Editor.  To this friendly man we have to say good bye.  He is going to retire to St Austell, Cornwall, with Mrs Waterhouse and Joy.  But we shall all want to take the opportunity provided on Wednesday afternoon, 16th July, 1969, when messages for what will be a memorable occasion – one of many in Centenary Year – but one which will be unmatched in personal feeling and sincerity.


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Mar 18 12 8:30 AM

THE REV JOHN W WATERHOUSE, OBE, MA, BD, NCH PRINCIPAL 1950-1969


NATIONAL CHILDREN’S HOME

OUR FAMILY NEWS APRIL 1969


Message from the Principal


In this message which I bring to you as ‘Father of the Family’ it is my duty to let you know something of my movements in so far as they will affect my service to the Home.


I am indeed sorry that on the strong advice of my doctors I must retire because of ill-health.  The decision I have had to make has not been easy, for my love of the Home and of so many good friends I have made in it, has become a major factor in my life.  I shall continue to support the Home in every way open to me and to serve it whenever and wherever I can.  I am disappointed at having to retire from the Principalship on medical grounds before the end of the Centenary year.


I am thankful, however, that my friend and colleague Mr Barritt, is being nominated to take over my responsibilities from the beginning of September next, and I have every confidence that he will lead the Home from strength to strength.


Mrs Waterhouse, Joy and I are planning to make our home at St Austell, in Cornwall.  We hope that many of our friends will visit us there.


I should like to thank you for many kind messages already received.  It has been a great privilege to be a Minister of the Home for twenty five years, nineteen of them as Principal.  I shall always have the happiest of memories of you all.





JOHN W WATERHOUSE     


D:\Bryn Awel\Docs\NCH\John W Waterhouse Principal Retires in Centenary Year 11312 CGW.doc

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Apr 4 12 11:49 AM

4 April 2012


THE REV JOHN W WATERHOUSE, NCH PRINCIPAL 1950 TO 1969


THE LONGEST SERVING PRINCIPAL!

Children, the Family Magazine of the National Children’s Home July 1969


At over six feet three inches, the Rev John W Waterhouse, OBE, MA, BD, is the ‘longest’ Principal the Children’s Home has had to lead it, though in the matter of years his nineteen years compare with the twenty-one of the Rev W Hodson Smith and the thirty-one of the Founder, Rev Thomas Bowman Stephenson.


Mr Waterhouse joined the Children’s Home in 1944, six years before he became Principal, and though he used administrative abilities of a high order in the affairs of the Home during difficult years of change, he was never the remote administrator.  He always dealt with matters affecting boys and girls and many of them have looked into his solemn, kindly eyes and remembered them.  He was never too busy to see a young man or woman calling at Highbury.  He and Mrs Waterhouse, and their family when they were children, were known and welcome in the Branches.  As Principal he was personally concerned with all staff, taking an unremitting share in their selection and appointment and a personal interest in their welfare and problems.  He lectured regularly at the Training College, and generations of Sisters remember the moving charge he gave them at the service in which they were received. 


Not the least service that Mr Waterhouse has rendered the Children’s Home has been the prominent part he has played in national affairs.  He served almost continuously as a member of the Home Secretary’s Advisory Council on Child Care, and received the OBE in 1958.


‘And what shall I more say?’  His inflexible purpose in matters on which he felt deeply; his ceaseless advocacy throughout the country and indeed beyond the seas; his trust in people that made it impossible for them to let him down; his leadership of the staff in discussion and worship at Convocation; his splendid photography that embellished a remarkable series of Year Books; his simple sincerity; his kindly humour.


Mr Waterhouse is a man beloved, and the cloud of the illness that has hastened his retirement has cast its shadow over all who know him.  


D:\Bryn Awel\Docs\NCH\The Longest Serving Principal 4412 CGW.doc

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Apr 5 12 9:35 PM

5 April 2012


THE REV JOHN W WATERHOUSE, NCH PRINCIPAL 1950 TO 1969


LOOKING BACK

By THE PRINCIPAL

Children, the Family Magazine of the National Children’s Home July 1969


During our Centenary Year we look back, but it is in the future we must live.  We have, moreover, brought a wealth of experience gathered from the past, free and available to all those who share our concerns in child care.


I look back with gratitude over the twenty-five years’ service I have been privileged to render to the Home, with nineteen of them spent as Principal.  Day by day I have learned more and more from the problems and opportunities which have been given to me.  Though times have changed greatly, there is a constancy throughout, both of purpose and of method.  This constancy in our work owes more than we can say to Dr Stephenson, our founder, who built boldly and wisely.  He set an example of loving and individual care which has never been out-moded and we still look to Dr Stephenson for inspiration and guidance alike.


In work like ours joy and tears go very closely together and I could, had I space, share a multitude of moving and true stories about our experience in the work of the Home.  But this is not to be, and I will confine myself to perhaps the strangest story of all as far as I personally am concerned.


I was attending a meeting of Methodist Conference at Oxford Place, Leeds, when a friend of mine came up to me and said, ‘Would you please go and see Mr Litten [the then Principal of the Home].  He says he has something to tell you.’  I followed my friend to Mr Litten’s little office and I was ushered into ‘the presence’.  This man, whom I had never seen before, nor he me, was sitting on a low chair seemingly deep in meditation.  At first he did not move, but when he did, he looked at me from top to tail and simply said ‘I am informed that you might make a good successor to me.  What do you think?’  I could not think at all, but before long I found myself at Highbury, and I stood by his side for six years before taking on his job, which is one of the most responsible that the Church can lay upon its ministry.


The years since have been wonderful, and I have no regrets.  During my time I received into the Home no less than 13,877 boys and girls.  Of this I am humbly proud.  My only regret is that ill-health has made it impossible for me to finish my task, but I recall the familiar words, ‘Yet when the work is done, the work is but begun.’


In the years that have sped by I have witnessed many ‘miracles’, for I count it a miracle when severely damaged children have overcome their disabilities of mind and body and gone out into the world as healthy and responsible citizens.  This is happening continuously, and for this we thank God.  Though we should be chary about naming any Branches in particular as more successful than others, the ‘Special’ Schools such as Elmfield (Harpenden) and Chipping Norton (Oxford) have an especially distinguished record, which I have followed with keenest interest and pleasure.  The life stories of John Buchanan and David Larkin (artists without hands) are miracles indeed.  Looking back I can name many others who became ‘more than conquerors’ through all the guidance and help which love can bring.





JOHN W WATERHOUSE


D:\Bryn Awel\Docs\NCH\JWW Looking Back Children July 1969 4412 CGW.doc

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Apr 10 12 8:48 AM

THE REV JOHN W WATERHOUSE, NCH PRINCIPAL 1950 TO 1969


Memorial service for the Rev J W Waterhouse


NATIONAL CHILDREN’S HOME

OUR FAMILY NEWS OCTOBER 1971


THE GREAT congregation which filled the beautiful chapel at Harpenden branch on Saturday, September 11th, had come together to give thanks for the life and faith of John Walters Waterhouse, Principal of the NCH from 1950 to 1969 who died on June 1st 1971 in his 64th year.


The Rev Raymond J Jones, the Home’s Chaplain, conducted the service which sounded a note of triumph as well as thanksgiving with hymns full of the sense of the unity of


One Church, above, beneath

Though now divided by the stream,

The narrow stream of death.


Lessons were read by Sister Joyce Slade and Mr W T Clark and the children’s choir of the Harpenden branch under the direction of Mrs C Burn sang ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’ as an anthem, accompanied by Mr J Ackroyd at the organ.


The Rev Gordon E Barritt, Principal, spoke of the enthusiasm and faith of Jack Waterhouse which made him a leader with the gift of calling forth intense loyalty from members of staff to himself personally, so that they loved him and would never let him down.


‘We loved him not just for himself and his qualities’, he said, ‘but because we recognised in him a “man of God”.  Success and recognition came his way and many outside the NCH are grateful for what he said and wrote and for the appropriateness of his contributions to important committees, which helped to fashion the child care policy and practice which we know today.’


The Rev Arnold Skelding, Minister of the Bourne Methodist Church, Southgate, the church attended by the Waterhouse family until 1969, paid tribute to the care and concern for other people shown by Jack Waterhouse in his very specialised ministry, to his love of shepherding and of the work of a circuit minister.  ‘He had always planned to end his ministry as he began it, in the pastoral work of a circuit and he accepted with courage his illness and the fact that he could not do what he had planned.’


Dr Esther Waterhouse was accompanied at the service by their three sons, David, Robert and John, their daughter Joy and their two daughters-in-law and two grand-daughters, and other relatives of the Waterhouse, Martin, Walters and Ensor families.  The congregation included a large number of friends from many walks of life, including representatives of the committees, staff, former staff, old girls and boys, and children of the Home. 


There were representatives of the National Children’s Bureau, the National Council of Voluntary Child Care Organisations, Dr Barnardo’s, (the Catholic Child Welfare Societies had special meetings which prevented their attending), the Methodist Missionary Society, Women’s Fellowship, the Methodist School of Fellowship, and the Southgate and St Austell Methodist Churches.


The ashes of this notable and well-loved son of a distinguished family were interred a few days before in the Children’s Home cemetery.  The Principal conducted the short family service, and members of staff are invited to visit this quiet place of remembrance at any time.  It is reached by a field path from the branch at Harpenden.


AHL (presumably Arthur H Lenton)      


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Jul 4 13 11:23 PM

TRIBUTE TO THE REV JOHN W WATERHOUSE NCH PRINCIPAL 1950 TO 1969 on the occasion of the SERVICE OF GRATITUDE on 11 September 1971 at  NCH HIGHFIELD CHAPEL HARPENDEN

I have in my possession a letter written in 1952 by Jack Waterhouse to the then Superintendent of the Bristol Branch.  “I can now bring you one special piece of news which will rejoice your heart as much as mine.  Mr Perkins of Texas, an oil magnate, has given me fifteen thousand dollars to provide a Little House at Bristol!  I knew he would be in my congregation last Sunday night and I prayed the good Lord to open his heart to the needs of children in England and that prayer was wonderfully answered.  The gift is worth £5,321.  So we thank God and take courage.”  

That was a quite ordinary letter written in his own hand but how much it tells us of the man for whom today we are expressing our gratitude to God for a life lived nobly and compassionately.  It tells us of his enthusiasm – “A special piece of news which will rejoice your heart” and it tells of his faith – “I prayed the good Lord”.

Enthusiasm.  I have good reason to remember Jack Waterhouse’s enthusiasm.  Fifteen years ago,  in a dark and dismal room in a school hall in Newcastle, Staffordshire, he spoke to me about the NCH and all that it meant to him at a time when it had been suggested that I might become his colleague.  I thought I knew a lot about this great family but he made the story live as with excitement, affection and concern he spoke of the caring work with boys and girls and families.  That was the first of many times that I felt the force of his personality and the extent of his enthusiasm about the work he led.

Of course, for many of us it is difficult to think of Jack Waterhouse as other than “NCH” forgetting his earlier life in College and Circuit work.  At Cambridge University he must have been an enthusiast for work for he was the Gibson Greek Testament Prizeman and was awarded the Senior Marshall Scholarship in New Testament Studies.  A year or two later as Assistant Tutor at Didsbury College, Manchester from 1931 to 1935 he must have been possessed of an enthusiasm for his subject as he introduced many a willing, and not a few unwilling men, to the fascination of New Testament Greek.

Who but an enthusiast could have written a book on Zoroastrianism – one of his earlier publications – whilst his enthusiasm knew no bounds when he spoke of his profound theological indebtedness to Charles Wesley’s hymns.

In   light-hearted vein I would sometimes take him to task when he suggested that the only hymn writer of any note was Wesley.  There were few situations in life about which he was not able to quote aptly from Wesley’s vast collection.  In a letter written in 1970, when he heard of the safe deliverance of Miss Teite, one of our workers at Uzuakoli nursery at the end of the Civil War, he wrote –“Verse three of hymn 421 has been ringing in my mind:

Thine arm hath safely brought us

A way no more expected,

Than when Thy sheep

Passed through the deep

By crystal walls protected.

You see, Charles Wesley still has it!”

And if there is a hymn which Jack would have commended to us on this Day of Gratitude, it would surely be No. 105 and the second verse:

Yet when the work is done

The work is but begun.

Partaker of thy grace

I long to see Thy face.

The first I prove below,

The last I die to know.

Some of you in this congregation remember Jack when he was a Circuit Minister in Barnet and Epsom, and if so, you will know of the enthusiasm that he brought to the pastoral work of the Ministry.  Principal of the NCH he became but first and foremost he was and remained a Methodist Minister who cared for the needs of his people as the true pastor of the flock.  He loved to preach and like any preacher of renown, whenever he preached he gave something of himself.  Just over a year ago, when another man would have left it to others who were fitter and stronger, he could write – “I preached last evening and only got stuck once, which is quite good for me.  (Esther was with me and helped me out).  Perhaps I should not have attempted a text from Zechariah!”  I can see   the twinkle in his eye when he wrote that and it was a twinkle which we all came to love.  He could tell a good story and loved to hear one, and over the years some of us knew how to draw him out to relate some of his war-time experiences in the Home Guard.  I am not sure whether “Dad’s Army” was one of Jack’s favourite TV programmes but if it wasn’t, it could well have been because he used to tell a marvellous story of the day when, as a part of his Home Guard duties, he had to disguise himself as a tree – and he had just the figure for it!

And what of his enthusiasm for photography and his skill as a photographer.  How he used this enthusiasm and ability to further the work of the Home in annual publications which set a standard of excellence difficult to emulate, but a constant reminder to us today of the best.

Yes, a man enthusiastic about life, living to the full, helping others to find happiness and fulfilment.  The enthusiasm of the one who was loyal to the loyal in himself and in others (Tennyson).

And what of the faith of Jack Waterhouse – a very simple and uncomplicated faith.  I quote from the letter once again – “I know he would be in my congregation last Sunday night and I prayed the good Lord to open his heart”.  What could be more simple and trusting!

So, too, were those times when he would say a prayer in his Office at Highbury before some difficult interview, when it was desperately important that he should say the right thing in the right way to some erring or burdened member of staff.  The words of Micah (Chapter 6, verse 8) seem particularly appropriate – “What doth the Lord require of me but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God”.  Jack Waterhouse was fair and just in all his dealings – he was gentle almost to the point sometimes of being misunderstood – but it was a gentleness not of weakness, but of a man who was passionately interested in people, who loved them and yearned for them, and longed to build them up.

Because God was so real to him he was able to give richly of himself in friendship and leadership.  Lovingly and warmly helped by Esther, their home was “open house” for students and visitors, but most of all, for anyone needing comfort, support or advice in time of difficulty.

In his own home he was the loving father of his own family, and in that larger family of the NCH he was truly “father and friend” for the nineteen years of his Principalship from 1950 to 1969.

But a Principal has to be more than a “friendly person”, more than a fatherly person”.  He has to lead and to invoke loyalty.  Jack Waterhouse had the charismatic gift of calling for intense loyalty from members of staff to himself personally and people would never let him down.

I adapt slightly those words of Donald Hankey on “The Beloved Captain”.  “We were his men and women and he was our leader.  There was a band of mutual confidence between us which grew stronger and stronger as time passed.  The fact was that he won his way into our affections.  We loved him.  And there isn’t anything stronger than love when all’s said and done.  That was how we looked upon him – he was our leader and we loved him and we would have done anything for him – we loved him not just for himself and his qualities but because we recognised in him a “man of God”.

Will members of staff ever forget Jack Waterhouse’s devotional sessions at Convocation, or the sermons he preached when he ordained Sisters to his beloved NCH Sisterhood?

He led us by the sincerity of his own convictions.  He held the view shared by many, including J S Stewart the great Scottish preacher, and one greatly admired by Jack – “If these things in which we say we believe are more than pious sentiments, if they are facts – they are incomparably the most important facts with which every one of us has to reckon, implying nay demanding, that we make religion the master force of all our life and God in Christ the burning centre of our being”.  Yes, Jack would have applauded that statement and belief for that was clearly where he stood.

A man of enthusiasm – a man of faith – a man greatly beloved.

And how did all this affect his image outside the NCH and outside Methodism?

We remember how he served on the Home Secretary’s Advisory Council in Child Care and the Central Training Council; how he helped found the National Bureau for Co-operation in Child Care (now the National Children’s Bureau); was Chairman of the National Council of Associated Children’s Homes in 1957 and the first Editor, with Alan Jacka, of the Council’s journal “Child Care”.  He was justifiably proud, not for himself but for child care and for the NCH, when in 1958 he was awarded the OBE.

Success and recognition came his way and many outside the NCH are grateful for what he said and wrote and for the appropriateness of his contributions to important committees, which helped to fashion the child care policy and practice which we know today.

But am I not right, too, in believing that there are those in this distinguished congregation, not of the NCH, who remember him most of all for some thoughtful word or generous gesture, or some helpful discussion at a time of personal     distress or tragedy, and who found strength themselves as he shared the strength of his convictions with them.

We remember Jack Waterhouse today in different ways according perhaps to some personal recollection of him, or some special connection we had with him.  But whatever our picture of him may be, we know that for Esther, David, Robert, John and Joy the memories will be all the more vivid - happy, joyful memories, such as can only be known within a united and affectionate family.

We of the NCH and beyond owe you, Esther, so much – you shared Jack with us and denied yourself.  Our “gratitude” is deep and lasting and in “gratitude” expressed in this way there is indeed “great comfort”.

2The love of all thy people comfort thee,

Till God’s love set thee at his side again.”

I wear today with pride the red scarf of the Principal of the NCH – I wear it in honour of my friend and former Principal.  I wear, too, as he did the badge worn by our founder.  They said of Stephenson that the children caught hold of his coat-tails as he walked along.

Our late Principal seldom wore coat-tails but children would run to him to have their photo taken and in that eternity of God towards which we are all moving (which sometimes we call heaven) which we believe Jack Waterhouse has reached ahead of us, he will be found, I am sure, in the place where the children are, rejoicing in the reality of the words of Jesus which were his inspiration – “As ye did it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it to me.”

Our hearts are filled with gratitude and we use his words –

“We thank God and take courage”.  
C:\Users\User\Documents\NCH\JWW Tribute at Service of Gratitude 11 September 1971 4713 CGW.doc

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Jul 5 13 11:10 PM

Dear Shirley,

Thanks for your message and it is a pleasure to share this tribute with a wider audience but a bit annoying that the some of the typeface has been reproduced in bold

Best wishes,

Clive 

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