FH - Bethany Church


Bethany Church, formerly known as the Tabernacle has been a part of the Bedfont scene for 115 years. It was built for and in the name of Rev. Samuel Gentle-Cackett, who moved to Bedfont in 1902 with his wife Elizabeth and 5 year old daughter. He was a Christian Baptist pastor, who raised funds to build a more suitable hall for his congregation, Bedfont Tabernacle. During this time he came across reports of Christian Armenians being attacked by the Turks, thousands of children had become orphans. He set up a place of refuge in Bedfont along New Road, with the help of local coal merchant called Harry Fear. Cackett was able to rehome over 1500 children, Fear assisted by sending his lorries to Liverpool to pick up the refugees from the docks.

In 1929 Cackett arrived in Athens, having already taken 6 young girls from orphanages and refugee camps, he also took Arousiag after meeting her Grandmother and hearing of their escape from Smyrna (now known as Ismir). On the 28th February the seven girls arrived at Feltham station with Cackett and began life in Bedfont. The bungalows and orphanage are now gone but ‘Bethany Waye’ is a reminder of the orphanage and many girls like Arousiag.