In 1945 the church was cleared of its debt and the Church Deeds and other important documents were deposited at the Memorial College, Brecon.
The loyalty and faithfulness to the cause of church officers was borne out by the fact that their period of office was so prolonged. On 3 February 1946 Mr Fred Bradshaw informed the church that his failing health prevented him from continuing to hold the post of Church Secretary. His valuable service to the church, along with his strong faith, integrity and biblical knowledge, was exceptional. Mr T Lewis was appointed to fulfil the position of Church Secretary.
On 6 November 1949 four new Deacons were appointed to serve on the Deaconate – David Pugh, James Price, Albert Price and Edwin Harris.
1950 saw another change in church officers owing to ill health. William Davies resigned his position as Treasurer and was succeeded by T Morris. Mr Davies had been a most faithful and conscientious steward of the church’s finances and a fine teacher in the Sunday School.
On 8 July 1951 Rev John Penry Thomas, now the Moderator of the Congregational Church, celebrated his fortieth anniversary in Christian ministry by returning to West End Church where he had commenced his journey of faith. A miscellaneous programme was arranged for the afternoon service when the president was Mr Fred Bradshaw. The devotional part of the service was taken by the Rev Edward Vaughan and other participants were Councillor Charles Norton, Chairman of the Ebbw Vale Urban District Council, Rev William Davies, the Secretary of the Monmouthshire County Union, and the Rev E Jeremiah of Libanus Church. Ebbw Vale Male Choir were in attendance and the soloist was Madam Ivy Wyburn, a well known and accomplished soprano in the town. A suitably inscribed pen was presented to Rev John Penry Thomas by Mrs T Lewis on behalf of the church. The occasion proved to be most pleasurable.
Much of the repair work done to the church building was carried out by voluntary labour, since the church was fortunate in possessing a skilled band of workers, under the leadership of Mr Penry Morgan. Between the yeas 1945 and 1956, £830 was expended on repairs to the roof, floor and front of the building, and on the complete rewiring of the electrical installation, together with replacements to the heating system. It was however recognised that there would still be the need for repairs to the building in the future.
For many years no minister had been appointed to the church, but during this decade the pulpit was filled at least once every month by the Rev Robert Jones of Abergavenny, a little man in stature, dressed in an astrakhan-collared overcoat in severe weather, but a big man in faith and in commitment to West End.
He took the monthly communion service and served the church in many other capacities, officiating at christenings, weddings and funerals. He was invaluable in raising and maintaining the spiritual life of the church.
Membership of the church at this time totalled fifty. There had been a decline over the years. The church had suffered badly during the Depression in the period 1929 to 1939, when many families and young people had been forced to leave the town and the valleys generally to find employment in other parts of the country. However, members remained faithful to the cause and kept the light burning in the “church on the hill”.
West End Church always maintained that one of its functions was to serve the immediate locality and in the early fifties opened its doors to host celebration teas and parties on national occasions. Its position in the community was strengthened by its agreement in 1952 to allow the local Red Cross society to use its premises at a cost of three shillings a meeting.
It continued to support the ministerial colleges at Brecon and Carmarthen by inviting students to take services on a Sunday, and it became the practice to allow them to make an annual retiring collection at the close of the evening meeting, for the colleges. Visiting ministers’ fees were set at £3 and many were entertained over the weekend at the home of Mr and Mrs James Price in James Street.
The Sunday School continued to flourish under the care of Mrs Olwen Porter, who encouraged participation in the Annual Scripture Examination. In 1954 it gained second position, but to Mrs Porter’s great delight the Sunday School won the Shield in 1955, with Anne Eadie gaining the highest marks in the Adult Section in the country. The church expressed its heartfelt compliments to scholars and teachers and the Winning Shield was given a prominent position in the church.
The annual Sunday School trip, usually to Barry Island, was an eagerly awaited event. In the past, Sunday Schools had travelled by train, and for many children it was their only opportunity in the year to visit the seaside. The train gave place to a string of coaches in later years. Sunday School scholars spent long happy hours on the crowded beach, returning home tired, usually sun-burned, but sometimes rain-soaked!
The Anniversary was usually held on the Whit Sunday and children climbed the high stage erected for the occasion to perform before proud families. It was a happy prelude to the excitement of Whit Monday when the churches turned out to witness their faith to crowded streets. Dressed in their new clothes with the melting tar sticking to their shoes, members and children of West End paraded through the streets singing their song of praise – “Children of the Sunday School are Marching”, with their banner proudly held aloft at the front. Mrs Porter, Superintendent of the Sunday School, would bring up the rear with the children, and Mr Eddie Harris would walk alongside conducting the singing. Then it was back to the church for tea and games.
Problems with the fabric of the church began to arise at this time. In 1952 gas installation had been declared impossible and the only heating solution was the purchase of extra electric fires. The presence of water underneath the kitchen floor was discovered and in 1956 Prosser Bros were charged with repairs to the roof and pine-end boarding. In 1957 concern was expressed at the dangerous condition of the pillars and front boundary wall. Once more the church benefited from the skill of Mr Penry Morgan who undertook this work with members’ assistance. At this time it was suggested that the sealing off of the vestibule might remedy the heating problem.
In 1958 it was decided to install underseat heating in the church, accepting W J Owen’s quotation of £261.6s. This is in operation up to the present time and was the only source of heating in the church until the later installation of overhead electric heaters.
Discussions had begun in 1957 regarding the church’s Fiftieth Anniversary. Unfortunately, the church’s first minister, Rev John Penry Thomas, had recently passed away, so it was decided to mark the occasion on 13 September 1958. A function was held on that day at 4 pm, followed by a public meeting at 6 pm. Fifty invitations were sent out to ministers and leaders of congregational churches. It was a memorable occasion.
In 1958 the National Eisteddfod was held in Ebbw Vale and the church premises were widely used for preliminaries and rehearsals. Members involved themselves in the events and it proved an unforgettable experience for the town of Ebbw Vale.
The church was acutely aware of the fact that it had not had had a minister since 1938 and discussions took place regarding the principle of a joint pastorate at some time. Members were fully in support of such a move.
December 1959 saw the reintroduction of a Freewill Offering on Christmas morning to support God’s work in the church.