In spite of the poor social conditions in the parish, according to the biographer of the Rev Frank Weston - a young assistant priest at St Matthew's between 1896 and 1898, the church community seemed to be and friendly where 'reunions were more like family gatherings'. He mentioned that it was 'a parish where all was at peace and everything went on as if by clockwork. The services in the church and meals in the Clergy House could alike be depended on, but the first were elaborate and the others were not!'
Frank Weston taught daily in the Church School and there were Catechism classes on Sunday afternoons. In March 1898 he wrote:
'I have in tow about twenty young ruffians, mostly immoral little pagans, only four communicants.'
He used to spend a lot of time visiting parishioners in places such as Rochester Buildings 'learning fresh lessons about the difficulties of life' as his biographer described it. After two years here, he was called to missionary work in Africa and eventually became the Bishop of Zanzibar in 1908. A memorial to him can be seen in the entrance to the church.