A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Oxford Movement in Gloucestershire

During the last few months of his life Brian was working on a book about the Oxford Movement and its impact on the County of Gloucestershire. These are his working notes….

We are currently in the process of editing / updating these notes, and we will make an announcement when complete.


Touched by the Oxford Movement

Some Notes on Parishes in Gloucestershire assembled by the Reverend Brian Torode

The Beginnings of the Oxford Movement

The aim of the Oxford Movement was to strengthen the Church of England’s (C of E) sense of being part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, emphasising beauty in worship and in buildings. It aimed at stirring new life into the church and restoring ideals and practices that had given it such vigour in its early existence. At its start, it did not identify itself with Catholic rites- but devoted its energies to the restoration of a daily pattern of services, something quite new then. 19th Century Tractarianism revived the unbroken, though much overlaid, catholicity of the C of E. A true balance of worship was restored – Sacrament went hand in hand with Preaching the Word; the Altar was now a focus, and Sacraments and Preaching were no longer seen as alternatives or in competition.

The C of E had always embraced two elements: The Catholic strand saw the church as being essentially the same after the Reformation as it was beforehand, but now independent of Rome. The Protestant strand regarded the Reformation as sweeping away what they saw as superstitious dogmas and practices which had grown up as accretions during the Middle Ages and a return to the simplicity of the primitive church and the authority of the Bible. In the Victorian era, the Protestant strand was dominant. Anglo Catholics became known as Tractarians and they stressed the continuity of the church with its mediaeval past and sought to restore its ancient rituals.

Pre 1830s, the Church had been increasingly seen as subservient to the state. (Yates)

  • After 1820 the Government began a wholesale reform of the C of E seeing it as ill-equipped to deal with the pressures brought about by the changes in society. So began a programme of building new churches in the expanding populous towns and cities.

  • Reforming cathedral Chapters

  • The Whigs called for reorganisation of the Church as a department of Government

  • The repeal of the Test Act and the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829 seemed like attacks on the privileges of the established church.

The aims of the Oxford Movement were that the Spiritual life of the C of E should be revived by the re-discovery of its place within Catholic Christendom – led by Keble, Pusey and Newman. Keble, Froude and Pusey were all traditional High Churchmen with Froude being not anti Papalist. Froude believed that the C of E could only recover its catholic identity by some rapprochement with Rome. It was through their influence – and mainly Froude’s – that evangelical Newman became a member of the Tractarian Movement. (Yates)

The First phase of Oxford Movement 1833-1841 was primarily concerned with doctrinal issues such as the catholicity of the C of E and Apostolic succession. Ritual was not an issue and until he left the C of E, Newman, wore a plain black gown when preaching and celebrated Holy Communion at The North End.

The second aim was to move the debate from the College Common Rooms to the life in the parish. (Clutterbuck)

In the 1830s – 1840s, the leaders of the Oxford Movement strongly reaffirmed the Church as a divine institution, the position of Bishops firmly fixed in the Apostolic succession and a rule of faith contained in the BCP. They upheld the corporate and sacramental character of the Church’s life, the faith embodied in the catholic creeds as taught by the ancient Fathers. (Bishop Colin of Winchester)

We may learn much from their courage and commitment and adherence to the catholic faith, their quest for holiness, their recourse to the sacraments, their steady teaching and zeal for souls and their strong belief in the catholic character of the church and its ministry.

The term Oxford Movement is generally used in a very broad sense to include not only the period when it was confined to Oxford itself, but also the years of ritual controversy as this movement gradually spread to the parishes. Catholic Revival is probably a better terminology – ‘Catholic’ meaning people and practices which emphasise the continuity of the Church of England with the ancient Catholic church of this land.

(O W Jones) These men were inheritors of a much older tradition represented especially by the non- Jurors, which urged the independent rights of the church as against the State and which found the source of those rights in the doctrine of the Apostolic Succession and a rallying point in its devotion to King Charles the Martyr. They were disturbed by the liberalism which seemed to threaten the church and the reforming parliament which seemed to lay violent hands upon it. ….The task of those who assert Church principles was therefore to recall the Church to her true heritage, to renew veneration for her sacramental ordinances and to re-establish her divine authority; but this was to be done in a spirit of penitence and humility. (O.W. JONES)

By 1840s there was a strong emphasis in the parishes on pastoral visiting , more frequent services inspired by the Movement, Ceremonial, counselling, social concerns mainly among the poor; some experimental worship was taking place and parochial organisations and Guilds were being established; but also some wealthy parishes were attracted by the Romantic Movement which they saw reflected in the Movement and there was as strong development in ceremonial worship, intoning, lights and the use of the surplice. By the 1860s the six points of worship – lights, vestments, incense, altar breads, eastward position and Mixed chalice – were established but all within the confines of the C of E.

1897: The Alcuin Club was founded to encourage and assist in the study of ceremonial in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer (BCP)

1899: Percy Dearmer’s handbook

By 1904 the Ecclesiastical Discipline Commission authorised five of the points with the exception of number 6 (incense).

1927: Revised BCP defeated by evangelicals

1928: Revision also defeated.

The Second phase of the Oxford Movement led to adoption of ritualistic practices. There was a missionary motive behind this desire for increased ritual – to help combat poverty and the harsh conditions in which London’s Eastenders survived. They were totally un-attracted by Protestantism or Low Church ‘blank, dismal, oppressive and dreary services of the 1850s.’(Bishop Blomfield). Matins and the Litany with a sermon lasting the best part of an hour in a cold gloomy church was not the kind of worship to appeal to a man or woman with no education or little imagination. The Tractarians were therefore determined to reach the people for whom dull, grey cold buildings had little appeal, with ‘the mystery of movement, colour and ceremonial.’- the religious parallel to the Romantic or pre-Raphaelite Movement. Seen in a wider context than a movement against Protestantism, it became part of that European Romantic Movement with its idealisation of the Middle Ages and its mystical view of nature. It led to a revival of the sense of the Church as a sacramental reality, a divine institution founded by Christ, its bishops as successors of the Apostles rather than officials of the State. The movement was concerned with a deeper understanding of the Sacraments, especially Eucharist and Baptism, the restoration of the public recitation of Morning and Evening Prayer – Matins and Evensong – and more frequent and more reverent celebration of Holy Communion (HC). These views were put forward in Tracts for the Times (last one 1841 No 90 by Newman on The Thirty Nine Articles.)

Ritualism emerged within the C of E as a steadily growing phenomenon and as an integral part of the second phase of the Oxford Movement which was led by Pusey and Keble. The Ritualists used as their authority the Ornaments Rubric of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer – Such ornaments of the Ministers and the church….and to administer in alb or cope and in front of the altar as stated at the start of the prayer of Consecration.

As religious orders of monks and nuns were founded, the doctrine of the real presence and reservation and benediction were gradually introduced in the second phase of the Tractarian Movement. One of the first Ritualists to take up the matter was George Denison, Archdeacon of Taunton. An ecclesiastical court upheld complaints and he was deprived of all preferment. This did not stem the tide of Eucharistic adoration and reservation especially in the many sisterhoods of the 1850s and 60s.

Initially Tractarian Clergy were liturgically conservative, usually celebrating at North End in surplice, scarf and hood. However second generation Tractarians began to introduce more ritual and ceremonial, to wear Eucharistic vestments, to use lights and incense and to supplement the BCP by borrowing prayers from the Roman Missal. This growth of Ritualism was widely opposed by Bishops and led to the setting up of the Royal Commission of 1867.

Pressurized by the Church Association set up 1865, and by Queen Victoria herself, the Church and Prime Minister Disraeli secured the passing of Public Worship regulation Act of 1874, to put down ritualism. This had the opposite effect and hardened those in opposition. The English Church Union had been formed in 1860 to defend Ritualists who were being prosecuted, and committed itself to maintaining the Six Points – lights, vestments, incense, altar breads, eastward position and Mixed chalice .

Eventually after years of controversy – and some clerical imprisonments – the Royal Commission on Ecclesiastical discipline in 1906, found the BCP to be too narrow and opened the way for the proposed revision of 1928.

So, what were the effects of the Oxford Movement

The transformation of worship; the ecumenical vision of a united church with Roman Catholics, Orthodox churches; the revival of Religious life in the C of E for both men and women; the formation of the religious societies – e.g. the Society of the Holy Cross founded by C F Lowder in 1855 and CBS 1859. (Peter Cobb- Bristol Anglo Catholic)

The Cambridge Camden Movement was partly influenced by this Romantic Movement and began its life in 1837 having been started by John Mason Neale. This later developed into the Ecclesiological Society. It was in fact more of an antiquarian and architectural Society seeking to promote the advance of Gothic architecture and the study of mutilated architectural remains. ‘Correct’ new churches had to follow the pattern of mediaeval buildings and the Society compiled its list of preferred architects – A.W. Pugin and Butterfield in particular.

The Tracts for the Times began soon afterwards, reasserting the identity of the C of E as being both Catholic and Apostolic ordained by Christ himself and tracing back the authority of her bishops to the Apostles through the laying on of Hands. The first three Tracts were by Newman the fourth by Keble. Keble was outraged at the interference by the Government in the affairs of the church in deciding to abolish six of the Irish Bishoprics. He was outraged not for political reasons but rather theological ones. The Bishops were a divine institution, God’s gift to the church, not man made. Man could not tamper with God’s gift. Episcopacy was the guarantor of the sacramental order of the Church, and to tamper with it was to risk losing the means of our salvation, the saving life. (Arthur Middleton)

Most of the tracts were short and delivered by hand all over the country. Their title was ‘Tracts on the privileges of the Church against Popery and Dissent’. In December 1833 one of the most distinguished men at Oxford wrote Tract 18 – ‘On Fasting’ – the previous 17 had all been anonymous. From then on Tractarians was the name by which adherents were known.

Tractarians – or leaders of the Movement – sought to reassert the Church’s influence over the British Nation. But as a sort of backlash against the unsacramental individualism of the Evangelical Movement, they stressed the corporate dimension of Christian Faith, reaffirming those aspects of Anglican tradition in which sacraments and ceremonial played a large part. They were in fact promoting doctrinal attitudes and devotional practices which many saw as coming far too close to Roman Catholicism.

Personalities of the Oxford Movement in Gloucestershire – For and Against


Dean Close said: The architecture of our cathedrals and old parish churches was popish, was designed for Mass houses, not the hearing and learning of God’s word, and they are ill adapted for Protestant congregational services. 

In the fashionable suburbs, the middle class housing showed a taste for elaborate decoration and furnishing, rich ornaments and carpets and curtains. In the more affluent parts of London and Brighton, this taste was transferred to the church too, it became a replica of better taste and artistic appreciation, and in this setting ritualism had a foothold.

The Eastward position at HC and the use of vestments were further objects of division between evangelicals and Tractarians. Dean Close was angered at the way the Tractarians all conspired to one result – the superstitious and unscriptural exaltation of the priesthood. He spoke vehemently against the adoration and elevation of the Host and confession to a priest.

Vestments began to appear in 1850s and liturgical colours for seasons grew in popularity. Dean Close raged against what he termed, catholic priests decked out in fancy dress of all colours. One celebrated case was the Prestbury one, where Fr Edwards who introduced them – stoles, albs and chasubles – attracted the attention of the Cheltenham Branch of the Church Association which took legal action against Prestbury. In 1873 a local, named Combe and perhaps the Baron de Ferriers protested to the Bishop of Gloucester and in 1875 the case was heard at court of Arches. In 1878 Edwards was suspended for six months by the bishop . The Reverend Charles Lyne was appointed to take his duties. But Edwards insisted on remaining and eventually in 1880 he was deprived of his incumbency. Other items of criticism from evangelicals was the singing of the Agnus Dei during communion and bowing at name of Jesus.

In a sermon on 5th November 1844 – ‘The Restoration of churches is the Restoration of Popery’ –Francis Close was critical of those who did not officiate from the North end and who bowed to the altar and read the epistle on the east side of the rood screen. Close, and the Vicar of Trinity, the Reverend John Brown, stood almost alone for a long time in their uncompromising hostility to the Oxford Movement.

Close was dissatisfied with the Anglican National Society as he saw it as a front for the Oxford Movement and leading to Romanism. (Cheltenham Journal 287 Oct 1845). In 1853, he and 600 evangelical clergy withdrew their support from the Society (Cheltenham Journal, 18.6.1853) because of the Tractarian influence within it. (Journal April 7th 1847). He founded the C of E Education Society in Cheltenham, based on Protestant, Evangelical and Biblical Principles. (Trafford Book). Close said at a public dinner 1843 that he would not trust the author of Tract 90 (Newman) with his purse. He believed the influence of the Tractarians must be opposed and exposed. From 1835 he began to equate Tractarianism with Popery. A sermon on 5 Nov 1843: Tractarianism: The whole system is destructive. He resigned from the SPG (Cheltenham Journal May 1st 1843 p2) because of its sympathy with the Tractarians.

Francis Close also objected to aims of Camden Society as teaching through art what Tractarians preached through tracts.

Close was much opposed by Archdeacon Thorpe who opposed the founding of the Training College on Protestant Evangelical basis as a divisive institution (Journal April 30th 1849)

Walker’s lectures against Tractarianism – May 1868-1869.

(Much of above credit Nigel Scotland)

The Cheltenham Examiner for 28.11.1866 reported:

We are pleased to learn that a movement has been commenced in Cheltenham by members of the Established Church, to assist in the Testing of the Legality of those ritualistic practices, which seem so likely to bring religion into contempt. A preliminary conference was held last week, attended by highly respectable clergy and laymen.

The Cheltenham Examiner for 30.1.1867: 

Lecture at the Town Hall with Rector of Cheltenham in the Chair. Ritualism opposed to the Book of Common Prayer. The speaker quoted a comment by the Rector of Northmoor Green: “Who was the distracted individual who was inspired directly by the devil to dress up our Bishops in the garb of lunatic washerwomen?” A vote of thanks was proposed by Baron de Ferrieres and the Reverend A W Chamberlain.



John Keble was born in 1792, son of a gentleman parson in Fairford. His father was of the old High Church School – pious, traditional and devoted to non – jurors and one who admired Charles I as Martyr – he is for Anglicans what St Stephen was for the Universal Church (Rowell).

Keble and Newman were not the leaders of a ceremonial movement but gave an example of pastoral care for those who passed through their hands. They catered for the needs of their students’ souls as well as their brains and Keble transferred this to country life amongst simple farmers and families.

However he was very keen on personal confession which he saw as part of any Christian’s life and an essential priestly ministry. He and Pusey exercised the ministry of the confessional more than any other priest in the established church. He always prayed for reunion of Christendom and had great sympathy with the eastern churches.

On Newman’s conversion, John Keble and Pusey became figureheads for the catholic remnant but John Keble was not interested in ritual- ‘I do not know what constitutes the difference between High and Low Mass’

He died on 29th March 1866 and was honoured with a massive funeral. Keble College was started in 1868 to perpetuate his memory and the architect was William Butterfield. This makes Keble the only person to have an Oxford college named after him, who was neither a benefactor nor saint – but who now though is commemorated in the Anglican Calendar.

Keble did not remain a leader of the Oxford Movement, returning to unpaid parish work at Coln St Aldwyn where he helped his father and he acted as guide and mentor to the Tractarians. Some extreme Evangelicals had set up in Quenington, and were drawing away from the C of E a number of Anglicans. However the morals of the inhabitants of St Aldwyn were as uncertain as those of their churchmanship and John Keble was always thrilled to be able to officiate at a wedding where the bride was not pregnant. He tried to set up a savings bank but they would have none of it. Farmers objected to allotments as they distracted from their own profits. John Keble regretted being a non- resident cleric but when his father died in 1834 John Keble was now free to lead his own life and moved permanently to the cottage at Coln until a new Parson could be appointed. A relationship began with Tom’s sister in law, Charlotte Clarke a woman in very poor health – hypochondriac?

In 1835 he was offered the living of Hursley, near Southampton, where he became Vicar. The Vicar was about to retire and Keble accepted the offer, but first was married on 16th October 1835 at Bisley. Inducted to Hursley in January 1836 and there he remained until he died. At Hursley, he put the Tractarian principles into practice – regular service attendance, catechizing, the sacraments AND his care for people became proverbial and at night he would go out to instruct farm labourers whose work had kept them from some ordinary confirmation class. This care prefigured the new generation of slum priests who were called to mission work among the poor and these were to include men like Stanton, Lowder, Dolling, Mackonochie etc. Whilst at Hursley Keble wrote that he regretted the RC doctrine of Transubstantiation not because he disbelieved in the real presence but because it turned the attention of man from life giving miracles to near metaphysical or grammatical subtleties.

A stained glass window in the south aisle of Bisley Church commemorates the marriage there of John Keble and Charlotte Clarke, the sister of Thomas Keble’s wife, on 10th October 1835 at which John’s brother, Thomas Keble, officiated:

John Keble, Clerk, of this parish and Charlotte Clarke, spinster of the parish of Cirencester.

George Prevost and Charlotte’s cousin, Caroline Coxwell, were the witnesses together with Elizabeth Clarke & Elizabeth Keble and Edward Coxwell.

John never went to Public School and he regretted it. He was very interested in the Fairford Glass. Went up to Oxford at 14, gaining a scholarship to Corpus Christi College in 1807- his brother Thomas joined him in 1808. Both were much attached to home life and at 18, in 1810, John was awarded a double first in Classics and Maths. John Keble was short sighted, clumsy but able to do two things at once. He became a Fellow of Oriel College and Tutor. He was ordained into the C of E as Deacon in Trinity Sunday 1815, aged 23, by the Bishop of Oxford – at the earliest age possible.

1816 Initial appointment for 6 weeks at Eastleach & Burthrop as curate, the Rector being aged, infirm and absent. First sermon – ‘Beloved let us love one another’. Lots of visiting, set up Sunday school. Sermons full of homely images. From 1817 he and his brother Tom were back at Oxford as Tutors at Oriel; He saw his tutor role as one of pastoral care. Soon became friend of E.B. Pusey and J.H. Newman, both Oriel Fellows, both younger than he was. Tom and John Keble alternated taking services at weekends at Eastleach and also some weekday duty, dividing the £75 fee between them and later taking on the entire work of the parish – plus some work on his father’s behalf at Coln St Aldwyn. This continued throughout the whole of his Tutorship- a period of 8 years.

In Spring 1823, he turned down the offer of a parish in Lincolnshire planning to devote himself to poetry and parish work coupled with the desire to help his 78 year old father and when his mother died he resigned his Oriel Fellowship and returned to Fairford and accepted the assistant curacy of three parishes to be near his father- that at Southrop nearer home and this combined the old cures of Eastleach and Burthrop. In the parish he taught the catholic faith with the minimum of ceremonial. (See p. 25 Clutterbuck).

In 1823, during the long Oxford vacations he invited students down for tutoring holidays (by now he was 31) .One was a clever Harrow boy, brilliant in Latin and a first rate cricketer – Isaac Williams. The others were John Henry Newman, Robert Isaac Wilberforce son of the slave reformer, and R H Froude. Newman absorbed from Froude, the Anglo-Catholic teaching which he had received from Keble. Froude was responsible for bringing the three of them together.

Isaac Williams wrote: For John Keble, religion is a reality. He is a man made up wholly of love with charms of conversation, thought and kindness…..In his intercourse with us, almost schoolboys as we were, there was such an absence of authority or preaching religion. Liddon wrote later: no man ever lifted so many to heaven without mentioning it, as did John Keble.

His publication of the Christian Year had been a great success. The tone was uncompromisingly catholic and because of its popularity, Keble was invited to preach the Assize sermon, on July 14th 1833 before the University of Oxford. (Yates) This Assize sermon focused on the issue of Church and State – he saw them as separate even opposing forces (Clutterbuck).

The Whig Government had proposed to reduce the number of Irish Bishoprics as part of its political, social and ecclesiastical reforms and in his sermon, Keble condemned the idea as an act of national apostasy. He used this sermon as a rallying call to high Churchmen to defend the Anglican establishment and identity.

In September 1833 the newly formed ‘group’ resorted to the evangelical tactics of producing Tracts, – Number 1 being by Newman, defending Apostolic Succession as it applied to the C of E. Between 1833 and 1841, ninety tracts were produced – John Keble – 9; Thomas Keble – 4. In 1841, Tract 90, produced by Newman said the 39 Articles were not substantially at variance with Roman Catholic popular practices, but this proved too much for most Anglicans to stomach and no more tracts were then produced. (Yates) The Tracts were academic and at the start, addressed to the clergy, mainly in the University among the newly ordained or among those about to be. Later, this moved to unsuspecting High Church Parish priests who found them too hot to handle, although liturgical experiment was the logical outcome of Tractarian teaching.

In the first few years, the influence of the group was theological but from 1840s the influence of the Cambridge Camden Society founded 1839, began to direct the group towards liturgical considerations e.g. the arrangement of Anglican churches, the moving away of pews from the chancel, proper, clearly defined sanctuary, raised altar, proper reredos, visible altar, font near door.

By very late 1830s a small group of Anglican clergy had begun the daily office in church , celebrated more frequently the early Holy Communion on Sundays and Saints Days , introduced a robed choir, celebrated eastward facing and used mingling of chalice, and vestments. All this done with the intention of bringing C of E into line with Roman Catholic practices, but in fact, restoring what had been C of E practice in 17th century. (Yates)

He was installed at Southrop, with a deaf handmaid and a clerk, a gardener and a groom. The house was not very large but big enough to accommodate Oxford vacation reading parties. The first of these included Froude, Robert Wilberforce (son of the slave man) and Isaac Williams, a rich Welshman. They spent 3 weeks with Keble. Williams had arrived a graceless worldling and left a pious somewhat priggish individual which he was to be for the rest of his life.

Southrop should be a place of pilgrimage for all Anglicans for it was there that Keble sowed the first seeds of the Oxford Movement. ‘SOUTHROP; John Keble was made Deacon in 1815 and immediately took on the curacy of the two Eastleach parishes- Eastleach Martin and Eastleach Turville until 1818, when he was appointed Tutor at Oxford where he was resident during term time. However at weekends he returned to assist his father who was Vicar of Coln St Aldwyn, but lived in Fairford. In 1823 John retired from his Oxford duties and came back to Gloucestershire as curate at Southrop where he remained until 1825. In the garden of Southrop Vicarage,(?) there is a huge Cedar of Lebanon around which he would sit with visiting Oxford friends Hurell Froude, Isaac Williams and Archdeacon Robert Wilberforce.

There was an old wooden and metal seat surrounding a yew tree to the south of the church at Southrop and seated there, Keble composed some of his well-known poems for The Christian Year.

The font inside the church was discovered by Keble built into the south doorway of the church.

It must not be forgotten that the very seeds of the Oxford Movement, most of whose followers were sympathetic to the medieval Gothic Revival, were sown at Southrop by John Keble and his friends, including Isaac Williams, as early as 1825. One of the architects most acceptable to the Ecclesiological Society was John Park Harrison, a leading light in the Oxford Architectural Society, chosen by Thomas Keble for the new church at Bussage. 1844-46. Harrison also remodelled Barnsley Church for Canon Howman 1843-47. (David Verey)

In 1824, John Keble visited Devon and stopped off at Frome to see Bishop Ken’s grave – ‘more respectfully guarded than I had supposed.’

In 1825 he was offered the curacy at Hursley – he regretted leaving Southrop but left it in the good hands of his brother Tom who was to have made his home there with his new wife. However Tom had accepted Bisley and old Rev Keble, now over 80 was alone in Fairford, so John returned from Hursley with no position of his own, and no clerical duty except what dad allowed him to do at Coln St Aldwyn where he spent an occasional week or so at the vicarage there – a cottage vicarage. This was a period of marking time and addressing the issues of the alliance between church and state.

In 1827 he was on the shortlist for Provost of Oriel- but he was not appointed and returned to Fairford and in the same year published The Christian Year, a meditation on the Sunday and Holy day BCP Readings. Many of these poems are familiar hymns today – Blest are the pure in heart… New every morning…. Sun of my soul thou Saviour dear….

His theology is that the glory of God is revealed in every part of creation and in his drawing of man and women unto himself. He also spent time with Tom and his new wife at Bisley and he was there able to study the other side of life – rural versus industry.

1831 Elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford, and in 1833 he was invited to preach the Assize Sermon at St Mary’s – Newman’s Church. He chose as his subject National Apostasy: Parliament which had non churchmen amongst its members had no right to lay hands on temporalities or organisations of the church.

The sermon warned the Whig Government not to interfere in the rights of the Church. Subjection of the Church to the State was no longer tolerable when State no longer professed the faith of the Church. This Newman saw as the start of the Oxford Movement and from this sermon came the Tracts for the Times. On the Apostolic Succession and also for the defence of the Prayer Book against any sort of profane innovation, which seek so likely to be attempted. … ‘I cannot help feeling there is a good deal of cordial Church feeling about the country, which it is very desirable to encourage in a quiet sort of way, and to get people to dwell on it a little more.’

A few weeks after his celebrated sermon, he wrote to one of his father’s friends in which he said:

Some of my friends at Oxford, worthy of much confidence, are wishing for a kind of association to circulate right notions.

THOMAS KEBLE at Bisley 1827-1873; Thomas Keble arrived in Bisley from Windrush where he had served his curacy, in 1827. He was a member of the Oxford Movement which valued 17th century Anglican Divines and spiritual writings and asserted the sacred character of Priestly calling and its independence from the State. Thomas had written four of the Tracts for the Times and he used his Tractarian connections to bring to his parishes clergy of calibre. He pioneered daily Offices, discovered Bodley as one of the best Gothic revival architects and trained his curates by appealing to their ideals. Sir George Prevost who joined him in 1829 was one such curate.

At Bisley, Thomas set the pattern of Tractarian devotion – daily reading of Prayer Book Offices in Church – Matins at 10 am and Evening Prayer at 4pm.

Keble set out to give Bisley, and its much neglected neighbouring settlements, one by one, clergy and buildings – church, school, and vicarage – and then set them up as new parishes. A new Bisley Vicarage was built 1832, Oakridge Church in 1837 followed by a vicarage and school; Chalford church was much improved and became a parish in 1841; France Lynch Church was completed 1857 and Bisley church was mightily restored in 1862 by his curate, the former architect William Lowder, brother of C.F. Lowder. Eastcombe School and house were designed by Lowder in 1868.

Keble also had as his curate in 1842, Isaac Williams who too had served his first curacy at Windrush. Williams was a True Blue Tractarian and his family had built a model Tractarian Church at Llangorwen near Aberystwyth.

Dean Church described Thomas Keble as a man of sterner stuff than his brother John, with strong definite opinions on all subjects, curt and keen of speech and intolerant of all that seemed to threaten wholesome teaching and the interests of the church. He could be most uncompromising – once refusing communion to a parishioner of whose conduct he disapproved, even when he presented himself at the altar rail. He was totally intolerant of those who went over to Rome, but exemplified the virtues of simplicity, a calm sense of duty and humble resignation. (Isaac Williams and His Circle p 14)

Thomas Keble was the representative of the Tractarians at Parish level; he did not celebrate facing East. He had inherited money from an uncle, so was well off. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev George Clarke, Rector of Maisey Hampton in 1825 and her sister Charlotte married John Keble at Bisley Church.

Within two years of arriving at Bisley he began an enormous building programme: repair of spire 1829; new Vicarage 1832; Oakridge church 1837; Chalford Chapel enlarged and created as separate parish 1841; Bussage 1846; France Lynch 1857; Bisley restoration 1862 in spite of some opposition from the parishioners-£4000 met by Keble and friends; Eastcombe school, Chapel and school house 1868; and several schools for the new parishes. He built a new vicarage but this is no longer the Vicarage. Thomas Keble set the pattern of Tractarian devotion at Bisley with daily BCP offices. In 1827 he introduced daily services in the church from the start and it was to become a party badge (at Fairford the family always read these as a family at home).

He attracted many able and influential curates – e.g. Isaac Williams.

1835-36 Influenza devastated parish of Bisley and Keble’s curate Henry Jeffreys went around the parish feeding people with toast dipped in port wine. £600 was collected to enable the poor and unemployed to move to other parishes in search of work. Mrs Keble sold rice and other foods at half price in her vicarage shed.

1837 Newman dined at Bisley with the Bishop and criticised the luxurious dinner at such times of poverty.

Bishop Askwith in 1960: When Thomas Keble arrived in Bisley he probably shook the people by going to church every day. Although regarded as not quite respectable and he caused a great deal of resentment in many places around, he and others brought about a great revival in church life for which we are still thanking God today.

When Thomas died his funeral began at 8 am with HC: Breakfast followed then Morning Service at 10 am; burial service at graveside.

Choir, 3 psalms, Venite, Te Deum, Benediction, anthem, Hymn, Canticle.

8 aged parishioners acted as bearers. The Pall was supported by 6 former curates – Gregory, Jeffreys, Frith (Vicar of Coalpit Heath) Livingstone (Vicar of Forthampton) W.H. Lowder (by then, Vicar of Alverley, Cheshire); Rev I. Williams, curate of Stinchcombe; Sir G. Prevost celebrated.

Thomas Keble was succeeded by his son Thomas 1873-1903.

The Oxford Movement had begun six years after Thomas senior’s arrival at Bisley.

Sir GEORGE PREVOST: curate at Bisley 1828. Married Jane, Isaac Williams’ sister. Became Vicar of Stinchcombe.

Born 1804 son of Lt General Sir George Prevost 1st Bart. Oriel 1821. Became involved with friendships that determined the course of the Oxford Movement. He studied under John Keble during vacations at Southrop. 1826 Visited home of his friend Isaac Williams in Cardiganshire, and later became engaged to his sister Jane. Married 1828 in same year as he became curate at Bisley, on Thomas Keble’s invitation and at suggestion of John Keble. ‘Parish large and poor to a proverb’. He accepted curacy but in 1834 he became Rector of Stinchcombe and 1865-1881 also Archdeacon of Gloucester

ISAAC WILLIAMS: born 1802 in Aberystwyth – father a barrister in London. Keen cricketer at Harrow. Student at Trinity College Met John Keble at Oxford 1822 and came under his influence. His father was acquainted with the Kebles of Fairford as was another elderly clergyman in William’s village Aberystwyth. Williams first met John Keble in Aberystwyth when he came to visit this clergyman, a Mr Richards. Did not meet again until a year later at Oxford.

At Oxford, John Keble invited Williams and Robert Wilberforce to spend reading vacation at Fairford.

“Very rainy day as I travelled to Lechlade where I slept the night and John Keble came and took me to Southrop next morning. As his house was not yet ready, he thought of our lodgings at a farmhouse, Dean Farm, a solitary place on the Cotswolds. R.H. Froude also there, (b 1803, d 1836, son of Archdeacon Froude). Stayed 6 weeks until John Keble’s house finished then took us to his house where I built a valued friendship with Froude. Froude advocated celibacy and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Spent all vacations at Southrop- John Keble served 3 churches. On return to Oxford, Froude and Williams became great buddies. Next visit to Southrop, also present were Hubert Cornish, Henry Ryder, son of the bishop, and Sir George Prevost – with whom Williams became a close friend, . Back at Oxford, Williams first met Newman.

1826 Spent some time with Prevost at Belmont and with John Keble who for a short time was curate of Hursley.

Prevost engaged to Williams’s sister. After marriage Prevost took up curacy at Bisley. ‘I attended a priest’s ordination in Gloucester, then moved to Chalford where I met Mr and Mrs Keble. I stayed for some time looking after the poor but not yet ordained.

1829: Went with Thomas Keble to see Windrush Parish where Keble had been curate 14 years previously and to which he had been ordained.

1829 Deacon-curacy at Windrush where Thomas Keble had been curate. Remained 2 years with Vicar, James Davies – High Church. Parish of affluence and great poverty. While there first became acquainted with Parisian Breviary, brought back in 4 volumes by Prevost.

Isaac Williams translated several of the hymns and things were turning towards Catholic principles. Wrote many simple poems at Windrush. One parishioner said my sermons too much like Thomas Keble’s. John Keble, Froude and Robert Wilberforce came over one day to visit me. Life at Windrush calm and subduing – studied Hebrew and Chrysostom. Lived in house with Vicar – 3 churches to serve, so never in church together. Life low and monotonous apart from visits to Fairford.


1830-32, Williams accepted curacy of St Mary’s Oxford under Newman, having first been ordained to the curacy of Windrush in 1829.

On Keble’s advice took a curacy at Windrush to which he was ordained in 1829 and stayed until 1831. New plaque unveiled there 2011. In 1831 he became curate to Newman at St Mary’s Oxford and also Littlemore. In 1842, he left Oxford and in 1843 became curate at Bisley, living first at Chalford. Williams remained at Stinchcombe until 1865 when he died. He is buried there.

Newman had visited Williams at Stinchcombe 4 days before he died in 1865 and believed it was on account of his visit that Williams died. (Williams had not been well but insisted on driving Newman to the station where he started a cough and later died.( Newman’s letters xxi p 441)

The Strange Preachers’ Book – the first entry is “St James Day July 25th 1854; Isaac Williams in the Boys Schoolroom.”

1831 Priest – asthma began.1832 returned Trinity, on election to Fellow, then Dean. Met Newman through Froude, and daily walked and dined together; our thoughts were then more akin to High Church divines than non-jurors. In 1832 he was the only one to attend Saints Day and Holy day services – complaints from preacher that if it were not for me they would not have to prepare a sermon. Became Newman’s curate at St Mary’s, but spent lots of time at Littlemore which did not have his own church until Newman’s mother built one at the same time as Oakridge was being built at Bisley. Every afternoon Newman and I walked to Littlemore evening service. I had lodgings there and spent Saints Days there.

In 1816, TK had resolved that if ever he had a parish of his own, he would at once begin daily services. He did so 1827 at Bisley, although looked upon as a strange fancy. I imported this practice to Newman’s St Mary’s and Littlemore and from this custom, it has prevailed throughout the United Kingdom having previously become almost extinct. Newman went abroad and left Williams in charge. Introduced daily services. Parish life his main interest. 1833 aligned himself to Oxford Movement. Curacy 1843-1848. He gave a stone altar to Bisley in 1851 after he’d moved to Stinchcombe, following Sir George, in 1848. Cost was defrayed from proceeds of his ‘Plain Sermons’. He contributed greatly towards the restoration of the church there (Stinchcombe) and died and was buried there 1865.

Isaac Williams married Catherine Champernowne, sister of Rev Richard Champernowne, curate of Oakridge in 1842. He had left Oxford to go as curate to Thomas Keble at Bisley where he stayed 6 years.

1845 became ill, 1848 moved to Stinchcombe and assisted brother in law, Sir George Prevost.

(Richard himself was to marry Elizabeth, Thomas Keble’s daughter in 1848)

When Williams became Newman’s Curate at St Mary’s Oxford, he adopted the daily Church Office in church, inherited from the Keble family , from whence the pattern became standard throughout C of E, (says Williams) . While at St Mary’s as Curate, Williams was also by virtue of that appointment, Curate at Littlemore, where he often substituted Church Prayers and a reading of Keble’s sermons instead of Newman’s Lectures.

There were 14 writers of Tracts for The Times, of which Williams was one which he wrote at Oxford. Set great store by contents of BCP 1549-1662.

On one occasion went with Newman to Bisley on outside of the carriage carrying John Keble and his newly married wife. Only time Newman at Bisley???? Bishop there for confirmation – Newman then sympathetic to C of E. Expressed his disgust to Williams at the luxurious dinner prepared for the Bishop.

Williams married Caroline, 3rd Daughter of Arthur Champernowne at Bisley 1842 having first made proposals in 1827 when she was only 16. These proposals were thwarted by Froude for which Williams later admitted he was grateful l- otherwise he would have lost the chance at Windrush and at Oxford with Newman.

1865 visited by Newman- illness and death.

Plaque installed at Windrush 2011.

In March 1828 Prevost accepted curacy of Bisley, with charge of Chalford. He arrived that year with his new bride Jane and also Isaac Williams. Following September he took his wife to France and wrote ‘I hope Isaac will soon be at Chalford to take care of the people, and I should be very glad if he could be ordained of which he seems to have hopes’

P67: At Oxford, Keble and Williams took to one another. Keble invited Williams to join him at Southrop a little curacy near his father’s. There Williams joined him with Robert Wilberforce, and R.H. Froude, spending there, the long vacation of 1823.

From the Kebles, Williams received his theology. All the Kebles were old fashioned, High Church Orthodox-Prayer Book and Catechism. J Keble made Williams an old fashioned High Churchman, and from John Keble Williams passed under the influence of Thomas Keble, Vicar of Bisley. Under him Williams began his career as a clergyman-two years of statutory monotonous life in a small cure. Then he was recalled to Oxford as fellow and Tutor, where he came into contact with Newman, through his friendship with Froude.

Newman’s Romeward trend became a strain on Williams and Oxford became distasteful and he left for Bisley and Stinchcombe, the living of his brother-in-law, Sir George Prevost. There in 1842 he married and there he remained. He died in 1865 after Newman had come to visit him. Newman blamed himself for Williams’ death in that in spite of his cold, Newman accepted a lift to the station.

To Williams, the Bisley- Fairford School was the alpha and omega of Christianity.

Isaac WILLIAMS and his CIRCLE: P76 – worship at Bisley, 1846/7 Williams published ‘The Altar’ copiously illustrated. An advocate of the Eastwood position as it symbolised looking to the East where God had shown his countenance to the light of the ancient Church and to angels assembled around the altar. He faced East to read daily Offices but at HC he remained at the North side until the offertory.

Believed in celebrating in cope, altar covered in spreading altar cloth. Altar with cross and candlesticks and if possible small vase of flowers placed discretely at side. At beginning of HC, stands at north side, turning to people for 10 Commandments and then facing inwards for Collects. Chalice and Paten remain on credence until Offertory, when they are placed on altar and priest kneels before them in silent Oblation. Priest remains standing at altar for rest of service.

P80 – Bussage – J.P. Harrison engaged as architect and similar in ethos to Williams’ church at Llangorwen.

P113 – Stinchcombe

142/3 Death of Williams. Newman finally came to Stinchcombe soon after Easter 1865 and when he saw Williams he thought death was upon his face. Then he remembered how uncertain his health had been for so many years and when Williams began to talk he was so much himself and his mind was clear. The visit was a happy one and Newman was planning another when Prevost‘s letter came informing him that Williams had died on 1st May. Newman’s first thought was that in a certain sense he had caused his death because when he last left Stinchcombe, Williams had insisted on driving him t the station. ‘He wanted to have more talk and then when we set off he could not say a word….he has really been a victim of his old love for me.

Williams was buried at Stinchcombe alongside his father and his sister, Jane Prevost. His friends opened a subscription for a memorial window for the chapel of Trinity, but this has since been removed. There are two windows in the chancel of Stinchcombe church in his memory and his widow gave the reredos as her memorial. The side panels of the reredos were added later in memory of their son Henry.

ARTHUR STANTON; London March 29th 1913: Rev Fr Stanton, 50 years Curate at St Alban’s Holborn, where he arrived just after Mackonochie had been inducted there. Stanton supported Mackonochie in all the attacks he suffered – prejudice, violence, legal battles and the upholding of the catholic faith in the C of E and for this reason he turned his back on preferment. But all his work was done in strong belief that he was called to be a devoted parish priest and his consistency eventually won the day. After Mackonochie death, Fr Suckling succeeded him and Stanton and he were left in peace. However Stanton was less than ever an Anglican save by Baptism, and his religion was that of the whole, undivided church, whose role was to minister to the people through the sacraments especially Mass and Penance, coupled with a strong belief in the Communion of the Saints and strong devotion to Our Lady. Catholicism was the fibre of his being, and made him as the true Catholic always must, revolt against everything unfair, sordid, unjust or even merely material. He instinctively took sides with the world’s unfortunates.-none ever failed of his help or sympathy and was often admonished for his willingness to dispense money and clothes in charity. He also founded the St Martin’s League for postmen in which he worked with Robert, who was later to become, Fr Dolling, providing a social meeting place for hundreds of London postmen many of whom were young and unmarried. He also encouraged the St Alban’s Brotherhood of St Joseph for working men, with no preaching but merely a practical action of God’s love in fellowship. Stanton died 28th aged 74. Death occurred at Upfield Lodge, Paganhill, near Stroud, where he had gone to recuperate in Jan that year to be near his sisters.

On R.A.J. Suckling’s appointment to St Alban’s in succession to Mackonochie, his opening speech included ‘You can I am sure, easily understand what I owe to the Rev A.H. Stanton for the generous and most unselfish way he has helped me. For 20 years he has worked among you and yet he still keeps his position as Assistant Curate under a new Vicar. This I am sure speaks for itself.’

High Churchman of advanced views. Had been at St Alban’s since 1862 as curate, after gaining a pass degree at Oxford. To everyone he was more like an old friend than a clergyman. Never could be inactive.

Born 21.6.1839, 10th child of William Stanton, at Upfield Lodge, Paganhill, Stroud. House eventually became his sisters and there he died (later a school – Upfield Preparatory School).

He attended prep school at Leonard Stanley.

Attended Rugby & Trinity College Oxford. Main influence at Oxford was H.P. Liddon, Vice Principal of St Edmund’s Hall, leader of the young Anglo-Catholics and Master of the Brotherhood of the Holy Trinity a Tractarian Society. From early life he had an interest in religion. Drawn to Anglo-Catholic ethos of the 30-year-old Oxford Movement. While at Oxford he went to London so as to help Lowder and Mackonochie in the riots at St George’s. Once when the Protestants made a rush at the altar to destroy it, Stanton in Cassock and Surplice threw himself in front of it and stood there with folded arms facing the mob. The mob backed off and the altar was saved. Two years after graduating, he was ordained Priest at St Paul’s Cathedral having spent six months at Cuddesdon Theological College under the Principalship of Bishop Edward King and in the company of Robert Alfred John Suckling (son of the Bussage Suckling) who later became his Vicar at St Alban’s.

Whilst at Oxford he became engaged in controversy over Catholic Ritual at a London Church- St George in the East. He was offered the Living of Tetbury but declined and joined unpaid, the staff of St Alban the Martyr which had just been built where he stayed, still unpaid, for the rest of his life. His style was remarkable for its blending of ritualistic teaching and Methodist fervour. Tall, upright, dignified, clean shaven, flushed with the warmth of human kindness. Eyes twinkled and sparkled as merrily as a boy’s; generous, fearless, radiated religion and goodwill. Ministry was Sacramental- an evangelical preacher, a Catholic Teacher.

In 1866 he wrote to his mother at Upfield: ‘My dear Mother, I am a catholic in heart and longings and hopes. Catholics believe as they believe in their God, that Jesus Christ is present on his altar in the holy sacrament. A catholic Priest believes that he holds in his hands the Blood of life. I hold the doctrine of the real presence dearer than life. As I hope for salvation, I would rather be hacked to pieces than omit adoring my God in the Sacrament.’ (Mackay)

Inhibited by Bishop of Gloucester – when, why?

However he never forgot Stroud and preached at Painswick on Chipping Sunday and paid frequent visits to his sisters at Upfield. All his life he radiated religion and good will. Marvellous sense of humour.

He is buried at Brookwood Cemetery, Woking by permission of his sister. Fr Suckling preached: known him since 1860. His attraction was that he was genuine. Coffin in state all night and Requiem at 6 am. Sister and other relatives at solemn requiem plus 100 clergy including Fr Tooth, but no Bishops nor important people of the Church. Suckling celebrated – incense, torches and crucifix, ;purple pall, biretta on coffin, Brotherhood of Jesus of Nazareth, Sisters of Mercy, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, postmen, mums and babies in arms. 1000s lined streets from St Alban’s to Westminster Bridge Road. No great names just 4 of his colleagues- Russell, Hogg, Peakes and Fr Suckling walked by bier. 100 other priests followed. 800 mourners went on train to Brookwood, to say farewell to dad, a great lover of the Lord Jesus. During procession hymn sung: Rock of Ages, Jesus lover of my soul, Peace perfect Peace (A&M) the Strife is o’er.

He found Christ, he loved Christ, in his Mother Mary, the Mother of all who are in Christ. He loved and found Christ in the souls of men, especially the least worthy.

1912-desire to commemorate Stanton, apostle of the poor, St Alban’s Stroud.

1913-Stanton memorial Church Committee

1914-Thomas Falconer appointed architect

1915-In June Miss Rose Stanton laid foundation stone

1916-17th June Consecration on St Alban’s Day by Archdeacon of Gloucester. Sermon by Bishop Frodsham.

Screen and Rood painted by Henry Payne of Amberley were given by Miss Carter in memory of her son.

Taken ill end of 1912 and after seven week’s illness left for sister’s house at Stroud on Jan 16th 1913.

He was able to walk downstairs without assistance, take his place in his nephew’s motor which took him to Paddington. A nurse and his nephew travelled with him to Stroud. Slept night in ground floor room at Upfield. A spacious room, large windows which reached to the ground, and through which he could look upon lawns, shrubs, trees and fields.

Gradually grew stronger- taken out in carriage and walked about garden. Feb 2nd I am getting on all right, but I progress slowly and I am still nursed.

Bp Winnington Ingram of London offered him Prebendal Stall at St Paul’s but on 8th March 1913 he replied: A great pleasure but I couldn’t be a Prebendary. I think my ministry is closing. Don’t say any more. If it comes out about this say I declined on age and health. My illness has drawn me behind the scenes and there I wish to stay.

There was a relapse in March and a specialist summoned form London.

The Thursday after Easter 1913, Fr E.F. Russell who was visiting him, heard his confession said Mass and gave him Holy Communion. Gave Russell £10 for the undeserving poor – those who do NOT come to church. Later that night he changed for the worse and a call came to Russell early next morning- Friday March 13th– in his 74th year. He spoke once to his sister who was by his side, and again to thank the nurse. His last words were to Russell: “If he will it, I am willing”. Half an hour before sunrise, 50th anniversary of his ministry and golden jubilee of his ordination. Crucifix placed on his heart and hands folded over feet of the cross. Tall candles by his side, flowers around bed and placed in a coffin of his own design.

A letter to his mother; I am a catholic in heart, in longing and hopes. Catholics believe as they believe in their God, that Jesus Christ is present on His altar in the Holy Sacrament. A catholic Priest believes that he holds in his hands …the Blood of life. I hold the doctrine of the real presence dearer than life. As I hope for salvation, I would rather be hacked to pieces than to omit adoring my God in the Sacrament.

MOZELEY: died Sat 17 June 1893 aet 86. Character of Oxford Movement. Born Gainsborough 1806, Fellow of Oriel.

Contemporary of Newman whose sister he married. Resided Cheltenham – 7 Lansdown Terrace/Place – from 1880.

Buried Leckhampton? Teaching = Devotion and Diversion – Worship and fun. Echo obit June 1893?


Anglican to 1845;

12 visits to Gloucestershire – 6 as Anglican and 6 as Roman Catholic.

First visit with dad in 1820 (aged 19) on our way to London.

Met and befriended John Keble in 1822.

At Oxford, Don of Oriel and very evangelical Vicar of St Mary’s – 1828 to Fairford – and visited Kebles at Fairford.

1831 – he spent 2 days with Keble at Fairford in September .

16 August 1834 first visit to Bisley, shortly after the founding of what became known as the Oxford Movement. Newman preached at Bisley, took funerals and Baptisms, and walked on the common, visited Gloucester Cathedral, Chalford and Cirencester.

1837 – he made another visit to Bisley on 8th June. Both Kebles and Williams present at dinner – occasion building of Oakridge.

Next day Newman had visit from a friend John Christie who had come over from Badgeworth and who had just been appointed Vicar of Badgeworth. Newman spent next two nights with him at Badgeworth, preached at Badgeworth and Shurdington, walked to Crickley Hill, assisted Christie at Holy Communion and visited Cheltenham, calling on William Copeland another Oxford friend and later one of his curates at Littlemore.

1840 third visit to Cheltenham, 29th Sept. Visited newly opened Christ Church in Cheltenham to call on the Vicar, Charles Edward Kennaway, whose sister had married Newman’s brother Francis. Newman stayed overnight with Kennaway at 6, Lansdown Place.

9 Oct 1845 aged 45, became RC – received by Blessed Dominic Barberi at Littlemore. His first Roman Catholic visit was via Gloucestershire to Birmingham for his confirmation by Bishop Wiseman.

More visits 1865 (Bisley, Williams, it being known that Williams was dying. Arrived at Stinchcombe 26th April. Drive to station brought on William’s demise- four days later.)

1870 he visited Woodchester and Henry Wilberforce the son of William Wilberforce the great slave trade reformer, and his wife, who were living at Chester House. He stayed 2 nights. Moved on to Cheltenham to visit again the Copelands

1873- Two more visits to Woodchester on 2nd April to visit Wilberforce who died on 23rd April; and on 29th April for the funeral where he preached a short eulogy at the end of the service.

1879 – Cardinal Newman that great Anglican and great Catholic (Pope Leo XIII)

1836 Catholics led by Wiseman attacked the Oxford men – Dr Matt Arnold of Rugby described them as Oxford Malignants.

1830 Tract 80 ‘Reserve in Communicating Religious Knowledge’ by I. Williams was much misinterpreted as encouraging secrecy when in fact it encouraged reverence and respect for sacred language.

Pusey 1843 preached on The Holy Eucharist a comfort to the Penitent- stating clearly the doctrine of the real presence. This resulted in his suspension for 2 years for teaching doctrine contrary to the C of E. From 1839 – death of his wife- he had used the discipline and wore a hair shirt.

(See Marginal Catholics pp 37 for complaint charges.)

Last Tract of Newman’s – claimed that some aspects of the 39 articles were not in great variance with Roman Catholic teaching – Evangelicals became alarmed – a step too far.

Oxford Movement Architects

James Park Harrison – see Bussage.

G.G. Scott: Holy Trinity Watermoor 1847-1851 and Sudeley 1858-1863 restored. Cirencester restored later by Scott.

G.E. Street 1824-1881. Street restored Kempsford 1856-1868 and at Whelford a Chapel of Ease by

William Butterfield 1814-1900

J.L. Pearson 1817-1897 Stinchcombe rebuilt by Pearson 1852-55; North Nibley Chancel 1859-6 and Daylesford 1862.

G.F. Bodley 1827-1907 Selsley 1858-62, France Lynch 1854

E. & J. Sedding

Francis Niblett: Tractarian member of Camden Society; Fretherne; St Mark’s Gloucester at same time as Fretherne; Redmarley d’Abitot; Upper Slaughter mortuary chapel; Harescombe restoration 1863-7.

William Henry LOWDER; Brother of C.F. Lowder. Formerly pupil of Butterfield. Curate at Bisley where he arrived 1860. By 1862 the church had been entirely rebuilt to Lowder’s plans with exception of tower and chancel. Cost provided mainly by vicar Thomas Keble. He also designed the Lych Gate at Bisley. Church was reopened 2.7.1862 by Right Rev Dr Thomson, Bishop of Gloucester. 36 clergy of neighbourhood in attendance.

Lowder also designed the Bisley Wells, opened May 19th 1863.

ARCHITECTURAL LEGACY of the Oxford Movement.

The aim of the Oxford Movement was to revive the spiritual life of the C of E, which Keble began.

OAKRIDGE AND BUSSAGE (Bussage, south aisle 1854, by Bodley) and new church at FRANCE LYNCH 1854, were in a style fully endorsed by the Ecclesiologist. France Lynch superseded by Bodley’s Selsley 1858-1862 and the restored Kings Stanley and Leonard Stanley 1874-76 and 1880s

In Gloucestershire 120 churches were built in 70 years after the Napoleonic wars, mostly Anglican. More in middle class Cheltenham than in working class Forest of Dean.

1844 – Bussage first of these; Bisley had 1 church for 6,000 population.

The Camden Society founded 1839 was the inspiration to encourage restoration, according to Pugin’s design ideals-raised altar, font at west end, pulpit to one side etc.

There was little controversy in Tewkesbury but Francis Close (in Cheltenham 1826-1856) was a strong opponent in Cheltenham. (Quote CLHS Journal 12, of 1995-6). He had little time for Gothic Movement of Oxford Movement. “it is a pitiable sight to see an evangelical clergyman) walking in procession among catholics dressed out in fancy dresses of all colours who rejoice in the involuntary conformity to mediaeval fashion. (NS8 Sermon 5.11.1846)

Colourful vestments serve to transform the church’s ministering servants into Popish or Jewish sacrificing and interceding Priests (6 Sermon 13.3.1845)

On Close’s departure Tractarian Church began to be built in Cheltenham – All Saints’ Church at Pittville followed by St Stephen‘s Church in Tivoli.

Oxford Movement also inspired new Colleges at Chester, Exeter, Oxford, Gloucester and Norwich.

After Napoleonic Wars, thanksgiving for peace gave opportunity for new churches.

Oxford Movement Priests grabbed opportunity – with a desire to return to the pride of Middle Ages craftsmanship.

Pugin’s aim: English churches as they might have been at 14th Century before medieval corruption had set in. (Nigel Yates)

The Spread of the Oxford Movement into Gloucestershire

THE BISLEY CIRCLE, a title first used by Dean Church after seeing ‘Bisley-Fairford School’ in a manuscript of Isaac Williams who described himself as belonging to it. Dean Church considered them hard and narrow. Scott Holland said that they belonged to a strict and rigid school, a little doubtful of John Keble who was liable to be touched by the persuasion of Newman. They were fierce against Romanizers and cut dead all who went over. They were tough Tories but had a strong sincerity which belongs to the whole movement. However they were all united in their regard for Thomas Keble.

The Bisley School bade men be very stiff and uncompromising in their witness and duties, but to make no show and to expect no recognition or immediate fruit, and to be silent under misconstruction

Henry Anthony Jeffreys, fifth son of Rev John Jeffreys of Barnes Sussex, came to Bisley as curate 1835 aged 25. Tireless worker for the poor. Christ Church Oxford 1st Class March 1831. BA 1832, 1833, senior University Maths scholarship, MA 1834. Deacon 1834 and Priest 1835 by Bishop of Gloucester. 1839-1897 Vicar of Hawkhurst and RD. Proctor of Diocese of Canterbury.

Erroll Hill – curate 1840-1841

Robert Gregory another Thomas Keble supporter was in 1843, Curate at Brownshill and in 1844 1st vicar of Oakridge. Came at same time as Isaac Williams, but resided two miles away at Brownshill. E,m,l. He was the last survivor of the first Tractarians, living 1819 – 1911. Present at Newman’s last Anglican sermon at Littlemore in 1843, the year he was ordained as curate to Thomas Keble. He was made Canon of St Paul’s in 1868 and Dean in 1890. (Isaac Williams & His Circle – p76-77) – When he arrived in Bisley, he found Thomas Keble averse to eccentrics of ritual or to changes in the service which might offend parishioners. At that time no early celebration of Holy Communion. When a Priest, Gregory stood at altar facing East. Thomas Keble admitted this was in conformity with the rubrics but not a position he wanted to adopt.

Rev E Pyddoke, curate of Bisley 1847, was founder and became 1st Priest-in-Charge of France Lynch. Originally Edward Whately but adopted the name Pyddoke in 1847. Son of Henry Pyddoke and Frances Barker. Born Handsworth, Staffs, 15.0.1808. Rugby School. Trinity College Cambridge 1826- BA 1832, Solicitor 1832, MA 1843, Deacon 1843, Priest (Glos) 1846. Curate Badgeworth & Shurdington 1843-1847, Bisley 1847-1855 and again 1857-1875. Intervening years he became Army Chaplain in Crimean War. 1871, living France Lynch. Bought Over Court 1854. Married 1862 Georgiana Cookson in 1862. In 1881 living at Argyle Place Cheltenham ‘Clerk without Cure of Souls’ aged 72. 1891, Living at Ravensworth, Thirlestone Road, aged 82 with three daughters – two born Bisley 19 and 23, and one born Cheltenham 13; one son and wife Georgina, aged 54, and mother-in-law. Son, Vicar of All Saints Bristol 1900. e,m,v,l. Check all this !!!!!!

Rev R G Swayne, only son of Robert Swayne of St Paul’s Bristol, Gent. Oxford BA 1842, MA 1844. Deacon 1844 and Priest 1845 by Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. 1851 aged 29, Curate at Tidenham. He was Perpetual Curate of Bussage 1852-1859. Left under cloud of episcopal displeasure. 1861 Temporary Curate of St Mary’s Reading. 1863-1877 he was Vicar of St Edmunds Church, Salisbury. He died in Poole 1901. Bishop Monk suspicious of extremists but sympathy with High Churchmanship which prevailed among so many of his clergy. However in 1856, Bishop Charles Baring succeeded Monk and was appointed Bishop of Gloucester. He was a staunch evangelical and only served Gloucester for 5 years after which he was translated to Durham. There he was in conflict with the High Church Party and suspended the Rector in Morpeth for wearing a stole! His treatment of Keble and Swayne caused W.J. Copeland a well- known Tractarian, to write on 18th Oct 1859:

‘All at Bisley seems sadly upset and so will it be elsewhere To see a man such as we know Thomas Keble to be, so treated by a State Bishop, does indeed more than ever sicken me, of the State appointments and the State interference. I do not know of anything that has left me so sad as the Bussage case. Knowing what we do of Thomas Keble, his deep seriousness and excessive sensitiveness, certainly as you and I have always felt, one of the most remarkable men we have known at all, what can one think of the hard and most unfeeling treatment he has received from one in every way his inferior.’ (‘Isaac Williams and His Circle’)

It seems the trouble had most to do with the House of Mercy. Up to 1844 no mention of ‘Sisters’. Mrs Poole described as Lady Superior. Swayne may have attempted to have the sisters professed which would have incensed the Bishop. Thankfully in 1861 Baring was translated to Durham and confidence was restored when his successor appointed Prevost as Archdeacon of Gloucester.

Henry D’OMBRAIN, incumbent of Framilode 1871-1885, and Stroud 1885-1892 corresponded with Prevost and Keble (GRO D1773) Curate of Birmingham St Stephen d .10.1896 aet 56 – eastward and mixed chalice. Born in 1840 at Canterbury. He married a Julia Ann. Will left £632.

THOMAS KEBLE junior. CU, eastward, mixed chalice.

Magdalen College Oxford. Deacon1849. Priest 1850 – to Exeter. Married 1851 his first wife Cornelia Sarah Cornish. Had 4 sons who all became priests and 6 daughters (by 2 wives)

Curate Bussage and House of Mercy Chaplain until 1858 when first wife died. In 1862 he married wife 2, Mary Caroline Turner.

Thomas had various curacies but 1873 accepted living of Bisley succeeding his father who died two years later in 1875, as Vicar of Bisley where he remained 30 years.

He aided and improved many of the livings, including the building of the iron church at Eastcombe. He succeeded Robert Suckling as Chaplain at House of Mercy Bussage, and was curate at Bussage 1852-1858. He used to walk daily to Bisley to visit ailing father and looked over his Uncle John’s papers. His own four sons were all later ordained and one (Edward) became Curate at Cheltenham, St Stephen.

Thomas junior’s funeral took place 7th Jan 1903. The coffin was covered with purple pall bearing a large crimson cross. This had been used at John Keble’s funeral at Hursley in March 1866. Brother George conducted the funeral assisted by brothers Thomas and Richard. The oldest son was prevented by illness. Litany at 12, funeral service at 1pm. His brother-in-law, Bishop Kestell-Cornish read lesson and gave blessing.

OAKRIDGE; St Bartholomew’s Church

St Bartholomew’s Church at Oakridge was built as a chapel-of-ease to Bisley and the architect employed was Robert Stokes.

The Vicar of Bisley, Thomas Keble and his curate, Sir George Prevost, set about raising money for a new church at Oakridge, to serve some 2000 inhabitants. The Appeal was worded ‘To persons disposed to support the case of sound religion and the Apostolic Institutions of the Church.’

The Appeal, commenced in 1834, was signed by Thomas Keble, his brother, John Keble of Oriel College, the Reverend Sir John Prevost and the Reverend Isaac Williams of Trinity. This Appeal raised £1,000 which included the following donations: the Keble family £292; Bishop Monk of Gloucester £20; Reverend Sir John Prevost £100; Reverend Isaac Williams £45 and Reverend John Henry Newman £25.

John Keble wrote to Prevost with suggestions that he gather up some of the superfluous sovereigns at Oxford: –

‘write and tell them that the inhabitants live a long way from the Mother Church (Bisley) and there is a lack of accommodation in the church anyway. Stress the poverty of the people and the fact that they would willingly go to church if they had one. If you and Tom (John Keble’s Brother) agree I would ask for two sums of money – one for a mere building and one for a handsome building. I would prefer you to do it without the help of the Church Defacing Society who will not give any aid when there is any beauty of architecture.’

The church was consecrated in 1837 and the first licensed curate, the Reverend Charles Raymond Barker, was appointed in that same year on the recommendation of Dr Pusey. He was a son of Charles Raymond Barker, a man involved in finance and banking in London. The younger Charles attended Wadham College Oxford, gaining his M.A. in 1838. At Oakridge he enjoyed a stipend of £40 and a glebe house.

In 1839 Charles Raymond Barker and his brother, Frederick, were among the twenty members of the University of Oxford who agreed to set aside £20 each year to build a church wherever one was needed.

In 1843 Charles Raymond Barker eloped to Gretna Green with Bethia Tyler, a Sawyer’s daughter of Oakridge. They were married at Holy Trinity, Bath, according to the rites of the Church of England, on 17th May 1843, having received a special licence to do so.

Charles Raymond Barker was appointed as the first Vicar of Oakridge when the village was designated a separate parish in 1844 but he left shortly afterwards and went to live in Horfields, Bristol, where he was described as a clergyman of the Church of England without cure of souls. He died on 12th November 1875 at 10 Carlton Place, Clifton, survived by Bithiah, and the East window of Oakridge Church is in Charles Barker’s memory.

Charles Barker’s grandfather, John Raymond Barker of Fairford Park, had married twice. By his second marriage he had two daughters one of whom, Maria, born c1801, married Edward Bouverie Pusey in 1828. Pusey was ordained just before the marriage took place. Pusey was well known to the Kebles and the Kebles well known to the Raymond Barkers. Maria died in 1839 leaving Pusey distraught. Their daughter Mary Amelia married Rev James Graham Brine in 1854, in Oxford, and they had thirteen children, one of whom, James Edward Bouverie Brine, married Louisa who died at Cheltenham, aged eighty-four, in 1947.

James Edward Brine was curate at St Thomas’s Church in Oxford at the time of the 1881 census, aged 25, and living with Dr Pusey as an undergraduate. He was the father of Norah Bouverie Brine whose plate memorial, a silver salver, is at St Stephen’s, Cheltenham.  Norah died in Winchester but is buried at Leckhampton. In 1911 she was living with her mother at Greenmount, Cleeve Hill where she died in 1947. Her father J.E.B. Brine had died in April 1915. Norah was born in Ceylon, a British subject by parentage. She was Pusey’s great granddaughter.

A younger brother of Charles Raymond Barker, of Oakridge, was the Reverend Frederick Mills Raymond Barker and he was Vicar of Sandford in Oxford from 1843 until 1851. In the 1851 Census he was living with Dr Pusey, the Regius Professor of Hebrew, at Christ Church, Oxford, where he is described as a relative and a clergyman with no cure of souls. Also living in the house were Pusey’s son Phillip, aged 20; his daughter Mary aged 17, Mary Brine, a Sister of Mercy, aged 38 and born in Ireland.

On 16th July 1853 Dr Pusey joined in Holy Matrimony his nephew, Frederick Raymond Barker, and Elizabeth at the Church built by Newman at Littlemore. The bride, Elizabeth Hacket, was an accomplished Musician. The newly-weds seem to have lived at Beaumont Street, Oxford after their marriage and then they purchased Bisley Manor, in 1854, where they were still living in 1863. Whilst continuing to own their Bisley property, the family moved to Brighton where they were living first in Western Terrace and then at two addresses in Montpelier Villas.

The couple had four children who survived into adulthood, namely, Mary who was baptised at Christchurch, Oxford, in 1854, Edward, Charles and Catharine who was baptised at Bisley by Thomas Keble in 1863. An infant, Edward, was baptised in 1856 at Merton College and buried from there in the following year. The marriage was not a happy one and ended in a legal separation in 1872. The husband was a violent man and assaulted and traumatised his wife and daughters.

Elizabeth Raymond Barker was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church together with her two sons and one of her daughters. Her son, Charles Raymond-Barker, became a Jesuit Priest and Catherine, ‘Mother Mary Loyola’, was a Teacher and Canoness of the Priory of Our Lady of Good Counsel at Hayward’s Heath. Their sister, Mary, may have remained an Anglican and she was named as her father’s sole executrix when he died in 1890. Her mother, Elizabeth, died on 6th October 1916 at Haywards Heath.

From: ‘Scottish Church Music – its Composers and Sources’ by James Love (William and Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London, 1891)

Barker, Elizabeth (not Baker, as in the U.P. Hymnal), daughter of Mr William Hacket of Aylestone Hall, Leicestershire ; born at Leicester, 1829 ; pupil of G. A. Lohr; married in 1853 to the Rev. Frederic Mills Raymond Barker, M.A., of Oriel College, Oxford ; joined the Catholic Church in 1867, when she took the additional names of Mary Agnes ; composer of much beautiful music. Mrs Barker composed, at the request of Dr Neale, tunes to his ‘ Hymns of the Eastern Church.’ The first series, published BAENBY BARROW. 71 in 1864, contains six hymns which were set to music at Bisley, Gloucestershire, in 1863. One of these is the tune ST JOHN DAMASCENE. This occurs as No. 271 in S.H., No. 184 in U.P.H. (where it is named ” Damascus “), but the form of the melody in both of these Hymnals is a corrupt one. The tune was a favourite with Dr Neale, who had it sung to him while on his death-bed. CORONA, No. 96 F.C.H. and 55 (Second Tune) U.P.H., 192 U.P.P., was also composed by Mrs Barker, and was published in the fourth series, which bears the title of ‘ Catholic Hymns,’ 1868.

The question arises as to whether Frederick Raymond Barker, himself, became a Roman Catholic. Unlike his wife and three children he is not mentioned in ‘Converts to Rome’ by W. Gordon-Gorman which is probably significant. However, it seems unlikely that Charles would be allowed to receive an education at Stonyhurst if his father, an Anglican clergyman, had not made the step. It is possible, of course, that he was received and then returned to the Anglican fold.

For more details see:

The Raymond-Barkers and the building of the Catholic Chapel of St Mary of the Angels, Bisley

Oakridge Church: Reordering took place in 1965 and a new ceiling was provided in 1983.

It is interesting to note that for a while the great Liturgist and hymn writer Reverend Percy Dearmer lived at Lyday Close and one of his hymns appears in Songs of Praise – Village Hymn Number 623, to which Martin Shaw composed the music – Oakridge Lynch. Dearmer was a High Church Anglican but definitely not an Anglican Papalist.

Richard CHAMPERNOWNE 1841 – licensed to Oakridge- curate. Born Dartington, 1817, son of Arthur. Christ Church matric 1835 aged 18, BA in 1839 and MA 1842. Married Thomas Keble’s daughter Elizabeth. (His sister married Isaac Williams). He became Rector of Dartington 1859 and RD 1859-1864. Richard and Elizabeth’s first son Richard Keble Champernowne was born 1851, BA 1872 and MA 1878.

FRANCE LYNCH Church was consecrated on 15th September 1857. It had been deemed necessary to provide a church for the villagers as their nearest church at Bisley, was two and a half miles away. The villagers used to walk this distance each Sunday with a picnic lunch which they ate on arrival and then stayed on for the afternoon service.

The church was designed by the young architect G.F. Bodley who was at the time in his late twenties. He had some experience in the area having been responsible for the south aisle extension at Bussage church, but France Lynch was only his second complete church commission. The design followed closely the pattern approved by the Camden Society, with a Sanctuary set well above the level of the Nave and steps leading up to the High Altar. John Keble made a donation of £13 to provide the first Altar Cloth. Most of the furnishings today are still contemporary with the opening of the church.

The Stroud News and Journal Sep 19, 1857 provided an unsympathetic appraisal of the church in the year of its opening:

‘A careful imitation, the servile mimicry of the Italian Churches, altars and services, it is a flagrant violation of the principles upon which the Protestant C of E is founded and by law established.’ The correspondent went on to elaborate that the Chancel was regarded by many as Popish ascended as it was by steps, parted from the aisles by a fence and gates, as a kind of Holies into which the vulgar laity must not move. The Cathedral like stalls were elaborately wrought and the East wall was a most curious departure from Mother Church’s practice, the most ingenious that Anglo Catholics such as Dr Pusey Party could possibly contrive, with its large mosaic and Maltese cross. Locally, sorrow was expressed that their Evangelical Diocesan (Dr Baring) could bestow upon it, his episcopal sanction. There was no sign of the 10 commandments, a distinguishing Reformation decoration and the Altar was so adorned in drapery that it was impossible to see if it is of wood or stone. It was unique, handsome, entirely suitable for a RC Chapel but extremely objectionable for the Reformed C of E.

At the consecration there were 20 surpliced clergy, numerous choristers and three clergy in black preaching gowns – surpliced sat in the stalls, those in gowns in the aisles with the laity. Bishop then consecrated the cemetery and returned to celebrate HC with his clergy – by which time the congregation had disappeared to their homes.

Sculptured deep cut corbels by Thomas Earp 1829-1893

The churchyard Memorial cross commemorates the first priest to minister at France Lynch, the Reverend Edward Pyddoke. Inside the church is a memorial to the first Vicar, appointed 1895, the Reverend Walter Garnett Lyon.

Bodley also designed St Mary Magdalene in Oxford and also Selsley near Stroud.

 First Priest: Rev Edward Pyddoke – (1857 under Thomas Keble) of Handsworth, Staffs. Came in 1847 as Keble’s Curate, aged 41 and bought the land for the church out of his own pocket.

Cornerstone laid by Thomas Keble on 24th April 1856 – Pyddoke was at the time on sabbatical as Chaplain with troops in Crimea.

Pyddoke married in 1862 and left the parish in 1876, retiring initially to Cheltenham. He died at Abbey House, Tewkesbury in 1894.

He was succeeded as curate at Bisley by W.H. Lowder, brother of the more famous Charles.

1945-1959: Services higher – servers, sanctus bell, processions and banners.


1875 Chas Monro – with Thomas Keble jnr.

1878 Pitt Eykyn

1884 G.H. White

1885 John C. Kerry – 1900 vicar Coseley, Bilston, Staffs – CU, Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament , E,M,V,L.

1892 W.G. Lyon.

St Cyr, STINCHCOMBE; Influence of Oxford Movement on Parish life at St Cyr. BGAS

Also Glos Record Office P312/CW 2/2)

Sir George Prevost Incumbent 1834-1893; Isaac Williams curate 1848-1865, (he moved from Bisley to Stinchcombe in 1848) both leading members of the Bisley School which followed Newman’s Via Media, defending the Catholicity of the Anglican Church. Eventually services were held on daily basis – introduced by Prevost c1838.

Williams spent Summer Vac 1823 at Southrop with Keble. There he met Prevost in 1824. Prevost became his brother-in-law. Prevost was of an aristocratic background – Oriel 1821 where he met Newman. Ordained 1828. Accepted the offer of Thomas Keble of Bisley of a curacy and left Oxford and became curate of Bisley. He spent 6 years at Bisley and then became Curate at Stinchcombe.

Eventually services were introduced on a daily basis, becoming more colourful, formal with ritual and vestments and Weekly Holy Communion. He had contributed £100 towards the building of Oakridge Church and was involved in the provision of schooling. His major contribution was the completion of the restoration of St Cyr’s Church, Stinchcombe, in 1855 – part of the Bisley School Policy of building and repair of churches which recognised in 1853 that the church was in need of rebuilding. (See Glos Notes and Queries 1884 Vol II p107)

Between 1853 and 1865 Isaac Williams and Prevost paid major cost of repair which was completed 26 July 1865, the architect being J.L. Pearson. (Glos N&Q Vol ii pp107-109). Church consecrated by Bishop Monk on 26th July 1855 and sermons were preached by Bishop Sam Wilberforce of Oxford and John Keble. The architect Pearson raised the choir and chancel above the level of the rest of the church by a number of steps. Pearson copied a screen from the original which he found embedded in a wall of the south side of the present chancel arch. This replica now divides the vestry from the south aisle. He introduced new reredos from Italy and furnishings. The reredos given in Memory of Williams and side panels given in 1893 in memory of his son. Increased attendance during reign of Prevost and Williams. Prevost made Archdeacon in 1858. The North Chancel window is also in memory of Isaac Williams and the west window in memory of Sir George Prevost.

The pulpit by Pearson replaced the original wooden one. He also designed the entrance gate posts.

The aumbry is a recent addition installed in 1991 and this and the ciborium are on permanent loan from the CBS (Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.)

The neighbouring school and school house were built by Sir George Prevost. They are, in 2011, private houses and the War Memorial is on the site of the old elm tree where he sat and talked with parishioners. Sir CHARLES Prevost chose the wording on the memorial.

The drinking fountain is in memory of George Phipps Prevost, son of Sir George.

Williams died 1865 and after Williams’s death, Prevost became more supportive of the Oxford Movement – the Liturgy becoming more colourful and formal through a wider use of ritual and vestments. Prevost was on his own at Stinchcombe from 1865-1893.

1867: Matins Mon to Sat; Evensong Wed, Fri and Sat.

1868: Holy Week 3 services a day – Matins 8 am, Litany, sermon and Communion 10 am, Evensong and Sermon 7 pm.

Good Friday was kept as a Sunday.

Most services had a large but non-communicating attendance. 1884 there were 722 communicants at 52 services.

Prevost Obit 15 March 1893. GRO D2962 No 38. And P190/MI

Prevost introduced HC monthly and at Principal festivals- averaging 15 times per year up to 51 times in 1868 in which year weekly communion was introduced. Prevost introduced large surpliced choir towards the end of the century. The church still has rich collection of vestments and altar frontals supplied by Prevost. All changes were taken slowly including weekly communion and these met with no opposition from parishioners.

Teaching – use of early Church Fathers, but no evidence of Eastward facing or Real presence. Williams signed a declaration with John Keble and other clergy believing in real presence while he was at Stinchcombe, but neither Prevost nor Thomas Keble signed. (Liddon’s Life of Pusey p442).

He donated to the Bussage House of Mercy and introduced Home Communions and communion of sick.

No opposition from parishioners – all changes taken slowly- including weekly communion.

Doctrine? Use of early Fathers to introduce Advent as preparation for Christmas, but no evidence for Eastward facing or Real presence.) Prevost on his own at Stinchcombe 1865-­1893. Daily services introduced 1867 Matins Mon to Sat; E’song Wednesdays, Fri and Sat. Weekly HC introduced 1868. 1868 Holy Week – 3 services a day Matins 8am; Litany and sermon with HC at 10 am; E’song and sermon 7 pm. Good Friday as Sunday although there was a large non communicating attendance. However hard core of regular communicants – 1884 =772 at 55 services.

Prevost Obit 15 May 1893 GRO D2962 No 38 and P190/MI 2

He was anti-alcohol – but his own house later became a licensed Hotel. (1980)

Provided money for poor and coal and seeds. Saw importance of education for children – stressed need for attendance at Church and Communion. Always made himself available – large old oak tree in centre of village where was held the ‘village parliament’ for the villagers and Prevost often joined them.

The Vicarage (The Old Vicarage) was built in 1845/8 for Isaac Williams by Sir George and the Manor House, (now a Nursing home) was built in 1837 by Sir George as his home. This must not be confused with the building, now a pub, which used to be to be the Old Parsonage. (Glos Notes and Queries Vol 2 pp 107-109 (1884)

Prevost’s neighbour at Cam had been George Madan who moved to St Mary Redcliffe Bristol and established the high Church tradition there between the years 1852-1865.


ROBERT SUCKLING was appointed as first priest-in-charge 1846 of Bussage and first Vicar from 1848. He was aged 28, had been three years a curate at Kemerton and had spent eight years in the navy. Whilst at Cambridge he fell in with the High Church Movement and joined the Camden Society – whose president was (Archdeacon) Thorp of Bristol, and later Suckling’s Rector at Kemerton. The Bishop of Ely had refused to ordain Suckling (the bishop was very anti Camden Society) so Thorp took him and presented him to the Bishop of Gloucester who ordained him at Gloucester in 1843 and appointed him curate of Kemerton, and then later he became first curate 1846, and then ‘Vicar’ of Bussage in 1848.

Kemerton was also the home of the famous W. Bennet of Frome who lived there in enforced retirement until he took over a parish in Oxford. Whilst at Kemerton he became renowned for his concerts in his own home Upper Court, often attended by over 200 persons.

Thorpe credited Suckling with infusing life and power into that form of godliness which things were then assuming in Kemerton: e.g. bell ringers drew up and submitted for his approval rules for their conduct and a request from other parishioners that the time of evening service on weekdays should be changed so that they could attend after work. (I. Williams, a Memoir of the Rev R A Suckling, 1852)

Suckling threw himself into parish life starting late evening Bible study/exposition classes for the workers; Holy Communion on the evening of the Ascension, All Saints and Maundy Thursday and a Midnight Communion service on New Year’s Eve caused raised eyebrows. During the week there was daily Morning and Evening Prayer; services at 10, 3, and 6 with sermon, on Sundays. He was determined to take the church’s work to the poorest and most neglected parts of the country and with so many of his parishioners working long hours and living in abject poverty, he had plenty of opportunity to do this in Bussage and Brownshill.

In the 1851 (the year he died unexpectedly) Census there were 100 at morning service, 150 in the afternoon and 200 in the evening. Sunday school there were 85 am and 80 in the afternoon.

Suckling introduced flowers in church and received much opposition. Always in church before anyone else, to welcome them. Prayed at corner of Altar steps before service and robed with a surplice. Holy Communion celebrated in surplice and stole. Tractarian practice. Saw HC as offering sacrifice. Confession encouraged in tradition of John Keble but suspicious of too frequent use.

Took prayers at school daily and catechised the children. Home prayers late at night and up early – 4 am – morning. Frequent short prayers during day. Visited Stroud dispensary to comfort sick and dying. Chaplain to Stroud Workhouse and especially impressed by the ward for destitute prostitutes.

Suckling had a friend and neighbour, Grace Anne Poole of Brownshill House, and with her he founded a Refuge at Bussage for penitential prostitutes – called the House of Mercy. This was at Kirby’s cottage on the slopes of Blackness. It was his last achievement. It was to become a Sisterhood with Grace as Superior. He kept quiet about plans in view of anti- monastic suspicion. Four or five penitents to begin with then up to 12. He looked for recruits to work with Grace then planned to build purpose-designed convent but death overtook him. Shortly after celebrating Holy Communion on All Saints 1851 he was taken ill with typhoid and spent long days in pain, often with hands folded in prayer and so he died, leaving a son, Robert Alfred John, who was born in 1842. (His godfather had been John Keble. He attended Oxford then Cuddesdon, Deacon 1865 Priest 1867. Served in Wiltshire then succeeded Lowder at St Peter’s London Docks, then moved to St Alban’s in 1882). The Funeral cortege processed from the Vicarage – Old Glebe House – to the church. Buried at Bussage and then all went to church and Thomas Keble celebrated Holy Communion. His successor as Chaplain at the House of Mercy was Thomas Keble jnr, curate at Bussage 1852-58 and again in 1862.

Suckling’s grave: The tree of life grows out of the chalice; same motif on the grave of Rev Edward Pyddoke at France Lynch.

Suckling had a son Robert Alfred John (James?) Suckling. He was born 1842 the year before his father went to Kemerton as curate – and succeeded to the grandfather’s family wealth in 1856. His godfather was John Keble. He entered St Edmund’s Hall Oxford while Liddon was VP, and attended Cuddesdon with Arthur Stanton, (with whom he later served at St Alban’s London) under Bishop King. Liddon wrote to King ‘It is delightful to hear such good accounts of Suckling – the son of so many prayers and the heir tanti nominis ought to do well. I am much rejoiced that you like Stanton.’ Suckling was ordained Deacon in 1865 and Priest in 1867. He was rector of Barsham in 1880 and succeeded his close friend C.F. Lowder at St Peter’s London Docks, in 1881. After two years there he was appointed Vicar of St Alban’s, Holborn, having exchanged livings with the famous Fr Mackonochie in order to ease the latter’s burdens., but in 1883 Mackonochie was hounded out of St Peter’s and returned as curate to Suckling. Suckling at St Alban’s + U,C,+,e,m,I,v,l

Keble had insisted that the church at Bussage be substantial, beautiful and handsomely furnished and adorned.

However it remained a poor parish and few clergy stayed, unable to survive on the stipend.

Rev R.G. Swayne one of Keble’s team left under a cloud of episcopal displeasure. In his day the south aisle was completed by Bodley, to serve the needs of the residents of the House of Mercy. Swayne was not keen on the Sisterhood.

Rev W.M. Hitchcock (1859-1861) fell out with Keble over changes. Hitchcock had moved away from Prayer Book.

Rev Charles M.R. Barker, (see Oakridge)

Rev Alexander Poole 1861. Short incumbency and went as canon to Bristol.

Rev Thomas Keble junior helped out in 1862.

Rev Edward Nelson Dean 1862-1878

Rev J. Smith – very ‘low church’, no weekday services (1878-1881)

Rev Henry Arnott FRCS restored the church, chancel screen, Litany desk, Font cover, kneeling pad. Left to become Vicar at Beckenham. U,C,e,m,v,l

K Anderson 1885-86 introduced vestment

Rev Chris Smyth, resigned 1891, died Brownshill 1901. Made regular confession, said his last Mass on St Andrew’s day in the Chapel of the House of Mercy.

Rev W.B. Drawbridge 1891-1895. Celebrated Solemn Requiem for the Souls of the deceased Founders in 1894. Suckling’s son, Vicar of St Alban’s Holborn, preached. U,C,e,m,v,l

Rev N.D. McLeod, 1895-1905. Strong Tractarian. Daily services, encouraged parishioners to adopt rule of life. Frequent reception of Holy Communion encouraged. Strict BCP. U,C,e,m,I,v,l

Rev H.F. Hayward 1905-1921. Encouraged the collection of home-made vestments made by Miss Rudd and other furnishings and adornments. Miss Rudd also donated frontals and made St Michael’s Banner. On Ascension Day, 30 attended 4.30 am HC. Later Monmouth. U,C.

Rev H.P. Barchard 1921-1944 formerly chaplain to House of Mercy. Commemorated by Rood carving. Centred on Traditional Eucharistic worship with large choir. BUT he stayed too long and congregation dwindled. U, e,m,v,l. He lived in Brownshill House for many years – too long in fact – and was chaplain to the House of Mercy.

Rev Richard Abel 1944-1957 revived life of parish, a devoted Anglo-Catholic celibate. Died in office.
Rev G.H. Stevens 1957-1960 often ill.

Rev H.G. Goddard 1960-1965, great difficulty in managing parish.

1965-1968 Fr G. Tom Gainey. Nothing special.

1968-1975 Rev Arthur Johnson – parish grew (geographically). In 1965-1975 Bussage had added to it, Eastcombe St Augustine.

1975-1984 Rev S.R. Johnson. Restored St Augustine’s, built new Bussage School; lots of sick and house bound visiting.

1984-Rev John Van der Linde – Mirfield trained. Became a Forward in Faith Parish.

Bussage was one of the most forsaken parts of Thomas Keble’s parish and was linked with Brownshill, Blackness and Toadsmore. On 28th May 1839 a group of Dr Pusey’s students met at Christchurch, Oxford and formed a ‘Society of Sacrificial Giving’ This was to consist of 20 private Christians, who would give to a fund for 5 years in order to provide enough money to build a church. Each member donated £20 per annum or more as long as it was an ‘inconvenience’ to do so.

The men remained anonymous but some known were:

Rev F. Menzies, deacon 1839 Priest 1840

Rev W.H. Ridley, ditto ditto

Rev Isaac Williams, curate at St Mary’s Oxford (Newman’s Church)

Rev F.M.R. Barker, ordained 1843, Vicar of Sandford, and lived later at the Mansion, Bisley.

F.H. Murray, son of the Bishop of Rochester and possibly

Rev H. Woollcombe

Rev H. Burrows.

Not all were in fact, undergraduates.

The men set out to raise £2000 but eventually raised £5000.

Williams left Oxford in 1842 to come to Bisley as curate and he drew attention to the ‘Oxford Twenty’ of the conditions at Bussage. They agreed that this would be the focus for their project. Dr Pusey had wanted to establish a small female community of nuns and at one time hoped that this could be at Bisley. Williams had a house at Bussage at the bottom of the steep hill and one lady came to inspect the property but refused to do anything more until the church was built. Williams then got the Rev W.J. Copeland interested – one of Newman’s former curates, and who may be one of the Twenty. Eventually Keble laid the foundation stone of the new church on 21st November 1844. The stone bears a Latin Inscription referring to the Twenty ‘Viginti Academiae Oxoniensis alumni


The church was consecrated by Bishop Monk of Gloucester amidst a great Tractarian demonstration of the Faith on 6th October 1846. The Ecclesiologist had nothing but praise for it, the altar being of the approved pattern, a slab of Purbeck marble standing on six legs. The chancel was paved with the equally approved caustic tiles and the sill of the south window was lowered to provide a sedilia – a feature which the Ecclesiologist noted with great approval. A sacristy was correctly placed on the north side of the chancel and a low oak screen divided the chancel form the nave. The stall benches were returned, so that prayers could be read from the eastward position and an oak lectern was also provided. However the Ritualists of later generations found the Tractarian fittings not to their liking. Altar too low, and too small; it was enlarged by addition of a longer stone slab and gradine and tabernacle. Low screen built up with Rood, Stations of the Cross installed; stalls in Chancel turned to face North and South to accommodate surpliced choir. Bussage built by committed Prayer Book men who took a very anti-Roman stance.

44 robed clergy

Rev W.H. Ridley one of the Twenty – preached

The Ecclesiologist gave it a high recommendation

Sacristy was north of the chancel. There was a western tower

Encaustic tiles of good pattern were used

The stall benches were returned

The sedilia was at the south window

A school was also built – all that was needed was a Priest.

KEMERTON115/6 Suckling and his closest friend – T. A. Pope of Stoke Newington, said that while at Kemerton he had strong leanings towards Rome, but was saddened by those who did secede. Suckling had begun his career in the navy but left in 1840, married and went up to Cambridge. He became an active member of the Cambridge Camden Society. When he was invited to come to Kemerton in 1843, he was left in charge of the parish – mornings in school, after noon in the parish, evening study. Began a daily service, and when a Priest he started weekly communion- it was imperative to offer the sacrifice every Sunday. Attached great importance to Sacramental confession and when he came to Bussage he set out to make Bussage the model of a Tractarian parish.

Williams provided the funds to build Suckling a Parsonage House at Bussage. Latterly he changed his mind somewhat about oral confession and introduced new forms and times of service to cater for the parishioners who were too tired or worked too late to attend at normal times. He had a midnight Eucharist on New Year’s Eve – to keep people out of the pub! And convenience celebrations of the Eucharist after Evensong on Ascension Day, Maundy Thursday and All Saints Day. He understood that many were too ill or tired to come to church so he practised taking the church to them – visiting. Later he added to this duty, the chaplaincy of the Union Workhouse, working among the prostitutes- something started by Rev Armstrong, Vicar of Tidenham.)

120-Death of Suckling: Suckling died suddenly in November 1851 at the age of 33. His death was a great blow to Williams as it was a loss to the Tractarians in the West Country, for a good deal more would have been heard of Suckling had he lived. At the funeral which took place at Bussage, Williams walked with James Davies who wrote a detailed description of the service. He was not a little surprised to see Mrs Suckling and other ladies present at the service for this was rather unusual.

The ceremony at the graveside over, the clergy and ladies to the number of about 40 re-entered the church and received Holy Communion. I cannot but think this is a suitable termination of solemnities, funerals, nuptials, and special of any kind. It fixes, fastens, settles strengthens and refreshes. It gives a substance to all poetic imaginings, and the real presence instead of a typical symbol.

Suckling came in for some posthumous criticism towards the end of his life, as much by those who watched with suspicion, the establishment of the House of Mercy with its embryo Sisterhood and as much by his friends who recalled his apparent change of mind. Rumours circulated at Cambridge that Suckling regretted his marriage, wished he had remained single and that he had imposed harsh penances on his wife. Mrs Suckling was therefore anxious to do something to correct these rumours. Mr Clements the incumbent of Upton St Leonards said that the death was sudden but not one of us so well prepared.

James Davies, a recipient of any gossip in circulation, yet always a loyal friend, was also critical of Suckling’s work.

Rumours circulated that he was too affectionate with the Work House girls and that some looked upon him more as his lovers than his penitents. He aroused too much sentimental and physical excitement. On one occasion he took a factory girl to her father’s grave at dead of night and there prayed with her. Williams leapt to Suckling’s defence and wrote in 1852 Short Memoir of Reverend R A Suckling. A tribute to a man who never let go even for a time the higher principles and practices of the faith – daily service, frequent communions and great mysteries of catholic doctrine.

122- Grace Poole of Bussage House of Mercy, was the daughter of John Hopton, Vicar of Canon Frome in Herefordshire.

125-Poole, Alfred, a Forester and curate of JK at Hursley

EASTCOMBE: while non-conformity prospered in Eastcombe in the 1800s the C of E slept. The Vicar of Bisley 1782-1806 lived in Somerset and Bisley Vicarage was a ruin. Eastcombe was untouched by the C of E. Hard-bitten, godless place.

Baptist Chapel built 1801, few Anglicans in village – church at Bisley not very active. However Thomas Keble arrived 1827 and soon the situation began to change. He attracted a number of notable curates and used his own personal friends and resources to provide schools and churches in the villages. First of all he began by repairing Bisley Church and built a new Vicarage followed by a church and school at Oakridge; enlarged Chalford Church, built a church at Bussage and a school and then in 1861-62 he began a massive restoration at Bisley. Thomas Keble repelled from HC a falsely devout clothier whom he knew maltreated his wife. Girls from orphanage also went. He chose Ascension Day as Well Dressing Day and Eastcombe children went over to join in. Ascension Day was a great joy. Began with church service at Bisley, tea and sports.

Eastcombe came later. It was only one and a quarter miles from the parish church and a stronghold of the Baptists. Keble moved quietly using his curate and former architect, William Lowder, brother of Charles Fuge Lowder, to build a house in the village for an Anglican schoolteacher (now Church House) and next door a church school. There is a roundel with the date 1868 above one of the western buttresses. The school became an improvised church on Sundays and in 1876 services were held there on a Wednesday evening. In 1877 an altar was set up at the east end behind folding doors. On Sundays, the doors were pulled back, a font and lectern rolled out and desks turned round to make pews. Only 60 seats as opposed to 700 at Baptist Chapel. Thomas’ daughter helped with needlework in the school. One Baptist minister objected to his flock sending their children to the school where ‘they were taught that they were not part of the true church.’ Up to 1876 only baptised children were admitted so the Baptists set up their own school. When the Baptist school was opened in 1878 the guest of honour was Sir Samuel Morton Riho, the Liberal MP who denounced the heretical teaching and priestly pretensions of the High Church Party and urged the non- conformists to stem the torrent of ritualism and unbelief.

Rival pupils called one another church dumps or chapel dumps.

Thomas Keble junior and vicar 1873-1903 was dissatisfied with the improvisation of the National School as a church and was responsible for building a corrugated iron church in 1901. This church burnt down in 1962. After the WW1 the schools combined. In 1919 the old National School (C of E) became a church, obtaining an altar and pews from Miserden, – St Augustine’s Church – and the former tin church became the church hall but burnt down in 1962.

SHERBORNE with WINDRUSH: James DAVIES, Vicar, was a true follower of the Bisley School. He was later -1837-1873, Vicar of Abenhall in the Forest of Dean, but he was not a ritualist. He disapproved of his neighbour at Ruardean – Rev H. Formby who wanted to introduce Catholic hymns – this man later went over to Rome in 1846. Formby was a wild young man who needed to be kept under control (Davies says) He totally confounds the function of priest and deacon and as a deacon he receives the confidential confession. Whether he pronounces absolution I cannot say. Davies was born in Newland in Glos 1786- Oriel 1804. He taught at Eton for a while, Vicar of Sherborne with Windrush in 1817 where he remained until 1837 when he moved to Abenhall. He was firm but moderate supporter of the Tractarians. He was a ‘groupie# at the consecration of Tractarian churches or their feast of dedication. He was also a close friend of Alfred Poole, another Forester who had his licence withdrawn by the Bishop of London because of parishioners’ complaints about his promoting sacramental confession and the questioning of young ladies at St Barnabas Pimlico.

Davies was a Training Incumbent and relied on Williams to provide him with suitable young men. He was also suspicious of the new ritual trends which were making an appearance and he, like Williams, felt bound by lawful ecclesiastical authority.

Parishes touched by the Oxford Movement

ST JOHN’S, Cheltenham:

Cheltenham Chronicle – 29.1.1829. Account of consecration of St John’s

In 1863, Rev Ed S Walker arrived in Cheltenham and he was no sympathiser with the Oxford Movement. Patronage of St John’s passed to him in 1863 but he did not wish to retain it and appointed Rev Arthur Armitage to St John’s where he remained 40 years, becoming a parish in 1866 and Simeon Trustees 1869.

In Close’s time St John’s was moderate Tractarian and openly challenged Close’s evangelicalism. The Patron and incumbent was Rev J Phillips but he was an absentee and St John’s was served by a succession of 3 curates all ritualists. One was Rev A S Watson – high sacramental theology and he published several controversial sermons. The 2nd was Rev W J Edge and the third, Rev G T Roberts who attracted all the high Churchmen in Cheltenham. Congregations increased, daily prayer, robed choir, as much ritual as the church in its present state admitted of. When Walker became patron, Roberts resigned and conducted services in St George’s Hall, with Walker’s regretted approval, and there was a daily Eucharist at 8 am. Then Roberts left for a new appointment he was replaced by Rev C. M. Moore incumbent-elect of All Saints.

Chelt Examiner 19th Jan 1853

George Roberts MA has been appointed to the Curacy of St John’s. Presently he is Evening lecturer at St Andrew’s Holborn and is considered the most talented and eloquent preachers among the Tractarians of the Metropolis. That crowds flock to hear his sermons – on every occasion testify to his popularity and as a learned and most articulate orator. (one of St John’s Congregation)

When above letter written, services were Sun 11 & 3.30

Holy Days 11 and 3

M, T, Sat- 8 & 4.30

Wed 11 & 4.30

Fri 11 & 7.30

Communion on all Holy Days and Sundays

Ex. Wed Nov 8th 1854

We perceive that the Rev George Roberts of St John’s is appointed to preach on Sunday next before the Lord Mayor of London and the Sheriffs of the City of London at All Hallows, Lombard Street – the first sermon of the new Mayorality.

Ex 2nd May 1860

Rev George Roberts of St John’s, formerly Vicar of Monmouth, has addressed a letter to The Beacon refuting the rumour that he has or is meditating doing, seceding ton the Church of Rome.

He writes: My affections are too deeply rooted and my convictions of the truth too strong, to allow the least wavering in my allegiance to the C of E which I believe to be Apostolical in its discipline, pure in its doctrine, simple in its ceremonies and approaching as near as possible the perfect model of the Primitive Church.

Ex 25 Sept 1861;

Rev G Roberts, Grand Chaplain to the Masonic Grand Lodge preached an eloquent sermon at the laying of the Foundation Stone of the Bishop Hooper Memorial service in Gloucester- 11th Sept 1861

Examiner July 4 1866

Among the notices in Bankruptcy in Bristol, is the name of Rev George Roberts Clerk in Holy Orders, of St John’s Cheltenham.

Examiner Aug 29th -1866

Ex 31st Oct 1866

George Roberts of Cheltenham Clerk in Holy Orders, adjudged Bankrupt on 2nd July 1866: An Order of Discharge has been granted by the Court of Bankruptcy at Bristol, on 25th Sept 1866.

Was one of four Proprietary churches without parishes of which St John was created 1829- church consecrated 2nd Jan 1829. 1840s During Francis Close’s incumbency of Cheltenham, St John’s practised moderate Tractarianism and was served by a succession of curates, all high church traditionalists such as Fielding Palmer of Trinity College Cambridge, who served from his ordination in 1841 until 1845 . In 1846 he married Frances Emily Campbell of Cheltenham. From 1844 to 1849 he was also Hon Chaplain at Trinity College. He entered Trinity College Cambridge and was BA 1839 and MA 1842. He was deacon 1841 and Priest by Bishop of Gloucester 1842. Palmer was born in Coleshill, Warwickshire in 1817. Later in his ministry he became curate at Tidenham from 1867-1889 and was also JP for Gloucester. He lived at Eastcliffe, Chepstow but died in 1897. His Obituary is in the Times 19 April 1897. Another was Rev Alexander S Watson, curate 1844-1850, who taught high sacramental theology. He lived for some years at 2, Priory Street. It was he who established the St John’s day school for the poor- a school in union with the National Society (not in the present building). From 1846. Dean Close was not at all impressed by what was going on at St John’s but he was not the proprietor and therefore had no control over what went on unless the Bishop Monk revoked the licence of the Proprietor – the absentee Rev William Spencer Phillips. (Close later withdrew from advocacy of the SPG on grounds that it supported Tractarian heresy & clergy) Monk did nothing and in fact continued ordaining men to serve as curates at St John’s. Another of the early curates was Rev W.J. Gedge and then Rev George Roberts who arrived in 1852 from London. He was of the same tradition as Watson and attracted all the High Churchmen in Cheltenham and they supported the Oxford Movement and provided mild ritualistic worship and challenged Close’s evangelicalism. Under Roberts Choral services became a mark of St John’s. St John’s was commended by the Ecclesiological Society in 1863 for being the only church in the town which had daily services and a choral service with a robed choir on Sunday. In 1857 Rev Edward Walker was appointed Incumbent of St Mary’s, Cheltenham and in 1863 the patronage passed to the Rev Walker. He vehemently opposed what Roberts was encouraging at St John’s and he was dismissed, taking many of the congregation with him. Roberts actually had the support of the Bishop, the newly appointed Bishop Ellicott, and from that incident, the seeds of All Saints were sewn. Unfortunately Roberts was later declared bankrupt and so could not be the proposed first incumbent of All Saints’ and so he spent the rest of his ministry in Norfolk. His son, Rev G.B.B.J. Roberts, was a well-known Anglo-Catholic and from 1879 to 1921 was Vicar of Elmstone Hardwicke. The Rev Walker had no sympathy for Anglo Catholics and in 1864 he appointed a friend Rev T. V. French as minister. After a few months French moved to St Paul’s, unable to address the controversy over Roberts’ dismissal and Walker appointed Rev A Armitage to St John’s where he stayed 40 years. In 1866 the patronage passed to the Simeon Trustees thus ensuring a ‘low church’ tradition.

During the ministry of Rector of Cheltenham Rev E Walker 1857-1872, St John’s became legally independent and a new parish was created for it with private trustees (proprietors) as patrons. The stipend was paid for by income from pew rents.

Cheltenham Examiner 23 Nov 1887:

The late Rev G. Roberts. Born 1807, educated Hyde Abbey School, Winchester, and Trinity College Cambridge. Formed intimate acquaintance with Bishop Monk, Lord Tennyson and other well-known men of the day. Graduated 1830- double honours.

In 1833 ordained Deacon and priest by Monk of Gloucester and served curacy at Stroud. From 1834-1837 Curate of Coleford. 1837 Duke of Monmouth presented him to vicarage of Monmouth. Ministered with unflagging devotion for 10 years.

Next became curate of St Phillip and later St Peter, Stepney. Time of great outbreak of cholera and Roberts won the affection of the sick and dying and admiration of all who witnessed his devotion and constant care for the patients in the cholera wards of the workhouse. In 1848 Bishop of London placed him in charge of Limehouse. For 2 years he held the post of Lecturer at St Alban’s Holborn. He was in fact offered the post of first vicar but refused, thinking that the demands were those only fulfilled by an unmarried man. In 1852 accepted incumbency of Cheltenham St John.

During 13 years incumbency in Cheltenham, he was recognised leader of the High Church party in the Diocese and indeed the Midlands where his eloquence caused him to be much sought after as a preacher. He never made a personal enemy among those who belonged to the Church Party opposed to his views. The choir of St John’s in those days was renowned as one of the best in England.

In 1865, by the death of Rev H Spencer Phillips, the owner of St john’s which was a proprietary chapel, built under the 40 years act, the control of the church lapsed into the hands of the Calvinistic Rector of Cheltenham, the Rev Dr Walker, who at once proceeded to oust Mr Roberts upon conscientious grounds, but with many expressions of respect and regret.

So great a storm of indignation was excited by this extreme measure that a public meeting was held and steps were taken to obtain the Bishop’s sanction for the erection of a new church in Cheltenham of which Mr Roberts was to be the first vicar. Every technical difficulty was thrown in the way by the Rector of Cheltenham and during the protracted delay Mrs Roberts died very suddenly her death being most probably accelerated if not caused by the anxiety of the situation.

Eventually it was arranged that the Rev C M Moore of Beechamwell should be the first Vicar of All Saints, Mr Roberts succeeding him at Beechamwell. In his prime he was much sought after as a preacher and platform speaker. He was the life and soul of all social gatherings full of anecdote and fun. A man of much feeling and tenderest sympathy, warm hearted, open handed and without a personal enemy.

His death in October 19th was caused by the wearing out of the tissues at the base of the brain.

He was a churchman of the Dean Hook and Bishop Wilberforce School.

BUT St John’s Church History c 1950 (Glos Archives)

In the chapel of the Transfiguration hangs a picture of the Transfiguration of our Lord. The painting is by William Brockedon and was originally behind the altar in the original church. When tradition broke with the High Church, patronage passed to Simeon Trustees and the picture was accused of being ‘popish’. It was then sold to a local dealer for a few pounds. It was bought by a former member of St John’s congregation who had joined Prestbury Church, where it was erected for a considerable time. In 1933, the Vicar of Prestbury, Rev de La Bere, gave it back to St John’s, its rightful home, where it now adorns the Chapel wall, but a larger space would do it more justice.

St John’s was built under the 40 Years Act which encouraged the building of churches in large parishes with the inducement of giving the builder or financier the Patronage for 40 years.

The building of the church was commenced by Rev Moxon, but taken over and finished by Rev W S Phillips, who appointed himself the first incumbent. The church then served the High Church element in the town. Actually it must have been fairly orthodox for what was then called Romanism was its Choral services, weekday Communions and observance of Saints’ Days.

Phillips then accepted the Vicarage of Ryde, Isle of Wight, but as St John’s remained a proprietary chapel, Phillips retained the incumbency in plurality and appointed a series of curates, the last being the Rev J Roberts.

1864 Phillips died and the Rector of Cheltenham claimed the appointment of a successor on the grounds that all the original Trustees had died, and the 40 years Act provided no power to appoint replacements, so patronage should pass to him as Rector of Cheltenham.

He therefore appointed Rev French, of very ‘low church’ tradition and the relatives of Phillips and also the congregation contested this appointment, because the sitting curate, Rev J Roberts had been overlooked. He was very popular and n nobody wanted the tradition to change. The matter was taken to court but proved in the Rector’s favour. Rev Valpy was then appointed. He did not stay long for within a year he had been appointed Bishop of Lahore, and was succeeded by Rev J Armitage and the Rector arranged for the parish to pass to the Simeon Trustees.

(History of the Church in Cheltenham (Anon) 1885 p32) Under his (Roberts’) ministry the size of the congregation increased daily prayers were introduced, choral services, surpliced choir and as much ritual as the church admits of. (Ecclesiologist Vol XXIV 1863 p 151). St John’s together with St James Suffolk Square, were erected to provide an alternative to the dominant theological position in the town.

Roberts left in 1863 and conducted services from St George’s Hall in the High Street with the Bishop’s Licence, with daily Communion at 8 am, as All Saints not yet complete. At All Saints he became Priest in Charge 1864-1868 until moving to Norfolk. Roberts was succeeded at All Saints by Rev C M Moore 1867-1886- in fact they did a swap of parishes.

Rev George Roberts, Rector of Beechamwell, Swaffham, Norfolk, died in his 81st year at Flushing on 20th October 1887.

He was born in Kidderminster in 1807. He entered Trinity College Cambridge 1828 and was BA 1830 the year he was made Deacon. In 1833 he was ordained Priest by Bishop of Glos (Monk) to the curacy in Stroud, where he served for one year. Then became Perpetual Curate of Coleford, 1835-1837 and Vicar of Monmouth 1837 – 1848. Resigned to take up curacy of Limehouse 1848-1850 and Lecturer of St Andrews, Holborn 1851-1853. From 1853-1865 he was Minister of St John’s, Cheltenham and held in much esteem as preacher and PP. Author of several books including ‘Some Account of Llanthony Abbey’, 1847. His eldest son became Vicar of Elmstone Hardwicke. George Bayfield Roberts: Elected Chairperson of the CU 29th Oct 1884.

Mar 2nd 1901 – (Graphic) St John’s ranks as one of the Evangelical Churches of Cheltenham.

HOLY APOSTLES (Graphic 18.05.1901)

The service at Holy Apostles is decidedly high although no ritualism. Eastward at Creed, bowing at name of Jesus. Choir in cassock and cotta, reflecting High Church ceremonial.


Services developed slowly 1865-1875-choir stalls erected but all on level with nave floor. Tractarian movement was making itself slightly felt, but by the 80s, surpliced choir and more obviously visible HC table.

1920s-Eastward position adopted and stoles used. After WWII candles on altar and wafer breads introduced and churchmanship described as Central.


Founded 1868 to provide place of worship for those in Cheltenham who belonged to the Anglo Catholic Movement in the C. of E. (Canon Stephen Gregory). Advert 1864:…. Where the services of the C. of E. may be conducted as they have been for the last 11 years by the Minister of St John‘s- in the time of Rev G Roberts. The promoters desire the enjoyment of that freedom of worship and of doctrinal teaching which is in these days conceded universally to Churchmen and Dissenters. (See Middleton Book)

1866: Planned as House of daily prayer, weekly communion, Common Prayer every morning and evening and due observance of the fasts and festivals. No pew rents.

Laying of stone ceremony: Procession of Choristers and clergy in surplices. Rev G F Roberts, T W Goodlake, H Hayman, G Faussett, GG Bird, J Trew, J Moore, -Hutchinson, H Griffiths, E A Viner, J Edwards jun, W Molesworth, H Wright.

Another procession of clergy in gowns headed by the Lord Bishop and Mace Bearer followed by Sir George Prevost, Archdeacon, Rev E Walker, Rev Trye etc.

Corbett Moore was appointed to All Saints but until the church was completed he used St George’s Hall (High Street) under Bishop’s licence for Public Worship. Within a short time, the Bishop said that the services at St George’s must cease. They had been numerously attended especially on account of the attractive ritualistic forms and observances introduced by Moore who had done a swap with Rev Roberts for his parish in Norfolk.

The Rector of Cheltenham Dr Walker objected to Moore’s ‘imported innovations’ into what amounted to his parish and not Moore’s own. The innovations are intended to further the development of Ritualism when the congregation shall have been educated up to its adoption.


An anonymous letter sent to newspaper by the more ‘ultra’ members of the congregation. They had expected him to

(Moore) to make the church into another Prestbury. And because he will not do so and because he preaches no objectionable doctrine, and confines his ritual within the confines of our Cathedral services, people are trying to drive him from his position. The spreader of these rumours turned out to be Rev W.W. Martin, one of Moore’s curates.

The Examiner said, ’We are sorry to draw a very unpleasant moral – namely that high ritualism is akin to Popery in its moralioty as well as in its practices’.

Graphic Jan (or June) – 22nd 1867 p395

5.1.70 – Moore resigned form ECU

KEMPSFORD: One of two priests who were key men in establishing the Oxford Movement practices in Bristol was James Russell Woodford. Woodford 1820-1885 was a protégé of Archdeacon Thorp. In 1848 Woodford was appointed first incumbent of St Mark’s, Lower Easton, Bristol, a new church built and consecrated that year. Woodford established the first catholic revival church in the city – the music, ceremonial and his preaching attracted people from all over the city. Woodford stayed only 7 years and moved to become Vicar of Kempsford, where he commissioned G E Street to restore the church. He was great builder and restorer of churches all his life and in 1868 became Vicar of Leeds and in 1873, Bishop of Ely.

St STEPHEN’S, Cheltenham

Began 1873 as Chapel of Ease to Christ Church, Cheltenham. Complete Church 1883- to serve poor.

Initially middle of the road, served from Christ Church, but from 1892 a greater emphasis on HC. The number of Communicants reached 5,179 an increase of 800 on previous year. There was the introduction of HC on the festival of the BVM and daily Communion in Holy Week.

1884- The Rev H Kynaston Principal of Cheltenham College and Lent Preachers, included the Vicar of Pip and Jim Up Hatherley, the Rev Canon Hutchinson, Rural Dean; the Vicar of Highnam, Rev G Tetley.

1885- At Choirs Festival at Tewkesbury Abbey in which St Stephen’s Choir and our surpliced clergy participated. St Stephen’s Choir Banner, worked by Mrs McArthur, the Vicar’s wife, was carried in procession. Here was never a shortage of preachers at St Stephen’s and over the years there has been a regular supply of retired clergy members of the congregation willing to step in at times of illness, holidays or when extra hands were needed. Likewise our clergy frequently visited other churches mainly in the immediate area to lead Lenten devotions or to provide cover so that clergy with no curates could have a holiday. Some of the more nationally known and respected Parish Priests who occupied the pulpit at St Stephen’s are included in the notes below.

1892– The Rev and Hon H E Lyttleton, e,m,l, Principal of Haileybury College conducted the 3 hours Devotion on Good Frday and the daily preaching and meditation in Holy Week.

1893 saw the start of support for the ACS – for providing and supporting financially, curates in poorer parishes – an offshoot of the Oxford Movement. Preachers included during Lent, Rev H Flecker, Headmaster of Dean Close, Rev S Lyne of All Saints and Rev Spencer Jones of Moreton-in-Marsh (who jointly began Week of Prayer for Xian Unity.)

1894 Communions in 1893 were up by 1,300 +, totalling 6,500: It is a rare thing to report any change in the conduct of Divine service at St Stephen‘s yet some will have perhaps noticed that at Harvest Festival the clergy wore white stoles instead of the usual black ones. This was in deference to the wishes of many and also that a kind gift to the church should be used. The wearing of a white stole at festival seasons is now so common that it is no longer regarded as a party badge- High or Low.

The Rev H Kynaston, (C) Principal of Cheltenham College, preached at St Stephen’s during Lent, visiting preachers included the Vicar of Pip & J Up Hatherley, the Rev Canon Hutchinson Rural Dean- e,m,l; and the Vicar of Highnam, Rev G Tetley

1895: October letter: More and more I am of a mind that HC should form part of the worship of any great religious festival and therefore I have arranged for an additional one at 6 am on weekdays for workers.

1896: Easter Day Communicants- 550 largest number ever reached. Children’s street processions in the afternoon.

There is no doubt that we do not observe Ascension Day as devoutly as we ought. We must hope that members of the C. of E. will be more and more led to due honouring of our Lord on this particular festival.

1897: Vicar’s letter encouraged parishioners above all else, to find their way to the Holy Sacrament during Lent.

Sermons in Lent – The Vicar will preach on the spiritual progress of the Blessed Virgin.

1898: Support for the Association for the Promotion of the Unity of Christendom – again, an organisation with a strong catholic bias.

1899: Vicar’s Magazine letter gives an explanation of all Souls and All Saints.

Requiem of All Souls November 1899. It is however most important that mourners do pray for those they have lost, and therefore it would be well to have some simple petition laid down with all the sober and wise piety of the Prayer Book. In one of the forms of intercession on National Intercession Sunday, there is a most touching Notice of the Dead, worded with much sobriety and reserve after the manner in which the Apostolic Christians from the earliest times made mention of their loved ones before God. This has given untold comfort to many, yet it is strange to observe that some have been found to denounce as Romanizing, a practice which has long been formulated and which as the Archbishop of Canterbury points out, has never been forbidden in the English Church.

1904: a fresh edition of Hymns A&M has been published which, containing certain elements of interest has elicited a flood of adverse criticism. We have no intention whatsoever of changing our old editions for the new one, which has become endeared to generations of churchgoers. To our mind, indeed, the new book in many places seems to present a studied neglect of old sentiment and associations. Advent Preacher, Rev Addenbrooke, Diocesan Missioner, and soon to become Vicar of St Stephen’s, was also Lent preacher and also assisted when Vicar on holiday.

1902-Preacher Rev Waterfield of Cheltenham College.

And so the list continued with more and more Anglo Catholic clergy preaching or celebrating.

1906 – January will see the start of Sung (Choral) Communion every Sunday.

14.1.1911: Rev E L Jennings celebrated his Majority at St Stephen’s on Jan 3rd 1911. A photograph of the choir, beautifully framed was presented to the Rev Gentleman.

1917: Long Pastoral Letter by Vicar, Hodson, on the Real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

He was very much a liturgist and on Sundays there should be as few possible please, for the Choral Eucharist and I need to know the names beforehand (Early communion of the faithful was the norm – mid morning and later, for the aged, infirm or frail only.)

1918: Palm Sunday Blessing and distribution of palms and procession.

Good Friday street procession in the afternoon organised b y Rev Clease at St Peter’s and Rev Hodson of St Stephen’s.

December 9th was buried Norah Bouverie Brine aged 19, great grandchild of E B Pusey. She served St Stephen’s from August 1917 – July 1918. A victim of severe illness, a ray of sunshine- our sympathies are with her mother and sister.

Her great grandfather was Edward Bouverie Pusey, famous for his work with the Oxford Movement, a close friend of John Keble and John Henry Newman. St Stephen’s has a silver salver in her memory, suitably inscribed.

1919: By popular request a daily celebration of the EUCHARIST began in October. The word first used in Hodson’s time. Also long letter of inappropriateness of inter communion and change of pulpits with dissenters.

1920: Ash Wednesday, Litany and Commination Service!!!! Sermon by Vicar on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

1921: Ascension Day; Procession around outside of Church with the Gospel of the Ascension read on all four sides of the church.

1922: Midnight Mass of Christmas proposed for next year.

1922Weekly Saturday Communions will always be Requiems.

1923: August: Vicar addresses criticism of St Stephen‘s as being too Catholic. Personally I can think of nothing more catholic than for a family to be united in love for God and for one another. If people are afraid of St Stephen’s because of its worship and teaching, why bother to go to church at all?

The Mirfield Fathers ran a Parish Mission in October 1923. Fr Horner and Fr Humphries were the Missioners.

A set of white silk vestments was given as a memorial of the Mission by some members of the congregation.

31st March, Bishop Headlam blessed new St Stephen’s Vicarage.

1924: January: the Bishop has been consulted and has told us that ‘The Sacrament may be reserved at St Stephen’ for the sick as may be required’.

CORPUS CHRISTI celebrated for the first time, with two services of HC.

Festival of the ECU at Prestbury. St Stephen‘s members encouraged to attend. Also the District Festival of the CU held at St Stephen’s.

Chronicle – photo of Hylton Jessop, head of the Solicitors’ firm and CW at St Stephen’s.

June 1924: at the Diocesan Conference: The Bishop said that some wild things had been said about vestments and of the disloyalty of priests who wear them. He said there were more than 70 parishes in the Diocese where vestments are worn and he found among these priests were the most loyal and devoted and spiritual sons of the Church. Vestments do not give meaning to the service, they take their meaning from the service. On the question of reservation of the Sacrament he declared publicly his own rule to the question: He allows it.

There are some who think we at St Stephen’s are rebels and Romanizers. It is good to know that our Father in God, does not think so and has publicly said so.

July 1924 The Anglo Catholic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land was attended by Mrs Hailstone. She brought back for St Stephen’s a beautiful Crucifix for the Lady Chapel which she had laid on the Holy Sepulchre that it might be consecrated indeed by that hallowed place.

1924: Sale of work in aid of The SSJE, the Cowley Fathers.

Sept 23rd. Day of intercessions for the Conversion of England – part of Anglo Catholic Congress initiative.

December – a meeting of parishioners to explain the Retreat movement.

1925– Preacher at Harvest Festival evensong, The Prior of Pershore Abbey, Dom Bernard Clements, a monk of the Caldey Community which later became Prinknash. Dom Bernard remained in the C. of E. His visit to St Stephen’s was to assure people that monastic life in the C. of E. was NOT a thing of the past. Set of Green Vestments given.

1926: Long list of wants – Black Vestments, Mortuary Candlesticks, Pall, red Cope, black Cope, Credence for Lady chapel, silver cruets, white vestments for everyday use, Leather Alms bags, Processional cross, Vestment chest. (A set of red Vestments was given in September.)

Two special collections for the SSM at Kelham and the Mirfield Fathers.

1926– All Souls’ requiem- names to be given to Vicar prior to the service. Mirfield Ordinaton Candidates Fund, Society of the Sacred Mission, Kelham, Bussage House of Mercy, St Catherine’s Home.

Rev R J Keble came as curate. Rev Robert Keble was the great grandson of the Rev Thomas Keble of Bisley and great nephew of Rev John Keble of Fairford and the Oxford Movement.

Rev Robert remained at St Stephen’s until 1936 when he was forced to retire on health grounds.

Palm Sunday Procession given high profile.

Easter Confessions introduced.

July 1927: March English Hymnal first used, more Eucharistic.

Altar Servers Guild Service at St Stephen’s- the Chapter of the Corpus Christi et Beata Virgo Maria.

Celebration of the Feast of the Falling Asleep of the BVM

Gift of Red cope ordered from Watts, London.

Needs: Processional cross, Vestment Chest, Sanctus bells or gong for sounding at consecration; silver censer-incense is to be used with our Bishop’s permission; Mortuary candlesticks – all had been given by the October Dedication festival.

1928: Altar Servers’ three day retreat in Gloucester

St Stephen‘s was encouraged to support the work and publications of the Anglo Catholic Church Literature association.

June – special festival of Corpus Christi service with a Mirfield Father preaching. St Barnabas Day celebrated by a member of the Fiery Cross Association.

June 20th ECU Festival held at t Stephen’s.

GSS Festival at St Stephen‘s. Later, GSS Servers from St Stephen’s attended the Annual Festival at Holy Trinity, Knowle – a bastion for catholic worship. They were immensely delighted.

Fr Vernon of the Society of Divine Compassion preached on Sept 30th the Sunday before the ECU Annual Festival. The Primus of Scotland and the Abbot of Pershore were present at the Festival at Prestbury attend by St Stephen’s.

A new silver chalice was given in which jewels from three rings were set.

The Church Congress was held in Cheltenham for the first time and was well attended by St Stephen’s

Requiems for All Souls and Armistice were held.

Brother Herbert of the Cowley Fathers gave a talk on the South African Colour issue.

1929: February: A most beautiful design has been chosen for the processional cross, being given in memory of Rev C McArthur. In silver, showing Christ robed in glory, crowned, reigning from the Tree.

Number of jewels given, eight opals in a circle around the figure, and eight more on the boss. The crown of the figure will be diamonds, and the bed of the cross set with fine crystal in centre set round with moonstones. Dedicated Ascension Eve. Jewels were gifts from ladies of congregation.

The Bishop of Ballarat, Australia, preached in October and also Fr Adams of the SSJE, Cowley Fathers.

Mr John Urwin has been accepted for Holy Orders – an altar server – at Lichfield Theological College. St Stephen‘s will support him and the Anglo Catholic Ordination Candidates Fund will provide his College Fees.

1930 – June 23rd – panelling in Lady Chapel Sanctuary was dedicated, together with the carved doors for the aumbry and four statues under canopies. The inscriptions between the windows have been removed and carved on the panel west of the credence. Miss Bagnall Oakley paid for these alterations and beautifying of the Chapel. Gifts made to the Church – Weekday Violet vestments; and tunicle for the Crucifer.

1931– Reservation is now in the Lady Chapel. During last year, 281 home communions have been taken to the housebound.

The Angelus is to be rung daily at noon and at 6 pm, by a rota of volunteers. Copy of Angelus in the Magazine, with explanation. Bell dedicated Sunday July 5th.
Frequent us of new 1928 BCP (not approved by Parliament as too catholic) but used by many churches of our tradition.

Gift of purple penitential cope.

August’s visiting preacher was Vicar of All Saints Margaret Street, at that time the stronghold of Anglo Catholicsm.

1932– Start of preparations for centenary of the Oxford Movement celebrations in 1933. Lots of publicity and encouragement to participate.

1933– Crowded audiences attended lectures at Ladies College on the history of the Oxford Movement. Bishop announced that principle Diocesan celebration will be at Fairford on July 11th. On 14th July at Cheltenham Town Hall, a public meeting will be held with Bishop in chair and Rev JWC Wand, Dean of Oriel College Oxford, and W.I. Croome esq, of Bagendon House, will also be present. Special Communion at St Stephen’s on July 14th.

Novena of prayer for reunion of Christians observed at St Stephen’s.

St Stephen’s celebrated 50th anniversary of Consecration and Principal celebrant at Eucharist was Fr Hart of Mirfield. The whole week of celebrations began with a Quiet Day conducted by Fr Hart and a Procession through the streets of Tivoli for all Church organisations. Parishioners and workers of St Stephen’s took part. Rev R J Keble, Rev E D’Alessio were robed in Copes and Birettas. Rev Addenbroke supported by cope bearers, acolytes, Tunicled Crucifer and Banner bearers.

Thereafter, the pulpit was taken at least once a year by one or other of the overseas or local Bishops- Honduras, Australia, Africa and even our current twin Diocese of Dornakal in India.

1934– Advert to attend High Mass at Tewkesbury Abbey for CU Festival.

Station Day at St Stephen‘s for Anglo Catholic Congress. Prayers offered for the Conversion of England to the True Faith.

Announcement of amalgamation of ECU and Anglo Catholic Congress under title of Church Union, in defence of the spread of the Catholic Faith and Revival in the C. of E. To be hoped St Stephen’s will support and become members. Vicar of Tewkesbury to come and preach about new structure.

1935– Rev Robert Keble, curate, appointed Secretary of the CU. Money donated to purchase four Requiem Candlesticks of wrought iron and copper.

June – the Choir of St Mary of the Angels came to St Stephen’s. The boys were all from London slums. They were accompanied by Fr Desmond Morse Boycott, who had founded the school on Anglo Catholic principles.

Church Union pilgrimage to Tewkesbury Abbey led by Fr Robert Keble. 40 members from St Stephen‘s attended and our banner and censer, recently given, were much in evidence.

1936– Tewkesbury Pilgrimage for the Conversion of England- Graphic 12.9.1936

Rev Addenbrooke, though retired, will continue to hear Friday Confessions.

Chronicle – Induction photo of Canon Sutch 8.2.1936

Rev Sutch enthused about 1928 Prayer Book and recommended its purchase. Some alterations to services using the PB of 1928 two days per week. Palms on Palm Sunday to continue as well as confessions. Novenas of Prayer to be continued as well as links with Mirfield Fathers.

1938 New setting of the MASS being learned – Martin Shaw.

Gifts to church, verge for verger; MU Banner, cost £15.10sh. Violet tunicle for cross bearer and blue Pall. Rev Geoffrey Frank Hilder was appointed in 1941 where he remained until 1948.

Rev Hilder introduced incense on a regular basis at the sung Eucharist. In 1943 he wrote in a pastoral letter ‘Incense has been used here for more than 20 years but only in an irregular and occasional way. We are now commencing the regular use of it on Sundays.

Miss Schuster presented to the church a new thurible and a new silver sanctuary lamp for the Lady Chapel in 1954. Both items were the work of George Hart of Chipping Campden (and were displayed in a silversmiths’ exhibition there in 20….)

SS PHILIP & JAMES, UP HATHERLEY. (Memories of Canon Jennings) Present church founded by Mrs Gretton, a rich old lady living in the Parish, and Rev R Gretton who owned a small property in the Parish.

It was a small parish of only 100 persons, and was loosely attached t the parish of Badgeworth with Shurdington and Bentham.

Church was consecrated Easter Tuesday 1886, Low Sunday, 27th April. Fourteen out of between 17-20 houses in the parish sent representatives, with a few outsiders. The only opposition came from “Lady Bountiful”, that small portion of St Marks which lay close to the new church. They opposed the intrusion into their domain and the very moderate amount of ritual customary in Canon Jennings’ Diocese of Exeter but strange and unwelcome in evangelical Cheltenham. St Mark’s people were forbidden to have anything to do with the new church.

Mrs Gretton built the church, and provided the stipend of the incumbent. Her husband was not a friendly man but she had the support of the bishop. The parish was seen as starting on a very small scale the constructive work that Mr McArthur had since 1884 , been carrying on at St Stephen’s.

(Consecration in Examiner 28th April 1886)

Rev Edward Link Jennings was the first Vicar 1885-1890, formerly the young curate at St Luke’s, then moved to Torquay. Came to Mrs Gretton as her Chaplain and lived in Hatherley Manor.

(See St Stephen’s Magazines April/May 1940)


Rev Dundas 1875-1883 raised the level of worship with more frequent communion, a week long parish mission, special addresses, evening parish procession with clergy and robed choir, carrying lighted tapers went round the district singing and giving short addresses. Increased congregation by 50% amid accusations of popery but Dundas retaliated that his was just the plain teaching of the C. of E. Moved to Charminster, Dorset e,m,l.

Then Thomas Hodson 1892-1906 introduced High Church practices for which many were not yet ready. Processions and banners, became regular practices, a processional crucifix was presented and he attempted to introduce an iconostasis style screen in wood. Ex U and e,l.

Daily Eucharist introduced 1904.

In 1906 Edgar Neale arrived until 1937. Strong Anglo Catholic. Former Curate at Tewkesbury Abbey, U, e,m,l

Four new banners added 1910; New frontals 1908; servers in scarlet cassocks and lace cottas 1914; 1915 two sets of vestments.

“I never make changes in a hurry but prefer to teach first the catholic doctrine of the Sacrament of the Altar as faithfully as I know how, and to wave for a time the question of proper ornaments of the celebrant.

1920 Rood donated, and 1924 the aumbry.

Neale loved music and missions and pageantry and processions, his choir, his church and his people. All his successors have been of same tradition. Introduced vestments, and fearlessly taught and practised the Catholic Faith.

Graphic Jun 26th 1920 .High Church Ritual- embellishment of altar with its sanctuary lamps, many repetitions of the crucifix, over pulpit, on gilt Processional Cross, by Lectern, on small war memorial altar by west door. Confessions heard in St David’s Chapel by appointment. Use of a number of details of ritual – Bowing to altar, sign of cross made, choir and clergy facing altar every time Gloria sung. Quaint medievalism of some of the practices of worship. Died March 1937

PRESTBURY; Fr John Edwards (later Bagot de le Bere) came to Prestbury 1860 from former post as curate at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge. St Paul’s was one of the first churches to put into practice in a parish, the principles of the Oxford Movement. At Prestbury he found church in poor state of repair cluttered with pews and galleries. A finger organ in the chancel obscured the altar. He restored the church to accord with Tractarian principles – removed the gallery, restored the Chancel and greatly enhanced the Sanctuary and High Altar. This was completed by 1868 and from then on, Prestbury became a noted centre for Anglo Catholicism-vestments, incense, altar lights, processional candles and daily Eucharist. Many of the leading Anglo-Catholic clergy preached and celebrated and Edwards played a very active role in the Catholic Movement in the C. of E. Edwards was present at Newman’s investiture as Cardinal in 1879 and was among the more militant members of the ECU- but always remained faithful to the BCP. Fr John’s daughter became a Member of the Community of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, as Sister Louisa Mary.

Arnold Mathew attended Prestbury in 1866 while a pupil at Cheltenham College and said he hardly understood the difference between St Mary’s and St Gregory’s.

Edwards was often challenged by outsiders and mobs from Cheltenham came to disrupt the services.

CLO 13.12.1873

Coombe evidence: Lighted candles on and around altar when not needed for lighting

Standing on west side of Communion Table, back to people during the administration

Elevation high above head

Wafer bread


Kneeling and prostrating

Making sign of + with wafer when distributing

Cricifix in meatl, with candles alongside.

Bowing to cross.

Wearing divers dresses, vestments and things of divers forms, and colours, and with divers decorations. Wearing Chasuble, alb, amice, stole and maniple.

Eucharistic lights first used 1865 in Feb 23rd. Vestments made and presented by congregation first worn 7 Sep 18, four years before any complaint first introduced by a non- communicant. However congregation and parishioners at large were much attached to Edwards and resented the introduction of discord. Edwards appealed to the ECU form help and it undertook his defence.

Complaint against Edwards came to Lord Penzance 11 May 1876 and case adjourned. In July 1877 Penzance gave judgement against Edwards. He refused to comply with judgement and was pronounced contumacious.

In 1866 when Deep Street Congregational Church opened, it was in the belief that ‘the ritualism which now obtains in many of the churches is nothing short of popery in the midst of Protestantism.’ Action against Edwards began in 1874 after publication of the Public Worship Regulation Act and continued until his deprivation in 1881. But he remained until 1884, having appealed against deprivation. His father the Patron, appointed a like – minded priest in his place.

An assistant curate, Rev George Angus, born into Scottish Presbyterianism arrived in Prestbury in 1866 but converted to Catholicism in 1873. In 1876 he was ordained RC Priest. He died 1909 in St Andrew’s, Fife.

On 6th January 1875 Angus wrote to Cheltenham Examiner about his conversion after the Vicar had been accused of leading his curate and some parishioners to Rome, through his teaching about Real Presence, Eucharistic Sacrifice, honour to Saints, confession and absolution, Prayers for the dead and Sacramental worship. Angus verified that he had all this well before he came to Prestbury.

1874 Vicar’s Warden was received at St Gregory’s (Captain Fred Shelton)

1883 Former organist William Balcomb received, (builder of Mill Street Catholic Church)

CLO May 13th 1876

Church Association has an active Branch in Cheltenham and is keeping watch over ritualistic doings in the neighbourhood.

The Prestbury case has been adjourned. Being held in Library of Lambeth Palace.

In 1860, John Edwards succeeded his father as Vicar. He had been curate at St Paul’s Knightsbridge. This church had been among the first to translate the principles of the Tractarian Movement into practice in a parish. Thus began Anglo – Catholicism in Prestbury – in three guises: architecture, liturgy and doctrine.

A Faculty granted in 1862 to:

Raise altar on a dais

Sacristy and vestry added at right angles to chancel

Enlarge the church by extending the aisles

Restore the chancel and remove the East window.

Re roof the church

Remove existing seating and replace with new

Take down galleries

GE Street was employed and was also at that time building a church at Gretton for Lord Sudeley.

The sanctuary was enhanced by a new East window better suited to the greatly enriched sanctuary with extra steps, a new high altar-the focus of Tractarian worship. The Vicar paid for the chancel work.

1868 The sanctuary was soon richly furnished with the costly offerings of faithful hearts and hands and it gradually resumed much of the beauty of its youth.

From 1868 catholic worship was restored-vestments, incense was used on holy Days, altar and processional candles were used since then and the Mass celebrated every day. 1879 the name Baghot de le Bere adopted. Many Anglo catholic clergy preached and celebrated at St Mary’s. And Fr Edwards played a most active role in the Catholic Movement in the C. of E. and was one of the more militant members of the CU.

Fr Edwards was misunderstood by other Christians for his ‘popishness’. Charles Coombes a local tailor reported him to the Bishop. Stones were thrown at the Vicar on his way to church, and in 1881 a court case was brought against him and he was deprived of his living.

1884: He continued until 1884 when he resigned and moved to Ruxted in Sussex.

1919 The screen and rood were incomplete

1919 – 1944 Father John de le Bere III, son of John de le Bere was appointed and incense began every Sunday.

1925: A confessional, prie Dieu and screen and an elaborate Sacrament House for the Sacrament were installed.

Pre 1944 Altar Big Six used.

Housling cloths used at Masses still today.

Pulpit designed by Coates Carter.

Clerestory windows all of saints – example of Victorian Anglo-Catholic fervour.

1883-4 Prestbury case coming to an end. On Jan 2nd Bishop Ellicott sequestered the income of the benefice and gave notice to the Patron that the benefice was vacant. His lordship however on 15th April declined to interfere with the continued ministrations of de la Bere. The latter, having resigned the cure of souls into the hands of the Bishop, from whom he originally received it, the Rev F Gurney, Vicar of St James’s Plymouth, was instituted on the nomination of the Patron.

1887 Prestbury Parish Church sent a donation to Tewkesbury Restoration Fund and the secretary of the fund ‘hastened to assure the public through the Columns of the Tewkesbury Record, that acceptance of the donation should in no way be taken to imply that the Abbey had any sympathy with the Romanizing tendencies unhappily shown at the Church at Prestbury.

Document for erecting Prestbury Congregational Church records:

Believing as we do that the ritualism that now obtains in many of the churches is nothing short of popery, exercised in the midst of Protestantism. We feel grateful to God that we have been privileged to afford to true hearted protestants the opportunity of worshipping in accord with their own principles.

Examiner 17th May 1876.

Mr Coombe gave evidence. He first attended the church during his apprenticeship and when the present Vicar’s father was Vicar. Then the services were conducted in the old fashioned style. The present Vicar, Mr Edwards, junior, became Vicar 12-14 years ago. From that time the services were conducted in a different manner. He did not attend church at the present time on account of the Romish practices. He attended on 2nd February 1873 the Feast of the Purification of the BVM. Four lights were burning on each side of a picture of the BVM and more on each side of the picture of the Transfiguration. During the Communion service there were many more candles lighted. Some were lighted once or twice during the service by the said eof (?) the altar and the crucifix which appeared to be resting on a ledge – there were I think seven each side of the crucifix. There were about 40 candles in the church all together but they were altered about. No artificial light was needed as it was morning. The Vicar approached the crucifix and appeared to bow to it. The Vicar celebrated assisted by the curate. At the entry, Mr Edwards and two boys holding candles and some of the choir came in in procession towards the middle of the table. The Vicar wore a long frock with a cape with a cross on the back and a biretta. The frock was something of a stripe and the cape was a light colour. The cross was of a darker shade and the cape was like silk or satin embroidered with something of a lighter shade. He saw wine and water poured together in a chalice, from which it was served to the people. The Vicar stood at the west side of the table with his back to the people at the consecration. Wafers were used and when they were delivered to the people the Vicar held them in his hand with which he made the sign of the cross and then handed them to the communicant.

Coombe said he was a tailor who had retired nine or ten years ago. He continued to go to the parish church until nearly all the parish ceased to go. New practices were being continually introduced but the chief part of them were brought forward about three years ago. The way Communion was celebrated was objected tot by nearly all the parish.

(LOOKER ON 21st July 1877 – see also Miles p230) Three years since the case started. Edwards had lodged an appeal to the Judicial Committee thus gaining time and defy public opinion and law for a season, and to continue his Ritualistic performances for a few months longer and failing that, to make himself a martyr and re-enact the role of his co-Ritualist, Rev A Tooth.

Ritualistic case before the Courts for some years. Charge: illegal acts and things, introducing a variety of forms and ceremonies and with wearing vestments not authorised in the rubrics and contrary to the laws for such matters.

Also placing on a shelf above the Communion table during divine service, a metal crucifix with a figure of the Saviour thereon; using lighted candles on either side thereon and doing reverence thereto during the performance of divine service. First part not proved.

Re vestments: agreed with plaintiff and Edwards ordered to discontinue forthwith and Registrar to draw up a decree accordingly.

Not proven that Edwards had put crucifix where it was.

Bowing and doing reverence to the crucifix was of too uncertain a character to prove the charge

Edwards gave notice to appeal to the Judicial Committee.

Examiner 13.3.1878

The Vicar of Prestbury has been suspended for 6 months. We will not pretend that this event has neither surprised nor grieved us. Yet we cannot but feel that as matters now stand with the C. of E. in kits relation to the Ritualistic section of the clergy, the case of each individual sufferer seems hard. However we can by no means join in the outcry which would stigmatise as persecutors, those who are striving to free her from that parasitical growth of Romish superstition which however closely it may have clung, is foreign to all that is highest and best in her character and spirit. Our chief cause of surprise in reference to ritualism within the C. of E. is that it has been so long and so tamely endured. Thirty years ago, Ritualism was in its infancy. The clipped shirt collar, the stiff and tie-less neckcloth, the MB coat and cassock waistcoat, which formed the distinguishing costume of the young Ritualist were apt to provoke a sensation of ridicule of which the priestly pretensions of which they were the symbols, were ignored or forgotten. No was much attention paid to the change in worship which when began to be observable in many of the churches of the Establishment. The intonation of the prayers, the gaudy furniture of the church, the medieval emblems embroidered on the altar cloth, the candles blazing at noon day, the range of flowers changing their colour with feast or fast, these things were commonly regarded by the uninitiated, as, at the worst, mere harmless fopperies. That delusion exists no longer. The true significance of ritualism as an attempt to re-introduce into the Church of England the doctrine of the real presence and to glorify the Anglican Priesthood, is now perfectly clear to everyone who has given a thought to the question and is openly avowed by its promoters.

The penalty which Mr Edwards has to pay is by no means a heavy one and no one will regard it as unfair or oppressive. But the dismissal of a 1000 Ritualistic clergy will do little to eradicate a cause of discord which at this moment is threatening to dissolve the C. of E. into her original elements. As long as passages are allowed to remain in the Anglican Prayer Book, which at least SEEM to favour a doctrine that bears a strong resemblance to the Romish Dogma of the Real Presence, as long as the Anglican Office for the ordination of Priests contains a passage that seems to imply that those priests are endowed with the power of absolution, then so long will the doctrine and practices which have procured for Mr Edwards the honours of a confessor, find justification and support within the pale of that heterogeneous religious community now known as the C. of E.

CLO 30.3.1878:

Final judgement pronounced by Lord Penzance. Case decided 17.7.1877 with one month’s notice to discontinue illegal practices. Then one month extended to 7, but still Edwards continued. Then he was suspended for six months, but he ignored this and continued. Again suspended for 6 months from March 31st, ordered to pay costs of the proceedings. On last 3 Sundays the church has been packed with Cheltenham public anxious to witness the prohibited performances.

If he will not conform he is free to depart as certain members of his congregation have already done, to enter into communion with those who have similar convictions.

CLO: 6. 4. 1878:

A Decree of suspension was nailed to the door of the church. The Vicar refused to hand over the key to the CWs. Vicar entered church before 11am with a strong battalion of supporters and taking possession of the vestry he prepared himself for the service, when the Rev C R Lyne – accompanied by the CW and Mr Coombe, appeared claiming to have authority from the Bishop to take the service. The Vicar ignored this and asked him to not disturb him. Lyne left politely and the full dress performance was proceeded with nothing being omitted. The church was crowded.

CLO: 13.4.1878

The service is full of ritualistic symbols of devotion and the suspended Vicar and his assistants went through the customary forms of worship, but were so frequently interrupted by the crowd who cried No Popery and other offensive and irreverent exclamations the (that?) worship became impossible. Edwards has set himself above the law of the land as have his brother ritualists. Next week there will be the Passion Week services.

CLO: 18 5 1878

Case for Contempt opened against Edwards- for not obeying 6 months suspension and not allowing the Bishop’s substitute to officiate. Edwards should resign, said the CLO and unless he does so he cannot expect much sympathy.

CLO June 8th 1878.

Edwards has still defied the Ecclesiastical Courts and will appear next week for Contempt.

The Clergy of Cheltenham have supported the Bishop of the Diocese in removing the licence of Rev Ward of St Raphael’s, Clifton, Bristol, for ritualistic practices. A loyal address signed by all Cheltenham clergy, except the Vicar of all saints, thus indicates approval of the Bishop’s action.

CLO May 17th 1879

Edwards has furnished his adoring parishioners with evidence of his Romantic proclivities by attending on Monday 1st the elevation of Dr Newman to the Papal Dignity of Cardinal.

CLO July 31st 1880

The case has been presented to the Court of Arches for the deprivation of Edwards.

Nov 27th – the case before Lord Penzance: Edwards is obviously ambitious of Ecclesiastical martyrdom and of advertising himself as a disregarder of the Lwa.

CLO 2 Dec 1880

On Tuesday last, Edwards was sentenced to be deprived for having violated the Statute of Uniformity, the Dec Ecclesiastical Canons of the Church, the authority of the Bishop, his own solemn ordination vows and written promises at the time of his institution. Sentence will be signed on 8th January. GTis deprivation of preferment would seem a far more consistent punishment than the imprisonment of Dale, Enright and Tooth et al.

1884 – a letter to the Right Rev Lord Bishop of Glos and Bristol, by John Baghot de le Bere MA, Vicar of Prestbury.

The Vicarage Prestbury, Eve of Epiphany Jan 5th 1884.

Has the Law been used lawfully?

The letter explaining the injustice of Litigation over ritual adopted by their Parish priest being taken to law rather than consulting the Priest.

I sought and obtained assistance of EU in defence of prosecution conducted by Church Association.

I learnt for first time in newspapers that my Bishop had signed letters of request for my deprivation.

I am a parish priest of longer standing in the diocese than your own, no lawbreaker, no rebel, but on whose endeavour as a Priest is ( to obey law and serve the Bishop as a loyal and devoted son)

I have been PP 23 years.

On my first Christmas 1860 -1 celebration of HC with 39 communicants.

1880-150 communicants: 6 am 71; 8 am 82; 10 am 4; 11.45 am 1.

1883: 6 am 124; 8 am 79; 11.45 am 7.

The large majority of the Communicants, in the early morning especially were the poor of my parish of every age.

Services: HC daily except Good Friday, at 8am

Sundays also at 11.45 am

Great Festivals also at 6 am

Sermons: Sundays at 11.45 and 6.30 pm.

Eve of Festivals and weds in Lent and Advent at 8 am

Cathechism Sunday at 3.30 when no Baptism

Morning Prayer – Sunday 11am other days 8.45 am

Evening Prayer – Sunday 6.30 pm other days 5 pm.

Litany- Sunday 3pm wed and Friday noon.

Baptism Sunday 3.30 pm

Churchings – five minutes before any service

Instruction – confirmation, communicant classes, held in church in Lent and Advent.

Church open daily until dusk for prayer and private devotion.

August 6th, Feast of Transfiguration being anniversary of the re-opening after restoration, and Sept 8th Feast of Nativity of BVM, on which Harvest Thanksgiving usually takes place, these are observed with special solemnity. The Hymn Book used is Hymns A. & M.

Examiner – 1886 – 6th October.

A mother claims she had been subjected to pressure by the lady Visitor and the Vicar because her children attended the Congregational school and not the C. of E. school and they had been threatened with expulsion. There were also accusations made to the Council on Education that children were made to bow to a crucifix as their duty, to kneel before a crucifix. The headmaster is in favour of the Romish style of worship, that from the school wall there is a striking representation of the Crucifixion. It is well known that there exists in the parish church a fully developed and illegal Romanism, which is promoted by the Parish Priest, his coadjutor (curate) the school master and others.

In commenting on the action of the Bishop in forcing the resignation of the curate, we understand that the following are the allegations made with respect to Mr Scott, and his answers thereto:

He denied teaching the Romish doctrine of purgatory and has always protested against the Romish doctrine of the material fire, tortured souls and so forth.

He denied preaching a sermon on 29th Nov 11885 on prayer to the Apostles as mediators. This he denied but admitted that he did teach that the prayers of the Saints are of great value to us. He maintained that he had never preached that the departed saints should be asked to intercede.

He disagreed that at one service Holy Communion will be administered and at another The Holy Sacrifice.

In response to an accusation that in the parish Magazine he had made remarks relative to Transubstantiation. He denied responsibility as the magazine was put together by him and the Vicar had overall responsibility and that he was not responsible separately for the part given under his name.

1912 Statue over north door of Mary Mother of Christ

Coates Carter designed Good Shepherd Chapel

Coates Carter designed Chancel Rood 1919

Coates Carter designed Sacrament House in 1925 when Reservation was authorised.

(GRO Diocesan Archives V6, 72(7))

Dyer Edwardes of Prinknash another Church member and friend of Vicar Edwards. When Prinknash chapel was dedicated in August 1889 Fr Gurney of Prestbury (de la Bere’s successor) and some of the Prestbury acolytes and choir were present.

Benedictines of Caldey supported by Prestbury collections on St Benedict’s Day and they remembered Prestbury in their prayers. Both the Vicar and his curate sent gifts from their own purses. The curate, Fr Sorby, became rector of Cranham in 1924, thus very close to the Prinknash Community

When Fr de la Bere resigned in 1884 his son, John was appointed Vicar of Prestbury – incense became used every Sunday not just feast days; a chapel was formed in south aisle in 1922 including a confessional prieu Dieu with screen.

Coates Carter designed Blessed Sacrament house in 1925 when Sacrament became reserved.

Mar 16th 1918: Death of Rev H Urling-Smith aged 72. 27 years Vicar of Prestbury. High Churchman, strong ritualistic tendencies, and fought for the maintenance of this tradition

St PAUL’S: 14.9.1867 (Looker On) A sensational wedding took place at St Paul’s, the groom having been formerly for a short time, curate there. The ceremony was preceded by the administration of the Sacrament with prayers and sermon.

The service was choral and the Priests, 3 in number were decked out in ritualistic vestments and the ceremonial took 2 hours with its intonations, censing and genuflexions. It is said that this matrimonial mystery was enacted without the permission of the incumbent who was under the impression that all would be done in accordance with the set church form. Only last Sunday he discovered he discovered all the sensational incidents introduced on this occasion. It seems to be regretted that such scenes should be enacted under cover of a religious ceremony in face of open day and still more so that the actors should be unconscious of the ridicule they bring upon themselves by such uncalled for violations of a rite…. The more to be deplored seeing the groom is the son of a non- conformist father. The church was however crowded with spectators.

A refutation of this article appeared one week later:

The report is not as sensational as the Examiner claimed. The Rev gentleman who officiated has written to the papers denying that it took 2 hours. He denied the service was choral – only one hymn before the marriage service and a voluntary on the organ between the two services.

The priests were not decked out in ritualist vestments, wearing a plain white surplice, black stole and black cassock.

Nevertheless all this taken on board, there must have been many innovations to the customary use of the St Paul’s tradition, otherwise the Vicar would not have spoken out against it.

ELMSTONE HARDWICK; New reredos erected at parish Church of Elmstone Hardwick Oct 9th 1886. The service at which the vicar, vested in a white cope, sprinkled the new reredos with holy water and also a censer. Graphic 9th Oct 1886 p 655. ELMSTONE HARDWICKE Vicarage ‘History of the English Church Union G Bayfield Roberts Oct 1894.’* George Blackmore Bayfield Roberts. John Roberts was the son of the Rev G Roberts dismissed by Rev Walker of Cheltenham from St John’s, Cheltenham. He became an even stauncher Anglo-Catholic than his father had been able to be.

*Lord Halifax’s Foreword: Founded 1860 to perpetuate and develop the principles so eloquently and forcibly put forward by Tracts for the Times. Thanks of all Churchmen are due to Mr Bayfield Roberts for undertaking the task. UC+e,m,i,v,I, Oriel College Matriculated 1866 aged 18. Bible Clerk 1866-1872. BA 1872 Vicar Elmstone 1879. Chair of Church Union in Glos in ????

Nov 1880 – Examiner:

As a citizen of the heavenly kingdom as well as of the earthly, I am in great strait. The law of the church bids me use certain ‘Ornaments’ whilst the new and unconstitutional law of the land forbids me to use them. Therefore I do as Churchmen of old did – I disobey the Law of the land for only then can I obey the law of the church. I disobey the less to obey the greater. And yet at the same time I do obey the law of the land. For how can the Privy Council revoke an act of Parliament which speaks thus plainly: “and here is to be noted that such ornaments of the church and of the ministers thereof, at all times of their ministration, shall be retained and be in use as were in this church of England by the authority of Parliament in the second year of the reign of King Edward VI”

But not all the threats of the Church Association, with its pot house witnesses, its hired spies, its private interviews with judges, its saham (?) reverence for the law, and its threats of county jails, will never make me nor any other member of the ‘sect that is everywhere spoken against’ disobey the law of ‘this Church and realm’, as settled in the Book of Common Prayer.

You may continue to sneer at us, to ridicule our zeal – to point at us as effeminate fools who out of sheer self will. Luxuriate in a bad imitation of the millinery of Rome, you may imprison us, seize our miserable pittances which are euphemistically termed ‘livings’, you may ruin us and our families, you may cast us into goals and laugh at us as ‘would be martyrs’ – you may do this and more too – but at least we shall suffer whatever loss comes upon us steadfastly. And when the history of this century comes to be written, a more truly liberal and less ignorant age will testify that we went to prison ‘for conscience sake’.

George Bayfield Roberts. Elmstone Vicarage.

MICKLETON: St Lawrence.

19th century Tractarian revival re-emphasised the unbroken catholicity of the C of E. Altars were set up at the east end and box pews were replaced with pews facing the altar. Altar candles, vestments and statues were restored. At Mickleton, the Eucharist became the principal Sunday service from about 1920 with reservation for nearly as long. Fro, but in 200s more mainstream Anglicanism that time all priests were of the Anglo Catholic tradition

Mainly Norman work but the church was heavily restored 1868-1870. The Eucharist has been the principal service since 1971 and the Sacrament has been reserved for nearly as long.

Much of what the Tractarians inspired can be seen here-altars, pews face altar, altar candles, Eucharistic vestments, Stations of the Cross and stained glass.

1928- new high Altar, restoration of the Lady Chapel.

1952 – Sacrament House, St Lawrence on screen in vestry, Madonna and Child, restoration of North Aisle Chapel as Requiem Altar.

KEMERTON: St Nicholas is second church on site. (See BGAS Vol 90)

The first Church Rector was Geoffrey Goodman who became Bishop of Gloucester in 1625 and Rector of Kemerton from 1630- 1647. He had Romish sympathies and in his will wrote: ‘I have died and lived most constant in all the doctrine of God’s most Holy and Apostolic Church whereof I do acknowledge the Chair of Rome to be the Mother Church, and I do believe that no other Church hath any salvation in it but only so far as it occurs with the faith of the Church of Rome.’

The present church was re-built 1846-1850 under Rector Thomas Thorp, who was Archdeacon of Bristol from 1836. When he was Tutor at Cambridge he became president of the Camden society whose aim was to promote the study of Ecclesiastical Art and Architecture and Antiquities on lines consistent with the Tractarians. He came to the village in 1844 but had been appointed 1839, and made many visits in between. He stayed until 1877. He was President of the Camden Society at Cambridge and he immediately set about the Tractarian Revival at Kemerton: He consulted the eminent Anthony Salvin – a member of Camden Society, and Richard Carpenter. The restored chancel was consecrated -Choral Evensong and frequent Communions, surpliced Choir (the first in any rural village church?)

In 1843 he appointed Robert Suckling to be his curate. He too was a member of the Camden Society and so loyal to Tractarian ideals that was at first refused ordination by his Bishop of Ely. His influence at Kemerton was very great in infusing life and power into that form of Godliness which things were then assuming in the parish, so much so that a petition was organised that evening service times be changed so that workers could attend after finishing work. Suckling moved to Bussage.

Thorp a strong supporter of Oxford Movement and established the High Church tradition at Kemerton. Friend of JK who preached several times at Kemerton. High Church tradition continued by Thorp’s successor, J J Mercier, but in 1901, the Trustees of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in Gloucester presented a low churchman, one of the chaplains, named George Mallet. His views were disliked by the parishioners and Mercier’s widow bought the advowson in 1902 and on Mallet’s death that same year, , Mrs Mercier’s son, Rev J B Mercier became Rector and held post for 30 years.

Thorp died at Kemerton in his 8-0th year. He had been archdeacon of Bristol form 1836-1873, when he retired to the rectory of Kemerton, to which he had been appointed in 1839. He took a leading part in the High Church Movement being among the first dignitaries to publicly give it support. He remained unmarried. He was brother to Dr Disney Thorp of Suffolk Lawn. The Archdeacon was a frequent visitor to Cheltenham and was intimately known and sincerely respected.

The Church provided Rector Thorp with the ideal opportunity to put his Camden Society principles into practice. He established good relations with the major landowning family, the Hoptons, and was assured of their support financially and spiritually. On his appointment, Thorp had found the church in a terrible state of preservation and immediately began work on restoration-mainly the nave and south aisle roofs and the Chancel, re – consecrated 19th October 1847 with an elaborate service. F Richard Carpenter architect. Further work on North aisle followed and whole church re- consecrated Oct 1849. Much opposition from local RCs and Dissenters.

The church looked on his arrival: Chancel separated from nave by unpainted deal wood and green baize curtains; unsightly pews ; ugly, offensive black stove; holy table undressed and insignificant; high pews in body of church all faced different ways; singing gallery blocked up the tower and west window;.

Result: A raised, dressed altar, a lowered pulpit and a decent Chancel, open seats instead of boxed pews, new service books, new plate designed by Butterfield following Camden designs. Brass Corona, (Hardman) one of three originals. Chancel bears most marks of the Camden Society, screened from the Nave, stalls either side with misericords, raised Sanctuary, priests’ door and sedilia and cusped piscine. Chancel and windows were gifts of Thorp’s Cambridge friends. Windows show Stephen, Alban, Wulfstan.

Sanctuary contains large recumbent figure of Archdeacon Thorp, inlaid with Italian marble although his grave is outside to the south of the Chancel.

(Stone altar in north aisle; aumbry dedicated 1961 in memory of Rev. W. J. Tooth, rector 1942-1959)

Today vestments worn, and unfussy ceremonial. Parish in Worcestershire since 1933, but in Ecclesiastical Diocese of Gloucester.

Mother of W.J.E. Bennett of Pimlico and Froome Selwood, Mrs Brandreth (second marriage) moved to Kemerton on death of second husband to live with her youngest son at Kemerton, Frederick Hamilton Bennet (born 1816) and there she died aged 82 in 1867. Frederick was formerly Vicar of St John’s Worcester from which parish he was driven away in 1851. Reason: Had become curate in charge of St John‘s in 1842 and introduced high church activities – rang bells which was denounced by Prots as the Tractarian Chimes. Plain song was introduced at Evening service, canticles chanted and responses intoned and metrical psalms sung. Clergy and choristers entered in procession, Gregorian toned psalms, prayers intoned, Communion Service intoned and service was choral throughout and choir occupied new oak choir stalls. But lots of opposition from Vestry and Low Church used to threaten to stone him as he left the vestry. Bennet taught people to bow to altar. Stayed 8 years but driven away in 1851. Spent many years living in Kemerton where the church was under Archdeacon Thorp, where for many years full Cathedral evensong sung daily. Then 1869, Frederick became first Vicar of Freeland Church, Oxfordshire where he died 1873.

Graphic 6 July 1901- Rev George Mallett appointed to Kemerton – a keen controversialist against the ritualists. His suggestion that a Bishop Hooper van be brought there has borne fruit.

Graphic 17 May 1902 – The new Rector has brought down the ritual of his predecessor and banished altar lights, refuses to recognise the Eastward position and will not wear coloured stoles.

Graphic – August 5th 1902 – death of Rector Mallett of Kemerton.

CRANHAM: Patron 1891 Thomas Dyer Edwardes; 1925 Athelstan Riley; 1930 Quinton Riley.

For 300 years after Reformation church remained unaltered and fabric and furnishings deteriorated. 1861 some refurbishment – glazing of windows and chancel carpeting.

1890 weeds grew inside the church as high as one’s waist.

1892 Rev Henry Rastrick Hanson was appointed Rector under patronage of Dyer Edwardes. Both had been influenced by Oxford Movement and between them, these 2 men oversaw the restoration and extension and Mr Hanson introduced high Church ritual. U C e,m,i,v,l. At this time collections increased considerably.

1894, under Dyer Edwardes major renovations. North aisle added and vestry, porch and raised roof inside. This was financed by Dyer Edwardes and overseen by Thomas Gambier Parry of Highnam. Tudor Rood Screen retained, but new Rood added 1912 in keeping with the High Church tradition of the time.

Following 1895 restoration, old altar table replaced with stone altar slab probably from Prinknash pre- Dissolution. Supposed to be the Altar on which Abbot Parker said his final Mass

Dyer Edwardes gave Triptych in 1915 – an original from 16th century.

Dyer Edwardes died 1926 having offered Prinknash to the Caldey Monks. (Now RC)

1896 and on several occasion before and afterwards, Fr Dolling, of Portsmouth Slum fame, had spent time at Prinknash as guest of Dyer Edwardes. Dyer Edwardes often asked members of the clergy of St Agatha’s (Dolling’s Church) to stay at Prinknash for a rest, retreat or change from the slums of Landport. Dolling was always treated as an honoured guest ministering and preaching on Sundays when at Prinknash, in the Chapel which was also the parish church of the estate. Dyer Edwardes gave a few reminiscences of Dolling: U C e,m,l.

The addresses he gave in Prinknash Chapel touched all hearts. The people who heard him never forgot him. He dedicated the new altar and apse in the chapel and once conducted a retreat for many of the local clergy. In his last illness his sisters said he was constantly talking of Prinknash and hoping he might go there again – sadly not to be.

Dolling was brought up an evangelical but became influenced by the Oxford Movement through Fr Stanton of St Alban’s He offered himself for ordination in 1882 and trained at Salisbury Theological College, in a gentry background similar to that from which he had come. Magdalen College Oxford adopted his London Mission work in Stepney – Solemn Vespers ‘married’ homelessness- and continued his Stepney mission until September when he took over the Winchester College Mission at Landport.

In 1895 the great basilican church, St Agatha’s was opened at Landport. Bishop Thorold of Winchester received complaints about the ritualism but he did not react.

Later that year, the new Bishop Randall Davidson refused to license the church because at one altar, requiems were celebrated. Dolling resigned rather than conform.

He died May 15th 1902. Strangely though, he disliked Tractarianism for being too bookish and inculcating religious reserve, but he loved ritual, theatricals and dancing. (Life of Dolling, 1905 edition, Charles E Osborne)

KEMPLEY: The original old Church of St Mary is mediaeval and in 1872, the Rev Arthur Hislop Drummond was appointed Vicar. He was a staunch High Churchman and within 2 years he was living in a new Vicarage designed by the Cheltenham architect, John Middleton. U,C,e,m,v,l

Drummond changed services, introduced a choir, and the old balconies were removed. Drummond was succeeded in 1877 by Rev Weaver who was succeeded by Rev Edward Denny 1886-1898. He introduced Sung Mass, occasional use of vestments and incense. In 1898, locals hounded him out of the parish on account of his extreme school of churchmanship. He became Vicar of St Peter’s Vauxhall U,C,+ e,m,i,v,l.

He was succeeded by Rev Clifford Jones in 1898 who agreed to conduct monthly communion service without music, but he was still High Church. U,C,e,m,i,v,l

St Edward the Confessor. 1902, Lord Beacham, 7th Earl agreed site and built the Church, Reservation Chapel, Rood. Foundation stone laid 18th September. Ten o’clock celebration of the Eucharist. Dedicated St Stephen’s Day 1903.

Rood: Bishop of Gloucester, Bp Gibson, insisted that it should be removed before he dedicated the church. The Baldichin and the stone altar from the Lady Chapel were also objected to. The Vicar Rev Clifford Jones, was summoned to Bishopcourt but no action taken. These items were stored in the loft at More House Farm and reinstated after Bishop’s resignation in 1905.

The new Vicar, agreed to use Vestments only on principal Festivals, not to revive Sunday Sung Mass and to reduce the big Six to Big 2. But still retained High Church ethos.

Church given to Diocese in 1919 but not consecrated by Bishop of Glos until 1934.

NORTH CERNEY. (From book by Canon James Turner, Silverdart Paperback, compiled by Peter Quinnell, 2006)

After a long evangelical period Peter Goldsmith Gedd was appointed, 31st March in 1876 by Bishop Ellicott to North Cerney, in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster. He was a close friend of HP Liddon and Bishop Edward King and had been made Deacon by Bishop Wilberforce. He identified himself with the Oxford Movement and in 1860 he took a leading part in the setting up of Keble College. In 1861 he compiled ‘The Priest to the Altar or Aids to the Devout Celebration of Holy Communion, Chiefly after the ancient use of Sarum’

In 1864 he published ‘Household Prayer’ with morning and evening readings for a month.

He was a friend and colleague of William Bright, author of ‘And now O Father, mindful of the love….and together they were responsible for a Latin translation of the BCP ‘Liber Precum Publicarum Ecclesiae Anglicanae.’

He was appointed to Barnes by the Bishop of London where he revealed his Tractarian leanings by putting candles on the altar – then a very bold step.

During his incumbency at Cerney, he revived the perambulation of the parish boundaries, introduced Hymns A&M, placed lighted candles on the altar, refurnished the chancel with oak panelling and a reredos, placing on either side of the lower part of the chancel, deal stalls that had come from the temporary chapel of Keble College. He introduced a weekly Eucharist and held a very high view of the Sacrament, but attendance was not high. He was an undoubted Tractarian but would not call himself one. Gedd died at North Cerney in 1903.

Gedd was succeeded by Rev Martin de le Hey 1908-1936. He was a clergyman’s son ordained in 1890 and form 1893 – 1908 he was a tutor at Keble College. He came to Cerney aged 42 and stayed for the rest of his life, transforming the church into what it is today. Most of the reordering/decoration was by F C Eden a close friend. Work began in 1912 when a mediaeval altar stone was found and used. The sanctuary steps were redesigned and the altar rail was re –positioned. The High Altar was reworked with candlesticks and an antique Sanctuary Chair introduced.

In 1913, the Lady Chapel was restored and the first Sung Eucharist was held on 14th June. The Chapel and restored High Altar were blessed by Bishop Gibson.

Some years later de le Hey, and later F.C. Eden and Mr Croome purchased on the continent and brought home the mediaeval statues and a processional cross.

1920 – statue of St George; 1925 new reredos; brass candleabrum ( 1707); 1928 Rood loft restored and dedicated ; 1929 Sung Eucharist; 1933 Chancel screen given in memory of Canon Medd, by F.C. Eden.

PAINSWICK: Isabel Perrins married Rev William Herbert Seddon (1855-1924) who studied at Oxford and served first curacy at St Mary Magdalene in the city. Later served at Long Aston, Staffordshire and in 1886 appointed Vicar of Painswick, the advowson having been purchased by his father in law. e,m,l.

1890, Seddon resigned and moved to London with his wife and seven children. He was appointed Vicar of St Mary, Hatfield 1891-1893 and in 1897 he was appointed Chaplain of St Saviour’s Home, Hendon. While in London his wife became exposed to personalities influential in the Anglo Catholic Movement i.e. Rev F W Pakenham Gilbert, a former curate of All Saints Margaret Street and St John the Baptist Holland Park, and then P-i-C of Christ Church Hendon. He made an impact on Mrs Seddon and she gave him a vellum bound English Missal in 1897. ‘In remembrance of much spiritual help and faithful catholic teaching.’

His current church, St Clement’s, was in Notting Hill and she also presented to this church a set of Carved Oberammergau Stations of the Cross.

During 1897, Seddons returned to Painswick. They bought Gwynfa –the Cotswolds 88 Hotel (Painswick Hotel) – and the former Vicarage, Verlands, was let out. The date stone on Gwynfa bears the initials IHS – Isabel Herbert Seddon. Inside on the first floor was an oratory/chapel. Oratory was beautifully furnished and daily prayers for the household were conducted there by Mrs Seddon.

While in London the Seddons had met Rev and Honourable James Addersley, who had helped Aelred Carlyle to restore Benedictine life to C. of E.

In 1901 St Mark’s Home for Boys moved from London to More Hall a property which had been purchased by Isabel that year, but by 1907 the Home had moved to Birmingham. It was then occupied on lease by Rev C.H. Sharpe who established there a religious Community for C. of E. men.

Rev Seddon was a Council member of Glos Diocesan College of Missioners as was Rev Sharpe and Isabel soon became heavily involved with More Hall. In 1912, she conveyed the deeds from herself to Sharpe. (CHS Journal 5, Spring 1988)

Isabel was received into RC Church 1914. Mass was then celebrated in the privately owned Vicarage oratory by Catholic Priests every Sunday (or possibly in the wooden hut in the grounds) and Rev Seddon raised no objections. Rev Seddon resigned living of Painswick in 1917.

Seddon was also Vicar of Sheepscombe 1911-1915 as the villagers there found their incumbent too High Church. He had been appointed by Seddon in 1908.

Chronicle 25.3.1933; Rev Hiram Craven of Castle Godwyn, Painswick has been appointed Vicar in succession to Rev A M Goode.

TETBURY & CHARLES FUGE LOWDER; born Lansdown Crescent Bath 22 June 1820. Parents, well off family,- Father a banker Charles Lowder and Susan Fuge of Plymouth. Educated day school from age 7, and Kings School, London. Loving, moral, strong religious home. Confirmed 1836. One of the younger generation of the Oxford Movement; died, aged 60, worn out by heroic ministry in the slums of London’s docklands.

Exeter College Oxford 1840-41 when Tractarian movement at height of its blossoming. Attended Newman’s sermons, and was inspired by them to take Holy orders and when Pusey suspended, Lowder threw himself into the ring on his side. Manning’s sermons also had influence on him. . Newman made deep impression particularly in his call to spiritual discipline and personal holiness. He wrote (Stephen Trott): None could rejoice more than the preacher himself at the increased regard to ecclesiastical architecture, music, the ornamentation of our churches – but it must be remembered that these required to be accomplished by personal holiness.’ Tract 90 published in his first year. He was drawn into the Oxford Movement. He lived and died keeping a strict rule of life which he adopted 1855, never regarding ritual as more than a pastoral or evangelical strategy – useful in promoting God’s glory and the salvation of souls. Also under influence of Pusey and Keble although their teaching was no novelty to him but was rather the filling in of familiar outlines.

Degree 1843-Classics II; ordained Deacon by Bishop Denison of Salisbury, Sept 1843, title at Walton cum Street near Glastonbury. End of first year also Chaplain to Axbridge Workhouse. Ordained Priest Dec 22nd 1844 in Wells by Denison, remained at Axbridge which Bishop accepted as curacy, but then resigned and accepted senior curacy at Tetbury 1846 senior curate of Rev John Frampton, Vicar of Tetbury. Tetbury was considered High Church, but very low by today’s standards. Lived in the old vicarage House with his parents and sisters (Vicar had his own house.)

Tetbury five years. MA Oxford 1846. While in Tetbury on his own initiative daily recitation of the Choir Offices were started. He felt very strongly about this- and also introduced public catechizing of youth in preparation for confirmation and Communion. Desire to bring church teaching and practice more fully to the people and drew up a little book for their use called The Penitents’ Path which conveyed sound church teaching. Spent lots of his time preparing children for Confirmation. Lowder taught and taught and taught and visited and visited and visited (Mackay)

One memory: I remember he was not only a perfect Saint but was so good to little children, he was playful and yet leading a life of holiness quite different to other men..

A contemporary said that all the time he was leading a life of holiness quite different from most other men. He was known for his conscientious attention to duty both in prayer and in pastoral care. Began putting into practice the teaching of the Tractarians which he had absorbed at Oxford. Taught sacramental doctrine and published a Manual – The Penitents Path. Emphasis of his ministry was to improve the spiritual life of the people and emphasising the sacramental life of the church. He was one of many clergymen who took up Tractarianism and made it an integral part of the life of the C. of E. What began as a University theoretical movement now became a tremendous force for renewal and growth, carried into the parish. Lowder entertained hopes of the eventual unity of all Christians but was always loyal to the C. of E. and strongly disapproved of those who brought suspicion upon the C. of E. by seceding to Rome.

Lots of poverty in Tetbury, so it was decided to build a chapel of ease- St Saviour’s

Was consecrated by Bishop Monk with great ceremony August 1848. Person most concerned was assistant curate, C.F. Lowder. Lowder paid for Font. Ecclesiologist design: Podium – Minton tiles

Chancel screen


Altar – slab white marble and raised on step.

Reredos – Pugin and Hardman


North Vestry door.

St Saviour’s is an example of the expression of High Church principles in architectural form. Sam Daukes was architect- member of Ecclesiological Society. Furnishings were by Hardman (Corma Lucis Gasolier) and Pugin.

Ceiling of chancel by Hardman and Pugin. Thick white marble altar slab. Reredos by Pugin and Hardman.

Consecration plaque in Sanctuary.

Communion plate ordered from Hardman by Lowder and designed by Pugin 1848. Daily matins and evensong in newly built St Saviour’s. His senior curate T L Williams as like-minded as Lowder was in reaching the ordinary people.

St Saviour’s became known as Frampton’s Folly in reference to the Vicar who gave £2000 towards its cost. Stone font paid for by Lowder. Daily Matins and evensong introduced.

Memories of his noble, kind face, a perfect saint in his life. Young and old, rich and poor felt his influence and were stirred up by his zeal.

At Tetbury, he became known for his conscientious work and attention to duty, both at prayer and in caring for people. The teaching of the Tractarians which he had absorbed at Oxford were now put into practice. He devoted much effort to improving the spiritual lives of the people emphasising the sacramental teaching of the Church, and even publishing a manual titled: The Penitents Path. In this way he was one of those who took up Tractarianism and made it into an integral part of the life of the C. of E.

1973 St Saviour’s declared redundant

1849 offered living of St James Gloucester by Bishop Monk but he declined on financial grounds and no vicarage. Couldn’t persuade his own vicar to advance parish development so when vacancy occurred at St Barnabas, London, he accepted as this provided the challenge he wanted – to win the souls of the poor to the Catholic faith. After 6 years at Tetbury he could not induce his Vicar to move further in advance and the offer of St Barnabas offered wonderful prospects (Letter of Application p29)

Moved 1850/1. Disapproved of those who brought suspicion on Anglo-Catholics by seceding to Rome. He saw C. of E. the same after the Reformation as it was before but independent of Rome. The Prots saw it as sweeping away the medieval superstition and practices and a return to simplicity of primitive Church and authority of the Bible.

Letter of application to St Barnabas: at Tetbury daily offices, HC twice a month. In the two churches and other services too. I am particularly desirous of going nowhere unless these privileges are maintained. My opinions are best expressed by the name Anglo-Catholic and I seek to be a humble servant in bringing to the C. of E. her Catholic character to the hearts of her members.

Stanton sacrificed all his prospects in life, not like Lowder for the sake of Christ in his poor, but for the sake of Christ in his church.

1850: Lowder at St Barnabas, Pimlico-organised choirboys to throw eggs as demonstration against anti ritual protestors. Suspended by Bishop Blomfield as a result, for 6 weeks. Went to France and studied life of St Vincent de Paul.

By 1855 the SCC (Society of the Holy Cross) had been founded in the Chapel of the House of Charity in Soho, a Society of Anglo-Catholic Priests. He became its first Master. A Retreat Committee was first to introduce retreats into the C. of E. Charles Lowder became a member and wrote to his mother as follows: The account of SCC I have given you is meant to be private so do not let it get out of the House’ (C Lowder, a Biography, p96) Dr Pusey has entered very kindly into it and given us great assistance.

1856. The St George’s Mission in the East End was founded by SCC and Lowder was the first Priest to be placed in charge of it. He wrote to his dad in 1856:

I pray that the Mission may be a good work for the Church. My desire is to make it a thoroughly catholic one of poverty and self-denial and dedication to God’s service, and if it may be, the revival of a really Religious Order for Missionary work-men trained in holy living for the work of winning souls. Dr Pusey and other members of the Mission wish me to go and we have already sufficient promise of support to justify our commencement.

1858: SCC Retreat conducted by RM Benson

1859 Conducted by TT Carter- included McConochie and Lowder

1860s Adverts in Church Times offered Carte de Visite portraits of….including Lowder.

1869 The Cheltenham Local Chapter of SCC supported the publication of ‘The Priest in Absolution’

1874 Lowder told SCC ‘must be prepared to show that Confession is neither unmanly nor un-English.

1877 Lowder’s Book 21 Years in St George’s Mission: When the soul is touched with contrition and anxious to make her peace with God, we recommend sacramental confession and have reason to be most thankful that this has been our position from the beginning. It is very gratifying to witness the reverence of worshippers and to know how many devoutly appreciate the blessing they enjoy in the constant celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Is it a time of sorrow, the anniversary of death or a funeral? They fly to the altar and ask the Priest who celebrates and some of their friends also, to remember before God the soul of their departed one.

Developed an extensive programme of social work especially with children. ‘The poor are taught by the eye and the ear as well as by understanding.’

Died in Austria, 24 Sept 1880; buried Chiselhurst. 3,000 at funeral.

We have called it a funeral amidst circumstances and surrounding which are described elsewhere. We have called it a funeral in compliance with established phraseology but in truth it was a triumphal procession through crowded streets of East London such as England has never seen before in the 19th century.

On deathbed ministered to by catholic Priest – no Anglican available – but was refused the Sacrament, but given a blessing. Local English lady was present and Lowder’s last words were “You witness that I die in the faith of the Anglican Church, for they may say, I died a Roman Catholic”.

His letter of application 1851;

Spent nearly 5 and a half years as senior curate in country town of 3000

. Preaching, parochial visits, care of souls, aided and devolved upon me by another curate in consequence of the weak health of my Vicar, who is however resident. Daly services, HC twice monthly in the 2 churches, and other services. I will not enter into any other sphere where at least some of these privileges are available – and I’d like to show an increase.

My opinions are Anglo-Catholic in firm attachment to the C. of E. and desirous of bringing her catholic character more closely home to the hearts of her members.

At London Docks, 3 of his 4 assistants poped.

HIGHNAM: Holy Innocents.

The church was built as a memorial to the late wife Isabella, of Thomas Gambier Parry and its design was an early example of the flowering of the High Church revival and was to stand as an example for others to follow.

Thomas Gambier Parry was born in 1816 and educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge. BA 1837. While at Cambridge, strongly influenced by High Church Movement of JM Neale and Edward Boyce who were also at Trinity. 1839, they formed the Cambridge Camden Society later named Ecclesiological Society. Thomas joined the Society 1840 and was elected to the Committee in 1857.

Attended Church Congress in Dublin in 1868, where first question of men’s religious communities raised. Parry was second speaker advocating the formation of lay brotherhoods. He envisaged a variety of brotherhoods some merely guilds, living under a rule in communities. He advocated taking vows for limited periods but as C. of E. misunderstood the word vows, he thought it best not to use it.

Having inherited considerable wealth Thomas bought Highnam Court Estate and married Isabella in 1839. She died of TB in 1848.

Seven months after her death Thomas wrote to Bishop Monk of Gloucester offering to provide a church, school and vicarage and the costs of an Incumbent for the three hamlets of Highnam.

The offer was accepted and Thomas employed Henry Woodyer, a contemporary at Eton, as architect. Woodyer had been at Oxford at the blossoming of the Oxford Movement and in 1849, gladly accepted Thomas’ invitation. George Myers of Lambeth was chosen as builder. He was a disciple of Pugin, G Scott and GE Street. The foundation stone of the church was laid by Thomas’ son Charles on 12th July 1849.

The advertisement for a Vicar was for a ‘strong, and true churchman, an earnest member of the C. of E. as the true branch of the Catholic Church in this country.’ Edward Mansfield, Vicar of Ruardean was invited to accept the vacancy and became first Vicar in 1850.

Thomas was actively involved in the design and purchase of fittings – Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Hardman’s of Birmingham for brass and glass, Clayton and Bell for windows, Communion plate from Butterfield’s design was made by John Keith, silversmith to the Ecclesiological Society, but Thomas designed most of the hangings himself.

In 1851 a caveat was received from Bishop Monk about the reredos in which Thomas wished to include niches filled with figures – ‘avoid all Romish ornaments – I am pleased to see you have omitted to include anything which can be said to have Romish origin. I know the miso-papal zealots are very ill informed in all antiquarian lore, but in matters of taste it cannot be justified to provoke outcry and abuse.

In March of that year Tomas attended Morning Prayer service at Wells Street Chapel, London – the unofficial HQ of the High Church Movement before All Saints Margaret Street was completed. At the Highnam consecration service, there were a considerable number of clergy in surplices and 190 communicants. At the very first service, the Vicar, Mansfield preached on the necessity of outward observances connecting with inward devotion.

In 1852, the Ecclesiologist reported on ‘………the remarkable church lately built for a member of our Society at Highnam near Gloucester. The building …… is one of the most complete in scale and fitting and one of the most costly of the churches built within the last ten years. Our readers will see…………….that Highnam is a very conspicuous landmark in the Ecclesiological Revival. But there was some criticism too: We can only wish that the frequency and the method of performance of the services of this church were in any way commensurate with the beauty of the fabric which the founder’s munificence and the architect’s ability have provided.’

Thomas did his own design of frontals and wall stencils. In 1855, on the anniversary of the consecration, the services were fully choral and a large party of clergy were entertained at the parsonage. Later that year Thomas took his second wife to All Saints Margaret Street.


EDGEWORTH: Under Rev George Francis Edward Shaw, Stone altar erected 1871 (Norman origin) and stone altar rails. Two years later, altar raised by one foot. In 1864 Rector of Edgeworth near Cirencester with an income of £350. He stayed there until 1898.

BARNSLEY CHURCH: The church underwent a major restoration in 1842 under the newly appointed Canon Ernest Howman. He used the architect J M Derrick, Dr Pusey’s preferred architect for St Saviour’s, Leeds and James Harrison who was John Keble’s architect at Hursley. A Vestry was built and the nave was re-roofed. A flat Georgian ceiling was removed to reveal a simple 14th century roof. The old steps and paving of the Chancel floor were replaced by Nailsworth stone. New Church plate was commissioned and a new font and pulpit and oak stalls for the choir were made for either side of the Chancel.

During these alterations an Altar made in the time of James 1st was found nearby being used as a kitchen table. This was immediately bought and brought to Barnsley, re-consecrated and put into use. The altar rails were restored and the former old rotten altar table was broken up and burned.

BROMSBERROW; There was no immediate impact of the Oxford Movement upon Bromsberrow but gradually Holy Communion began to mean more in the lives of the worshipping community as evidenced by the increase in the number Holy Communion services recorded and an enormous increase in the number of bottles of wine ordered for Holy Communion.


William Charles Newbolt 4.8.1844-12.9.1930- was a British Anglican Priest and theologian. He was a prominent

Theologian and hrwded (?) a Theological College in Ely between 1887-1890, when he became Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Newbolt was born in Somerton in Somerset where his father was Rector of the church. Newbolt was educated locally and at Uppingham. He studied at Oxford obtaining a 3rd in Classics but did not formally study for ordination. However he spent a further year at Oxford before being ordained Deacon in 1868 and Priest in 1869.

While at Oxford he was influenced by the Oxford Movement – the Tractarians. He followed the teaching of Pusey, Liddon, and Edward King. After Ordination he became curate at Wantage, one of the most prominent Tractarian parishes of the day,

He married in 1870 and was appointed Vicar of Dymock, on the recommendation of Frederick Lygon, 6th Earl Beauchamp a noted High Church Anglican. In 1877 he moved to Malvern Link and was later nominated to the Council of Keble College where he served from 1901 – 1930.

In 1887 he was appointed Principal of Ely Theological College which then trained clergy in accordance with Tractarian principle. In 1890 he succeeded Liddon as Canon of St Paul’s where he remained until his death in 1930. ( Wikipedia)

TIDENHAM: Nov 1 1845 Bristol Mercury; On Monday last Rev J Armstrong BA, DD, was instituted by Lord B of Diocese to the Vicarage of Tidenham, vacant by the cessation of Rev J H Scudamore Burr, on the presentation of Daniel H Durral Burr of Devonshire Place, London, the patron.

Church of England clergyman and later Bishop of Grahamstown. Educated at prep school in Hanwell, then Charterhouse school. 1832 Lincoln College Oxford, graduated 1836 + Class 3 Honours in Classics. Ordained 1837. Founded St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown in Colony of Cape of Good Hope, Nov 1855. Author of hymn ‘O Thou who makes souls to shine. In A&M 1972 No 471.

Biography written by TT Carter 1857. Armstrong died 1856 in Grahamstown. Memorial Chapel built over his grave – demolished 1950.

Transferred from Exeter to Tidenham Oct 1845 at invitation of the current Vicar, Rev Mr Burr, who was facing difficulties with parishioners over new practices he had introduced. Burr and Armstrong were old College friends and Armstrong welcomed the change of environment on health grounds and also financial. A man of warm energies and affections who sought the pastoral side of ministry. TT Carter spent 4 days with Armstrong in 1852 and saw how busy Armstrong was in the parish. Built school at Tutshill and Tidenham Chase, from his own plans. Established Sunday evening services in these school rooms, and also built chapel at Tutshill, consecrated just before he left for Africa. Could talk to any class of person, and spoke freely of religion, but first had to overcome his natural shyness. Saw some good in everyone and of a very cheerful temperament. Loved children, especially his own, and he was remarkably tender, and could express almost womanly grief in sorrow.

8am Prayer in Parish Church. Rest of morning teaching in school, writing and visiting parishioners at home. Then lunch and more visiting, often staying quite late so as to catch the men at home –after dark in winter and half seven in summer arriving home long after dinner time was past. A Curate wrote: It was amusing sometimes to see him regardless of personal appearance, in a bad hat, indifferent coat, long flowing dishevelled white hair, walking along at railway speed through rain and dirt which quite put one to shame, when a wet day kept one snugly indoors.

Another said – He seemed always working, and fresh fields of labour within and without the parish were constantly opening and always taken in. He found his work a missionary one, in a large and struggling parish in one of the wildest parts of the county. He was always on the watch to save souls. His catechizing was unrivalled and his sermons heart stirring and practical. Valued intercessory prayer with the sick, and naming sick in church. Yet his Sunday afternoon services were not appreciated nor well attended. However could not rest until he had supplied all that was needed in the way of church accommodation, schools etc. Impressed by the need of female penitents, and threw himself earnestly into their cause. His heart was as tender as a woman’s. Visiting of sick was a priority and on one occasion at Tidenham he visited three times a day.

On arrival at Tidenham he found a careful observance of the rubrics established and some neglected portions of the Church’s services revived. Daily prayers, weekly communion, on all festivals too, offertory collected from the whole congregation, catechizing in the afternoon service, – all introduced by his predecessor, but dissatisfaction and opposition was strong when he arrived. However he surrendered n nothing and his gentle persuasion, earnestness and perseverance won the day, so that when he left he had won the sympathy of the greater part of the parishioners.

Seen as a High Churchman, but did not force his opinions on anyone. One parishioner said ‘They say our Vicar is a Puseyite. I don’t know much about that but if he is, I say it’s a pity there ain’t more of them.’

He stood out against the Goreham Judgement and rejected the demonstrations of bitterness and ignorance over the Papal Aggression issue (Hierarchy establishment). However he strongly supported and promoted the Church of England in the face of those who were considering going over to Rome and challenged the Church of Rome’s doctrine that the C. of E. was not a Church and decried the excessive devotion given to the Virgin Mary. He displayed in writing his calm and earnest confidence in the truth and great destinies of the C. of E. brought about by the (Oxford Movement) in spite of the many goings over, and he still admitted to her many failings, but still saw hope in the growth of Church schools, colleges, missions, pastoral offices, care for the poor, the sick, the penitent. His Spirit is at work among us. The English church must correct what is erroneous and faulty; the Romish Church must reform – and that reforming element may come from England. Think of the saints Hooker, Herbert, Andrewes, Taylor, Ken, Cosin and a long list of others who have fallen asleep under the shelter of its vine (C. of E.)

Gave lots of considered advice to potential Romish converts which suggests that he was used as a counsellor and adviser to potential converts and families from which they came – and that here was a strong RC influence in the area.

Back in Tidenham, encouraged curates in social work, building a schoolroom on lone of the cottages he owned for the use of the poor. He raised funds for building Tutshill chapel, but left just after its consecration.

During Lent recognised the impossibility of his flock fasting, so suggested additional devotion and Bible reading instead and suggested Cosin’s Devotions and Ken’s Manual.

Schoolroom with Latin cross on gable end, provided worship outlet for the poor who were too embarrassed to attend in non- working dress. This did not draw away from the parish church but prepared them for full participation there. Many were confirmed and became communicants.

Towards end of his time at Tidenham , much time taken up with Tracts and Sermons and by these he was able to do more for the parish than he could have done by his own unaided labours. The money raised by the tracts enabled him to keep his curates and devote more of his own energies to the penitentiary movement. When called away on penitentiary business his letters still show his concern for the poor at home.


Canon GEORGE MADAN (‘Photo in St James the Great, Dursley, A Living History’ booklet.) 5th son of Dr Madan of Lichfield. George’s son became Science Master at Eton and second son James Russell became Principal of Warminster Mission House and then ‘Poped’

In 1842 set about drastic rebuilding-chancel, north aisle, south porch.

Cam: Bristol Mercury 20 Nov 1852

Address from the inhabitants of Cam on departure of:

Given an Address and an excellent silver ink stand, weighing 63 ozs

Vicar of Cam and Hon Canon of Glos Cath. In memory of the unwearied pains with which you have laboured among us, and with great sacrifices made on our behalf, your flock for the past 14 years. Cam. Feast of All Saints 1852.

In 1865 Rev Canon George Madan MA became the first Rector of Dursley since 1475, who was not Archdeacon of Gloucester. He was therefore able to devote all his energies to the parish. Came to Dursley 1865 aged 58. Wife and 7 children. Built new Rectory to house them all. In 1866 the architect reported on the serious state of repair of the church and the whole building was dark, damp and unhealthy. Ramshackle pews gave untidy, unloved appearance. Repairs cost £5000 of which rector gave one fifth out of his own pocket. Clerestory added, old chancel replaced, Rector’s vestry added, font moved to near door. Gallery removed, nave roof raised. Very knowledgeable about architecture and buildings. Canon Madan was a much loved figure, a saintly, hardworking parish priest inspired by the Oxford Movement.

In mid 19th century he was Vicar of St George’s Cam, where in 1842 he set about drastic rebuilding. Responsible for building St Bartholomew’s, and then was appointed to St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. He received opposition to his modernising the services, so returned to Dursley area where he achieved a great deal in his 21 years as Rector. He died 4 years after retirement, in 1891 and was brought from Glos to Dursley for funeral, and is buried, 3rd July, in churchyard of St Mark’s, Woodmancote, Dursley. in an unmarked grave. Madan coat of arms on oak screen at entrance to tower and smaller decorated window in north aisle is in his memory .East window added July 1880. See Dursley Parish Mag July 1891.

For more information about his son, the Reverend James Russell Madan see:

St MARK’S WOODMANCOTE, Dursley: Rev Madan, was on the planning/building committee in 1842, with Sir George Prevost, while Madan was Vicar of Cam.

Nov 27 1866 – allegation that a picture of Christ on the Cross had been given to an old woman by one of the clergy.

Placard signed George Madan, Rector of Dursley, denying the above accusation. December 1866

Picture worship and Mongrel Popery Dec 1866

Placard repeating accusation of Nov 27th urging inhabitants to petition Parliament against Ritualism, dated Dec 5th 1866.

Letter to Inhabitants of Dursley 28th Jan 1867 on Picture worship, by Rev G Madan.

1868 – 16th April, re-consecration of Parish Church Dursley.

Letter from Madan to Members of Parish dated Mar 20th 1868 re making seats in church free.

All Saints Day 1875 Re lights on altar by Geo Madan, Rector. Also letter dated 7th March 1876 on same subject.

1885- Letter to inhabitants of Dursley.

1888 description of new reredos Nov 22nd

Infants School (demolished 1981 but new Rectory built on site and includes memorial plaque) dedicated to his memory; Foundation stone laid by proxy through illness, for Sir Geo Prevost.

Succeeded by his nephew Rev Gresley.

Nov 1890 – window in Cam dedicated to Madan’s memory.

Rev James Russell MADAN MA, son of Rev George Madan: was born in Cam, now Upper Cam, in October 1841 and was baptised there on 5th December. His father became Vicar of St Mary, Redcliffe in 1855 and two years later, James went up to Oxford – Queen’s. He took Deacon’s Orders in 1865 and was ordained Priest in 1866 and became his father’s second curate in Dursley. In 1867 he accepted the Principalship of Warminster Mission House of St Boniface, founded 1860 by the vicar of Warminster, Rev Sir James Erasmus Philipps, Bart.

At this time 1867, Warminster was under the deep influence of the Anglo-Catholic Vicar of Frome, the Rev W.J.E. Bennett (not of Kemerton)

James resigned his post in 1871 and was received into the RC Church at Clifton Pro-Cathedral and where he was priested in 1877 at Prior Park. However he still visited Dursley where his father was Vicar.

FRETHERNE: 1844 new Rector, Rev William Darell. Church an unsightly specimen of neglect and Darell set out to provide a place of worship adequate in size for the needs of the population and of such architectural merit as to be though small, yet a stately shrine. Style late decorated Gothic by Francis Niblett. Dedicated March 21.10.1847.

Lavish window tracery, buttresses, parapets, gables, Minton tiles throughout. Richly decorated ceiling. Organ artwork on outer case bears the character of the Oxford Movement inspired work of Sir John Sutton, and others of his rustic lineage.

In the Darell Chapel, the Madonna Statue by Sir Ed Tierney c 1851 was probably bought at the 1851 Exhibition.

BUSHLEY: near Tewkesbury, in County of Worcestershire but then in 1800s in Diocese of Gloucester. Present church built 1843 for Dr Edward Christopher Dowdeswell of Pull Court. Architect Edward Blore.

Consecrated 1843 in presence of Bishop of Worcester. Present Chancel by Scott; Chapel on South side 1909, and Vestry on north. Reredos 1902.

Sept 1870 Rev E R Dowdeswell licensed as Curate in Charge and in 1880 succeeded as Incumbent the Rev C Allen, thus serving the parish for 28 years. U,C,+ e,m,v,l

His successor , licensed as perpetual curate was rev R D Russell Cowan who for the past 7 years has been warden of the Sisters of St Lucy, Gloucester which appointment he continues to hold. In September Harvest Festival was a Holy Eucharist – Choral at 8 am when the preacher was the Rev J. Empry, Chaplain at St Lucy’s.

St MARK, GLOUCESTER; Consecrated 1848. First Vicar – Rev John James Barlow for 21 years until 1868.

Rev Nathaniel Cornford Vicar of Horsley with Chavenage and Shortwood, Stroud appointed to St Marks’ 1874 – 1875 when he left to become Vicar of St Nathaniel, Bristolthen in Gloucester & Bristol Diocese. He returned for the Jubilee of Consecration 1897, and he preached in the Octave.

1869 – church opened daily for private prayer. Poorest Parish in city.

Restoration and improvements 1888- Canon Madan present.

Shortly after Rev Lyne came to St Mark’s from Cheltenham, Canon Gardner, Vicar of all Saints, paid for the painting of the stone foliage below the east window and the stencilling of the walls and a handsome velvet dorsal, given by Miss Whately of Cheltenham was placed over the altar.

Church to designs of Francis Niblett who donated the font.

Rood dedicated Ascension Day 1921: Erected in memory of Canon Leonard Augustus Lyne, ( e,m,l.) designed by Coates Carter, and carved in English oak by Boultons. Figures coloured by London craftsman.

“Pray for the soul of Leonard Augustus Lyne, Priest, Hon Canon of Gloucester, Vicar of this Parish 1900-1919. Born Feb 1860, Died Dec 18, 1919, in whose memory this rood is erected. 550 members subscribed to the memorial.

He had been Curate of All Saints prior to St Mark’s. His successor was Canon Ridsdale and his successor 1921-1932 was Rev Herbert Finzel Hayward, Vicar of Bussage.


Rev Spencer John SPENCER-JONES: born 1856/7 in Croydon. Married with one son.1887 Rector of Batsford with Moreton in Marsh was Rev Spencer Jones. U,e,m,l. He stayed for 45 years until 1932. Anglo Catholic referred to as Fr Jones. Author of the Clergy and Catechism (1895); England and the Holy See (1904) Our Lord and His Lessons (1907).

{Promoter of Unity twixt Holy See and Canterbury-. Led week of prayer with Fr T Wattson, Rector of St John‘s, Kingston, New York. Preached on this at St Matthew’s Westminster in 1900

1900 – printed by Longmans

1907 addressed Meeting of RC Guild of Our Lady of Ransom at Caxton Hall Westminster.

1908 Church Unity week begun by Jones with Rev Lewis T Wattson, Rector of St John’s Episcopal Church, NY. (Download internet photo)

Put Rood Screen in Moreton. Eucharist every day, followed by School Assembly. Three Services on a Sunday.

Religious Communities

GUITING POWER: February 1898 an Order of Anglican Benedictine Monks, originally approved by Archbishop William Temple, was established in the empty Vicarage, by the Rev J E W Green. They started a small brick making industry, digging out blues clay from what is now the Nature Reserve. For a few months bricks were made on Glebe Land but the Church Commissioners objected and work ceased. They attempted to introduce High Church teaching and ritual into services.

Cheltenham Free Press 2 July 1898: A meeting took place on the Village Green when the National Protestant League Mission roused villagers to noisy opposition at presence of monks); rotten eggs were thrown at the monks and they soon afterwards left the village and after many moves and fifteen years on Caldey island as Anglican Monks under Aelred Carlyle, they joined the RC Church and eventually made their home at Prinknash. (Later to become the Monks of Prinknash Abbey).

BUSSAGE HOUSE OF MERCY; (Jones: Isaac Williams pp118, 122 & GRO P190/M1 2 June 1874) Aim of Institution to provide for 25 inmates who were trying to reform their ways. Many, especially prostitutes came and went regularly.

The first members of the Community were not professed and the first mention of a Lady Superior was in 1868. Collections were taken in Stinchcombe Parish Church in support of this cause.

House of Mercy began 1851 as Home of Refuge;

The Diocesan Almanack 1859 states: This refuge for fallen women anxious to abandon their course of life, was instituted in 1851 by the exertions of the late Bishop of Grahamstown, Dr Armstrong. There is a stipend of £40 pa for the Chaplain. Subject to his control and supervision in spiritual matters, the internal management is in the hands of a lady superintendent, whose aid and that of her assistants is gratuitous. The Treasurer was Rev Erskine Knollys, Quedgeley Rectory.

1868 – Lady Superior in charge.

1900 run by Wantage Community: One of the residents of Bussage, Pam Clissold, remembers the sisters bringing girls to Bussage Church every Sunday morning, wearing raincoats and berets and little black lace up shoes. They walked down the road silently and so into church. They sat in the side aisle

1947 run by Society of the Incarnation, a Birmingham based Community; 1959 RC took over.

Clewer and Wantage had been founded in 1849/50. In 1850 a chance meeting with Rev Robert Suckling in the house of a curate of the Vicar of Tidenham, Rev John Armstrong, gave impetus to Bussage. Armstrong is credited with the institution of the House of Mercy and a fund was started for a Chaplain. In 1859+ Bishop Ellicott was the Patron and there was a 30 member council and three trustees – two lay and Rev T Murray Brown.

Grace Anne Poole, daughter of a wealthy Herefordshire clergyman, lived in Brownshill House and did lots of charitable work with Rev. Suckling. Her personal resources enabled her to support the little foundation assisted by a niece who was one of the first of the Sisterhood – Caroline Hopton. (Related to Hoptons of Kemerton??) Suckling was very supportive but his death came as a hard blow to Mrs Poole but she and Armstrong held the project together. A chapel had been planned in Suckling’s time and when completed in 1854 it became a memorial to him. Mrs Poole gave Armstrong a set of Bishop’s robes when he was appointed Bishop of Grahamstown, where he died in 1856.

Mrs Poole carried on, helped by Thomas Keble, junior, and there were lots of ‘candidates’, coming from London even. Between 1851 and 1854, 47 passed through the doors, 11 returned to prostitution, 3 married, 9 got work and 24 did not keep in touch.

The Sisterhood grew little and became a personal institution focused on Mrs Poole’s leadership and provision. In the 1871 Census, Mrs Poole, Head, aged 63; 3 Sisters of whom one was her niece Caroline Hopton and one Anne, Suckling’s daughter and there were 4 staff, 23 inmates aged 17-42.

When Grace Poole resigned in 1898 and died early 1900, the surviving Sisters closed the Home and the inmates dispersed. The House was handed over to the Wantage Sisters and renamed St Michael’s Home for Girls 14-18, where they received domestic training, and also for orphans. There was strict discipline and hard work, but everyone seemed happy.

1947 the Wantage Sisters began to relinquish their work and the House became the home of the RC Servants of the Paraclete for RC clergy and other males. The Home was then renamed Our Lady of Victory.

Inside there is a plaque to Grace, Armstrong and Suckling. The old House of Mercy Motto is on the wall near the entrance: Caritas Christi urget nos. The current chapel has been extended south and the windows in the new sanctuary are those to Suckling.

(Quote by Prof Asa Briggs: It was the spiritual force unleashed by Keble which ensured the survival of the C. of E.)


EASTCOMBE In 1873 an Anglican lady built St Elizabeth’s and brought to Eastcombe, some orphan children but her ‘orphanage’ lasted only to 1884 when the house, St Elizabeth’s, was handed over to Emily Ayckbown’s Anglican Sisters of the Church (The Kilburn Sisters). The house had extensive grounds.

The nuns, often daughters from wealthy homes, ran bun schools, Sunday schools, where children were fed as well as taught and took over or founded Church Schools, set up soup kitchens and rescued orphans. They used St Elizabeth’s for some of their worst cases of sickness and malnutrition.

By the early 20th century St Elizabeth’s had become a holiday home for undernourished children from Birmingham. On arrival, the nuns re-dressed the children and burnt their own clothes. From 1913 it became a long stay children’s home and girls stayed until they went elsewhere for vocational training. Theirs was almost a monastic life of discipline, feast days and celebrations. Repetitive menu, went to school in village but missed first hour to do RE at the Home. Thomas Keble and other Tractarians gave Religious Instruction on Anglican belief, the Sacraments and the priesthood, all on Tractarian lines. At Christmas they received a hamper from the Kilburn Home HQ in London.

On Good Friday the girls picked primroses to send to nuns in London, but violets were sent to the Mother Superior.

On their birthday, girls had breakfast alone with the Superior, Sister Francis.

Nuns strict but cared well for the girls. Ran Home on a shoe string, begged for money and ran open baby welfare class for villagers on Wednesdays and provided extra food for needy villagers.

One child commented ‘We have very nice services with hymns in the Sisters’ Chapel.’

The Orphanage closed down in WWI I- only 14 girls and three nuns remained and it was no longer viable.

The National School designed by W H Lowder, Keble’s curate and a former architect, is now the church dedicated to St Augustine and served by Bussage. Lowder also designed the schoolmaster’s house, now Church House.

WESTCOTE. 1867 John Wickliffe Pantin, was Rector and brought to the village of Westcote the influence of the Oxford Movement and its practices until the end of the century, when it relapsed for a few years until Fr John Thomas was appointed in 1905.

In the 1996 booklet on the church, it says that the tradition of the church for a number of years IS Anglo-Catholic.

Between 1905 and 1946 the Rector was Fr John Arthur Thomas. He welcomed to the village Brother (Priest) Edward Bulstrode. He in turn welcomed Miss Geraldine Mott who became Mother Geraldine, Foundress of the Community of Jesus of Nazareth.

Fr Thomas was of a Welsh Weslyan background but gradually moved towards Anglicanism of the High Church tradition. He was a true Laudian High Anglican. He was Curate at Minchinhampton 1903-1905 and then moved to Westcote. He married Phyllis May Lawrence whom he had met at Minchinhampton. She had been brought up Anglo-Catholic and the RC style worship and devotion influenced her greatly. They lived at Westcote for 40 years within a community of Methodist and Anglican spirituality, the latter being BCP based. In the Rectory drawing room however, there was a photograph of the Pope and of Cardinal Newman.

In 1910, members of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, sponsored an Ordination Training Course and used Westcote and Fr Thomas as resources.

1912 Brother Edward Bulstrode gave up his living in the East end of London and joined the Cowley Fathers – SSJE – but he could not accept the vow of Obedience. Edward was ‘catholic’ but not a ritualist. By the 1920s he had met and been welcomed into Fr Thomas’ household.

In 1917 a petition was signed by 45 locals and sent to Bishop Gibson against Fr Thomas’ Popish practises . An enquiry was held and the Rector was instructed to make changes in the use of the Rosary, holy water, confessional and in the timing of Matins and Holy Communion. (Diocesan Archives V6/105). But Fr Thomas was still attracting those who possessed similar beliefs.

In 1927 Edward was anxious to set up a training centre for young preachers. He had met Miss Mott who had worked with the Bishop of Oxford’s Bishops’ Messengers and in 1922-1923 he had asked Miss Mott to set up a parallel centre with Edward – men and women in training as young preachers. Miss Mott bought a property and some land.

Fr Thomas was willing to support and teach but Westcote never became the envisaged centre for Evangelism as far as men were concerned, but Miss Mott succeeded in attracting an adequate number of women as missionaries and her centre was next to St Agnes Cottage. In 1927, the Community of the Little Sisters of St Agnes was born.

Fr Thomas had suggested a cottage where Fr Edward might develop his venture – St Agnes Cottage on adjacent land where a convent and chapel were eventually built for men, Nazareth. The men’s community struggled for 3 years and there were never more than a handful present.

Also present in 1927, with Miss Mott (Mother Geraldine) were some Handmaids of Jesus of Nazareth who had been formerly Little Sisters of St Agnes and others were the former Oxford Evangelists and others some discoveries of Brother Edward, but all under the care and supervised by Mother Geraldine . The cottage, St Agnes, was full to overflowing and a year later new building began and St Agnes became a Guest house.

Up to 1933 joint mission work continued consisting of nuns and Br Edward’s Brother Donald and a few others. In 1932 Brother Donald left and joined the Cowley Fathers.

Bethlehem (the women’s community) continued to grow – residents, associates, friends. The joint community had been abandoned.

When the new buildings were completed, Mother Geraldine and her followers took vows of religious life to The Community of Jesus of Nazareth and Fr O’Brien of SSJE was appointed first warden.

High Anglicanism was not popular in Gloucestershire and Mother Geraldine had to go to Bishop Headlam of Almearton to receive her vows and bless her as first Mother Superior.

The Cowley Fathers took over the Nazareth House and renamed it St John ‘s Cottage.

The Anglican nuns lived on faith and trust – no dowry, no income. Life consisted of prayer, work, mission and spiritual renewal. Canonical hours were observed.

1935, 10 nuns were professed. Life was Spartan. Worshipped in parish Church amongst a congregation of 50+

Own Chapel built in 1950s. Mission work was to provide help for priests in their parishes who applied for help. Pentonville, Poplar, Peckham, Acton, Knightsbridge, Birmingham, Plymouth, Grimsby, Hull, Tewkesbury Abbey, & Scotland. Much in evidence during WWII. Helped with children in camp at Little Rissington, and ran Sunday schools. Nursed sick at Westcote, especially terminally ill.

1946 About 18 Sisters and 7 waiting to take vows. Last vows taken 1962. Ran huge retreats at Westcote, and retreatants lodged in village homes.

1955 Mother Geraldine gave up through ill health and was succeeded by her Deputy Mother Theodore – had come from West Malling and was professed 1950 and returned to Malling in 1968.

Routine: Daily Offices 5.30 rise; Matins Lauds 6.30; noon, Angelus; 9pm Compline & bed.


Fr Thomas retired 1946 and succeeded by a non Anglo-Catholic. Sisters barred from church and all Anglo Catholic statues, water stoup, candles etc removed. They therefore built their own chapel consecrated 1951 by Bishop Kirk of Oxford.

1960 Mother Geraldine moved to Crossways in Dorset on health grounds. Chapel still there where Mother Geraldine died.

1960-69 Community not expanding but maintenance high. Contact had been made with Sisters of Charity at Knowle, Bristol which had a similar vocation.

1966 Negotiations took place and Sisters of Nazareth became integral part of Knowle Community although move was not completed until 1971. 14 Westcote Sisters present and five away in parishes at the time.

Chapel now a home and six houses comprise the former Convent – St Agnes, St Justin, Nazareth etc.

(Obit of Mother Geraldine Chipping Norton Deanery Magazine June 1976)

Peter Anson re above:

Community established 1926 with blessing of Bishop Gore.

Westcote Novices trained with Sisters in branch houses. Returned to Mother House for retreats.

Novitiate 2years; Temp vows 2 years, then final vows.

1964: Branch houses at St Paul’s Knightsbridge, Sunderland, Hull, St Augustine, Tonge Moor.

Visitor Bishop of Gloucester, and Warden is member of SSJE.

Brother Edward by Kenneth Packer 1955:

Invited to Westcote by friend of Fr Thomas. New house in village ;provided realisation of dream home for training his Evangelists- a sort of blend between Salvation Army and a religious Community.

Geraldine Mott was one of his Servants and Handmaids of Jesus of Nazareth and an Oxford diocesan Messenger, had bought the cottage and a smaller one behind the church. The first was named St Agnes and later Bethlehem. The men’s cottage was named Nazareth.

The joint life revolved around parish church and from this Westcote began.

Nazareth continued for 3 years – only a handful of men.

The Women’s home, Bethlehem developed into a conventional convent and lost connection with Edward’s vision.

Edward often away, left male side of the community to Br Donald aged only 22. Edward wrote frequently but by Christmas 1928 only 3 men remained at Nazareth including Brother Patrick. Donald had joined SSJE.

See GRO: Diocesan Archives: V6/105; 1899 Petition against Roman Practices, 0 2/6;


(1953)Among the many friends of St Mark’s Gloucester during its first 100 years have been two Religious Communities: St John the Baptist and Nursing Community of St John the Divine. The former – the Clewer Sisters had charge of St Lucy’s Home in Hare Lane and of the children’s hospital, Longford.

In 1932 St Lucy’s came to an end and in 1938 the Community resigned the charge of the hospital. All the time the sisters were in Gloucester they had close association with St Mark’s and one of them was allocated to the Parish as Parish Sister. For many years the sister superior was Sister Annie Constance. The departure of the Sisters was a grievous loss to the church life in the city and a matter of deep regret to their friends.

On their departure in 1938 the Council of St Lucy’s invited the nursing Community of St John the Divine, to take charge. They too associated themselves with St Marks. Unfortunately ’in January 1947 the Children’s Hospital is to cease its activities as a Church Foundation and the sisters will withdraw much to the regret of everyone. The two communities have travelled with us throughout the first 100 years of our life.’

St Lucy’s Home Gloucester closed at the end of 1933 and a public appeal was launched to provide a suitable tribute to perpetuate her name in the city and county. For herself, Sister Annie wishes for nothing but we know that she would appreciate a token of affection from those among whom her life has been spent. She is to find retirement at Littlemore near Oxford, the younger sister being recalled to the Mother house for more urgent work. Patients from the invalid ward to be dispersed to Harrogate, Bristol, Surrey etc.

It was therefore suggested that a Cot in the Children’s Hospital, fully furnished and named the Sister Annie Constance Cot, be provided as a memorial to her work, and this she would dearly prize. Contributions were to be sent to Dowager Lady Guise, Elmore Court or Mrs Pearce Ellis, Longford House.

In 1849 Rev J Armstrong, Vicar of and later Bishop of Grahamstown, published a letter calling for the establishment of a Church Penitentiary staffed by well to do ladies and Anglican Sisters of Mercy. There was a positive and encouraging response especially among supporters of the Oxford Movement and soon many such organisations were established – one or two in Gloucestershire known as Houses of Mercy. Most were founded and run by Religious Communities of which a number had been founded by the 1850s. Those that immediately come to mind in Gloucestershire are the House of Mercy at Bussage, founded 1851, and St Lucy’s Home at Gloucester, founded by Thomas Gambier Parry of Highnam in 1866. The Clewer Sisters also ran a preventative home at Hempstead, Newark house, from 1883-1920 and then continued their work at St Lucy’s until 1934. There was also a Training School for girls at Stonehouse at the beginning of the 20th century.

At St Lucy’s in 1867 Bishop Ellicott was Visitor and on Council were Prevost, Barlow of St Mark’s Gloucester, Madan, two Canons of the Cathedral and nine other diocesan clergy.

In 1875s Rev Sir George Prevost was Visitor, and Rev Madan of Dursley on Board of Management.

1867: St Lucy’s Home of Charity: Sisterhood of ladies devoted to service of God in works of charity and disciplined in the principles of the church. Government vested in the Visitor, council, warden, a sister superior, a chapter of the sisterhood, treasurer and trustees.

Aim to train well-disposed young women as nurses for rich and poor and from 1867 to branch out as a Hospital for Children and as a training ground for the education and training of nurses.

1869: Constitution of this community is very similar to that of the principal sisterhoods in the Anglican Church. New members urgently needed – three grades Full sister, Associate sister and external associates.

Aim: Tend the sick, comfort the dying, teach the ignorant, to minister peace to those in trouble.

Free Hospital for Children, Kingsholm. Visitor Bishop of Gloucester Board of Management – Prevost and two Canons of Glos, Madan, Maddy of Down Hatherley, Mansfield of Highnam.

Free hospital depending on charity support. Poverty of parents and suffering of the child the only title to admission.

1875: appeal for funds – possible need to close one ward.

St Lucy’s Home was founded by Thomas Gambier Parry of Highnam, for women of the C. of E. wishing to devote themselves as sisters or nurses, to the service of God in works of charity. The Home was established 13th December 1864 and by 1866 Parry had secured a house and land at Kingsholm on the outskirts of Gloucester. He then decided to build a children’s free hospital for necessitous children connected to the home and this was completed in August 1867. A 150 feet Cloister connected the home and hospital. The chaplain was Rev JJ Barlow, incumbent of St Mark’s, who preached his farewell sermon 30th August 1868. As well as providing care in the Hospital, the sister superior and sisters were available for charitable work in any parish, the sick visited and the dying attended and comforted. Parishes thrown open to them, girls were prepared for Baptism or confirmation. Before 1870 a house had been taken in Bell Lane where older girls were given classes in religious instruction, sewing and also a night school operated. Out patients were also treated here by the staff from the Hospital. However due to lack of ‘vocations’ the St Lucy’s Sisterhood came to an end and in 1872 the St Lucy’s Home of Charity was ‘adopted’ by the Community of St John the Baptist at Clewer, near Windsor, under the control of a sister Superior- for many years, Sister Annie Constance.

In 1873 a house in Hare Lane was purchased and became the ‘Orphanage’ for destitute girls and they moved in in 1876, but by 1880 its name had been changed to St Lucy’s Home of Charity College Gardens. This Girls’ Orphanage and Industrial Home continued to provide a home for children of poor parents, abandoned orphans or those exposed to evil influence and trained them for Service. When suitable positions were found, they were given a suit of clothing. In 1927 there were 34 on roll.

In 1870 Rev T Humphris Clark is named as chaplain of St Lucy’s Home and the Hospital. In 1892 Rev RD Russell Cowan succeeded as warden. He accepted the living of Bushley near Tewkesbury in 1898 – U,C,+,e,m,v,l – but retained the wardenship, the chaplaincy then being provided by Rev James Embry – +. In 1906 he also became Warden.

The Home in Hare Lane had a lovely little private chapel which was an oasis of spirituality and attracted the Anglo-Catholics of Gloucester. No other church in the beginning of the 20th century provided a Sunday Sung Mass accompanied by all the adjuncts of catholic worship- full mass vestments in correct liturgical colours, biretta, tabernacle, crucifix, incense, and a big six, wafer breads. . Incense was used to cense the altar, the Book of the Gospels, the priest and people and the elements at the Offertory. A sanctuary bell was rung at the elevation, the Sanctus at the same time as the Chapel outside bell. There were normally two server attendants for the priest, plus thurifer, boat boy, and crucifer all in cassocks of the colour of the season, and lace edged cottas.

Preparation took place at the steps to the altar, the Canon was from the Latin rite and the Last gospel was said. The Altar Hymnal, later the English Hymnal from 1906, was used for the sung responses. The chapel was the first place in Gloucester to use the English Hymnal.

Christmas Eve was always a Midnight sung Mass, and there was at the appropriate time, Vespers of the Dead and Sung Requiem Mass.

Sunday evenings and the eve of the great feasts, there was Solemn Vespers, priest vested in cope and biretta .

Choir composed of 34 girls living in the Home,

In Fr Embry’s day, Sunday Sung Mass was transferred from early morning to 10.30 am preceded by the singing of the Asperges and sprinkling. One or two local clergy availed themselves of the opportunity to celebrate in the chapel on weekdays among them being Rev W T Alston – U, e,m,v,l, curate of St Paul’s and Minor Canon J Richards, curate of St Mary de Lode.

The Gloucester Branch of the CBS was based at St Lucy’s Home and sang a monthly Vespers of the Blessed Sacrament. Outside membership was small and confined to those practising confession. There was also a Branch of the Guild of all Souls and a bi-annual Corpus Christi Sung Mass and afternoon Vespers.

At a date unknown, a chapel was created as the Blessed Sacrament chapel for the Reserved Sacramen , in the space previously occupied by the organ which was re-placed elsewhere. A screen separated this chapel from the side chapel, and incorporated a sedilia. The screen was designed by a Gloucester architect F C Ravenhill and carved by A P Frith of Barton Street. This screen as well as the altar and the reredos over the chapel altar were later transferred to St Mark’s Gloucester. Benediction was given from the High Altar on special occasions – a ciborium not a monstrance being used, and a Humeral Veil was used, donated by the congregation.

Fr Embry resigned 1918 and in Jan 1919 Fr H Connop Jones succeeded him. He remained until after the closing of the Home.

During the last 12 years of the chapel’s existence, the full Catholic Liturgy was followed according to the Latin Rite, with blessing of the crib, Palm Sunday procession , ashing, singing of Tenebrae in Holy Week, Candlemass procession and distribution, Maundy Thursday procession to altar of repose, stripping of altars and Mass of the pre -Sanctified on Good Friday and veneration of the cross. lighting of new fire and Easter candle, the Exultet, sung Requiems and absolution on All Souls and Procession and Litany of the Saints on Rogation – singing was usually plainchant.

For well over half a century St Lucy’s Home played an important part in the promotion of Anglo- Catholicism., and hundreds of girls received sound catholic teaching.

St Lucy’s Children’s Hospital was founded 1866 by Thomas Gambier Parry in memory of his daughter Lucy. In 1872 it was placed under the care of the CSJB Clewer. This hospital stood in a garden of its own about a mile from Gloucester open to poor children from all parts of England and entirely free. Girls admitted up to 16, boys to 12. There was a little chapel designed by Mr Parry at his own expense and a small mortuary chapel. The Holy Eucharist celebrated daily.


Originally part of a Community of St Peter, Horbury, was founded in 1858 by Canon J Sharp of Horbury, near Wakefield, and Mrs Sydney Lear, both disciples of Dr Pusey, John Keble and the Tractarian leaders. The Sisterhood was to work for the reclamation of the fallen through the Penitentiary. The first Superior was Frances Ellen White, but she did not take vows, so in reality the first Superior proper was her successor , Mother Louisa in 1878. In 1864, a small hospital for the aged was opened, financed by John Keble. In 1932 the Community split into two independent families. The larger one moved first of all to 56, Eccleston Square, London and was named the Community of St Peter the Apostle. Then in 1937 it purchased Laleham House near Staines in Middlesex The word Westminster was added in 1934 to commemorate the link between the original Laleham House and the monks from Westminster who had once lived there. The Laleham Community split in 1980, and 14 fairly elderly sisters moved to Glenfall Hous , Cheltenham, and became the Benedictine Community of St Peter the Apostle, Westminster. The sisters had daily Mass celebrated by local clergy, but they worshipped on Sundays at All Saints, Pitville, Cheltenham, the nearest church in their tradition. Their Chapel, converted from the former ballroom of the private house, was an exact replica of that at Laleham. On Wednesdays, members of local churches were always welcome at Compline and to all the major Festivals. A long, catholic tradition were the Corpus Christi Processions which were a much loved feature of the Calendar. The Sisters worked as much as they could in the local community and conducted Quiet day retreats. Gradually numbers dwindled and in 1991 the House was made over to the Diocese for the sum of £1 and in 1992 became the Diocesan Retreat and Conference Centre. The Sisters also ran St George’s Training School for Girls at Stonehouse during the second world war, having moved from the insecurity of their school in central London. In 1964 the school was taken over by the Department of Education but the Community still owned the property and ran it on similar lines but not as a school. It eventually moved to Well Close, Lansdown Parade, Cheltenham.

On the last day of residence the 4 remaining sisters got up, had breakfast, did the washing up, made their beds and each left with an attaché case and nothing else. They joined the Community of St Margaret in Edgeware, Middlesex and one transferred to the Walsingham House. (Sister Bertha)

Many of their furnishings and artefacts found a new home in local and neighbouring churches and vicarages.

In 2011, Sister Bertha is still at Walsingham, the last remaining member of the Community.

BROWNSHILL: (Fendley article)

Two former WWI members of First Aid Nursing Yeomanry decided to devote their lives to the relief of mental suffering- Miss Bertha Kessler- of Austrian extraction and very anti religion and Miss Katherine Hudson, devout Christian. They were offered a cottage at Gloucester and after only a short time, they acquired a late Victorian House in 1927 – Tanglewood (which they renamed Templewood) in Brownshill. The House was near the Anglican Chapel which they could attend daily.

Devoted 7 years to patients who came one at a time, to live with them. By 1934 they lived almost as a community of prayer, and religious discipline.

They came into contact with Fr Vincent McNabb OP of Woodchester and in December 1934, they were received into the Catholic Church. In 1935, one of their residents, Sister Katherine Pinchard of the Anglican Community in Wantage became a member of the Brownshill Community and her vision resulted in what was to become the Church of St Mary of the Angels in the early 1930s. They also built St Raphael’s to provide accommodation for a priest in one of its wings. The Templewood Home of Rest (or the Brownshill Health Colony) was formed and the operation expanded. In 1936 men, mainly priests, as well as women began to be admitted. Patients lived in small Gropius within the community and their daily life ran along a simple religious routine. In 1946 a plane crashed into Templewood and it was completely destroyed and the work with men was then scaled down dramatically. In 1959, an American Order, Servants of The Paraclete came to Firwood House in Brownshill to support priests in need of psychiatric care. They later moved to St Michael’s Home, refurbished the old laundry and renamed it Our Lady of Victories. A memorial plaque hangs in the entrance Hall to Grace Poole and Rev Suckling.


In 1912, there was established at Stroud an Anglican Religious Order – the Brothers of the Common Life. This was founded by Charles Henry Sharpe.

Sharpe was born at Longhope, Glos, about 1859, ordained deacon in 1884 and priest 1885. He served his Title on Isle of Wight, and moved in 1887 to St Mary’s, Southampton where he remained until 1890.

Sharpe had always had a yearning for the religious life from childhood but was not sure which route it would take. In his early ministry on the Isle of Wight as a result of what he termed a conversion experience as a Deacon, he realised that he had a wonderful gift of extempore speech and this developed in him a desire to work as an Evangelist in the Mission Field. In this sphere he came into contact with people who subscribed to traditions within the church which were not part of his experience so far. One evening he began reading the biography of Pere Lacordaire who had re-established the Dominican province in France in 1840, just before Sharpe was born. Sharpe was so inspired by Lacordaire’s work and by the High Church acquaintances into which he had been introduced, that he began attending courses run by well-known catholics of the time – Fr Stanton of St Alban’s, Father Body and Fr Ignatius of Llanthony. He was soon being attracted towards the catholic movement within the Anglican Church, with evangelism through the sacraments.

In 1887 Sharpe spent some time at Llanthony with Fr Ignatius and for the first time wore Eucharistic Vestments and celebrated Cranmer’s version of the Mass. On his return to Southampton, he turned his room into an oratory and observed the monastic Hours and renounced property and marriage.

During a period as Acting Chaplain to the Forces Sharpe came into contact with the Cowley Fathers at Oxford and Aelred Carlyle, founder of the Caldey Community which eventually became the Prinknash Community. In 1894 Sharpe became one of four assistant Missioners at the Mission College in Gloucester, a position with which he is still credited in 1913 a year after he had started the More Hall Community of the Evangelist Brothers of the Common Life.

From an Appeals brochure c1968, issued by the RC Benedictine Sisters of Our Lady of Grace and Compassion then at More Hall, we learn that More Hall was occupied by Father Sharpe’s Community from 1912-1916. During that time a small chapel was added to the main building of 1582. It was Mrs Seddon wife of the former Vicar of Painswick, a former Miss Lee, of the Lee and Perrins Company, who restored the dilapidated house late 1800s – 1900 and left it to Fr Sharpe on her death in 1912

The More Hall Journal contains community letters in which Fr Sharpe began to outline for the reader the story of his early years in the church and the events which led to the founding of the More Hall Community. The Journal ceased publication in 1916 due to financial difficulties.

The Community had been established in 1912 but was never large in numbers nor very prosperous. Appeals frequently resulted in numerous gifts made by benefactors, some of whom were titled and influential High Church Anglicans. One letter sent in 1913 to a still Anglican, Caldey monk, who was a potential aspirant, suggests that Sharpe was still trying his vocation and gives details about the life at More Hall. ,

“We aim at the religious life, perhaps especially for laymen,3 months probationship before novitiate, 2 years novitiate before profession, life vows not before 30 although exceptions may be made for exceptional circumstances. We rise at 5 am and all the 7 hours are said through the day and Compline the last service is a 9 pm”.

Sharpe also made him aware about ‘call’ and about the emphasis on religious poverty, celibacy and obedience.

In that same year Sharpe wrote to the Abbot of Caldey, Aelred Carlyle, offering More Hall as a rallying point for the monks who had not gone over to Rome with the majority of the Community.

Sharpe travelled far and wide conducting Missions at Wotton–under–Edge, Swindon, London, to name but a few places and at home, the Hall was in constant use as a Retreat House for those seeking to escape the horrors of war in the industrial towns.

In 1913, Mgr Ronald Knox, then still an Anglican, stayed at More Hall on Retreat. He described it as a beautiful country house, the centre of a religious community and a wonderful place for use during the last three weeks of August. “I lived in complete solitude apart from the presence of a lay brother who looked after all my wants. I had a chapel where I could celebrate daily with the Blessed Sacrament reserved.”

The folding up of the Brotherhood took place in 1916 – possibly the conversion of the Caldey community in 1913 had some influence. Two of Sharpe’s brothers joined Caldey – Joseph Woodford and Maurus Gater, both later becoming Catholics.

Little is known about names of members – only a brother Hampton in 1912 and one oblate a former chorister of the Cathedral the second, and an Ernest V Alderdice. He sent letter to Caldey asking that any not converting might come to More Hall. But Carlyle did not respond specifically to this offer. Sharpe tried to get Lord Halifax to use his influence to persuade the remnant to come to More Hall but to no avail – the three ‘non converters’ took up residence at Pershore and eventually the community became Nashdom.

The Hall was used as a ‘pre-Major Festivals preparation centre’ and confessions appear to have been introduced in 1913.

All the above deals with Fr Sharpe’s Anglican days. He was however received into the RC Church in 1917 and thereafter worked tirelessly for the Catholic cause, although the latter years of his life were spent quietly in More Hall. He became a close friend of the abbot of Downside and of Bishop Burton of Clifton. The latter gave him minor orders after his conversion and allowed him to continue to be addressed as Father Sharpe. He continued to live at More Hall a semi recluse life, devoted to prayer and study. When the Caldey monks moved to Prinknash in 1928 he resumed his friendship with them – visited by Prior, Dom Benedict Steuart, and later Abbot, Dom Dyfrig Rushton, and his former brother, Dom Joseph Woodford. Shortly before he died, Fr Sharpe offered the Hall to the Prinknash Community but the offer was declined much to Sharpe’s disappointment.

Fr Sharpe died at a Convent Nursing Home in Clifton and was buried at Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol, after a Requiem at Clifton pro Cathedral and he left the Hall and furnishings to the Sisters of the Temple, a French Nursing order, and they took it over as a house for ladies of means who needed nursing care. The sisters of Grace and Compassion took over from the Temple Sisters in 1968 to look after the frail and elderly and are still there in 2011.

On 11th March 1932 the Stroud News and Advertiser published a lengthy notice of his death in which it stated that he continued his work as diocesan Missioner while at More Hall until 1912 and locally he was greatly beloved and the poor and needy have lost a generous benefactor and kindly friend. He was a strong leaning towards ritualism and sacerdotalism.

His will in the Times 11th May 1932 left gross £1,809 and net personality of £1,098. He left his furniture and residence to Rev Sister Superio of the Clifton convent of Nursing Sisters and a James II Brooch to the Bp of Clifton to be added to the other Stuart Collection belonging to the Diocese.

PRINKNASH ABBEY: The Prinknash Abbey estate was acquired in 1888 by Thomas Dyer Edwardes a staunch Anglo Catholic and Prinknash chapel became the focal point of such worship in the area, new design by Waller of Gloucester NOT Coates Carter.

Athelstan Riley was patron of the living at Cranham, in which parish Prinknash lay

Fr Dolling of Portsmouth slum fame, was a frequent visitor to Edwardes and dedicated a new altar and the apse in 1889.

Aelred Carlyle visited in 1910 and said Mass there.

Dyer Edwardes was born in 1847 and although High Church, he was never one of the Anglo-Catholic Romanising Group. He offered Prinknash to the Bishop of Gloucester in 1923 –

(Diocesan Mag May 1926 and January.) By end of 1924 Dyer Edwardes had become a RC and offered Prinknash to the newly converted Caldey Community.

The Rector of Cranham on 10th August 1925, wrote to the Bishop of Gloucester, A.C. Headlam,

“Dyer Edwardes’ steward called here today and brought some prayer books, and hymn books for use at Cranham, and said that I would have no further opportunity to celebrate HC in the Prinknash Chapel. (Fendley)

17.9.1910 The Anglican Abbot of Caldey went to Prinknash Park home of Thomas Dyer Edwardes and stayed until 20th. He said Mass at Prinknash on 18th, 19th, and 20th and visited Tewkesbury and Painswick. Why he went to Prinknash is not recorded but it is known that Dyer Edwardes had approached Bishop of Gloucester with a view of Prinknash becoming a Retreat or Rest Home for Anglican Clergy. Bishop declined offer. Carlyle returned to Caldey and the Community converted in 1913.

1924- Edwardes wrote to Prior of Caldey (Carlyle by now was in USA) offering Prinknash Park as a free gift. He said he no longer resided at Prinknash and was desirous of making over the Estate to a Benedictine RC Community,’ having myself recently converted.’

Dyer Edwardes and the Prior formed a close friendship. The former was elderly, wrapped himself up in a long thick coat, with astrakaan collar as he could not stand draughts. He was artistic, musical, intellectual- although this latter was not his strongest attribute. Bishop Burton of Clifton not keen on accepting Prinknash in his diocese but Rome was. Bishop of Gloucester not keen on chapel being used by RCs as it was consecrated for Anglican use by Anglicans, but ecclesiastical lawyers raised no objection so transfer went ahead.

The Community arrived 10.2.28 and next day news of Dyer’s death in Naples was received.

The gift (transfer) therefore was null and void and the estate passed to his grandson, Lord Leslie who could not inherit until aged 25 – still a year away. However Leslie wished to honour his grandfather’s wish and accepted the transfer and had Dyer Edwardes buried in front of the altar.

On 1.4.1928, Wilfrid Upson received Prinknash and the move began in October

The CHURCH CONGRESS 1928: held in Cheltenham and exhibitors included, ACS and the Anglo Catholic Congress. Church Union. Sat Sept 29th Solemn Eucharist at Prestbury- Fr Vernon SC, the greatest Mission preacher in the English Church at this time.

Tues 2nd Oct-Opening Day proper: Bishop Gore at All Saints.

Congress Sunday at St Stephen’s HC 7,8 ,and 10 am Sung Eucharist with Fr Vernon. And again at 11.15 Matins with Fr Vernon.

Daily HC during Congress.

Similar the following Sunday with Preacher from Oxford Mission to Calcutta.

All Saints similar but Congress Sunday, at 11 am Sung Eucharist Archbishop of Thyateira.

Prestbury am: Primus of Scotland and in after noon the Abbot of Pershore

Story of CATHOLIC REVIVAL Clifton Kelway 1915. P88. Offences in Birmingham: Gilt cross on Communion table cloth; kneeling before cross on way to reading desk; bowing to it after the prayers and the sermon. will suffice to ensure the discontinuation of these novelties.

Stroud News and Journal: By 1924 vestments were in use in 75 churches in Diocese of Gloucester.

The Church Association was founded 1865 as riposte to Church Union founded 1860, whose purpose was to advance catholic worship and ritual. The Association’s purpose was to take ritualist clergy to court and was instrumental in the Bp King trial.


Bishop MONK, Bishop of joint Diocese 1836-1856, not pro Tractarian, but nevertheless always followed the custom of the church he was visiting at the sacrifice of his own feelings. Friend of Bishop Bloomfield of London. Greek scholar.

Bishop Monk was brother-in-law of Sir George Prevost.

Bishop Monk, it was claimed, showed partiality to High Church protagonists, but when the RC Diocese of Clifton was set up in 1850 he warned his clergy about the setting up of a few obsolete forms of and ceremonies into some of our churches which though indifferent in their own nature are generally thought to bespeak favour and inclination to Romanism. He admitted that they were due to warmth of pious and devotional feeling and quite consistent with abhorrence of the idolatrous parts of the Romish system, but cautioned those in favour of using them, against arousing suspicion.

When Bishop Monk learned that Pusey was to preach at St James, Horsefair, Bristol, he wrote to incumbent requiring that he might not be permitted to do so but he agreed that no proceedings would be taken against the incumbent or Pusey, if he did in fact preach, but at the end of the day, he hoped his wish would be respected.

In 1851, Bo Monk invited some of the sisters of the Society of the Holy Trinity to come and work on the diocese, first in Bristol and after six years moved to Bradford on Avon.

Ordained Deacon 1809, priest 1810. Dean of Peterborough 1822 given canonry at Westminster.

1830 consecrated Bishop of Gloucester. 1836 See amalgamated with Bristol. Not a good speaker and seldom did more in Lords than record his vote in support of conservative interest. On religious questions took a safe and cautious line, but his favour was generally shown to the high church rather than the evangelical party, whose influence at Bristol, Clifton and elsewhere in diocese caused him some problems. Unqualified approval of Bristol CU, but in 1841 severely censured Isaac Williams for his tract on Reserve in communicating religious knowledge. In 1848 protested against appointment of Dr Hampden as Bishop of Hereford. Gave much personal money to augmenting small livings. Some years before death suffered from partial blindness and six month before death was almost prostrate. Died at Palace at Stapleton, Bristol June 1856 aged 72.

Gentlemen’s Mag 1856 pt ii pp 115-117.

Bishop ELLICOTT: (joint Diocese 1863-1897) forbade Ignatius from preaching in Diocese – but he continued to do so at secular gatherings. IN a sermon on ritualism in 1866 he criticized a growing disloyalty to our Prayer book, and a scarcely concealed dissatisfaction with the principles on which it is based. He protested against startling additions to services, strange and unwonted usages intended to express enhancements and developments of doctrine. He generously acknowledged the self- denial and devoted earnestness of the ritualist priests and admitted that whole congregations are now clearly expressing their sympathy with the widening developments and urging them on and recognised that the Oxford Movement was motivated by a desire for unity throughout Christendom. But he required clergy to obey the law (1874). His fears were so exaggerated that he feared there was an Anglo Catholic plot to subvert the C. of E. In his Diocesan Address of 1875 he said:

There is not one sensible and foreseeing man among us who is not inwardly aware that there is now nominally within our mother church, a body of earnest men, not large but united and interconnected, who deem it their most solemn mission to catholicize… the Church of this land, and to prepare for a union more or less formal, but no less real, with such of the Eastern Churches which are willing to accept their advance and even with the Western church itself.

Bishop Ellicott refused to ordain a curate to All Saints Clifton because the incumbent refused to obey the Purchas Judgement of 1870 which declared vestments, mixed chalice eastward position and wafers to be illegal. Ellicott also refused to come and confirm. He also refused to consecrate a church in Bristol (Knowle) unless the Vicar resigned and the baldachino over the altar was removed. The vicar left! And the baldachino was removed.

However by 1889, Ellicott admitted that to come to any settlement of the ritual question by any definite enactments is hopeless and mischievous. He even went as far as patch up his disagreement with the Vicar of All Saints and agreed to license the curate and to confirm. ON his visit he did not mention the altercation of 1878 and only said ’The Holy Ghost has had much to teach us in the Church of England during these years that are past.’ (Cobb)

Bishop Ellicott – refused to visit All Saints Clifton, Bristol, for confirmation, thus expressing his displeasure at its Catholic Tradition – vestments, candles on altar. He also used the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874, passed by Parliament, to limit the interpretation of the Ornaments Rubric of 1549 , to close down St Raphael’s Bristol in 1878 .

Bishop HEADLAM: Although variety in forms of vesture and worship were permissible, my directions are that none should introduce any change in this matter in the parish in which he is working contrary to the express opinion of the people. We must allow the mind of the church gradually to form itself. His Sunday preference was matins but he had no objections to a Choral Eucharist as the main service provided some provision was made for matins and that non-communicating attendance was obligatory

The practice of private confession was most desirable – every clergyman should be willing and able to exercise this ministry but he did not approve of compulsory or habitual confession – although the latter might be helpful and desirable in some circumstances. In the Diocese he wore rochet and chimere on all occasions, as they gave no offence as vestments might well do. He wore a cope in the Cathedral but never a mitre which he regarded as a rather ridiculous head dress. He did not object to the use of vestments or elaborate ceremonial but his preference was for something simple – the surplice had a dignified simplicity and he felt the simple service harmonises better with the genius of the English People.

On 1928 Prayer Book – much in favour. He preferred one rite only at HC and that the BCP should remain available for those who wanted it. He had no doubts whatsoever to the superiority of the new rite – the new Canon was both catholic and evangelical and entirely loyal to the traditions of the Catholic Church and the C. of E. He was not in favour of alternative forms for Baptism and Confirmation. He also defended the provision made for reservation and saw no doctrinal reason against it. As for extra liturgical devotions, there was no reason to prevent them unless proved to be theologically unsound.

1929 Nothing to be done which was not in accordance with the BCP or 1928 revision without my permission. 1928 HC would require my special permission. And reservation will only be authorised in parishes where there is special need and where this is endorsed by PCC.

There are really no extremists in the Diocese to cause serious troubl , and he considered the Protestants stupid rather than disloyal.

1933: Anglo-Catholics opposition to the South Africa scheme represents a desire by certain of them to dominate the C. of E. and a good many of us feel that it will be necessary to come to terms with them and really make them see that they cannot do it. They are very clever and represent ecclesiasticism in its most truculent aspect.

BUT in a letter to the United Church Leader in India, Dr Banninga 1934, he wrote

You look upon Anglo-Catholics as just tiresome people for whom there is nothing to be said. Now I have made it quite clear that their too rigid views are not correct and that the particular meaning they give to apostolic succession is wrong. BUT that does not take away from the fact that on fundamental points they are right where non-conformists are wrong. They have preserved the Xian tradition, the Creeds, historic Church Order, the ideal of the united Church. And while criticizing the points on which you differ from them, you ought to be prepared to recognize and recognize fully, what they have done and the value of what they do.

Headlam agreed that non-conformist orders are valid but not episcopally equal.

Ritualist Clergy List, 1903, a Guide for Patrons and others, to certain clergy of The Church of England, being a list of some 9600 clergymen who are helping the Romeward Movement on the National Church. The List contains the names of the clerical members of The English Church Union; Holy Cross Society; Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament; Society of St John the Evangelist, Cowley; Also of Clergy who adopt Ritualistic Practices and Churches where Masses for the Dead are Celebrated.

Third Edition, London 1903, Published by the Church Association. 

In Gloucester Diocese

U=64; English Church Union (founded 1859 in response to the attacks by the Church Association

C=26; Priest Associate of Confraternity of Blessed Sacrament. 

J=2; Associate of Society of St John the Evangelist

+=6; Member of Holy Cross Society SSC (founded 1855)

E=139; Eastward celebration

M=91; mixed chalice

I=7; incense.

V=35; Sacrificial vestments

L=98; candles in daylight

The figures and practices are taken from the Tourists’ Church guide, published by ECU 1901-1902.

The addresses are taken from the 1902 Clergy List. 

W F Adams, C St Mark’s Glos = U,e,m,l.

G le S Amphlett, C Cifrencester = e,l.H C Armour, C Berkeley = e,m,l.

T M Armson, C Saintbury, Broadway = e,m.

Arthy, V Chaceley, longdon, Tewkesbury = e,m,l.

R H P Ash, 15, Priory Street, Cheltenham = U,C.

C Ashwin, V , Stanway, Glos = e

W G Baillie, V, St Peter, Newnham= e,m.

C L Balfour, V, Aston Blank, Cheltenham = e,m,v,l.

E H Ball, R, Stratton with Baunton, Cirencester = U, e,m,l.

D J Banham, C, Bishops C;leeve, Cheltenham = e,m,v,l.

S E Bartleet, R, Dursley = e,m.

C O Bartlett, R, Broadway, Gloucestershire = e,l

J M Bastard, V, Northleach = e,m,v,l.

F D Bateman, R, Ampney St Peter + St Mary, Cirencester = e,m,l.

W Bazeley, R, Matson, Glos = e

J H Bellhouse, C, Berkeley, Glos = exU,e,m,l.

W B Benison, R, Uley with Owlpen, Glos = e.

J W G Bennett, C, Abbey Church Tewkesbury = U,e,m,l.

J C E Besant, V, Lydney with Aylburton, Glos = e,m,l.

J Bevan, V, Slad, Stroud, Glos= e.

E H Blake, V, Frampton on Severn, Glos, = e

J C Blondel, C, St Paul, Glos.= U,e,m,v,l.

E T W Bond, Parkend Vicarage, Lydney = U

W G Box, Chaplain, Co Lunatic Asylum, Glos = U.

A H Browne, V, Kempsford, Glos = U,C,e,m,v,l.

M Burnett, South Hill, Meysey Hampton, Fairford, Glos = C

W F Burnside, C, Hucclecote, Glos = e,m.

F R Carbonnell, V, Fairford, los = e,m,l.E Car

Gill, R, Aben hall, Glos = e

T Carrington, V, Chipping Campden, Glos =e,l.

G W L Cass, C, St Stephen, Cheltenham = e,l.

B H Chambers, R, Ashchurch, Glos =- U,e,m,l.

A H Cheesman,C, All Saints Glos = U, C e,m,l.

E Chilcott, C, Oldland, Glos = e,m,v,l.

W U Coates, R, Hill, Glos = U

S Cornish, R, Quedgekley, Glos = e,l.

A W Cornwall, V, Thornbury, Glos = e,m

J F Cornwall, R, great Witcombe, = e.

R L Crawley-Boevey, R, Duntisbourne Anbbots, Glos = e,m,l.

H C B Cruikshank, C, Cromhall, Falfield, Glos = C

A J Davis, V, Cainscross, Stroud = e,m.

A W Douglas, C, Durseley = e,m.

R G Douglas, V, North Nibley, U,e,m,v ,l.

E R Dowdeswell, C, Bushley, Tewkes=C.

bury = U, C, +, e, m,v,l.

F W Drewe, V, Chalford, Glos = e,m,l.

E F Eales, V, Bream, Lydn ey, Glos = U,e,m,l.

B Edwards, R, Ashleworth, Glos = e,m.

J Embry, Chaplain, St Luc y’s Home, Glos = +

E W Evans, R, Beverston, Tetbury, Glos =- e,m,l.

J T Evans, R, Stow on the SWold, Glos =e,m,l.

L H Evans, C, Cirencester = e,l.W J Evans, V, Coaley, Glos = e,m,l.

R H Evered, V Newland with Redbrook, Glos = U,e,m,v,l.

A C Eyre, R, st John Baptist, Glos = e.

C H Fairfax, R, Dumbleton, Glos = e,m,l

F Farrar, R, Bourton on the Hill, moreton in Marsh, Glos = U,e.

H J H Faulkener, V, Lower cam, Durseley, – e,m,v,l.

H S Fisher, ex C, All Saints Cheltenham,= U,e,m,v,l.

A E Fleming, Kings Sc hool, Glos = U

P F Forbes, C, Kempsford, Glos = e,m,v,l.

W L J Ford, CinC Alvington, Lydney, Glos =U, c, e,m,v,l

B K Foster, V, Coln St Aldwyn, BGlos = e,m,l.

H C CFoster, V, All Saints Glos = e,m,l.

G Fox, V, St Lawrence, Stroud = e

E J Frayling, R, Birtsmorton, Tewkesbury = e,m,l.

G L H Gardner, V, All Saints, Cheltenham = e,m,v,l.

C F Goddard, V, Clearwell, Glos = e,l.

H Godwin, V, Twynning, Tewkesbury and Chaplain to Watford Union, = U,e,m,l.

A Green, V, Longdon, Tewkesbury, = e,m,l.

J F Green, V, Whiteshill, Stroud, = e,m,v,l.

N W Gresley, R, Ozleworth, Wootten under edge, Glos = U,e,m,l.

H E Hadow, C, Bisley, Glos = exU, e,m.

R Hall, V, Saul, Stonehouse, Glos, = U

C Hanmer-Strudwick, V, France Lynch, glos = exU, C,+,e,m,v,l.

H R Hanson, R,Cranham los, = U,C,e,m,I,v,l.

C F Hardy, C, St Luke, Glos, = e,m,l.

D Harrison, V, Holy Apostles, Charlton Kings, = e,m.

W H P Harvey, V, Chipping Sodbury, Glos =- e,m,l

E H Hawkins, V, Holy Trinity, Stroud and chaplain to Union = e

T Hayes, R, Staunton, Glos = U

J C Hayward, V, Randwick, Stroud, Glos = m,l.

W P Henderson, V, All Saits, Winterb ourne Down, Glos = U, C.

J Hewetson,V, Chedworth, Glos = e,m,l.

T Hodsdon,V,Charlton Kings, Cheltenham exU,e,l.

E F Hornsby, C, Berkeley, Glos = U,e,m,l.

R Horton, V, Dymock, Glos =U,e,m,v,l.

W W Hoyland, C-in-C, Twyning =e,m,l.

F H Hughes, C, Batsford, Glos =e,m,l.

E L Jennings, V, St Stephen’s, Cheltenham =e,l.

T Jesson, R, Bishop’s Cleeve + Stoke rchard = U,C,e,m,v,l

C H Jobberns,V, Brookthorpe with Waddon, Glos = U,C,e,m,l.

T C Johnson, V, Amoney Crucis, Glos = U,C,e,m,v,l.

C G Jones, V, Kempley, U,C,+,e,m,I,v,l.

E D Jones, R, B

Laisdon, Glos = e.

R C S Jones, V, North;leach, = e,l.S J Jones, R, Moreton in Marsh = U,e,m,l.

G C Keble, V, St Catherine, Glos.= e.

T Kebl;e,V,Bisley, Stroud, Glos =U,e,m.

D Kitcat, R, Lasbury & Westonbirt, Glos U.

J W Lea, C, Cirencester = e,l.

W R Lestt, C, Whiteshill, Stroud = e,m,v,l.

J H Lorimer,V< Oxenhall and Pauntley, Glos = U.

C M R Luckman, R, Castle Eaton, Fairford = exU ,e,m,l.

L E Mackinder, C, Westbury on Trym, Glos = e,m.

W C Macklin, C, All Saints, Glos. =e,m,l.

N D Macleod, V, Bussage, = U,C,e,m,i,v,l.

J W Metcalfe, C, St Luke, Glos = e.m.l

P E O,B Methuen, R, Wyck Risssington, Stow on the Wold = U,e.

C C Murray-Bfrowne,V, Hucclecote, Glos = e,m.

A Nash, V, Standish st Nicholas, Stonehouse, Glos = e,l.

R M Nason, R, Saintbury, Broadway, Hlos.= U,C,e,m.

E Neale, C, Tewkesbury Abbey = U,e,m,l.

F A D Noel, R, Staunton, Coleford, Glos = U,J.

J H Owen, V,St Paul, Glos and Prison Chaplain, = e,m,v,l.

P L Park, V, Highnam, Glos = e,m,l.

J L Parker, C, Lydney Glos =U,e,m,l.

F W Parkinson, C, Charlton KMiongs, = e,l.

G A F Pearson, V, Stavertonwith Boddington, Glos = e,m,l.

W B V Perry, V, Sandhurst, Glos= e.

P R Preston, C, All Saints Chekltenham, = e,m,v,l.

H Proctor,V, St Luke, Glos = e,m,l

V C R Reynell, V, Stinchcombe, Glos = e,m.

C H Riochards, V, Boxwell with Leighterton, Glos,=U.

T W Richards, R, Farmington, Northleach = e,l.

G B Roberts, V, Elmstone Hardwicke, Cheltenham = U,C,+,e,m,I,v,l

S R Robertson, V, St Mary de Lode, glos and chapolain to Hospitals = e.

A H Ross, C, prestbury, Glos, U,e,m,I,v,l.

S E Rudge, R, Kingscote Glos = e,m,l.

G F Russell CinC, Fretherne, Glos =e

H E Sawyer, Chaplain House of Mercy, Bussage, Glos = U,C.

J H Seabrook, V, Brockworth, Glos = U,e,I,v,l.

W H Seddon, V, Painswick, Glos = e,m,l.

W J Selby, V, Churcham with Bulley =, e,m,l.

H Sewell, V, Wooton under Edxge =- e,m,l.

C H Sharpe, Longhope, Glos = J.

N W Shelton, R, Taynton, G;los = e,l.

R L simkin, Vicar, Oakridge, troud, =e,m,l.

H P Sketchley, V, Marston Maisey, Fairford, = C,e,m,l.

H U Smith, V, Prestbury, Glos, U,C,e,m,i,v,l.

H D M Spence, Dean of Gloucester = l.

J L Stackhouse, V, Berkeley, glos = U,e,m,l.

H H Staffurth, C, St aul, Glos = U

A C Stephens, C, Cirencester e,l.J W Sgtoneman, V, Longborough, = e.

J Storr, V, Severnhamptpon, Glos = e.m.l

F B teesdale, V, Whitminster, Glos = e.

C F Thomas, R, Rudford, Glos = U,e.m.l.

W Townsend,V,Coleford, Glos =

C W Tyler, V, Alll Saints, Preston, Cirencester = e,l

E J Yyser, Gloucester = = U,C,e,m,l.

T Veal, V, Stone, Falfield, Glos = e,m.

J E Vernon, V, Olveston, Glos = e

C J Verschoyle, PiC, ,Filkins, Lechlade, = e,m,v,l

O P Wardell-Yerburgh, V Tewkesbury= e,m,l.

R S Weallens, Harley House, Cheltenham, = exU.

E P B Weber, R Mitcheldean, Glos, = U,C,+, e,m,v,l.

W C Wheeler, C, Bourton on the Water, = exU,e,m,l.

E H Whinyates, R, Fretherne, Stonehouse, Glos, exU,e.

W E White, R, Bourton on the Water, BGlos, =e,m,l.

L Wilkinson, V, Westbury on Severn, and chaplain Union, =e.l.

J E H Williams, C, Thornbury, =e,m.

R H Wilmot, V, Poulton, = e,m,v,l

F E B S Witts, R, Upper Slaughter, = e,l.

Hon R Yarde-Buller, V, Harsefield, Glos = U,e,m,i,v,l

GUILD of ALL SOULS; (Source = Quarterly Intercession Papers of the Guild , April 1899)

Masses for the Dead:

St Lucy’s Home Glos 1st & 3rd Tuesday 7.30 am & Third Friday 7.30 am

Bussage Last Saturday 8 am & Second Saturday 6.45 am

Guild Litany with occasionally Office for the dying or the Dead:

St Mary Prestbury, last Saturday at 6.20 pm.

RITUALISTIC APOINTMENTS of the Government since the Resolution of the House of Commons, April 11th 1899. (see p vi of preface)

Crown Appointments: J N Bromehead, Beverston, Glos – U,C,e,m,l

Arch of Cantab Appointments 1902:

R L Crawley Boevey, R, Syde, Cirencester.

Bp of Gloucester: 1901

Thos Carrington, Rural Dean of Campden= e,l.

J T Gardiner, V, Hartpury, Glos. = U C.

R C S Jones, V, Northleach = e.l.


A Nash, Hon Canon Glos= e,l

R Hall, Surrogate for Diocese = U

E F Eales, R, Naunton = U,e,m,l

C H Joberns, licensed to preach in Diocese = U,C,e,m,l.

E H Brice, V, Coleford,= U

G W Cass, V, Bream = e,l.

H Proctor, licensed to preach in diocese, = e.m.l

C H Strudwick, C, All Saints, Cheltenham = U,C,+

H F Hayward, C, to Coleford = U,C.

W S Irving, C, Bishop’s Cleeve, = U.


Membership of E C U CBS SSC SSJE

64 26 6 2

Churches where: E M I V L

139 91 7 35 98

ECU Converts to Rome:

George ANGUS, C, Prestbury, 1873,

Joseph DARLINGTON, C, Dymock, 1877

S SPROSTON, C, Winterbourne, Glos 1889. Also member of Soc for Maintenance of the Faith.

12 comments on “Oxford Movement in Gloucestershire

  1. Madeleine Hurricks
    February 17, 2016

    Thank you for keeping up this work. I was researching the life of J F S Gabb of Charlton Kings author of devotional books. Do you know where he fitted in? His book of 1853 includes prayers for donning alb, stole, chasuble etc is familiar from NZ Tractarian church of St Michael and All Angels’ Christchurch.
    Madeleine Hurricks

  2. Philip J Wells
    June 28, 2016

    The text for Fr Stanton includes ‘Inhibited by Bishop of Gloucester – when, why?’ This may relate to a conversation I had with Brian Torode about King’s Stanley and the Revd John Gibson who I am researching. In 1876 St George’s Church, King’s Stanley re-opened for Divine Service on Thursday in Easter Week, 20th April. The Services were, the Celebration of Holy Communion at 8 a.m., and at 11.30, Morning Prayer, and Celebration of Holy Communion. The Sermon was preached by The Lord Bishop of the Diocese, Dr Ellicott who caused some surprise by announcing that he would also preach twice on the following Sunday instead of the Rev. A.H. Stanton, Assistant Curate of St. Alban’s, Holborn, London, as had been widely advertised. There are articles about this in several newspapers as well as Church Times and Stanton’s Memoir.

    • Richard Barton
      June 28, 2016

      Thank you for this addition. I cannot add any further information myself but should you find more yourself please post it here. Richard Barton

  3. Richard Barton
    June 28, 2016

    Philip J Wells: The Selsley consecration also had problems – ‘Consecration of the Church of All Saints’, Stanley End, King’s Stanley’. The church was consecrated by the Rt Revd W. Thompson, Bishop of Gloucester, on 28 November, 1862. The Revd John Gibson was one of the Clergy present. In the evening he preached the sermon ‘and the Building thronged.’ The opening time had been considerably delayed to the afternoon, whilst a hanging floral cross with its bottom stem fixed to the rear of the altar was removed at the Bishop’s insistence in order to comply with a judgement of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Poor Revd John Gibson, who only came in 1857, had to be very careful from then on about what he did!

  4. Stephen Savage
    June 30, 2016

    This is an extremely interesting piece of work and I look forward to seeing any further additions. I have visited very many of the places in Gloucestershire that are mentioned.

  5. Richard Barton
    August 26, 2018

    From Andrew Deuchar…

    Really interested to read the material collected by Brian Torode before his death (and hope it might appear in book form one day!

    I would be really interested in joining in with the discussion, as I am currently gathering material for my own book on the Davies family between 1795 and 1934. This represents four generations of my distaff family, ending with my grandfather’s generation. The ‘Alpha male’ in the first three generations was an Anglican clergyman, and both the 2nd and 3rd of these served in Bristol and Gloucester Diocese. Charles Greenall Davies (1808-1877) entered Gloucestershire as one of Francis Close’s team in Cheltenham, having care of St Paul’s between 1836 and 1841, from where he went to begin the ministry at Trinity Church Wakefield followed by a year’s locum first at Charles, Plymouth and then at St John’s Portsea, before returning to Gloucestershire as Vicar of Tewkesbury from 1846 until his death in 1877. He was a firm evangelical Protestant, as you might expect although I think he probably mellowed a bit at Tewkesbury. He was responsible, while at Cheltenham, for ensuring that F.W. Robertson (later of Brighton) took Orders rather than following his father into the Army. Stopford Brooke, in his Life & Letters of F.W. Robertson, quotes extensively from C.G. Davies. They grew apart latterly as FWR went liberal and more sympathetic to elements of Tractarianism.

    I am currently transcribing a diary of CGD’s in his last months in Portsmouth, and as he prepares to move to Tewkesbury. It is fascinating in many, many ways. One little fact I have picked up is that it sounds as though Archdeacon Thorpe of Bristol probably tried to prevent him from getting Tewkesbury….that’s a little bit of conjecture on my part, from one slightly oblique reference to the Archdeacon. I think CGD is significant because, although Brian suggests in his notes that apart from Francis Close there probably wasn’t much outright opposition to the Tractarians, I am pretty sure CGD would have been pretty vocal in his opposition!!!

    Interestingly, his son, C D P Davies, born in Tewkesbury in 1856, (and buried there in 1931!), went in the other direction, and was very much an Edward King style of liturgical innovator – indeed he was effectively removed from Ringmer parish in Sussex partly for introducing the usual things – bowing to the altar, altar candles, preaching in a surplice etc. In 1901 he became Rector of Fretherne, leaving there in 1918 for the Parish of Deane in Hants, before returning to Kemerton in 1927 to retire. He was a stalwart of the Diocesan Prayer Book Defence League, but was much more famous in the field of campanology (and it may have been the protestant objections to ringing for services pushed him towards the more Catholic side), and astronomy – he was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Chair of the British Astronomical Association!

    Both of them seem to have been very ready to get into a fight, though CGD clearly was a very hard-working, pastorally-minded minister and well-thought of by many. Indeed this diary I am working on shows that he gave priority to supporting and caring for the poorest and most struggling people, both within the military circles he worked in and the ordinary inhabitants of downtown Portsmouth, and rather disdained social contact with the ‘governing’ classes. But controversy seems to have dogged both (as well as Davies No.1, who was Master of Cranbrook School in Kent from 1812 until his death in 1850, and has received very poor reviews for his ministry from local historians!).

    If someone is continuing Brian’s work, I would be really glad to be in touch with them!

    Best wishes,

    Andrew Deuchar

  6. Andrew Deuchar
    August 26, 2018

    That is a pleasure, and I am delighted to find such extensive material relevant to my own researches. I would be glad to hear from anyone who has done research in similar areas, and will be glad to contribute to ongoing reflection on the issues and stories which have emerged, and may continue to do so. Andrew

    • Stephen
      August 27, 2018

      Dear Andrew, You are right. It is indeed all very impressive. If you are not a member of the Anglo-Catholic History Society then you should consider it as you would probably enjoy it. I was interested in the mention of James Davies of Abbenhall as he visited St Saviour’s, Leeds, in its early days to attend the Dedication Festival. He wrote about his visits in a couple of letters preserved in West Yorkshire Archives, in Morley at the Leeds office. I think there are photocopies at Leeds Central Library, local history. I tried once to transcribe them but they are difficult to read and I was missing things. It is obvious though that JD enjoyed the gossip shared on such occasions.

      • Andrew Deuchar
        August 27, 2018

        I am interested in the ACTS and will have a look. Unfortunately James Davies is not connected with my Davies family….but in terms of understanding the political/ecclesiastical context of the diocese it is all grist to the mill. Thanks Stephen.

  7. Ally Walker
    August 2, 2020

    Thank you for a fascinating article, which clearly explains the background and build-up to events connected to George Angus, the curate at Prestbury. I am currently researching him in connection with my own family.
    He employed both my paternal Grandmother and Great Aunt whilst in St. Andrews, Scotland. I have a photo of him, the original hangs in The Presbytery

    • Richard Barton
      August 2, 2020

      Hi Ally,
      I am so delighted to hear from you. Have you seen my other blog on ‘Convert Clergy associated with Clifton Diocese’? See I would really like to add more details about George Angus if you are willing to help? My email address is

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