THE BREAM MAGAZINE, December 1868.
MR. AND MRS. WITHERBY’S FAREWELL TO BREAM.
On Monday, November 9th, a meeting was held at the Schools, to wish
Mr. and Mrs. Witherby good-bye, and to present to them some parting gifts.
There were present, Sir James Campbell, Rev J. F. Gosling, curate of
Cirencester (the new vicar of Bream), Revds. H. T. Hoitt and B. A. Galland,
the churchwardens of Bream, and a large number of the parishioners. After
tea, of which a second and third edition was provided, the chair was
taken by Sir James Campbell; he said that the object of the meeting was,
to take a public farewell of Mr. and Mrs. Witherby, and to assure them
that they possessed the affection and esteem of all classes at Bream.
During the ten years which had passed away since they came, there had
been many changes, some, or all of them, a source of anxiety and self-denial
to Mr. Witherby. The Church and Churchyard had been enlarged, Schools
built, and a Mission Chapel opened in a distant part of the tithing,
at Yorkley Wood; but it was not for these reasons only that the vicar
was beloved by his parishioners. After some further observations, Sir
James said that he was always very glad to be at such meetings as the
present, and to speak to so many well-known faces they would agree with
him, that in parting with Mr. Witherby they were al losing a faithful
friend and pastor, who needed no testimonial, but who would accept their
parting gifts as signs of the loving regard entertained for him by his
flock. Sir James then called upon the senior churchwarden, Mr. Richard
Hewlett, who, with a few kind and appropriate words, presented the vicar
with the gold watch, for which many of the parishioners had subscribed.
Mr. Witherby said, that he thanked them most heartily for their very
handsome present; they could not have given me anything more useful;
he had long needed a watch, and feared some of them had found Bream Church
time a little uncertain, in future he hoped to be up to the time of day,
for be would always carry their gift with him in his work, unless he
thought he was likely to be much in a Bristol crowd. The vicar then spoke
of certain details in the working of the parish, of the kind assistance
of the choir, of the Sunday school (which he was glad to say would be
continued as usual, although Mr. Galland could not for the present attend),
and lastly, of Yorkley Wood Mission Chapel. He said that great credit
was due to the late curate, the Rev. H. T. Hoitt, for his undaunted exertions
there, at a time when there was no service in Bream Church. The services
of the church were held in the Sun Room at Bream, and in a kitchen at
Yorkley Wood; that was a state of things which many would have found
most discouraging. The kitchen, indeed, was hardly fit for the solemn
service; but now, by God’s blessing, the effort had been made,
and a room provided, and carefully arranged for all the holy ordinances
of Christian worship. Great help had been extended towards the attainment
of this object. An excellent harmonium had been given by Col. Noel, whose
kindness had met with a most worthy response in the skilful and untiring
use of the instrument in leading the singing. They owed almost as much
to the lady who so kindly played as to the giver himself. He was, indeed,
thankful that the people had now such a decent and seemly building for
the worship which they loved. Encouragement had come from several quarters,
from none more than from Whitemead, for when the subject was named to
Sir James, he gave a substantial sum of money, and told the vicar to
come again if he wanted more. Passing on to another subject, Mr. Witberby
said that there was one sitting beside him who would soon come among
them to take his place; he knew that Foresters were not fond, of strangers,
but felt sure, that coming as he did, Mr. Gosling would receive a hearty
welcome from his new parish. Time was flying fast, and Mr. Gosling was
obliged to leave for Cirencester by the last train. Before leaving he
would address a few words to the meeting.
Mr. Gosling said that he hoped, indeed, felt sure, that he might call those now present his friends; he was very glad to have become known to them, or to many of them, first at this meeting, and thanked them for their kind welcome. His coming to Bream was like climbing across a fence; as yet he had one leg on each side; now they, he hoped, would hold out their hands and help him over. He would do his best to keep the light burning among them when he came, and trusted that the good feeling now existing between the people and the clergy would long continue, so that Bream churchmen might ever be happily united in the good work.
Mr. Carey was then called upon to present Mrs. Witherby with a dressing case, the gift of the children and of the old scholars. Some little things, worked by the children, were brought up and presented by Mary Jane Lucas. Mr. Richard Vimpany, of Yorkley Court, then gave Mr. Witherby a gold pencil-case, from the Yorkley Wood parishioners; at the same time saying that he trusted Mr. Witherby might be as much beloved, and his work prospered as much among his new parishioners, as among those whom he was leaving. Mr. Witherby replied, thanking his friends for this other parting gift, and speaking at length on many subjects connected with Yorkley Wood. He finished speaking thus, "And now, dear friends, the time is come to say Farewell;" while I speak I would rather see a happy smile on your faces, than see the signs of sorrow. Farewell to each.
"If thou should’st never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of; therefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day,
For so the whole round world is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God."
The evening hymn was then sung, after which Mr. Witherby pronounced
the solemn words of Peace and Blessing, which we hear so often before
we part. No other words are needed to rouse us from the sadness that
belongs to our loss; for with our Master's Peace, and by His Blessing,
we can always look hopefully away from present troubles, cheerfully submitting
to His will, even until He come.
During December the Night School will be discontinued; it will re-open on Monday, January 11th.
The Sunday Afternoon Service will begin at three o’clock, as usual, on and after December 6th.
All Missionary Boxes should he brought to the curate before December 7th.
Mr. Witherby much regrets that, in consequence of sickness, he was unable to call upon all the parishioners before leaving.
THOUGHTS FOR THIS ADVENT, WITH PRAYERS.
" The days COME."—(Jeremiah xxiii. 5.)
1. To the World: "A new heaven and a new earth," Collect for
2. To our Church: "A new Archbishop." Collect in the Office for the Consecration.
3. To our State: "A New Parliament." Prayer for the Parliament, [ Bishops.
4. To our Parish: "A new Minister." Prayer after Veni Creator in the Ordination [Service.
November 8th, Albert, son of Albert and Ann Hawkins, Bream's Woodside.
November 8th, Agnes Florence, daughter of Enoch and Mary Ann Kear, Bream's Woodside.
November 22nd Albert John, son of John and Elizabeth Mountjoy Voice, Bream's Tufts.
November 22nd, by the Rev. B. A. Galland, John Powell, blacksmith, Bream, to Harriet James, Bream's Tufts.
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