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Issue Number: 322  June   1901

“ Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God.”—S. MARK, x, 14.

May 1 — Gertrude Mary, daughter of Albert George and Emily Louisa Brown, Lydney Lane, collier.
May 18 —William Harold, son of Samuel Richard and Susan Lydia Wildin, Horral Hill, Bream, collier.
May 25 —Rose, daughter of John and Emma Worgan, Bream, collier.
May 25 —Edith May, daughter of Albert and Charlotte James, Bream, collier.
May 25 —Bertie Henry, son of John and Elizabeth Lawrence, Bream, collier.
May 29 —Muriel Maud, daughter of George Edgar and Edith Lily Phillips Watkins, Bath, grocer.
June 1 — Lily Annie, daughter of James and Ellen Jones, Ellwall, Bream, labourer.
June 1 — Creese Evelyn, daughter of William and Elizabeth Teague, Bream's Tufts,collier.

" What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." S. Mark, 10.

May 11— By the Vicar, John Price, bachelor, of Aylburton, and Florence Blanche Callow, spinster, of Bream.

" Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come." Heb., 13, 14.

May 23 — Thomas Billy, Bream's Tufts, aged 84.

June 2 — Trinity Sunday
June 11—Feast of St. Barnabas, Apostle.
June 24—Feast of St. John Baptist.
June 29—Feast of St. Peter, Apostle, (The two hundredth Anniversary of the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts).

Churchwardens — Mr. William Worgan, Mr. John Henry Fewings.
Sidesmen — Mr. H. Watkins (to act for Mr. Fewings).
Messrs. R. Lucas and J. T. Kear................1st Sunday.
Messrs. F. Watkins and H. Mountjoy........2nd Sunday.
Messrs. F. J. Watkins and H. Payne..........3rd Sunday.
Messrs. F. Lucas and A. A. Grove............4th Sunday.
Messrs. E. Wintle and H. Morse................5th Sunday.

"Is any sick among you? let him call the elders of the Church; and let them pray over him, &c." (S. James, 5 - 14). "When any person is sick notice shall be given thereof to the Minister of the Parish." (Book of Common Prayer). In accordance with these instructions of the Bible and Prayer Book the Vicar hopes that parishioners will kindly let him know of all cases of serious sickness with which they may become acquainted, either in their own or in their neighbours' families.

Some may be interested to be reminded that the old bell was hung in the old church tower by John Baverstock, the first Vicar in 1855, at a total cost of £24, and that it then superseded what was probably the ancient bell of the Old Chapel at Bream.

The following ornaments of the Church are interesting : —
( I ) THE COMMUNION PLATE — There are three sets of Communion Vessels which, for convenience, we will mention in reverse order.
( a ) Yorkley Wood — A very plain Silver Paten and Chalice, the gift of the "Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament" at Christmas, 1897. The foot of the Chalice is ornamented with a Greek Cross.
( b ) Breem Church — A large, handsome, silver gilt Paten and Chalice, with Silver Flagon, presented in 1855 by Edward Machen, Esqr., then at Whitemead Park. The rim of the Paten is ornamented above with a Greek Cross and the Litany Petition, " By Thy Cross and Passion Good Lord deliver us." The centre of the Paten bears an "Angus Dei." The bowl of the Chalice is ornamented with a Greek Cross, and the foot with the Sacred Monogram "I. H. G." The Flagon bears a Greek Cross and the Angelic words "Glory be to God on High." The Plate Chest has a brass plate with the words "+Breem+ St, James' Church 1855. Laws Deo." The date corresponds very nearly with that of the formation of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Bream, viz., June 8th, 1854, John Baverstock being Vicar.
( c ) Breem Chappell — A deeply interesting Silver Paten and Chalice, a gift of James and Mary Gough, of Pastor's Hill, in 1680. The Chalice bears the following inscription round the outside of the bowl or cup, in a beautiful flowing hand, "The gift of James Gough of Pastor's Hill, Gent, and Mary his wife to the Chappell of Breem, 1680." The Paten which may also be used as a Chalice cover, bears underneath the rim the Angelic words "Glorie be to God on High," underneath its pedestal the donors initials "G. I.*M.", together with the place and date, "Breem Chappell 1680." These Gough Vessels, both from their form and from the beauty of their lettering, are of Antiquarian interest, and few Churches in this neighbourhood have vessels which can compare with them.

( II ) THE FONT. — The late Thomas Batten is my authority for the following words in inverted commas :— " Originally the Font had a circular basin, in shape like a deep saucer, which was decorated and bore the date of 1679. It had a circular shaft and a base to correspond, but no platform for the minister. The Rev. Henry Poole reduced it to its present form and dimensions — presumably at the time of the consecration of the Chapel in 1827." Parishioners will, of course, remember that until 1889 it stood in the midst of the Church, near the old Porch, on the north side of the middle gangway. It appears, however, to have been moved also in 1855. We may suppose that the Rev. Henry Poole found its original size inconvenient; certainly, however, his hammer and chisel have destroyed any beauty the Font may have possessed.

( III ) THE HOUR GLASS FRAME. — The old iron frame hangs now in the Vestry, over the arch leading into the Chancel. Since 1822, when the old Chapel was closed for restoration by the Rev. Henry Poole, the frame was in the possession of the Batten family, and by them in 1897 restored to the Church as a relic. It is clearly the frame which used to hang by the Pulpit, and contained the Hour-Glass by which the preacher regulated the length of his sermons. In the Church Times of January 14th, 1898, the following article appeared :— " Hour Glasses in Pulpits are a relic of the times of the reformation when long sermons became the fashion as controversy spread. They were regular pieces of Church furniture in the times of the Puritans, and date from about the beginning of the sixteenth! century."

In consideration of the above ornaments it is quite clear, from the dates of the "Gough" Communion Vessels and of the Font, that the old Chapel of Bream was used for the Administration of the Sacraments in 1679, 1680. The date of the Preachers' Hour Glass is not so certain. The Frame itself looks even older than 1679, but all we can positively say is that an Hour Glass should have been first used in the somewhat frivolous reign of Charles II, and far more likely that it should have dated have dated from the Puritan occupation of all our Churches during the Commonwealth, 1649 — 1669. The Church Times indeed, has quoted the above, calls it a relic of the times of the Reformation, and throws back its possible date more than a century earlier than Cromwell. But though we have evidence of the existence of the old Chapel even before the Reformation, yet we must not base our evidence for so early a date upon so insecure a foundation as this. In my opinion we shall be safe in dating the Hour Glass as early as the reign of James I. At that time the spirit of controversy encouraged by James himself, ran high, and sermons were undoubtedly long, and the Chapel of Bream was certainly standing and as certainly in use. It appears then, that throughout the greater part of the seventeenth century the Chapel of Bream was used — under the Kings for the public worship of the Church, and under Cromwell probably by Presbyterians or Congregationalists — just as all other Churches in England were used.
Next month we hope to consider certain architectural features in the present building which will carry us back still further.

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