S. James Parish Magazine,
March, 1902 No.331
THE VICARS LETTER
My dear Parishioners and Friends,
The holy season of the Death and Resurrection of the Lord is rapidly approaching, and I would like just to express the hope that that holy season may be religiously observed in Bream.
It is a matter of thankfulness to me that our Special Lent Service is so well attended, because a well spent Lent means a good preparation for Holy Week and Easter. I hope sincerely that all devout people will come to God’s House on Good Friday morning, that we may all together Commemorate the Saviour’s Death and Passion at the appointed time; and that all Communicants will gather on Easter Morning at the Holy Table of their Lord to give thanks to Him for the Redemption which He has purchased for us. And may the blessing of God rest on all who come on that great day to the purifying of soul and body and the increase of that Christian joy and gladness which it is the Will of God that we should enjoy abundantly. I will close this short letter with the very words of Jesus and of His Church.
The word of the Church—"Every parishioner shall communicate at the least three times in the year, of which Easter to be one."
The word of Jesus—"Do this in remembrance of Me."
Your a Vicar and Friend,
Ernest F. Eales,
Bream Vicarage, Feb. 26, 1902.
SCHOOL CHILDREN’S CONCERT.
The Entertainment which had to be postponed at Christmas owing to the scarlet fever will be held, D.V., on Thursday and Friday, the 10th and 11th days of April.
SUNDAY SCHOOL PRIZES.
These were distributed at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 6th, and buns and oranges given to the children amidst some amusement—welcome after the dreary winter.
The usual Spring Jumble Sale will be held soon, and the proceeds devoted to the payment of debts owing to the Vicar on account of the Sunday School Prizes, etc., and the Parish Magazine, upon each of which accounts the Vicar has advanced just £7, making a total debt of £14.
The Sunday School Prizes cost about £5, and the Vicar will be glad to receive any donations towards this.
The advertisements in the Parish Magazine realize £5 15 0d., and have reduced that debt from £12 15 0d.to £7, but four of the advertisements have not yet been paid for.
It is hoped that the Jumble Sale will be fairly successful, in which case these particular debts will be brought within manageable limits, and it seems likely that the Parish Magazine will henceforth, with the help of the advertisements, pay its way
The Vicar will be much obliged if parishioners, and friends at a distance, will send things to the Vicarage for the coming sale.
“ Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God.” —S. MARK, x, 14.
February 12—George Henry, son of George and Sarah Ann Royal, The Langetts, Bream, collier.
February 15 —Harold son of Reuben and Selina Alice Brain, Bream’s Woodside, collier.
February 22—Sarah, daughter of John and Rose Hancock, Bream’s Tufts, collier.
“ What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” S. Max, x, 9.
February 10, by the Vicar, Levi Jenkins, widower, and Harriet Ann Colwell, spinster, both of Bream.
“ Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come,”—HEB., xiii, 14
February 2—Ophelia Cook, Bream’s Eaves, aged 59 years.
February 5—William Priest, Bream’s Eaves, aged 14 days.
February 21—John Sims Jenkins, 19, Earl’s Court Gardens, London, aged 63 years.
Church Restoration in Bream.
We have stated in a previous article that the ancient Chapel of Bream may possibly have been used as an ordinary farm building in the disturbed years of the 16th century Reformation. We now propose to consider the various Restorations which it has undergone down to the end of the 19th century.
1. —Thomas Donning’s Restoration.
In the year 1618—as we have already stated in a former article—the Chapel Haye was conveyed to Thomas Donning, of Bream, "who made seats in the chapel at his own charge and caused the first letters of his name to be cut on them, &c " This is the earliest documentary evidence that we have of any such Church improvements, and I am not aware of any further work done for the Chapel till the beginning of the 19th century. Here then seems to be the proper place to consider what the old Chapel was like, and to the best of our ability we will describe it in the hope that if there is anything wrong in our description it will be detected and set right by old residents in the Parish.
(a).—THE CHANCEL. —The Chancel was originally much smaller than it is today. It was approached from the Nave by an ancient Chancel Arch, which occupied the same position as the present Chancel Arch, but was much lower and much narrower; the stones of which the Ancient Arch was built were built into the present Arch in 1861—where they are plainly visible owing to their dark colour; The East wall of the Ancient Chancel occupied a position near the present Communion rail, just between the present Priests’ door and the South doorway of the present Vestry. In the East wall of the ancient Chancel there was a pointed window of three lights with tracery similar to that of our present square windows, under which, in the usual place, was the Holy Table. The Ancient Chancel was mach narrower than the present one, the walls being apparently somewhere near where the choirboys’ seats are today. The North wall seems to have been quite plain without door or window. In the South wall, at its Eastern end, the piscina, which now appears in the North wall, was embedded, and Westwards from the piscina there was a small square shaped window of the same style as the square windows of the Nave. There seems to have been no vestry—the clergyman robing, according to ancient custom, in the presence of the people.
(b) THE NAVE.—The Ancient Nave, or body of the Chapel, was shorter than the present Nave. It extended from the Chancel Arch Westwards, no farther than to the Eastern side of the gangway, which crosses the present Church from the New Porch to the new North Aisle. We have not been able to learn whether there was originally any window in the West wall. It is said, also that the ancient Nave was narrower than it is today, the original South wall being somewhat North of its present position, and the original North wall being somewhat South of the present arcade of pillars and arches. In the North wall were the three square windows, of two lights each, which we now have in the North wall of the new North Aisle. In the South wall were the two square windows, of two lights each, which we now have in our present South wall, and between them the porch door, giving possibly the only access to the Chapel. This, as far as we know was the condition of the Chapel when Thomas Donning seated it in 1618. But there seems, at some unknown date, to have been a West gallery erected in which the singers and musicians, had their seats: at any rate, it is said, though one hopes not truly, that about the year 1813, when the Rev. Josiah Allport was curate here, there was a quarrel between the singers in the West Gallery and the Parson as to who had a right to choose the music. The singers maintained that they had an ancient right to sing what they pleased, while the Parson held the contrary opinion. How the matter was decided we have no evidence to shew, except that it is said that when one of the singers sided openly with Mr. Allport his brethren lifted him over the of the gallery and lowered him—no great drop, perhaps— into the Nave. Queer and unseemly proceedings in the House of God, and, as we have already remarked, we hope not true. We have no record of what the porch was like originally, except that the outer arch of the present porch is clearly ancient. We know not whether the Chapel roof, was tiled, or slated, or covered with stones, neither can we find evidence of any tower, turret, or Chapel bell until the 19th century, though it is highly probable that there was a bell.
The Restoration or Re-building of the Chapel by the Rev. Henry Poole
in 1822—-l827, is deserving of a separate Article, and some account
of it will (D.V.) appear next month.
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