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Sunday, 20 January 2013

ESAH Sunday Series: Church stories

A further selection of stories about Church in days gone by.

Announcements in Church

In old times all notices which we now read for ourselves on our Church doors were read to the congregation in Church by the parish Clerk, and many curious mistakes would be made from time to time.  On one occasion the Clerk read of a “rat, mad and singed by the inhabitants”, instead of a “rate, made and signed”.

Another Clerk gave out that there would be no service that afternoon as the minister was going ‘fishing’ in another parish.  (This of course should have read “officiating”. Ed.).

Singing in Church

The story used to be told of the Revd. Arthur Job Wallace [brother of Revd. Tom Wallace] of Braxted [Essex] that on one occasion he was more than usually disgusted with the vocal efforts of his congregation at the first hymn of an evening service at his Church, and that, when the Clerk got up to give out the second hymn according to custom, he met the invitation to harmony with this abrupt dismissal of it: “No, let us pray”.

Hadleigh Church Choir

The organist of Hadleigh [Suffolk] – and a capital musician – when asked of the family how his choir was progressing, replied with a sigh, “Some are beginning to sound A, and some are beginning to grumble B”.

The Week Ahead

Dr [Job] Wallace [D.D., Rector of Messing] seems to have been the pattern of a country gentleman of his day.  After the manner of those times [Dr Wallace died in 1793], his churchwarden would meet him immediately after Divine Service on Sunday to arrange where and at what hours the harriers should meet during the week.

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