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Featured Article: The Early Years of St Luke's Church, Grayshott (neil)
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The early years of St Luke’s Church, Grayshott
Originally, the district of what is now Grayshott parish was part of the Parish of Headley and the early residents of Grayshott had to travel the four miles or so to worship at Headley church. As the population of Grayshott increased and with it the number of residents without transport, the requirement to provide a place of worship in Grayshott became more apparent. As a result of this requirement, in 1873 the Rector of Headley, Reverend Laverty, commenced regular services for the parishioners in a room in Grayshott school which continued until 1879 when Canon Capes, Rector of Bramshott and Rural Dean, took over the responsibility of spiritual care of the Grayshott area of Headley Parish. He continued to hold services in the school and then in the former Dame school at the top of Kingswood Lane, until the growing population eventually resulted in a need for extra facilities.
Soon, with the continuing growth of Grayshott’s population, (by the 1901 census it stood at 666 for the Grayshott area in Hampshire plus 416 for the part of Grayshott in Surrey--some 215 dwellings), parishioners began to think in terms of building a permanent church. A formal meeting was held, presided over by Canon Capes with other attendees being Alexander Ingham Whitaker, Edward.B. I’Anson, Catherine I’Anson, Miss James, all well known benefactors of the village and Professor Williamson, an eminent British scientist who lived in Hindhead. Canon Capes was appointed the Chairman of the Church Building & Endowment Fund committee and he issued an Appeal for Funds notice in September 1896. This notice indicated an initial target amount of £6000 plus an amount for an endowment fund. According to the Reverend Jeakes, there followed “long and troublesome negotiations involved in the formation of an ecclesiastical district out of three parishes in two counties”. However, a resolution was eventually reached for Grayshott to become a parish in its own right.
The building of the Church
The first Grayshott District Magazine, now the Grayshott Parish Magazine, was published in January 1898. This recorded that the fund had reached £3861.13s.4d. which was raised from public donations and the proceeds from various sales and concerts held in the village and in Hindhead Hall and by the publication of the February edition the amount was in excess of £4000. (Today’s value c.£370,000-an extraordinary amount to be raised locally in such a short period of time). Miss C.B. I’Anson had gifted the plot of land, later described as being of 3850 square yards, for the building plus an area of land for the vicarage and Mr Edward Blakeway I’Anson was appointed honorary architect. By June the plans had been agreed and were displayed in the Iron Room for viewing by the public, by which time the building work had commenced.
The church was designed to be built in the “Old English” style and of Bargate stone on the exterior and Headley stone on the interior, the chancel 102 feet in length, forty-two feet in overall width and the nave forty-three feet in height. The tower and spire, which was a later addition, was designed to be 100 feet in height. The arches of the doors and windows, together with the tracery, were to be of Bath stone. The church was built by local builders, Chapman, Lowry & Puttick.
All of the windows of the original building were of plain glass, the stained glass windows we see today being later additions. The first stained glass window, depicting the Resurrection, was a gift from M.& Mme. de Pury in memory of their daughter Isabelle Tomkins, nee dePury and was installed in the south wall of the chancel in August 1910. This was followed by the installation of the East window, a gift of the I’Anson family in memory of their father, Edward Blakeway and sister, Catherine Blakeway I’Anson. This installation, which was carried out following alterations to the form and tracery of the original window, is the subject of Christ in Glory and was dedicated at a special service in November 1918 by the Bishop of Guildford. The window was designed by J. Wilson Forster. The window in the south wall of the nave, installed in early 1917, was a gift of Sir John and Lady Brickwood dedicated to the memory of their son 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Brickwood who died in the First World war in April 1915. (see Schedule re Stained Glass Windows).
In May 1899, Mr Whitaker invited all those involved in the actual building of the church, some 36 men, to Grayshott Hall where they were treated to supper. By the summer of that year the church was nearing completion and arrangements being made for the Service of Dedication. By October, the fund had reached a total of £5468 from which £1000 was set aside for the Endowment which was to be used toward the provision of a Vicarage and stipend.
The first service held in the church was Holy Communion at 8 o’clock on Sunday 17th September 1899, followed by a well attended 11 o’clock service at which Canon Capes was invited to give the sermon. The interior of the church was not fully complete at this time, the choir stalls and some of the planned seating had yet to be fitted. However, many of the fittings, the credence and altar rails, the pulpit, the heating, the organ and many other items, had been gifted or promised by members of the congregation.
In May 1900, Grayshott Magazine published a supplement setting out the position of the Building and Endowment Fund and contributions received from each individual. This showed that the costs of building the Church amounted to £5162 and that, having paid all expenses, there remained the sum of £1099.8s.8d. towards the Endowment Fund. In all, in addition to the many gifts which had been received for fitting out the Church, cash donations had been received from over 150 people. In June 1900, a letter written by Dr Lyndon to the Magazine stated that the estimated ongoing annual costs of the church were £320, including a stipend of £220.
In April 1901, the Ecclesiastical Commissions confirmed a Grant of £700 toward the Endowment Fund. Other than £100 received from the Winchester Diocese Society, this was the only help in fundraising received from a public body. All other funds for the Church and the Endowment Fund had been received through donations from the residents of Grayshott and the surrounding area.
Consecration of St Luke’s
A Deed was signed on 13th May 1899 conveying the land and buildings to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the new church being dedicated to St Luke within the Diocese of the Bishop of Winchester, this agreement being formalised in 1900.
The Church was consecrated at a service at 3.00pm on the eve of the Festival of St Luke, Wednesday17th October 1900, by the Bishop of Winchester, Bishop Randall Davidson, attended by the Vicar of Aldershot, who had recently been the Bishop’s private chaplain. The Church was packed as the Bishop was met at the door by Reverend Jeakes, the Churchwardens, the Choir and Clergy from many of the churches within the local area. Canon Capes handed the formal petition for the consecration of the Church to the Bishop and the long procession moved toward the chancel. The deeds of conveyance were handed to the Bishop by Dr Lyndon and the Service of Consecration began, the Bishop going to the font, chancel steps, lectern and pulpit and the holy table praying for God’s blessing on them all. The Registrar read the Sentence of Consecration which was then signed by the Bishop. After the service, at the invitation of Mr and Mrs Jeakes, the majority of the 500 who had attended moved to the vicarage, The Hermitage, for a celebratory tea and dance.
On 18th May 1901, Reverend James Jeakes was granted a license of incumbency of the new Parish of Grayshott by the Bishop of Winchester and became the first vicar of St Luke’s Church. No formal ceremony of induction was held in view of the fact that he had been administering to the spiritual needs of the people of Grayshott for the past five years. However, Reverend Jeakes’ Declaration of Assent and his reading of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion took place at morning service on 16th June.
The first marriage recorded in the Register of Marriages for St Luke’s is that of James Muir of Chatham, a surgeon in the Royal Navy, to Eleanor Pearson of Grayshott, on 3rd December 1901 who were married by a visiting vicar. The first marriage officiated by Reverend Jeakes was on 25th December 1901 when James Winchester married Kate Wetton.
Church Tower & Spire
In September 1907, a further appeal was launched to raise funds, estimated requiring to be in the region of £1500, to complete the building of the Church Tower and Spire as originally designed by the Architect, Edward B. I’Anson. The decision to complete this project had been instigated by an anonymous offer of a clock to be installed in the tower provided the project was completed quickly. (It was later revealed that the clock and bells were gifted by Mrs Murray-Smith in memory of her husband George). In November it was announced that the builders Chapman, Lowry & Puttick would commence the building of the tower at a cost of £975. At this stage the fund had reached £850 and renewed efforts to raise the full amount for the whole project included concerts, rummage sales and an Organ Recital. On 1st November 1910, the Bishop of Guildford, John Randolph, who was a suffragan bishop to the Bishop of Winchester, attended a Service of Dedication of the Tower, Spire and clock, and recent gifts which had been donated to the Church.
Note: The suffragan bishop of Guildford was created in the Diocese of Winchester in1874 and the Diocese of Guildford, to which St Luke’s now belongs, was created in 1927. In May 1927, the Ecclesiastical centre for St. Luke’s was transferred from the Diocese of Winchester to the Diocese of Guildford. The Enthronement of the first Bishop of Guildford, the Rt. Rev. John Grieg, Lord Bishop of Gibraltar, took place on 12th July 1927.
The Choir appears to have been formed at the time church services were held in the Iron Church. The first choir mistress was Miss Edwards, who ran a nearby private school and the organist was Mr Oliver Chapman who was the Grayshott Postmaster. Miss Edwards retired in December 1908 and was replaced by Mr Tyler, organist and choirmaster of Haslemere Parish Church. In 1903, the Church Council agreed that the choir mistress should be paid an annual income of £12, which was increased to £18 in 1906. It was also agreed in 1906 that a choirboy would be paid two shillings and sixpence per quarter, less one penny for each absence from a service or practice or for any irreverence, inattention etc.
Each year, the members of the choir went on an annual outing, paid for from donations from members of the congregation. In 1899, seventeen members went on the train to London, in 1900, there were twenty-four on the excursion to Portsmouth and in 1908 similar numbers went on a char-a-banc to Bognor. The service of 15th August 1900, was the first service at which the choir wore surplices and cassocks. These were provided following an appeal for funds, the surplices having been made by members of the congregation and the cassocks by the St. Dunstan Society in the “old English pattern”. In October 1902, a new organ, the gift from daughters of Edward I’Anson in memory of their father and brother Philip, was dedicated at a special service. This organ was originally hand pumped but in August 1914, an appeal was launched to raise funds for a mechanical organ blower. This was installed by Messrs Coxhead & Welch in December 1915.
Miss I’Anson made a gift of a Baptismal Register in June 1901which would hold some 1600 entries. Up until this time all baptisms celebrated at Grayshott had been entered in the register of Headley Parish Church and so Reverend Laverty, the vicar of Headley prepared and gave to Reverend Jeakes a list of the 238 entries relating to Grayshott, which had been registered since 2nd August 1874. This date is the first recorded baptism of a Grayshott child, Jane Elizabeth Harris of Whitmore Bottom, the Officiating Minister being C.W. Kerr. On 5th September 1875, Peter George Robinson, son of Henry and Hannah, “Granny”, Robinson was baptised.. The first child baptised following the consecration of St Luke’s was Bartholomew Selwyn, at a service officiated by Reverend Jeakes who signed as Officiating Minister rather than Curate of Bramshott as on previous occasions.
The first Vestry Meeting took place on 6th June 1901 at Grayshott school. Following a summary of the past history of the Church in Grayshott and the presentation of the accounts, Reverend Jeakes then formally appointed Mr Whitaker as his Churchwarden and Dr. Lyndon was elected Churchwarden for the people of the Parish. It was also proposed that a Church Council be formed in the near future “in order that members of the congregation may have a direct voice in the conduct of the Church Services and the work of the Parish”. (It was not until 1927 that a Church Council became a legal requirement within a parish). In February 1902, the rules for the Council, drawn up by the vicar and Churchwardens, were published in the Grayshott Magazine. These included that the Council would consist of the Clergy, the Churchwardens, ex-officio members and ten elected members, five male and five female. Elected members should be baptized, over 21 years of age and members of St Luke’s congregation entered in the Roll-book, meetings would be held twice a year. Sixty-three voting papers were distributed of which fifty-eight were returned and the first meeting was held on 30th April 1902.
In June 1905, the main event was the consecration of the churchyard, an area included in Miss I’Anson’s gift of land, at a service conducted by the Bishop of Dorking. (see article The Churchyard of St Luke’s & other Memorials)
In September 1906, an appeal was launched by the Churchwardens to raise funds to enable the replacement of the oil lamps with electric lighting. The Hindhead Electric Light Company subsequently installed electricity to the Vestry and seventy-five pendant lights, which were specifically designed for the church, were installed in the summer of 1907 at a cost of some £240. It was agreed by the Church Council to retain the candelabra in the chancel.
Reverend and Mrs Jeakes, together with their three children, two of whom were born in Grayshott, left the Parish in November 1907. On 15th November, the family attended a farewell party in the Village Hall attended by many members of the congregation and other villagers. Presentations of a rose bowl and study furniture were made to the couple. Mr Whitaker and Dr Lyndon each gave a short speech expressing the thanks of the village and their sorrow at departure of Reverend Jeakes and family after twelve years of caring service. Reverend Albert Simms, M.A., B.D., was instituted by the Bishop at his private chapel in Farnham Castle on 31st January 1908 as successor to Reverend Jeakes’ . He remained as vicar of St Luke’s until 1926 after which time Reverend E. Garth Ireland was appointed as the new vicar.
Gifts to the Church
In December 1912, Mrs Whitaker presented the Church with a book, bound in green calf with gilt lettering and written by Mr Whitaker, containing the official list of all gifts to St Luke’s Church, including monies collected for the building. (Entries have continued to be made up to the present day). In addition to the monies collected for the Church Building Fund, there were numerous gifts for the fitting of the interior of the church. These included the mosaic paving of the chancel, the heating apparatus, the oak pulpit and altar, seating and choir stalls, the lectern, bible and prayer books. The brass cross was specifically designed for the Church and an oak carving of St Luke, carved by a Mr Forsyth of Worcester, was positioned above the porch. This figure is now kept within the Church. The stone Font had been given to the church by Canon Capes of Bramshott church where it had been in use for a number of years. The new organ, which was received from the Misses I’Anson in 1902, was dedicated at a special service on 9th September 1902
From the very beginning, St Luke’s Church played an active role in village life. It became the centre for many activities outside the church, such as the Band of Mercy, the Mothers’ Union, the Boys and the Girls Clubs, the Men’s Club and of course, the Village School.
It is perhaps worth remembering at this time, that this magnificent church, which became and remains at the centre of so much of our village life, was built in its entirety by the generosity of the residents and friends of Grayshott and its surrounding area.
The Grayshott Magazine
In the first edition of the Grayshott Magazine, dated January 1898 and priced at two pence, it was stated that the aim was “to keep in touch with the common life of the village and to help make better known whatever ought to be common interest.--We have our Schools and our Clubs, our Classes and our Entertainments. So far as space allows, we hope to tell, month by month, what is going on in these different ways”.
From the beginning, the magazine, produced monthly and edited by succeeding vicars of Grayshott, continued to inform recipients of the events of the village. In addition to church news and notices, the magazine contained reports on the activities of the various clubs, lectures, entertainments and future plans, of the time. It was used for a number of appeals, such as the Church Building Fund, and in early editions, it covered reports on the School, the Hindhead Working Men’s Club, The Provident Club, the Church Lads Brigade, the Mothers’ Meetings and many other village activities. Many local businesses took space in the Magazine to advertise their business (see Article Early Businesses in Grayshott). The 1897 Accounts of Grayshott Cricket Club were included in February 1898 together with reports on the Band of Mercy, the Choral Society and Ambulance Classes held.
For many years, the Magazine listed the school attendance record of each child by name and Annual Reports of the School Accounts, School Government Grants and a Report of Religious instruction were published, together with the School Inspector’s Report. Also recorded were all Baptisms, Marriages and Burials relating to members of the Church.
For many months, under the editorship of Reverend Simms, a detailed report of the weather in Grayshott for the previous month was published with hours of sun and inches of rain recorded.
The Magazine was also used to inform on items of legislation such as the Reform of the Poor Law, Education Bills and on national issues such as the Coal Strike of 1912. Throughout the Great War, the Roll of Honour, containing the names of every man serving in the military, his regiment and place of posting, was published on a monthly basis together with the names of those killed, wounded or taken prisoner. (see Article on Grayshott during the Great War).
Since publication of the first edition and up to the present day, the Magazine has followed its initial aims of recording the progress of village life in the parish of Grayshott and its surrounding area.
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Notes and News: July / August / September (neil)
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July / August / September 2013
Further to the problem that we have outgrown our venue at Grayshott Pottery, as an alternative for the next Friends evening the Grayshott Social Club have agreed that the meeting can be held there. Stephen Penny has kindly agreed to come along and give a talk on the history of the Village Hall. The meeting will take place on Thursday November 7th. Neil Jaques and myself went along to the club recently to give a similar illustrated talk on the history of shops in Grayshott, as at our last Friends evening, to the Buy in Grayshott organisation. The room available gives us much more space with individual tables etc. Refreshments will be as previous, there will also be the opportunity to make use of the bar. I hope this will prove to be a suitable new venue for our meetings. Final details to follow next time.
John Hill is continuing with his project which he is undertaking in connection with the Archive. This is in connection with the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the First World War next year. John is researching all the names that appear on the village war memorial and associated material that goes with this and it is hoped that some kind of publication can be produced.
Continues with a good number of visits being made. More interesting ‘Photos of the Month’ to follow.
Don’t forget there is always a good selection of local history titles available including “The History of Grayshott Fire Station 1906 – 2007” ; “Grayshott, a Hampshire Village” and a good selection of other new titles about walks in the district from Jo. Smith who of course is adding new titles. All are stocked at Grayshott Pottery.
Photo of the Month · Total News: 50 · Total Reads: 41364
Photo of the Month: Headley Road c.1922 (neil)
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Headley Road c.1922. Grayshott Terrace opposite the 'Fox and Pelican'. Mrs. West's toy shop and cafe is now the 'New Famous Chef' Chinese take away. Next is now Sainsbury's which then was the 'Overton Garage' retailing 'BP' petrol which ironically has just returned to the area at the top of Headley Road. Parked outside is the small ex. Royal Flying Corps. Crossley, now a charabanc this provided some of the first outings from Grayshott.