Letter from The Vicar, June 2009
Letter from The Vicar, May 2009
Letter from The Vicar, July 2009
Letter from The Vicar, September 2009
Letter from the Vicar, October 2009
Letter from the Vicar, January 2010
Letter from the Vicar, February 2010
Letter from the Vicar, April 2010
Letter from the Vicar, May 2010
Yesterday I went to a meeting with Revds Elaine and Michael in Abergavenny. We looked in the bookshop opposite the church and I bought another copy of Daphne du Maurier’s Vanishing Cornwall. My first copy was borrowed long ago by a friend who never returned it. I’m sure you’ve had that experience! This book tells many good stories, including that of the Revd Frederick Densham, a lonely eccentric who was Vicar of Warleggan in the 1930s. The Vicar never visited his parishioners. He was a recluse who placed a box on the garden gate for all his deliveries. He erected barbed-wire fences eight feet high around the Vicarage and he kept Alsatian dogs.Needless to say, in this isolated, sparsely populated part of Bodmin Moor, the small congregation soon dwindled away and the only choir was provided by the rooks cawing in the tall trees that surrounded the Vicarage.
Undeterred by the departure of his congregation, the Revd Fred Densham cut out copies of them in cardboard or wood that he propped up in the pews. He preached to these cardboard images every Sunday and felt relieved that they did not answer him back or ask him to visit anyone during the week. This state of affairs went on for some time because the Church authorities could not remove him since he had committed no ecclesiastical offence and officers of the Diocese of Truro always seemed to lose their way when they tried to find the desolated church. I had the same experience myself when I tried to find the church and it all felt as eerie as Du Maurier described. You might like to know that the population of Warleggan was 217 and that was the only parish that Densham had to care for or not care for! He was paid the princely sum of £236 pounds a year and given a free Vicarage in a dilapidated condition.
Some things have not changed, but many other things have changed since those days. Warleggan is now grouped with other parishes and no-one lives in the Vicarage there. Nowadays the clergy like other professional people, are accountable for what they do and will soon have proper terms of service agreements. The Ministry of Welcome is a very important feature of Church life that involves all Churchpeople, not just clergy.
On this Back-to-Church Sunday you are all very welcome “as you are”. If you are put off in any way by any lack of friendliness on the part of anyone in St. Cadoc’s church, please accept my apology and give us a chance to get to know you better and join you in your spiritual journey.
Next Sunday, October 4th you will be very welcome to join us for our Harvest Thanksgiving and to come to our Harvest Supper in the Junior School Hall after Evensong. After our Family Eucharist at 10.30 a.m. there will be a meeting for those who would like to be Confirmed.