Church life in Locking

My father had always been a churchman, and I can remember that on Sundays he always wore a black cloth frech (??) coat and top hat, which he never wore on any other occasion. My mother before her marriage had attended a little chapel (Methodist) at Worle, and I think she always inclined to the belief that "chapel" was better than "church," but as there was no chapel in Locking she went regularly to the parish church.

Locking Church The Vicar of Locking, Rev G.H. Law, was blind, and he kept a curate to do all the work. The morning service was very long, Morning Prayer, Litany and Ante Communion, and the curate preached in a black gown. There was only a harmonium in those days, and the service was not very inspiring.

The curates were: Holy Communion was celebrated once a month after Morning Prayer. Notice was given "Dearly beloved on Sunday next I purpose etc."

Early Communions were unknown.

I used to gaze at the stained glass windows until I knew every detail by heart. There was no evening service. The farmers and their families all attended church in the morning. A service was held in the afternoon at which I think the congregation consisted largely of servants and farm labourers.

Sunday School, Miss Dickson.

The Parish Clerk, John Cavell, said the Amens and Responses in a loud voice. He had a desk in one of the pews and a large Prayer Book.

The Sexton used to stoke the fire during service, making a great noise.

On Sunday evenings we used to sit round the table and read the Bible together, and my mother taught me hymns and read The Pilgrim's Progress to me. I was very fond of that book and got to know it well. Another favourite reading of my mother's was the opening chapters of the Book of Job.

I owe a great deal to my mother. She was one of the most scrupulously honest and truthful women I have ever known. I am sure that she prayed very earnestly for her children. She worked very hard in the dairy, and everything in the house was always wonderfully clean. Her cooking, in my father's view, was superior to that of any woman on earth.

The blind vicar died in Dec 1875, and was succeeded by a young vicar, the Rev H.K. O'Connor, who had been curate of Weston-super-mare Parish Church.

Vicars of Locking

Names of the farmers in Locking

Clerk. John Cavell

Manor House

Great changes took place in the services. The black gown was given up, more music was introduced, a lectern was provided and the east end of the church furnished in the approved High Church fashion. The changes did not meet with universal approval, especially the intoning of the services, and some parishioners absented themselves altogether. On the other hand the preaching of the Vicar drew large numbers of people from the surrounding villages, and the church was never so full as during Mr O'Connor's ministry 1876 - 1880. He left in 1880 to take an Indian chaplaincy. the Rev G.H. Law had left 500 towards the building of a vicarage, and 100 for a new organ. The organ was opened Aug 2nd 1877, and at that time I joined the choir. The foundation stone of the new vicarage was laid in 1878(?), but Mr O'Connor left the parish before it was completed, and the Rev W. Cliften-Magg became Vicar in 1880 and remained until 1887.

The family of Job Gould:



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