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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

Was made to the salary of the incumbent


In the mean time, under the Act of 1842, an addition of 31 pounds 9s. 6d. was made to the salary of the incumbent, by the purchase of an equivalent amount of 3 per cent. Reduced Bank Annuities, raising its annual income to 150 pounds, the nomination to the incumbency being transferred to the Queen and her successors. The Rev. J. Banks succeeded to the living in 1847, who, previous to his relinquishing it in 1852, effected several improvements in the interior of the church. The Rev. W. H. Taylor followed him, and still remains the minister. The adjoining school premises have been made much more complete and capacious by him, so as amply to accommodate 150 children, and a teacher's house has been erected. A permanent redemption of the land-tax charged on the living, at the cost of 150 pounds, has also been presented by Thomas Graham, Esq. There are three tablets on the north side or oldest part of the church, to the memories of Edward Hawkins, the first teacher in the school, the Rev. P. M. Procter, and the Rev. T. R. Garnsey, and a flat paved stone records the grave of Thomas Morgan. About ten marriages, forty-three baptisms, and thirty-five funerals take place yearly. The church is well attended on Sunday, especially in the afternoon, when 300 or 400 persons are usually present.

Whilst the Rev. P. M. Procter and the Rev. H. Berkin were engaged in effecting the improvements described on the west and north-east sides of the Forest, the Rev. H. Poole was labouring to accomplish similar results on the south-east. The appeal for public aid towards "the erection of a church and school-house," which he issued on the 6th July, 1819, thus forcibly describes the necessities of the case:--"The Forest is an extensive tract of land, having a circumference of about twenty-five miles, and containing at present nearly 5,000 souls. This population, with some exceptions, may be considered as divided into three settlements, detached from each other by a space of several miles, of which settlements two are now provided with churches; but the other colony, situated on the south-east side, is still destitute of the means of religious knowledge. It is therefore proposed, under the sanction of the Lord Bishop of the diocese, to erect a third church and school-house in this still neglected spot. From a recent accurate survey, it appears that within little more than two miles of the site of the proposed church there are at least 400 inhabitants, distant from the other Forest churches about six miles, and from any parish church nearly three miles. The chapel of Bream, the nearest episcopal place of worship, is too small to accommodate even one-third of the population of its own tithing. Being thus unprovided with a place of worship and the means of public instruction, and following the corrupt dictates of their untutored minds, the natural consequences are gross ignorance of the Scriptures, a shameful profanation of the Sabbath, and a total neglect of all the duties of religion, accompanied with a general prevalence of disorderly and immoral conduct." This application met with a generous response from Bishop Ryder, Edward Protheroe, Esq., the Earl of Liverpool, the Right Hon. N. Vansittart, Edward Machen, Esq., Lord Calthorpe, Lady Olivia Sparrow, Mrs. H. More, &c.


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