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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

The following is a list of Incumbents


The site chosen for the new church, as being most convenient of access for the largest number of persons, was "Mason's Tump," situated immediately to the east of Whitemead, Park End. In the two previous instances of church-building at Berry Hill and Holy Trinity, little had been attempted in the way of appropriate design; but in this case Mr. Poole's practical knowledge and good taste enabled more to be accomplished. At a total cost of 2,731 pounds, including the churchyard boundary wall and gates, a cruciform edifice, enlarged into an octagon forty-six feet in diameter at the intersection, having a total length of sixty-six feet, so as to accommodate 500 people, was erected in the Decorated style of architecture; attached to which there was also raised a well-proportioned tower, eighty feet in height, and intended to contain a small peal of eight bells, Edward Machen, Esq., presenting the treble, as well as a good clock with three dials.

[Picture: St. Paul's Church, Park End]

The church now possesses a good finger organ, removed from Ross church, and said to have been used originally in Salisbury Cathedral. There is also a rich reredos under the east window. At eleven o'clock on the morning of the 2nd of May, 1822, Dr. Ryder, the Lord Bishop of Gloucester, attended by thirteen clergymen and many of the magistrates and gentry of the neighbourhood, proceeded to the spot for the purpose of dedicating the fabric to the service of God as the Church of St. Paul. The Bishop entered the edifice by the west door, followed by his clergy, repeating alternately the 24th Psalm. Every seat was immediately filled, and soon no spot was left unoccupied. Many could not gain admission, and were seen clinging to the bars of the windows on the outside. A large company of professional and amateur singers attended, so that the whole musical part of the service was well executed. His Lordship delivered an impressive discourse from the 8th, 9th, and 10th verses of the 132nd Psalm. The congregation was very attentive, and, after contributing at the door nearly 30 pounds towards the completion of the work, dispersed, fully 1,000 persons being observed to leave the church. The perpetual advowson of the living was assigned to the Bishop of the diocese, and endowed with 75 pounds 6s. 6d. per annum, together with the remainder of the five acres of land granted by the Crown as glebe, on which a picturesque parsonage, and also commodious schools for a population supposed to number 1,500, were erected. By the Act of 1842 the income of the incumbency was augmented to 150 pounds a year, and the presentation confirmed to the Bishop of the diocese, with an ecclesiastical district annexed to it of 7,741 acres, with 3,681 inhabitants. This population has since increased to 6,500, to meet which growth pleasing and substantial schools have been built, at a total outlay of 750 pounds, on the Viney Hill and in the Blakeney Valley, the former opened in 1850, and the latter in 1851. Divine service is held in each of them under episcopal licence. The three schools are attended by 200 children daily. The Sunday congregations comprise 150 people in the morning, and 400 in the afternoon. About fifty come to the Lord's Table. The yearly average of christenings is forty-six, of weddings twenty-six, and of funerals forty-five. The following is a list of

_Incumbents_.--Henry Poole; J. J. Ebsworth, M.A.


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