THE BCH ARCHIVE
LOCAL HISTORY FOR
And The Surrounding District
All Saints : Hollybush
Church of St Gregory : Castlemorton
St Thomas of Canterbury with St Peter & St Paul : Birtsmorton
We need more information about the non-confomist Chapels and Chiurch rooms.
Mormons Steal Parishoners.
In Castlemorton, a chapelry to Longdon (Castlemorton itself extending some six square miles, and having no resident gentry), there is a district known as the Holly Bush, distant nearly three miles from the church, which till recently was a neglected corner of four adjacent parishes, and disowned by all. About fifteen years ago the Mormons made a raid upon it and carried off thirty families to Salt Lake; whereupon the church people of the neighbourhood perceived the necessity of doing something to amend the condition of these poor cottagers, who could not be expected to help themselves, it being a sort of "no man's land," save one large and two small farms. It is also the boundary where meet the three dioceses of Worcester, Hereford, and Gloucester and Bristol, and therefore a long way removed from episcopal supervision. Last summer open air and cottage services were performed here by the Rev. A. Wood curate of Castlemorton, and the Rev. E. Ashfield, of Berrow when from 70 to 90 usually attended. This year the Rev. E. Ashfield continued these services in Mr. Ricardo's school- room in Berrow parish, the Rev. A. Wood being unable to assist him in consequence of giving a third service at Longdon during the vacancy of the benefice. Meanwhile other agencies were at work to remedy this spiritual desti-tution. Miss Selwyn, of Glenberrow, who owns some property near, took a deep interest in the matter, and almost unaided set about raising funds for the erection of a chapel of ease. Mr. Preedy estimated the cost of a very humble structure at £500. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners, as lords of the manor, gave half-an-acre of the common for a site, and Earl Somers promised the stone. The Diocesan Society gave £50, and a friend, who wished to remain unknown, not only gave another £50, but promised a further donation if funds could be raised for a school. Thus the present deficiency is only £150, and the work will be commenced next spring. Style, early English, a plain parallelogram, with bell-cot at west end and S.W. porch; 90 sittings. Several of the farmers have promised to haul the stone, which is quarried in the neighbourhood The Rev. A. Wood will serve the chapel, and has promised, as far as health will permit, to give a third service on Sun days and an early communion once a month; but additional help is hoped for from other parishes to which it will be a great convenience, viz., Berrow, Eastnor, Bromsberrow, and Birtsmorton. If the chapel could be built at the present tame doubtless something more might be obtained from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who have within the last few weeks through an Act of Parliament passed relative to the Westminster Estates, become lords of the manor. The rectorial tithes, worth nearly £400 a year are now in the hands of a layman will probably fall in shortly and then of the chapel were completed, common justice would dictate that a small endowment should be given from tithes raised from the neighbouring soil for the benefit of a neglected population rather than the revenues should be carried to wealthy manufacturing districts, or otherwise applied. The chapel might then be made a district church or the ancient chapel of Castlemorton made into a District severed from Longdon and an additional curate thus secured for the Holly Bush chapel. If an additional £100 could be raised a dame school might be raised near the chapel which would also serve for a Sunday School, most of the children being too far from their Parish churches to attend them.
Published: Saturday 22 August 1868
Newspaper: Worcester Journal