St Wilfrid’s Church Gates
Sourced from Parish Magazine C1938 and Provided by Elaine Sarson
The Gates were presented to the Church by the late Mr. Thomas. Williamson in the early part of the First World War and were originally hung at the old churchyard entrance where they remained until the churchyard was extended. Up to that time a pair of iron gates hung in the position they now occupy.
Mr. Williamson was agent for the West Hallam Colliery and lived at that time at the Firs Farm. He was, for a time, the Chairman of the Parish Council and, incidentally, had the Council Chamber table specially made and presented it to the parish.
The gates, of solid oak were designed and made by Mr. Walter Carrington of 136, High Lane East, who was at the time employed by the colliery. Not only did he design and make them, but actually hung them entirely on his own—no light task. They were originally designed of different sizes with only one opening, and when they were moved to the present site, extra pieces had to be inserted to equalise them. This was done so cleverly that it is impossible now to see where the alterations were made.
The wood was taken from stock of old and seasoned timber at the West Hallam colliery and at the same time and from the same design, Mr. Carrington made a pair of gates which were eventually used for the House, "Lewcote Bank" on High Lane Central, which was also owned by Mr. Williamson.
Memorial Gates at St Wilfrid’s Church
Extracts from West Hallam and Mapperley Church & Community Magazines (WHM)
March 1999 – An appeal is to be launched soon for replacement gates to St Wilfrid’s. The decorative present ones are deteriorating rapidly, and Alan Burton has volunteered to make exact replicas with the help of Frank Worthington (once a local man) who is a craftsman in metalwork. You might like to be part of this scheme by donating?
October 1999 – As recently mentioned, the church gates, by the War Memorial, are to be replaced by Alan Burton, owing to internal decay. These gates were originally presented, during the 1914-18 war, by Thomas Williamson of the Firs (Agent to West Hallam Colliery and Chairman of the Parish Council) They were designed and made by Walter Carrington of High Lane East. Would you like to make a donation for their replacement? A fitting millennium project.
Mapperley History Project
St Wilfrid’s Church, Taken From An Old Parish Magazine C1955
The centre of any village life in years gone was always the Church and although no mention is made of a church at West Hallam in the Domesday Book it is fairly certain that some place of worship existed. In those days many of the smaller places were catered for by a mobile church which moved from village to village providing spiritual comfort for the inhabitants.
More than probably, however, the first permanent church was built by the de Cromwells in the early fourteenth century. This family held the advowson (or "patronage" is the right in English law of a patron (avowee) to present to the diocesan bishop a nominee for appointment to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or church living) of the Rectory from the earliest historic mention of any church (in the twelfth century) until the male issue died out towards the end of the fifteenth century, when Thomas Powtrell of Thrumpton, Northamptonshire, purchased the manor.
At this time, and indeed for several hundred years, West Hallam was staunchly attached to the Roman Catholic faith, and the Powtrell family suffered severely for their adherence, especially during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. West Hallam Hall became a famous hiding place for Catholic refugees, being quoted in the State Papers as “Mr. Powtrell’s House called Westhalum, iiii miles [?] beyond Derby"
In 1638, as church patronage of Roman Catholics had been placed in the hands of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the Powtrells could not present, although they still owned the right, and the “Masters and scholars of Cambridge” appointed John Scargill to the living.
The Titus Oates plot did not leave the parish alone and, on the night of 16th March, 1680, Father George Busby, a relative of Mrs. Powtrell, was seized at the Hall and condemned at Derby assizes to be hung, drawn and quartered simply for being a Roman Catholic priest. This sentence was later commuted to one of banishment.
On Henry Powtrell’s death the estate and advowson passed to the Hunloke family, who sold each presentation to avoid the University statute until Francis Newdigate purchased both outright in 1821. Thus the estate passed out of Romanist hands.
There is in evidence a list of Rectors and patrons dating from Henry, son of William Orseny, who was presented to the living in 1322, but this list does not appear to be complete. It is difficult to believe, for instance, that John Houghton was Rector from 1552 until 1630 - a period of seventy-eight years, although this is possible. It is, however, certain that Henry Greatorex had forty-eight years in office as his grandson, Daniel Greatorex, took over the living on his grandfather’s death in 1716.
St. Wilfrid’s Church, although actually consisting of many mixed styles and periods of architecture, become a blend of them all under careful restoration in 1855, and now presents the pleasant appearance of a well used and cared for church. Some of the stained glass of the Old Hall was placed in the East window.
High backed pews, whitewashed walls and flat plaster ceilings have gone, to no-one's regret. The chancel screen, erected about a century ago, has also gone and gives a more open and spacious appearance to the church.
On the floor of the chancel was an alabaster slab, incised with a figure in plate armour and a long inscription in Latin. At one time this slab, a memorial to the first Thomas Powtrell, patron of the parish, who died on August 24th, 1484 stood on a raised tomb in the North-East angle of the chancel within the alter rails. From this and other stones all traces of brasses have gone, together with the bulk of any inscription.
Against the North chancel wall is the tomb of Walter Powtrell, who died in 1598, and his wife, Cassandra. This is a costly monument with life-sized effigies resting upon it and with the family, quartered and impaled, all round it. Representations of the deceased children include one in grave clothes signifying her to have predeceased her parents.
The memorial slab to the Rev. John Scargill—known to every inhabitant of West Hallam although he died in 1669 - is now covered by the choir stalls on the south side and was disturbed in 1787 to allow the interment of the body of the Rev. Mr. William Clark, rector of this parish. No reason is given for this seeming desecration of the tomb of the munificent founder of the Scargill Schools, and the entry in the parish register throws no light on the subject.
An ancient font was discovered among rubble at the back of the Free Library buildings in the Wardwick, Derby, in 1878, and, following an enquiry started by the Derby Mercury, it was disclosed that this was probably used at West Hallam Hall by Father Campion and other Roman Catholic priests in hiding, for secret baptism. It bad no base, but was of eccentric and possibly unique design, and was thought to be the font of the ancient chapel of Mapperley, which had been presented to Derby Museum.
Nottinghamshire Guardian - Thursday 04 May 1854
On a pane of glass in a window on the south side of West Hallam Church, which side is being pulled down, is the following inscription, in diamond pencil : —
Restoration of the Church.— The condition of West Hallam Church having for some years been such as to call for extensive repairs, in order to render it more worthy of its object as the consecrated House of God, and more available for the purposes of public worship, a committee has been formed to carry out these objects without further delay. They have, therefore, resolved to restore the church, as far as practicable, to its former beauty and proportions; and have instructed G. G. Place, Esq., architect, of Nottingham, to prepare plans of the requisite repairs, etc. Accordingly, new roofs will be required for both nave and chancel, and the whole of the interior will be re-seated in a plain and substantial manner, by which means upwards of eighty additional free sittings, which are much needed, will be secured. In accordance with the general wishes of the parishioners, it is being attempted to raise the entire sum requisite for this purpose by voluntary subscriptions, collected among themselves and such friends as may be willing to contribute towards this good work. The parishioners have not been backward in responding to the call, for upwards of £400 have already been promised — a large sum, when it is remembered that there are no wealthy inhabitants in the parish, and that the whole population, according to the last census, is only 623. Still, a further sum of upwards of £200 will be required before the whole of the contemplated restorations can be completed. Under these circum stances, it is with some confidence that the committee now make an appeal to those who have the means to contribute towards supplying this deficiency, and extend their liberality toward those who have already shown their readiness to do as much as they can for themselves. In the list of contributors appear the names of F. Newdigate, Esq., and the Rev. C. J. Newdigate, for £100 each, and H. B. White house, Esq., for £50, and numerous others, to which are appended most liberal amounts.
Evolution of the '£' symbol Note: This sign is simply a capital letter L, or in some cases a lower case l. Written in an old-fashioned handwriting style and with one or two crossbars to show that it is being used as a symbol or abbreviation. The L stands for the Latin word libra, the name of a Roman unit of weight, which also gave rise to the abbreviation lb for a pound as a measure of weight, and to the French word livre.
Derby Mercury - Wednesday 02 May 1855
RE-OPENING OF WEST HALLAM CHURCH
The services in celebration of the re-opening of West Hallam Church were held on St. Mark's day, Wednesday, April 25. Those who knew the ancient structure, with its exclusive pews and whitewashed walls, were agreeably surprised, on the completion of the restoration, at the neat and comfortable appearance which it presented, and the greater facilities which were obtained which were obtained for the due performance of Divine service. The church was closed at Easter in last year, and throughout the summer and autumn the parishioners worshipped at Mapperley. During the interval the Rev C J Newdigate (the justly - esteemed rector) and the Building Committee exerted themselves in obtaining subscriptions, and the appeal which they issued was generously responded to; notwithstanding, however, the, the efforts made, the economy exercised, and the voluntary gifts which poured in, up to Wednesday there was a deficit of about 200L. The required sum is now, we have pleasure in recording, much reduced, and we trust that ere long the debt incurred will he wholly liquidated.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Wilfred, consists of a west tower and nave, with aisles and a south porch, a well developed chancel, having a vestry on its north side. Previous to the present restorations the edifice contained high backed pews, whitewashed walls, flat ceilings, and the like incongruities, but the chancel had already received improvements, at the expense of the rector, who has always evinced a deep interest in the work of church architecture; and a gallery which hid the west window was removed. About a year ago, a meeting was held in the parish, and a committee, consisting of the rector, churchwardens, and other inhabitants, appointed for the purpose of refitting and restoring the sacred building.
Mr. George Gordon Place, of Nottingham, was selected as the architect, Mr. Thomas Brown, of West Hallam as the contractor, Mr. Richard Evans supplying the wood work.
The subscriptions flowed in liberally, the lord of the Manor, F. Newdiigate, Esq., of Blackheath, Kent, heading the list with a donation of one hundred guineas. The other principal contributors were the rector, and other members of the Newdigate family, and Whitehouse, Esq.; but every class in the parish nobly responded to the appeal. The works just completed are extensive, and are done in a substantial manner. The south aisle has been entirely rebuilt. A well timbered, high pitched roof occupies the place of the former flat ceiling over the nave; the floors have been depressed to their former level, and newly laid down. The interior walls have been denuded of their many coats of whitewash, and the old masonry exposed to view. The chancel has had its south and east walls rebuilt, and a new roof placed upon it similar to the one in the nave. The old alter rails have been cleaned, and the sacrarium laid down in beautiful encaustic tiles of various colours and patterns, from the celebrated works of Messrs. Minton. The altar steps are of white marble, the material having been found under the floors of the church.
No inconsiderable feature of the restorations is the stained glass, which has been supplied from the Studio of Mr. M A O'Connor, of Berners-street, London. The east window of the chancel has for its subject the Crucifixion, the tracery being filled with figures of angels, with censors in their hands. The drawing is treated in the ancient spirit, while the colouring is quite harmonious. The first window on the south side of the chancel is partly ancient and partly modern, and contains small figures of saints and their canopies. The next window is the work of a clergyman residing in the neighborhood the Rev. C.Rawlins of Chaddesden; again the subject is the Evangelitical symbols, and it reflects great credit on his skill and taste. It is similar to the last in its general arrangement. A two-light window on the north even side contains ancient quarries and shields of arms of the Powtrell, Shirley, and Newdigate families. All the windows and the new south aisle are fitted with stained glass each a gift of a parishioner, the one at the West end being a memorial to the Rev. J. Scargill, who about 1680 founded the free school of West Hallam, the endowment of which is now more than 200L a year. The nave and aisles are fitted throughout with open benches of English Oak. The chancel has its complement of correctly-arranged seats for the choir, an ornamental screen dividing it from the vestry. The font was brought into the church from an adjoining farm-yard in the belief that it was the same which was formerly used in the sacred edifice, but is now generally thought to form the basin of the old village cross. The monuments have been restored at the expense of the Rev. C. Newdigate.
Wednesday was observed as a holiday in the village and neigbourhood and great interest appeared to be centered in the proceedings.
Soon after eleven o'clock the Lord Bishop of Lichfleld (who arrived from Darley Dale the previous evening, and was the guest of A. M. Mundy, Esq~, Shipley Hall) entered the church by the north door, preceded by the churchwardens of West Hallam (Messrs.- Borebank and John Barton) and followed by the clergy of the neighbourhood, amongst whom were the Rev. M. Hill incumbent of St. John's, Kidderminster; Rev. C. J. Newdigate, Rev. A. Newdigate, Aylesbury, Bucks; Rev. F. Hewgill, Trowel, Notts. Rev. G. S. Ebsworth, Ilkeston; Rev. R. M. Hope, Derby; Rev. W. Hope, Derby; Rev. H Hall, Risley; Rev. W. E. Mousley, Etwall; Rev.R. Chandos-Pole, Radborne; Rev. T. V. Mellor; Rev. S. Hey, Sawley; Rev. J. L. Longmire, Sandiacre; Rev. J. G. Howard, Stanton-by-Dale; Rev. G. Boynton, Kirk Hallam; Rev. S. Fox, Morley, Rev. C. Rawlins, Claddesden; Rev. C. B. Dunn, Heanor; Rev. Jones, Breaston; Rev. W. Symons, Cotmanhay; Rev. F. Smith, Smalley Rev G. S. Faught, Ilkeston; Rev. – Bassall, Cossall, etc. Amongst the laity present at the services, were Sir Henry and Lady Wilmot; Alfred Miller Mundy, Esq., and party; Captain Newdligate; J. Radford, Esq., Smalley; J. J. Simpson, Esq.,Derby; G. Whitehouse, Esq.; Mr.J. Morley, Derby; Mr J Parkin, Idridgehay; Mr. Pountain, Derby; Mr R. Russell, Derby; Mr. P. Peal, Derby; Mr. W Cantrill, Derby; Mr Isaac Potter, Smalley; Messrs. Brown, Milnes, Wm. Canner, John Canner, Wm. Hollingworth, etc., West Hallam; Messrs. Perkin, Hardy, Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Blundstone, etc Kirk Hallam; Mr. Riley, Ilkeston; Mr. Barton, Stanley; Mr. Burton, Mr. B. Fletcher, Mr. Rowbottom, etc. etc.
His Lordship having taking his seat at the altar, along with the Rev. M. Hill, the service commenced. The prayers were said by the Rev. the Rector; the first lesson was read by the Rev. A. Newdigate, and the second lesson by the Rev. G. Boynton.
The musical part of the service was ably sung by the choir of St. Peter's, conducted by Mr. Norton, the organist of that church, who presided at the harmonium.
The Venite Exultemus and Psalms were chanted to Tallis, and the Te Deum and Jubilate Deo were sung to Nares' morning service in F. The anthem after the third collect, was taken from Psalm cxxii, "I was glad," the music being adapted from Pergolosi's Gloria in Excelsis. The Rev. W. Hope, rector of St. Peter's, Derby, intoned the Litany, at the close of which the choir sang Bedthead's Introit for Easter Tide. The Lord Bishop of Lichfleld recited the whole of the Cornmunion service, except the Epistle, which was read by the Rev. M. Hill, incumbent of St. John's, Kidderminster'. The choir then sang the Veni Creator from the Ordination Service to the grand chant.
The sermon was preached by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, who took as his text, the 1st and 2nd verses of John xv., "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman; every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth that it may bring forth more fruit." His lordship said that the remarkable passage read to them in the course of that morning's service appeared to have a peculiar claim upon their regard, and was in harmony with the words chosen for his text. The text he had chosen was part of the discourse preached by our Lord shortly before his apprehension and death, and the narration of which stamped so high a value upon the disciple whom Jesus loved. It might be regarded as a signal evidence of that love when John said he was divinely impelled to write a spiritual Gospel - a Gospel not so much to relate facts, as directly to assert His divinity of nature, and put upon record the more permanent and distinguishing - the more sublime and consolatory - doctrine which fell from His lips. His lordship quoted various passages from the Evangelist's writings, enforcing the doctrine of love, all of which, he said, were in their bearing and scope directly practical. He then proceeded to a more particular consideration of the words. In several passages in the Psalms, particularly the 80th and in the 50th chapter of Isaiah, the Christian church was represented as a vineyard, and in the passage before them their Lord used a figure of like similitude: here He used the well-known figure of the vine to illustrate the relationship between Himself and Jewish church, of which He was the type. The text showed the relationship which existed between Christ and the members of His church, and then implied two things, first a threat, and then a then a promise, both bearing directly upon that relationship. His lordship expatiated at some length upon this connection, remarking that the Church of Christ, the true' vine, had lived through the lapse of ages, sometimes vigorous and healthy, sometimes weak and diseased, but it would still live till it should finally be transplanted to the soil of the pure river of the water of life proceeding from the throne of God, there to flourish not imperfectly and uncertainly, but in completeness, and never-fading beauty. He next alluded to members of the true church being branches of the spiritual vine, not naturally, for by nature they belonged to a wild and corrupted tree-but grafted into it at their baptism. Other figures were used in Scripture to convey this meaning, such as stones cemented together, but there was no emblem more beautiful and touching than the one under consideration: though they differed in many respects, the members of Christ’s Church formed but one tree, one stream of life circulated through all the branches - one life giving spirit came to all through Him. All their spiritual help came from Him. as certainly as life proceeded through the stock of a vine to the branches. The fruitful vine was selected as giving them a clear idea of their duties, and no emblem was more frequently employed in Scripture than the constant mention of fruit. To be fruitful was the universal law laid down in almost every page of their charter. The exact degree of moral fruitfulness was not, and could not be, defined for the power of working good depended much upon the abilities and opportunities measured out to man; but of this they might rest assured, as testified by the parable of the sower, that those who were not fruitful unto Christ could not be His disciples. A fair show of leaves did not hinder our Lord from visiting the barren fig tree with his curse - a warning to the outward professor who brought forth no inward fruit. Then came the second point of the text - the threat conveyed. It applied to all, though there was a special allusion to Judas; and it taught them that the husbandman had come to the tree, year after year till his barrenness provoked him unwillingly to take it away. The application was obvious, and it had reference to persons of this day, who made a fair outward show, but bore no fruit, and would ultimately be separated from the Church of Christ. His lordship then invited the attention of his hearers to the more engaging portion of the text – the promise, dwelling eloquently upon the glad tidings of great joy which were conveyed to them by the gospel, enforcing the necessity of habitual exercise of Christian virtues - as naturally leading to the practice of bearing more fruit to Christ - and pointing out the incentive to Christian excellencies which was here observable. Passing then to the object of their assembling, the right reverend prelate said that this work was undertaken for the purpose of increasing the fruitfulness of that branch of the Church of Christ which was planted ages ago in this parish, when this sacred edifice was originally built. It was for the same object that it was now re-opened, not a little improved both in condition and beauty. Not only so, but those things were to be regarded in themselves as instances of fruitfulness, the fruits of righteousness the fruits of the Spirit. Truly they had cause to be thankful for the fact that 80 more worshippers than before might now hear God's holy word preached, and have His holy sacraments administered to them by His duly commissioned ministers in this house of prayer. How had this been effected? By the right feeling and right judgment which had dictated the removal of those unsightly pews, which formerly defaced and obstructed the church and substituted for them those decent open seats - open in more than one sense, for they would be free to all - which he now saw so happily occupied before him. He heartily welcomed such a change as this, and could not doubt that God would command his blessing upon it. He rejoiced likewise that this edifice had been improved so much in beauty. Let not any one suppose that the money and labour expended in skill and taste had been unwisely or unprofitably spent. Let them not look with an evil eye on such costly works of restoration, and cry with Judas of old – “Wherefore was this waste." That could not be waste which added any beauty to their sacred structures. No costliness of embellishment was thought too much to adorn the dwellings of man; ought they to be sparing then towards those which were used not for man but for the glory of God? Their outward material beauty ought to be a meet symbol of the beauty of holliness within, of those who worshipped God in spirit and in truth. They knew, however, that such a work as that before them could not be effected but at a considerable cost; and here he must bear honourable testimony to the excellent spirit of liberality, which, without any grants from public sources, had been manifested by all the inhabitants, from the highest to the lowest, particularly in this parish. He was informed that the team work had been given by farmers, and that there was hardly a cottager in the place, however humble who had not contributed a penny or two pence a week for 12 months towards the good work. Could they doubt that such self denial would be repaid to them a hundred fold? Notwithstanding, however, all these free-will offerings, the money contributed, the presents made, and the work gratuitously done, they would not be surprised to learn there was still deficiency in the funds, amounting, he feared, to about 200L. It was to supply this that he now asked for their extra liberality, He asked it as a practical appreciation of their brethren's faithfulness, and as an evidence of their own.
At the close of the service his Lordship proceeded to the altar, and commenced reading the Offertory sentences, the alms of the congregation being collected by Sir H. S. Wilmot, Bart., A.M. Mundy, Esq., Mr. Whitehouse, and Mr. Parkin. The collection amounted to the handsome sum of £50.15s 5d. Immediately after Divine Service, the Bishop, clergy, and others partook of luncheon at the Rectory, whilst the general congregation had luncheon provided for them in the Girls School-room.
At three o'clock in the afternoon Divine Service was again held in the church, which was completely filled. Prayers were said by the Rev. the Rector; the first lesson being read by the Rev. G. Boynton, and the second by the Rev, A. Newdigate. The musical portion of the service was as follows Psalms (Crofts in B minor); Magnificent and Nine Dirnittis (King's service in F). The anthem was taken from Romans. chap. viii., verses 31, 33, and 34; Revelations, chap. v., verses 12 and 13 If God be for us, who shalt be against us? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died-yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." The opening solo for treble was exceedingly well sung by Master Burton, of St. Peter's choir; whilst the chorus, "Worthy," etc., was given with good effect. Before the sermon three verses of the 156th Psalm, new version (Rockingham), were sung.
The sermon was preached by the Rev. M. Hill, St. John's, Kidderminster, who officiated in the place of the Rev. T. M. Claughton, M.A., vicar of Kidderminster, and Professor of Poetry at Oxford, who was prevented attending through family affliction. Mr. Hill took for his text the 86th Psalm and the 9th verse, “All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy name." Mr. Hill commenced by adverting to the gradual fulfillment of the prophecy, and contrasting the present with the times of David, when a small nation only knew God and glorified His name. He then spoke of the wall of partition - the law appointed by God to separate the Jews from the other nations of the world - being broken down, and the command being given to summon all nations to glorify and worship Him: this command had been obeyed, not so fully as it ought to be, but yet to some extent amongst the Gentiles, once far off but now made nigh through the blood of Christ, who had made both them and the Jews as one, having broken down the middle wall of partition. It was a remarkable circumstance that now all the great nations of the earth professed nationally belief in Christ, and when they worshipped at all it was not to idols or heathen gods, but to the true and living God and Jesus Christ His son; therefore; they professed to glorify His name. The text had been fulfilled in the English nation, which was not known when David prophecied, and which must then have been sunk in barbarism and ignorance. They ought to be thankful for the national progress of the Christian faith in England; and this was evinced by the work done in each parish, by the attention they paid to the public worship of God. The proper maintenance of the Gospel in each parish was a standing witness before men, crying aloud that all around might come and worship God and glorify His name.
It was not to be supposed that those alone who were regular attendants on Divine worship were solely benefitted, but by the constant attendance of these thousands of others were kept from entirely falling into a state of heathenism, some knowledge and belief of God was kept alive in their minds, and when they did pray at all it was to address a petition to the triune God. It was, then, a most important duty to maintain this witness; and the public worship of God must be conducted in such a way as not to be condemned by any, but be calculated to draw all men unto it. In conclusion Mr. Hill alluded to the judgment which had overtaken the Jews through neglecting properly to uphold the public worship of God, and urged the necessity of his hearers maintaining Christian communion among themselves.
At the conclusion of the service the evening hymn was sung and a collection made of 18l. 0s. 11d., the two amounts thus reaching nearly 70l. In the afternoon the collectors were the churchwardens - Messrs. Borebank and Barton and Mr. Canner and Mr. Brown. In bringing our notice of the re-opening services to a close, we must be allowed to congratulate the Rector, churchwardens, and the building committee upon the successful result of their labours, and the parish at large upon the unanimity which has characterised the good work, and the increased facilities which have been afforded for attending Divine worship.
An extract from the Derby Mercury dated April 14th 1858
Derby Daily Telegraph - Friday 17 December 1937
CONVERTING RECTORY AT WEST HALLAM
West Hallam Rectory, a handsome old house which has, however, more than served its day, is to be reconstructed, and a scheme to convert it into modern residence for the Rev. W. T. and Mrs. Ratcliffe has been approved at a meeting of the members of St. Wilfred's Parish Church.
Mr. Ratcliffe informs me that at an early date a further meeting will be held, at which the parishioners will have the opportunity of hearing more details the scheme. The cost has been estimated at about £1,000, but it is believed that it will be money well spent, for it will mean that the cost of upkeep will be considerably reduced.
Half the money will be obtained from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the other half will be raised in the parish.
Standing close to St. Wilfred's, the Rectory has a pleasant garden, and its general lines are those of a more dignified and leisurely age. Many people envy clergymen who dwell in such surroundings, but it is actually no joke having to uphold old-fashioned houses on ordinary stipends. I do not know exactly when the Rectory was built, but it appears that it is at least 150 years old, and at one time was occupied by the Rev. Charles Newdigate, a member of the Newdigate family which for many years was closely associated with the village and church. Mr. Ratcliffe tells me that it is hoped to have the building completed by the end of May. The old house is still in a good state of preservation, but no doubt the expense of repairs would increase rapidly in years to come.