Anglesey Group of Parishes Benefice of Five Churches near Cambridge

St James, Lode

History

The Church of St James

Lode with Longmeadow

 History

Text by Malcolm B. Pratt

Drawings by Peter Temple-Smith

 

 

Bottisham Vicarage, Near Newmarket, 1852

 

An Appeal for the BUILDING and ENDOWMENT of a Church, adapted to the spiritual wants of the Hamlets of BOTTISHAM LODE, LANG MEADOW, and the scattered Inhabitants of the FEN, situated in the Parish of BOTTISHAM, in the County of Cambridge.The total Population of the Parish is 1540; that of the District, for which the Church is sought to be built, amounts to 771; of this latter number, the nearest people reside at a distance of more than a mile and a half from their Parish Church, and the furthest more than four miles.  The last census shews that the population in this district is increasing at a greater rate than in the rest of the Parish.It is for these 771 souls (a Parish of itself) composed of small occupiers chiefly, and of agricultural labourers, hitherto in almost utter destitution of the ministration of our Church, that the present appeal is made to Christian liberality.The income of the Vicarage of the Parish (scarcely £250. Per annum) being unable to bear diminution for the continuous maintenance of a Clergyman to officiate in the proposed Church, the Endowment Fund, together with that for the erection of the Building, is commended to the generous efforts of the public, who it is hoped will subscribe the more cheerfully, when they feel that they are promoting by their gifts the permanent establishment of our beloved Church in this locality.The REV. JOHN HAILSTONE, the present Vicar, cannot but express his confidence, that when the case is presented to those who are acquainted with the growing population, and peculiar wants of the Inhabitants of the Fen districts of Cambridgeshire, a kindly sympathy will be excited with him in his desire to promote Christ’s Holy Religion, in a spot, and among a people long-in need of it. 

 History

Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to the following for their help and advice: Mr and Mrs Jack Ayres, Mrs Lee Robertson, Mrs Toni Wright, Peter Swannell, and a special thanks to Marjorie Sabin, Editor of Lode Star, for her valuable help and guidance.

 

Preface

A history of Lode Church could be construed as a misnomer insofar as the word history implies centuries of past events, traditions, and characters contributing towards the establishment.  The foundation stone was laid in 1852 but it would be churlish not to record the deeds of the people who were at its conception, birth and development into young endeavour because it lacks antiquity.

It is to those people who served, and serve, who loved, and love this church, that the following is dedicated.

M.B.P.

 

Origins

No history of Lode can be written without the mention of the village of Bottisham, as their early history is entwined, not in character, but ecclesiastically and bureaucratically.  Before Lode had its own church, Holy Trinity Bottisham was the mother church at which residents of Lode and Longmeadow were expected to attend worship, be baptised, married and their burial services held.

Lode with its attendant hamlet of Longmeadow situated some one and a half miles north of Bottisham is referred to in early histories, reference works and guide books as either Bottisham Lode or Bottisham and Lode.  Passengers boarding and alighting from the trains which stopped at the railway station of Lode were confronted with a sign informing them that they were at Bottisham and Lode.  Not until 1894 were the two parishes separated by a Local Government order and Lode was able to evolve its own identity.  Nevertheless Lode existed; its origins can be traced back to the twelfth century.  Lade or Lada corrupted to Lode, the word meaning a watercourse, of which there were many in the area; to the east lay Langmedwe, the meadowland.

The inhabitants of these two communities remained sparse in number until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century when the combined hamlets contained a rising population of some eight hundred souls.

The first vision of Lode having its own church probably belongs to the Revd William Pugh who was vicar of Bottisham from 1811 to 1825.  A rather eccentric man of unsocial habits, very slovenly and altogether unprepossessing in appearance, he had drawn up a document setting aside a considerable sum of money for building a church at Lode in the 1820's, but a subsequent will made no mention of this, and his money was invested to be given to the poor.  Benefits are still received from the charity which bears his name.

With the appointment of the Revd John Hailstone as the first resident vicar of Bottisham in 1837, Pugh's vision was to become reality.  Hailstone, twenty-seven years of age, rich and extremely active, committed himself entirely to the welfare of his parishioners, and he became increasingly concerned regarding the eight hundred souls who were at some disadvantage by their distance from the parish church at Bottisham, separated as they were by one and a half miles of rough grass track, and, in the outlying farms and smallholdings, as much as five and six miles.

His concern was that so great a distance deprived them of the 'spiritual ministrations to which every Englishman has a claim’.  John Hailstone vowed that this situation should and would be rectified by the hamlet of Lode having its own church.  It was not entirely bereft of a place of worship, for a fine Baptist chapel of white brick and a slated gabled roof had been built to seat four hundred persons in 1832.

 History

 

Lode Baptist Chapel

Hailstone campaigned vigorously to achieve his wish and a public subscription raised £1,700, half of which was donated by Hailstone himself; an Endowment Fund raised a further £1,000.  Trinity College, Cambridge, patron of the living at Bottisham, gave the site of one acre of land, and farmers of the surrounding locality weighed in with the carriage of materials which amounted to the value of over £100.

 

A young itinerant architect named Rhode Hawkins was commissioned to design the church.  (Examples of his work were to be seen later in London, and in Exeter, where he designed the church of St Michael.)  He designed for Lode what was described by a contemporary as a 'neat little building built of stone in Gothic style', for a cost approaching £1,500, and consisting of a chancel, on the north side of which is a vestry, together with a nave, and a wooden open porch on the south side.  The font was at the end of the nave.  One step separates the nave from the chancel, and there is one step at the rails, as well as a raised stone on which the altar table is placed.  A little open turret rising above the west end of the church contained two bells.  (These were replaced later by a new single bell.)

 The ceremony of laying the foundation stone took place on 31 July, 1852, at 3pm, and according to the correspondent of the Cambridge Chronicle, 'the ceremony was conducted with great propriety and good taste.'  The many hundreds who attended then withdrew to the grounds of Anglesey Abbey where a rural fete was held.  The chil­dren of the parish partook of games and sports in between consuming vast quantities of plum cake washed down by tea.

19 May the following year, a warm and sunny day, was a fitting background for further festivities which took place in the village, when at 11.30am the consecration of the new church and its dedication to its patron St James were carried out.  The master of Trinity College, the Revd Dr Whewell, preached 'an earnest and eloquent discourse.'

Among the many gifts which were bestowed upon the new church was a silver communion plate, the present of Mrs Dinah Jennings of Bottisham, who died in 1861 aged 92 years.  Charles Finch Esq of Cambridge donated a handsome warming stove.  The worthy inhabitants of Lode, no doubt with an astute eye on its usefulness, provided a clock, designed and made by the firm of chronometer makers, Edward Dent of London, who were responsible for the timepiece on the tower of the Houses of Parliament.  This was to be put up 'when the building is dry.'

It is interesting to note that the Revd Hailstone after his retirement from the living at Bottisham in 1861, resided at Anglesey Abbey.  A man of great charm and industry, it was through his efforts that much of Bottisham church was restored.  He was a keen archaeologist and antiquarian, and continued his interest in the welfare of the inhabitants of Lode.  He played a major role in the effort to bring about the building of a school, which was opened on a site almost opposite the church, and remains of which are still evident today.

He died on 26 April, 1871, and is buried in the churchyard.

 

History

The School

 

The Incumbents

At its inception, and until 1863, the church was served by a succession of curates who were attached to the church of Bottisham.  The Revd Samuel Charlton seems to have lasted the longest, his term of office having been 1856 to 1860.  In 1863 it became the intention to separate ecclesiastically this portion of the parish from Bottisham and it was made a consolidated chapelry.  The Revd Charles Harris was instituted as the first incumbent.  With the patronage held by Trinity College, it was not surprising that with one or two exceptions most of the earlier ministers were graduates of that college.

Lode has been fortunate with its clergy, and Charles Harris (1863-1866), James Bonser (1870-1877), John Holding (1882-1893) and Henry Forbes (1894-1902) did much to establish the young church as an important focal point of village life.  John Holding donated a set of hanging lamps which served as the main source of lighting until the arrival of electricity in the village, and the electrification of the church in 1953.  Henry Forbes devoted much effort to bringing about the provision of a parish room, built with money collected by public subscription and opened in 1895.

In later years the Revd William Ellis (1917-1925) was killed in March 1925 when walking along the village High Street.  He was crushed by a lorry that was delivering oil, trapped against a wall as the vehicle pulled into the side. George Loughborough (1949-1952) was never happier than when dealing with children, who followed him everywhere; John Dring (1953-1958) was a warm friendly personality, who sadly died in office.  William Broome (1961-1964) was a quiet, intense man whose spiritual influence was a great help to many; Geoffrey Ellaby (1964-1976) was a gentle and kind person, with a persuasive touch.  All are remembered with affection by older inhabitants for the period during which they ministered in the village.

 

The Parishioners

If the church has been fortunate with its clergy, then it has been no less so in the service given by the parishioners.  The first recorded churchwardens were William King and Benjamin Leader who at that time resided at the mill at Anglesey Abbey.  The office of sexton was held by William Ayres, who was followed by William Peers. Among the people who served the church in its early years the names of C. Pettit, D. Marsh, H. Webb, E. Cook and R. Hatley are recorded.  In 1898 R. Hatley proposed that a lamp be erected at the churchyard gate, and it still stands today lighting the way, albeit by electricity.

The name of Ayres figures largely throughout a great part of the church's history in the form of William T. Ayres and three of his sons.  W.T.Ayres served a period of fifty-four years as church clerk.  After he resigned in 1945, he was followed by his son, John ('Jack') Ayres, who offered to continue for the time being until a replacement could be found, and remained twenty-three years, retiring in 1968.  Noel Ayres for almost fifty years gave devoted service in the capacity of choirmaster, a member of the Parochial Church Council and as churchwarden.  When he died in 1983, the P.C.C. were moved to perpetuate his memory, and a bookcase to hold church music, and bearing a suitable plaque, was placed close by the organ.  The third brother, Harry Ayres, was also a P.C.C. member and loyal member of the choir for many years.

People too numerous to mention have over the years given generously of their time whilst serving the church. (It could be invidious to mention names.  But George Mitchell, although a resident of Bottisham, gave for a period of twenty-two years dedicated service as churchwarden, treasurer and as Deanery Synod representative.  And it was through his driving force that the annual flower festival, held each July, came into being.  And Peter Swannell, as secretary to the Parochial Church Council and as churchwarden, served with distinction, the P.C.C. minutes "being littered with his hithering and thithering” on the church's behalf.)

In an age of equal opportunities it is pleasing to see that in recent years the offices of churchwarden, deputy churchwarden, treasurer and secretary to the P.C.C. have been, or are, held by women.

 

The benefactors

In the course of time, establishments, and the church in particular, receive benefactions.  Lode church is no exception.  The replacement of the original plain glass windows of the north side with stained glass depicting characters from the Gospels, and the large east window representing 'The presentation of Christ in the Temple', and dedicated to the memory of John Hailstone, were gifts of members of the Hailstone family.  The windows on the south side, dedicated to the memory of Henry Huttleston Rogers, were the gift of his grandson, the first Baron Fairhaven.

Without doubt, the church owes much of its present beauty and splendour to the late Lord Fairhaven of Anglesey Abbey.  The seventeenth century chandelier which hangs in the chancel arch and which originally adorned the chapel of Baron von Hugel, the noted philosopher and theologian, the lectern, and the six ornamental hanging lamps identical to a set in York Minster, and designed by his friend Professor Albert Richardson, who was later to become President of the Royal Academy, were all Lord Fairhaven's generous gifts.  In 1960 he announced to the P.C.C. his wish to have a new side chapel built.  This was consecrated in September 1962, to our Lady and St Nicholas, and dedicated to the memory of his parents.  The chapel, which was also designed by Professor Richardson, is built of clunch, or Burwell rock, obtained from the quarry at Burwell a few miles away.

Lord Fairhaven's benefactions were complemented by his own personal service to the church, as a member of various committees, and for many years in the office of vicar's warden.

In 1977 the present Lord Fairhaven, who was also a churchwarden, presented the church with a splendid new organ dedicated to the memory of his father and uncle.

 

Era of change

The retirement in 1976 of the Revd Geoffrey Ellaby heralded changes in diocesan policy for the parish.  The benefice of Lode was declared in suspension, and the Revd Malory Makower was appointed Priest in Charge of the parish.  Resident at the vicarage of Lode, he also held the position of Principal of the East Anglian Ministerial Training Course, to which he was committed for much of his time.  Dr Makower will be recalled for his efforts in establishing the village newsletter, Lode Star, which began as a folded sheet of A4 and has blossomed into the flourishing magazine we have today.  He left the parish to take up an appointment in the area of Yarmouth.

Following Dr Makower's departure, a longish interregnum took place, during which the P.C.C. were grateful to the Revd Ivor Davies (who lived in retirement in the village) for his generous assistance in taking many of the services.

The retirement of the vicar of Bottisham at this time found both parishes without the benefit of an incumbent.  In 1985 the Revd Christopher Armstrong was appointed Vicar of Bottisham and licensed as Priest in Charge of Lode, and resided in Bottisham.  With the vicarage standing vacant at Lode, the Ely diocese gave notice to the P.C.C. of their intention to sell the vicarage and grounds.  Included in the sale was the Vicarage Room.  The P.C.C. were not disposed to surrender the room lightly.  Indeed, they were duty bound to point out that it belonged to the village, and 'the diocese of Ely should be aware of the historic relationship between the parishioners of Lode and the Vicarage Room to which they have contributed substantially to build and maintain.'  This historic relationship had its roots in the diverse uses that the vicarage room had entertained over the ninety or so years of its existence.  Besides the P.C.C. meetings, there had been held Mothers' Union gatherings, Sunday School Christmas parties, Boy Scout and Wolf Cub activities, and by no means least, a lending library, run at one time by Miss Ellis, the daughter of the Revd William Ellis, where the latest offering from authors such as Ethel M. Dell, Ruby M. Ayres and Annie S. Swan were eagerly sought after.

 History

The Old Vicarage

In other words, it was not to be sold without their agreement and a suitable alternative building being provided. The Ely Diocesan Board of Finance clearly wished to act in a manner agreeable to both parties; and agreement was reached for them to finance a new building when an appropriate site could be located.  A scheme was devised and plans were drawn up by local architects Messrs Cecil Bourne and Associates, which would incorporate a new vestry and facilities with a Parish Room in an extension to the old vestry on the north side of the chancel.

The faculty for the plan having been obtained, work was started in 1987, by the builders Messrs G.E. Palmer and Sons of Burwell.

Sunday 12 June, 1988, saw the opening of the new Parish Room, vestry and facilities, which received the official blessing of the Rt Revd Bishop Michael Fisher, Society of St Francis.

Following the installation of the Revd Paul Frostick as Vicar of Bottisham, and Priest in Charge of Lode, a further diocesan directive created the two parishes a joint benefice.  This constituted 'The benefice of Bottisham and Lode with Longmeadow, the parishes to remain distinct, and the place of residence shall be the parsonage house of Bottisham, the patronage to be held jointly by Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Bishop of Ely'.

In November 1999 Lode and Bottisham merged with Quy to become a benefice served by The Revd Valerie Brechin until her death in 2002.  When the Rev’d David Lewis arrived in 2003 the Swaffhams were in interregnum so the decision was taken to merge with them to form the Anglesey Benefice.  The five churches continue to work closely together with regular benefice services, social and cultural events bringing the parishes together in fellowship.

 

 History

Holy Trinity, Bottisham

 

 

The Incumbents over the years:

Vicars

1863 - 1866       Charles Harris

1867 - 1869       Herbert Gardner

1869                 James Edmonds

1869- 1870        Edmund Willett

1870 - 1877       James Bonser

1878 - 1881       Landon Hawes

1882 - 1893       John Holding

1894 - 1902       Henry Forbes

1902 - 1916       Harry Ellis

1917 - 1925       William Ellis

1925 - 1933       William Lewis

1933 - 1942       George Pitts

1942 - 1949       Harry Banting

1949 - 1952       George Loughborough

1953 - 1958       John Dring

1958 - 1960       Douglas Bodley

1961 - 1964       William Broome

1964 - 1976       Geoffrey Ellaby

 

Priest in Charge, Lode

1976 - 1984       Malory Makower

 

Vicar of Bottisham and Priest in Charge of Lode

1985 - 1989       Christopher Armstrong

 

Vicar of Bottisham and of Lode

1989 - 1994       Paul Frostick

 

Priest in Charge of Bottisham and Lode (with Quy from 1999)

1996 – 2002      Valerie Brechin

 

Vicars of the Anglesey Benefice

2003 – 2011      David Lewis

2012 -               Susan Jane Giles

 

 

Moments in time

23 Nov 1869   The Bishop of Ely preached on the occasion of the dedication of a new organ, 'necessitated by the wearing out of the old harmonium.' Dr Garrett of St John's College, Cambridge, presided.

29 July 1871   Celebrations were held to mark the eighteenth birthday of the church.  A procession through the village was followed by tea and games in an adjoining field.

1 Nov 1884    At the evening service the east window (a gift from Miss Hailstone and Mrs Hitchcock) was dedicated in memory of the late John Hailstone.

1906              Financial worries, with cash in hand amounting to £1.7s.l0d.

1910              The Annual Vestry Meeting started late.  Fine weather found members busy with hay making.

1913              A new warming stove was installed after complaints of the church being cold.

1917              The system of pew rents was abolished.

1921 - 1923    A faculty was obtained to set back a part of the church wall.  The ground was thus made available for a War Memorial.  The memorial cross of Cornish granite was unveiled on 4 March, 1923.

1935              To commemorate the Silver Jubilee of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary, a new bell was installed.  The bell replaced the two smaller original bells in twin turrets, which were converted into a single space.

1944 - 1945    The porch and nave were repaired with Ketton stone.  The work financed by Lord Fairhaven.

1945 - 1946    A children's corner was created by removing some of the rear pews in the West end, and re-siting the font on the South side.

1947              Unveiling of an addition to the War Memorial, commemorating the fallen of the Second World War.

1953              A special service and celebrations were held to commemorate the centenary of the church.

1957              Substantial repairs were carried out to the structure of the turret.

1960              A consecration service held on the opening of the new civil cemetery.

1979              The altar was moved forward so that Holy Communion could be celebrated with the celebrant facing to the West.

1983              The inauguration of a weekend of Festival activities, held to coincide with the Patronal Feast.

1984              The Secretary of State for the Environment placed the church on the list of buildings of special architectural interest.

2000              The church clock was re-gilded and serviced using money donated by the parishioners.

2004              David Collison, as church warden, organised the interior re-decoration of the church and new lighting was installed.

2005              The path was re-surfaced and a slope created in the porch.  Pine storage boxes were installed in the porch by Graham Cox.

2007              A new altar kneeler was made by Dora Gale and paid for by May Walker.

 

 History

Anglesey Group of Parishes Benefice of Five Churches near Cambridge

St James, Lode

History

The Church of St James

Lode with Longmeadow

 History

Text by Malcolm B. Pratt

Drawings by Peter Temple-Smith

 

 

Bottisham Vicarage, Near Newmarket, 1852

 

An Appeal for the BUILDING and ENDOWMENT of a Church, adapted to the spiritual wants of the Hamlets of BOTTISHAM LODE, LANG MEADOW, and the scattered Inhabitants of the FEN, situated in the Parish of BOTTISHAM, in the County of Cambridge.The total Population of the Parish is 1540; that of the District, for which the Church is sought to be built, amounts to 771; of this latter number, the nearest people reside at a distance of more than a mile and a half from their Parish Church, and the furthest more than four miles.  The last census shews that the population in this district is increasing at a greater rate than in the rest of the Parish.It is for these 771 souls (a Parish of itself) composed of small occupiers chiefly, and of agricultural labourers, hitherto in almost utter destitution of the ministration of our Church, that the present appeal is made to Christian liberality.The income of the Vicarage of the Parish (scarcely £250. Per annum) being unable to bear diminution for the continuous maintenance of a Clergyman to officiate in the proposed Church, the Endowment Fund, together with that for the erection of the Building, is commended to the generous efforts of the public, who it is hoped will subscribe the more cheerfully, when they feel that they are promoting by their gifts the permanent establishment of our beloved Church in this locality.The REV. JOHN HAILSTONE, the present Vicar, cannot but express his confidence, that when the case is presented to those who are acquainted with the growing population, and peculiar wants of the Inhabitants of the Fen districts of Cambridgeshire, a kindly sympathy will be excited with him in his desire to promote Christ’s Holy Religion, in a spot, and among a people long-in need of it. 

 History

Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to the following for their help and advice: Mr and Mrs Jack Ayres, Mrs Lee Robertson, Mrs Toni Wright, Peter Swannell, and a special thanks to Marjorie Sabin, Editor of Lode Star, for her valuable help and guidance.

 

Preface

A history of Lode Church could be construed as a misnomer insofar as the word history implies centuries of past events, traditions, and characters contributing towards the establishment.  The foundation stone was laid in 1852 but it would be churlish not to record the deeds of the people who were at its conception, birth and development into young endeavour because it lacks antiquity.

It is to those people who served, and serve, who loved, and love this church, that the following is dedicated.

M.B.P.

 

Origins

No history of Lode can be written without the mention of the village of Bottisham, as their early history is entwined, not in character, but ecclesiastically and bureaucratically.  Before Lode had its own church, Holy Trinity Bottisham was the mother church at which residents of Lode and Longmeadow were expected to attend worship, be baptised, married and their burial services held.

Lode with its attendant hamlet of Longmeadow situated some one and a half miles north of Bottisham is referred to in early histories, reference works and guide books as either Bottisham Lode or Bottisham and Lode.  Passengers boarding and alighting from the trains which stopped at the railway station of Lode were confronted with a sign informing them that they were at Bottisham and Lode.  Not until 1894 were the two parishes separated by a Local Government order and Lode was able to evolve its own identity.  Nevertheless Lode existed; its origins can be traced back to the twelfth century.  Lade or Lada corrupted to Lode, the word meaning a watercourse, of which there were many in the area; to the east lay Langmedwe, the meadowland.

The inhabitants of these two communities remained sparse in number until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century when the combined hamlets contained a rising population of some eight hundred souls.

The first vision of Lode having its own church probably belongs to the Revd William Pugh who was vicar of Bottisham from 1811 to 1825.  A rather eccentric man of unsocial habits, very slovenly and altogether unprepossessing in appearance, he had drawn up a document setting aside a considerable sum of money for building a church at Lode in the 1820's, but a subsequent will made no mention of this, and his money was invested to be given to the poor.  Benefits are still received from the charity which bears his name.

With the appointment of the Revd John Hailstone as the first resident vicar of Bottisham in 1837, Pugh's vision was to become reality.  Hailstone, twenty-seven years of age, rich and extremely active, committed himself entirely to the welfare of his parishioners, and he became increasingly concerned regarding the eight hundred souls who were at some disadvantage by their distance from the parish church at Bottisham, separated as they were by one and a half miles of rough grass track, and, in the outlying farms and smallholdings, as much as five and six miles.

His concern was that so great a distance deprived them of the 'spiritual ministrations to which every Englishman has a claim’.  John Hailstone vowed that this situation should and would be rectified by the hamlet of Lode having its own church.  It was not entirely bereft of a place of worship, for a fine Baptist chapel of white brick and a slated gabled roof had been built to seat four hundred persons in 1832.

 History

 

Lode Baptist Chapel

Hailstone campaigned vigorously to achieve his wish and a public subscription raised £1,700, half of which was donated by Hailstone himself; an Endowment Fund raised a further £1,000.  Trinity College, Cambridge, patron of the living at Bottisham, gave the site of one acre of land, and farmers of the surrounding locality weighed in with the carriage of materials which amounted to the value of over £100.

 

A young itinerant architect named Rhode Hawkins was commissioned to design the church.  (Examples of his work were to be seen later in London, and in Exeter, where he designed the church of St Michael.)  He designed for Lode what was described by a contemporary as a 'neat little building built of stone in Gothic style', for a cost approaching £1,500, and consisting of a chancel, on the north side of which is a vestry, together with a nave, and a wooden open porch on the south side.  The font was at the end of the nave.  One step separates the nave from the chancel, and there is one step at the rails, as well as a raised stone on which the altar table is placed.  A little open turret rising above the west end of the church contained two bells.  (These were replaced later by a new single bell.)

 The ceremony of laying the foundation stone took place on 31 July, 1852, at 3pm, and according to the correspondent of the Cambridge Chronicle, 'the ceremony was conducted with great propriety and good taste.'  The many hundreds who attended then withdrew to the grounds of Anglesey Abbey where a rural fete was held.  The chil­dren of the parish partook of games and sports in between consuming vast quantities of plum cake washed down by tea.

19 May the following year, a warm and sunny day, was a fitting background for further festivities which took place in the village, when at 11.30am the consecration of the new church and its dedication to its patron St James were carried out.  The master of Trinity College, the Revd Dr Whewell, preached 'an earnest and eloquent discourse.'

Among the many gifts which were bestowed upon the new church was a silver communion plate, the present of Mrs Dinah Jennings of Bottisham, who died in 1861 aged 92 years.  Charles Finch Esq of Cambridge donated a handsome warming stove.  The worthy inhabitants of Lode, no doubt with an astute eye on its usefulness, provided a clock, designed and made by the firm of chronometer makers, Edward Dent of London, who were responsible for the timepiece on the tower of the Houses of Parliament.  This was to be put up 'when the building is dry.'

It is interesting to note that the Revd Hailstone after his retirement from the living at Bottisham in 1861, resided at Anglesey Abbey.  A man of great charm and industry, it was through his efforts that much of Bottisham church was restored.  He was a keen archaeologist and antiquarian, and continued his interest in the welfare of the inhabitants of Lode.  He played a major role in the effort to bring about the building of a school, which was opened on a site almost opposite the church, and remains of which are still evident today.

He died on 26 April, 1871, and is buried in the churchyard.

 

History

The School

 

The Incumbents

At its inception, and until 1863, the church was served by a succession of curates who were attached to the church of Bottisham.  The Revd Samuel Charlton seems to have lasted the longest, his term of office having been 1856 to 1860.  In 1863 it became the intention to separate ecclesiastically this portion of the parish from Bottisham and it was made a consolidated chapelry.  The Revd Charles Harris was instituted as the first incumbent.  With the patronage held by Trinity College, it was not surprising that with one or two exceptions most of the earlier ministers were graduates of that college.

Lode has been fortunate with its clergy, and Charles Harris (1863-1866), James Bonser (1870-1877), John Holding (1882-1893) and Henry Forbes (1894-1902) did much to establish the young church as an important focal point of village life.  John Holding donated a set of hanging lamps which served as the main source of lighting until the arrival of electricity in the village, and the electrification of the church in 1953.  Henry Forbes devoted much effort to bringing about the provision of a parish room, built with money collected by public subscription and opened in 1895.

In later years the Revd William Ellis (1917-1925) was killed in March 1925 when walking along the village High Street.  He was crushed by a lorry that was delivering oil, trapped against a wall as the vehicle pulled into the side. George Loughborough (1949-1952) was never happier than when dealing with children, who followed him everywhere; John Dring (1953-1958) was a warm friendly personality, who sadly died in office.  William Broome (1961-1964) was a quiet, intense man whose spiritual influence was a great help to many; Geoffrey Ellaby (1964-1976) was a gentle and kind person, with a persuasive touch.  All are remembered with affection by older inhabitants for the period during which they ministered in the village.

 

The Parishioners

If the church has been fortunate with its clergy, then it has been no less so in the service given by the parishioners.  The first recorded churchwardens were William King and Benjamin Leader who at that time resided at the mill at Anglesey Abbey.  The office of sexton was held by William Ayres, who was followed by William Peers. Among the people who served the church in its early years the names of C. Pettit, D. Marsh, H. Webb, E. Cook and R. Hatley are recorded.  In 1898 R. Hatley proposed that a lamp be erected at the churchyard gate, and it still stands today lighting the way, albeit by electricity.

The name of Ayres figures largely throughout a great part of the church's history in the form of William T. Ayres and three of his sons.  W.T.Ayres served a period of fifty-four years as church clerk.  After he resigned in 1945, he was followed by his son, John ('Jack') Ayres, who offered to continue for the time being until a replacement could be found, and remained twenty-three years, retiring in 1968.  Noel Ayres for almost fifty years gave devoted service in the capacity of choirmaster, a member of the Parochial Church Council and as churchwarden.  When he died in 1983, the P.C.C. were moved to perpetuate his memory, and a bookcase to hold church music, and bearing a suitable plaque, was placed close by the organ.  The third brother, Harry Ayres, was also a P.C.C. member and loyal member of the choir for many years.

People too numerous to mention have over the years given generously of their time whilst serving the church. (It could be invidious to mention names.  But George Mitchell, although a resident of Bottisham, gave for a period of twenty-two years dedicated service as churchwarden, treasurer and as Deanery Synod representative.  And it was through his driving force that the annual flower festival, held each July, came into being.  And Peter Swannell, as secretary to the Parochial Church Council and as churchwarden, served with distinction, the P.C.C. minutes "being littered with his hithering and thithering” on the church's behalf.)

In an age of equal opportunities it is pleasing to see that in recent years the offices of churchwarden, deputy churchwarden, treasurer and secretary to the P.C.C. have been, or are, held by women.

 

The benefactors

In the course of time, establishments, and the church in particular, receive benefactions.  Lode church is no exception.  The replacement of the original plain glass windows of the north side with stained glass depicting characters from the Gospels, and the large east window representing 'The presentation of Christ in the Temple', and dedicated to the memory of John Hailstone, were gifts of members of the Hailstone family.  The windows on the south side, dedicated to the memory of Henry Huttleston Rogers, were the gift of his grandson, the first Baron Fairhaven.

Without doubt, the church owes much of its present beauty and splendour to the late Lord Fairhaven of Anglesey Abbey.  The seventeenth century chandelier which hangs in the chancel arch and which originally adorned the chapel of Baron von Hugel, the noted philosopher and theologian, the lectern, and the six ornamental hanging lamps identical to a set in York Minster, and designed by his friend Professor Albert Richardson, who was later to become President of the Royal Academy, were all Lord Fairhaven's generous gifts.  In 1960 he announced to the P.C.C. his wish to have a new side chapel built.  This was consecrated in September 1962, to our Lady and St Nicholas, and dedicated to the memory of his parents.  The chapel, which was also designed by Professor Richardson, is built of clunch, or Burwell rock, obtained from the quarry at Burwell a few miles away.

Lord Fairhaven's benefactions were complemented by his own personal service to the church, as a member of various committees, and for many years in the office of vicar's warden.

In 1977 the present Lord Fairhaven, who was also a churchwarden, presented the church with a splendid new organ dedicated to the memory of his father and uncle.

 

Era of change

The retirement in 1976 of the Revd Geoffrey Ellaby heralded changes in diocesan policy for the parish.  The benefice of Lode was declared in suspension, and the Revd Malory Makower was appointed Priest in Charge of the parish.  Resident at the vicarage of Lode, he also held the position of Principal of the East Anglian Ministerial Training Course, to which he was committed for much of his time.  Dr Makower will be recalled for his efforts in establishing the village newsletter, Lode Star, which began as a folded sheet of A4 and has blossomed into the flourishing magazine we have today.  He left the parish to take up an appointment in the area of Yarmouth.

Following Dr Makower's departure, a longish interregnum took place, during which the P.C.C. were grateful to the Revd Ivor Davies (who lived in retirement in the village) for his generous assistance in taking many of the services.

The retirement of the vicar of Bottisham at this time found both parishes without the benefit of an incumbent.  In 1985 the Revd Christopher Armstrong was appointed Vicar of Bottisham and licensed as Priest in Charge of Lode, and resided in Bottisham.  With the vicarage standing vacant at Lode, the Ely diocese gave notice to the P.C.C. of their intention to sell the vicarage and grounds.  Included in the sale was the Vicarage Room.  The P.C.C. were not disposed to surrender the room lightly.  Indeed, they were duty bound to point out that it belonged to the village, and 'the diocese of Ely should be aware of the historic relationship between the parishioners of Lode and the Vicarage Room to which they have contributed substantially to build and maintain.'  This historic relationship had its roots in the diverse uses that the vicarage room had entertained over the ninety or so years of its existence.  Besides the P.C.C. meetings, there had been held Mothers' Union gatherings, Sunday School Christmas parties, Boy Scout and Wolf Cub activities, and by no means least, a lending library, run at one time by Miss Ellis, the daughter of the Revd William Ellis, where the latest offering from authors such as Ethel M. Dell, Ruby M. Ayres and Annie S. Swan were eagerly sought after.

 History

The Old Vicarage

In other words, it was not to be sold without their agreement and a suitable alternative building being provided. The Ely Diocesan Board of Finance clearly wished to act in a manner agreeable to both parties; and agreement was reached for them to finance a new building when an appropriate site could be located.  A scheme was devised and plans were drawn up by local architects Messrs Cecil Bourne and Associates, which would incorporate a new vestry and facilities with a Parish Room in an extension to the old vestry on the north side of the chancel.

The faculty for the plan having been obtained, work was started in 1987, by the builders Messrs G.E. Palmer and Sons of Burwell.

Sunday 12 June, 1988, saw the opening of the new Parish Room, vestry and facilities, which received the official blessing of the Rt Revd Bishop Michael Fisher, Society of St Francis.

Following the installation of the Revd Paul Frostick as Vicar of Bottisham, and Priest in Charge of Lode, a further diocesan directive created the two parishes a joint benefice.  This constituted 'The benefice of Bottisham and Lode with Longmeadow, the parishes to remain distinct, and the place of residence shall be the parsonage house of Bottisham, the patronage to be held jointly by Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Bishop of Ely'.

In November 1999 Lode and Bottisham merged with Quy to become a benefice served by The Revd Valerie Brechin until her death in 2002.  When the Rev’d David Lewis arrived in 2003 the Swaffhams were in interregnum so the decision was taken to merge with them to form the Anglesey Benefice.  The five churches continue to work closely together with regular benefice services, social and cultural events bringing the parishes together in fellowship.

 

 History

Holy Trinity, Bottisham

 

 

The Incumbents over the years:

Vicars

1863 - 1866       Charles Harris

1867 - 1869       Herbert Gardner

1869                 James Edmonds

1869- 1870        Edmund Willett

1870 - 1877       James Bonser

1878 - 1881       Landon Hawes

1882 - 1893       John Holding

1894 - 1902       Henry Forbes

1902 - 1916       Harry Ellis

1917 - 1925       William Ellis

1925 - 1933       William Lewis

1933 - 1942       George Pitts

1942 - 1949       Harry Banting

1949 - 1952       George Loughborough

1953 - 1958       John Dring

1958 - 1960       Douglas Bodley

1961 - 1964       William Broome

1964 - 1976       Geoffrey Ellaby

 

Priest in Charge, Lode

1976 - 1984       Malory Makower

 

Vicar of Bottisham and Priest in Charge of Lode

1985 - 1989       Christopher Armstrong

 

Vicar of Bottisham and of Lode

1989 - 1994       Paul Frostick

 

Priest in Charge of Bottisham and Lode (with Quy from 1999)

1996 – 2002      Valerie Brechin

 

Vicars of the Anglesey Benefice

2003 – 2011      David Lewis

2012 -               Susan Jane Giles

 

 

Moments in time

23 Nov 1869   The Bishop of Ely preached on the occasion of the dedication of a new organ, 'necessitated by the wearing out of the old harmonium.' Dr Garrett of St John's College, Cambridge, presided.

29 July 1871   Celebrations were held to mark the eighteenth birthday of the church.  A procession through the village was followed by tea and games in an adjoining field.

1 Nov 1884    At the evening service the east window (a gift from Miss Hailstone and Mrs Hitchcock) was dedicated in memory of the late John Hailstone.

1906              Financial worries, with cash in hand amounting to £1.7s.l0d.

1910              The Annual Vestry Meeting started late.  Fine weather found members busy with hay making.

1913              A new warming stove was installed after complaints of the church being cold.

1917              The system of pew rents was abolished.

1921 - 1923    A faculty was obtained to set back a part of the church wall.  The ground was thus made available for a War Memorial.  The memorial cross of Cornish granite was unveiled on 4 March, 1923.

1935              To commemorate the Silver Jubilee of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary, a new bell was installed.  The bell replaced the two smaller original bells in twin turrets, which were converted into a single space.

1944 - 1945    The porch and nave were repaired with Ketton stone.  The work financed by Lord Fairhaven.

1945 - 1946    A children's corner was created by removing some of the rear pews in the West end, and re-siting the font on the South side.

1947              Unveiling of an addition to the War Memorial, commemorating the fallen of the Second World War.

1953              A special service and celebrations were held to commemorate the centenary of the church.

1957              Substantial repairs were carried out to the structure of the turret.

1960              A consecration service held on the opening of the new civil cemetery.

1979              The altar was moved forward so that Holy Communion could be celebrated with the celebrant facing to the West.

1983              The inauguration of a weekend of Festival activities, held to coincide with the Patronal Feast.

1984              The Secretary of State for the Environment placed the church on the list of buildings of special architectural interest.

2000              The church clock was re-gilded and serviced using money donated by the parishioners.

2004              David Collison, as church warden, organised the interior re-decoration of the church and new lighting was installed.

2005              The path was re-surfaced and a slope created in the porch.  Pine storage boxes were installed in the porch by Graham Cox.

2007              A new altar kneeler was made by Dora Gale and paid for by May Walker.

 

 History