FRIENDS OF CLAINES CHuRCH

visitors

now on line

JUNIOR BISHOPS

Brief History of Boy Bishops and the Claines Junior Bishop

 

One of the most popular and widespread customs of the Church in the Middle ages. The Boy Bishop takes office on the feast of St Nicholas (December 6th), the patron Saint of Children, and his authority lasts until Holy Innocents Day (December 28th ).

 

Choirboys were reckoned as special friends of St Nicholas, his festival marking a season of games and jollity. In the early days of Christian church certain days were set apart as special festivals.

 

Claines Junior Bishops Installation Prayer

 

Father, I fall on my knees before you.

I ask you from the wealth of your glory to give me power through your spirit to be strong in my inner self.

I pray that Christ will make his home in my heart,

that I may have the power to understand how broad and long,

how high and deep, is Christ’s love.

For by the means of our power working in me you are able to do so much more than I can ever ask for, or even think of.

To you, Father, be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus for all time, for ever and ever.

Amen.

For further details on Junior Bishops around the world and Junior  Bishop Resources please visit:

www.stnicholascenter.org

 

 

Junior Bishops
HOME
Email: admin@clainesfriends.org.uk

Claines Junior Bishop robes

Holy Innocents day was assigned to the boys and a boy, chosen by his fellows solemnly functioned as Bishop, supported by other boys as his clergy.

Boy Bishops were elected over six/seven centuries up to the reign of Mary Tudor, although the custom had been forbidden by Henry VIIIth in 1542. The main idea of the election was to impress upon the children the honour and dignity of the Priesthood, the Boy Bishop being held in deep veneration by both adults and children. So sacred was the office that if a boy bishop died during his tenure he was buried in pomp and circumstance in vestments, and a monument erected to his memory, together with his Episcopal effigy.

Boy Bishop tombs are to be found in Salisbury Cathedral; Bishopstone Church, Sussex; West Wittering Church, Cambs. The tradition was widespread in Parish Churches.

 

In 1299 King Edward 1st allowed a Boy Bishop to say Vespers before him in his chapel at Heaton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on the day after his election to the office . The custom was very popular and was not easy to suppress, some years after Henry’s ban it was revived by Queen Mary.  One tradition was that “all the children shall every Childermas (Innocents day) shall come to Church and heare the chylde bishop sermon and after be at High Mass and each of them offer 1d to the Chylde Bishop”.

 

 

The tradition in Claines was re-established by Revd. Peter Pollock in 1971. This continued and was developed by Revd. Peter Wedgwood, extending the boys duties to include Claines School and Alice Ottley Carol Services, a pilgrimage to Shrewsbury Abbey, home sick communions and a strenuous duty list of readings and prayers with a sermon on Holy Innocents Day. The tradition was continued by Revd. Alan Brooksbank after the death of Revd. P.J Wedgwood, with a scaled down duty list.

 

 

The Claines Bishop has an alb, cope, mitre and stoles made by various congregation members over the years. They wear a cross and ring and carry the Claines Crosier (A medieval silver Crosier head, found during renovations in the Mug House at Claines in the 1940’s and presented to the then Bishop of Worcester), on loan from the Lord Bishop. The Bishop is chosen from the Church by the Vicar and churchwardens.

 

Karl Harris (12th Boy Bishop 1982) died in 1984 and is remembered by a special prayer and visit to his graveside at Claines by the reigning Junior Bishop.

 

Canon Peter Pollock installed the 27th Boy Bishop of Claines in 1997, 26 years after re-establishing the tradition.The 37th Boy Bishop, Louis Warburton played a leading role in the installation of the 113th Bishop of Worcester in 2007.

 

From  2011 the Boy Bishop at Claines became known as “Junior Bishop”. This was to reflect the fact that the position was open to both Boys and Girls of the parish. Charlotte Jeavons was the first girl to serve in the post in 2011.

 

 

 

JUNIOR BISHOPS OF CLAINES

 

1971

Paul Milton

1994

Andrew Portman

1972

Geoffrey Sansome

1995

Joseph Harrison

1973

Mark Battin

1996

Tom Stenson

1974

Ralph Pite

1997

Duncan Rutherford

1975

Phillip Hills

1998

Edward Montgomery

1976

Andrew Housely

1999

James Montgomery

1977

Raymond Weaver

2000

Peter Rees

1978

James Sawyer

2001

Simon Heasman

1979

Paul Gardner

2002

Christopher Causier

1980

Phillip Keen

2003

Adam Heasman

1981

Andrew Protheroe

2004

Michael King

1982

Karl Harris

2005

Mitchell Warburton

1983

Andrew Portman

2006

John Sansome

1984

Ian Hoban

2007

Louis Warburton

1985

Angus Paxton

2008

George Sansome

1986

John Blanchenot

2009

Charles Done

1987

Glen Hoban

2010

Matthew Watkins

1988

Stephen Hickling

2011

Charlotte Jeavons

1989

Simon Fulbrook

2012

George Paterson

1990

Lee Richardson

2013

Amy Palmer

1991

Ben Constant

2014

Maisie Leyland

1992

Gareth Richardson

2015

Maddie Palmer

1993

Stephen Orgee

 

 

A gathering of Claines Junior Bishops, December 2012

Back row
George Sansome (2008); Geoff Sansome (1972); Charles Done (2009); John Sansome (2006)
Front row
Charlotte Jeavons (2011): George Paterson (2012); Imogen Gunter (Bishops Chaplain 2012)