FRIENDS OF CLAINES CHuRCH
Reverend Oswald Alan Moore
A chance find in a pub in Northamptonshire has brought back an interesting piece of history to Claines!
The Reverend Oswald Alan Moore was Vicar of Claines for 22 years, from 1908 until 1930. It would have been a demanding time with the impact of the Great War and a significant general and agricultural depression. How fitting that at his retirement, 304 families and individuals of the parish donated the sum of £160:14:4 as his leaving gift, equivalent to £4,835 in today’s money. The names of all who gave were recorded in best copperplate and leather bound into a book, decorated in the style of the Book of Kells. This was presented to him at his retirement. What happened to this book for the next 77 years is not known, but earlier this this year it was found as part of a collection of miscellaneous books in a themed pub decoration.
It was recognised as an interesting and unique piece of history by Mr Robert McNeill, who contacted Claines Friends and and arranged for its return.
The entire contents of the book are shown below and lists all the parishioners who contributed. Many of the families and names are well known and still exist.
To add to this fascinating glimpse of our parish in 1930 we are also able to show Reverend Moore’s letter announcing his resignation in February 1930, as it appeared in the Church Magazine. This comes from a collection of magazine cuttings belonging to the Sansome family. The full text of this is shown after the book names or directly via this link.
MY DEAR FRIENDS,
My resignation will take effect on 12th February. I ask you to pray that a faithful priest and pastor may be appointed Vicar.
I have been blamed by some for not taking a pension out of the living. I felt I could not for several reasons. It is a bad system which will die out in due course, i.e., when all the men who were over 55 when the Pensions Act was passed shall have resigned or died. I have always denounced the system whereby an Incumbent pays the pension of his predecessor and I believe in consistency. I could not have accepted either Stourport or Claines if my predecessors had taken pensions out of the living. Also in the case of Claines some parishioners subscribed a large sum to increase the income of the benefice and I feel it would not be right to leave the living poorer by my resignation. I shall, however, probably get a small pension from the Pensions Board, or quite a respectable pension if a certain proposal be passed by the National Assembly.
For some years past the work here has been too much for me and I confess that I ought to have resigned, or to have sought lighter work, and not to have waited until I was compelled to resign. If Mrs. Moore had not given me so much help in many ways I must have given up earlier. I have been so happy at Claines that resignation is a great wrench. Two Vicars of Claines who left for better livings afterwards confessed that they were never so happy as they had been at Claines.
As regards my ministry here I reproach myself for having left undone many things that I ought to have done. I ask you to pardon my shortcomings. I have been treated with great generosity for many years down to my last illness when £75 was subscribed for payment of my duty being taken by others. People sometimes refer to the good old days before I came when all the money that was required in the parish was given mainly by a few departed parishioners. They undoubtedly gave large sums for the restoration of the Church and other objects, but the fact remains that in the past 21 years voluntary contributions in the parish have increased from about £300 per annum to £800 and to over £1,000 when there has been some special appeal. For this generosity I feel most grateful. I have had no refusal to any appeal. The Church has had many gifts in my time, e.g, the Lych Gate and the Bells.
I ask you to remember me in your prayers as I shall remember this parish in my prayers and especially the many Church workers to whose help I owe so much. May God Bless you all and give you an ever increasing realization of his Love.
Yours very sincerely,
Revernd Oswald Alan Moore
Vicar of Claines 1908-