The earliest reference that I have been able to identify is dated as c1200 and is in a deed relating to St Peters Abbey, Gloucester, now the Cathedral. The deed contains an agreement between Abbot Thomas (Carbonel) and the convent of Gloucester and Richard, parson of Norton. The agreement was that Richard would pay the 100s pension that was due to the Abbey from the church of Norton and in return he would be given the protection of the Abbey.
By 2 March 1314 we have a Richard Sely, not subscribed, of Worcs Diocese. At the same date there is also a John Gibbens. In 1545 a Sir Robert Smale, curate of Norton, then aged 68 years, gave evidence that he had been curate at Norton for 34 years indicating his arrival in post in 1511. He is named variously as curate and minister between 1511 and 1551 when he was still witnessing Wills in the village as “…my goostly father…”. In 1532 and 1534 we also have a Sir Thomas Asten as chaplain and canon curate and in 1544 a Sir Henry Broke is named as curate. In 1563 we have John Davys, curate, and in 1572 a Laurence Houslock, curate.
William Davis had taken over by 1584 and in August 1591 the following reference refers :- “License from the surrogate of the vicar general of the province of Canterbury. William Davies to perform the office of curate of the parish church of Bishopsnorton, Gloucester Diocese, or in any other parish church in the province of Canterbury. Davies ordained about the feast of All Saints 18 years ago and to priesthood at the following Lent by the Bishop of Llandaff”. From February 1593 there is a certificate of the state of the chargie to the effect that he is “nott learned butt in lyving honest. Thomas Davies curate of Norton, a gentleman, his wages £9 per annum”. Later that same year in October 1593 an Edmund Davis was curate and was charged in the Consistory Court with “irregularities in life and services and being a puritan”. Perhaps the previous three were related in some way.
By May 1605 we see a Thomas Wood as curate. He followed his predecessor when in 1609 he was suspended for misconduct. By Easter of 1609 we have a Mr Baldwin, minister, and then a gap until December 1654 when there is a Ben Collins, minister. I have not discovered any records to indicate who was curate during this long interval.
On 23 August 1662 Samuel Moody, curate, was “subscribed to act for uniformity” and on 23 May 1664 a John Howardes, “subscribed to act for uniformity on admission to serve the cure”.
7 September 1665 sees Samuel Kenrick MA, who held The Leigh in plurality, “now admitted to serve cure of Norton, subscribed to act for uniformity and to articles of 1562 and 3 articles in canon 36”. He was followed by Samuel Broade MA by 1677. April 1686 sees John Mower MA, “presentation by Dean and Chapter of Bristol…. Now to be licensed and subscribed to act of 1562, 3 acts in canon 36 and the acts of uniformity”. John Mower was also the vicar of The Leigh and started the earliest surviving Parish Register for Norton. The writing in the registers changes in 1726 and it believed that John Mower’s son, also John Mower, took over for approximately one year. Born at The Leigh on 3 April 1700 he was also buried there on 6 April 1729.
The next person named in the registers is James Margaret with a first appearance in 1728. The Baptism register writing changes in 1731 and again in 1733 but no names are recorded.
The next named is Dan Bond BA who was also vicar of The Leigh and a master at Crypt School He appears to have remained until 1749 when a Thomas Parker BA is recorded as curate. There are brief appearances by an Anthony Freeman in 1754 and Thomas Phillips 1755-1757. In July 1757 it was recorded that “the living was vacant by death of last incumbent” but it is not clear to whom the death refers. Also in July 1757 we have “James Benson LLB, chancellor of the Diocese of Gloucester did sequestor the tythes, profits and emoluments belonging to the curacy of Norton vacant by the death of ? the last incumbent”; once again the name is not clear.
In 1757 John Wicks MA was licensed to the curacy during the vacancy and appears to have remained until at least 1766 and maybe 1770 when he replaced by James Evans.
The next few years are a little confusing. 1764 sees John Beeches. He read his first marriage banns in November 1764 at which time he was recorded as curate. Appears again in December 1765 reading marriage banns and is still recorded as curate. 1765 sees Joseph (possibly James) Chester. He read his first marriage banns in May 1765. Read banns for the odd week on 28 June 1766 and again on 8 November 1767 when he signs himself as curate of Corse and Ashleworth. Conducted a marriage ceremony in October 1771.
William James read his first marriage banns on 15 December and again on 29 December 1765 and is recorded regularly for a time thereafter. William James is recorded as curate in the baptism register of 1766. Lot of changes as on 10 May 1766 reads banns but not the following two weeks. More changes as he read banns on 14 June 1766 but not the following two weeks. Changes again as he read banns on 19 July but not the following two weeks. Clearly recorded as curate at marriages through to May 1772. Thomas Parker read first marriage banns on 17 May 1766 in between William James on the 10th and John Wicks on the 24th. Conducted a marriage ceremony on 5 July 1767 when he signs himself as Rector of Taynton. Read banns on 26 July 1767 after William James and before Thomas Turner. Again reading banns on odd weeks of 1 November and 15 November 1767 either side of Joseph (possibly James) Chester, and again recorded himself as Rector of Taynton. Read banns on odd weeks again on 17th and 24th July 1768. Conducted another marriage ceremony as officiating minister in December 1781. Thomas Turner read banns on 2 August 1767 following on from Thomas Parker. Read banns again on 10 July 1768.
On 28th August 1770, “James Evans, clerk, licensed to perpetual curacy on nomination of Dean and Chapter of Bristol on death of John Wicks”. James Evans remained in post until 30 December 1772 when it was recorded that “John Jones licensed on resignation of James Evans who went to Churchdown on 25 June 1772”.
John Jones was to remain for almost 20 years. John Jones continues to sign the registers as curate for a number of years but at a marriage in November 1782 he confusingly signs himself as “curate of Randwick; perhaps he was holding both positions. There is a confusing reference dated October 1784, when James Evans is again recorded as “officiating minister vice William Amos, curate, who now resigned”. This would suggest that William Amos was the curate and that James Evans was helping out but what had happened to John Jones. John Jones died and was buried at Norton on 13 January 1792.
William Amos was officiating minister at a marriage ceremony in November 1775 and again on many occasions between April 1776 and May 1778. On 8 June 1778 he conducted another marriage ceremony and signs himself as curate. Still signing as curate in July 1779.
The 1780s may also have seen a Thomas Evans officiating at random ceremonies from as early as 1780 right through to 1792. Thomas Thomas first appears officiating at a marriage ceremony in December 1783 where he signed himself as clerk and again in January 1786 where he signs as curate. Signs as clerk again at marriage in April 1787 and as clerk, officiating minister, in September 1787 returning to curate in December 1787 and January 1788. George Rolls appears just the once conducting a marriage ceremony in February 1788 and signing himself as clerk. Samuel Commeline first appears conducting a marriage in October 1790 and signs as a minister. Appears again in October 1793 and in 1794 and 1795 at each occasion signing himself as a curate.
Throughout all of this coming and going John Jones appears to have remained the licensed curate. In 1786 he appears to have been living far distant from the parish at Abergarlock, Carmarthenshire. John Jones died and was himself buried at Norton on 13 January 1792.
26 April 1792 sees the return of James Evans from Churchdown when he was “licensed to perpetual curacy on natural death of John Jones on presentation of Dean and Chapter of Bristol”. James Evans remained licensed until at least 1798 but several other names also occur. James Morgan appears conducting marriages in October 1792 and April 1793, both times signing himself as a minister. John Whelpdale appears conducting marriages on several occasions on January 1796, November 1796 and January 1797. On each occasion he signs as minister. Was actually an assistant curate until he quit the position. Joseph (forename is not clear) Jones appears conducting marriages in June 1797, November 1797 and June 1798, on each occasion signing himself as a minister.
On 4 December 1798 it is recorded that “Robert Emerson licensed to be curate at Norton and Churchdown”. Robert Emerson may have been assisting James Evans at this time as on 17 August 1808 it is recorded that “Robert Emerson, clerk, licensed to the perpetual curacy on the death of James Evans on nomination of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol”.
On 22 March 1811 a “License from the Bishop of Gloucester to Robert Emerson, perpetual curate of Norton, to be absent from his benefice for 2 years from this date because there is no parsonage house at Norton for your residence, that you reside in a rented house at Gloucester 4 miles distant from the church and that you regularly perform the duties of the said parish”. Also on 16 April 1819, “Petition for license for non-residence by Robert Emerson, perpetual curate, no parsonage house. Gross annual value between £30-40. Resides at Gloucester”. It would appear that Robert became unable to carry out his duties and a John Adams, a licensed curate, conducted ceremonies on his behalf in early 1821. Robert died, aged 81 years, and was buried at Norton by C P N Wilton on 7 June 1821. C P N Wilton appears only briefly at baptisms in May and June 1821 and conducted several burials between April and June 1821. Jacksons Oxford Journal newspaper of 16 June 1821 reported; “Died … Aged 81, the Rev Robert Emerson, Perpetual Curate of Norton and Assistant Curate of Churchdown, Gloucestershire”. On 3 July 1821 “Richard Jones was licensed by (or for) the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol to serve the office of curate in the parish church of Norton on the nomination of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol void by the death of Robert Emerson, clerk, the last incumbent thereof….. subscriptions to the three articles in canon 36, the thirty nine articles of religion and conformity to the liturgy of the Church of England by Richard Jones BA now to be licensed to the perpetual curacy of the parish church of Norton”.
Charles Hardwick appears briefly in baptism registers between August and November 1821.
Richard Jones’ name does not appear on the list of vicars on display at St Mary’s, Norton. On 3 July 1821 we find; “Richard Jones was licensed by (or for) the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol to serve the office of curate in the parish church of Norton on the nomination of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol void by the death of Robert Emerson, clerk, the last incumbent thereof….. subscriptions to the three articles in canon 36, the thirty nine articles of religion and conformity to the liturgy of the Church of England by Richard Jones BA now to be licensed to the perpetual curacy of the parish church of Norton”. Richard Jones conducted his first burial on 27 September 1821, first marriage on 12 October 1821 and first baptism on 7 April 1822 and he appears regularly thereafter. Richard was to remain as perpetual curate until 1836 but received a great deal of assistance.
Edward Jones first appears at a baptism in September 1822 and a burial in October 1822, at the latter of which he signs himself to be the vicar of Corse. Appears again as the officiating minister at a burial in April 1824 and baptisms in June 1825 and November 1826. Thomas Simpson Evans conducted a one off burial in August 1822 where he signed as clerk. Henry Jones first appears at a baptism in November 1824 when he was officiating minister. Appears again at baptisms in March and July 1825, February 1826 and July and August 1827. Conducted a marriage and a burial in October 1826 as the officiating minister. R Harman appears just the once at a baptism in January 1823. Joseph Bray appears at random in one off baptisms beginning in February 1823 when he was signed as the officiating minister. Again at a baptism and a burial in September 1823. Another burial in June 1824 also as officiating minister. James Buckland was officiating minister at a one off burial in July 1823. N N Mustow first appears at a baptism in December 1825 at which he was officiating minister. Appears again at a marriage in June 1827 at which time he was the vicar of St Mary de Lode, Gloucester. F B Perkins first appears at a baptism in August 1827 when he was described as the vicar of Hatherley. George C Smith appears at a baptism in June 1828 when he was described as the curate of Down Hatherley. Conducted a marriage in September 1828 where he signs as a clerk. Thomas Whittington appears only the twice at baptisms in February and March 1829 when he was the officiating minister. J G Dowling appears on several occasions at baptisms in April and May 1829 where he was the officiating minister. Was also officiating minister at burials during the same period in February, April and May 1829. Charles Wallington conducted two burials in March and July 1829.
John Askern BA name, also, does not appear on the list of vicars on display at St Mary’s, Norton, but on 28 June 1829 “License from the Bishop of Gloucester to John Askern BA to perform the office of a stipendiary curate of the church of Norton on the nomination of Richard Jones perpetual curate. To have the whole income of the curacy together with the surplice fees. To reside at Cheltenham distant about six miles from Norton. Value: £29”. William Hawkins appears just the once at a baptism in June 1829 where he was the officiating minister. Andrew Sayers first appears at a baptism in November 1830 and features regularly until March 1831 signing himself as the officiating minister. Baptisms continue from April to August 1831 signing himself as curate. First burial was recorded on 17 December 1830 where he signed as curate. Neale appears as the officiating minister at a one off burial in January 1831 and a second in September 1832. Andrew James appears at a one off baptism in February 1831 and signed himself as curate. B J Claxon features in a one off baptism in November 1831.
On 13 January 1832 “License from the Bishop of Gloucester to Robert Smith MA to perform the office of a stipendiary curate of the church of Norton on the nomination of Richard Jones perpetual curate. Stipend: £45-3-0 plus the surplice fees. To reside at Twigworth in the parish of St Catherines in Gloucester about two miles from Norton church”.
An L Hardwick appears in a one off baptism in March 1833 and G Winstanley conducted a one off marriage in July 1833 and a one off baptism in September 1835, both as the officiating minister.
Richard Jones certainly ended his tenure prior to 25 August 1836 when it was recorded that “Hugh Percy Rennett MA licensed to the perpetual curacy of the Parish Church of Norton, vacant by the death of Richard Jones”. On 17 January 1837 a “License from the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol to Hugh Percy Rennett, perpetual curate of Norton, to reside out of the Parish for two years from 31 December last on account, as you by your petition to us allege, of there being no glebe house belonging to your said Parish. You in the meantime residing at Down Hatherley distant from your parish church of Norton one mile and a quarter and performing the duties of your said parish yourself”. Again on 8 May 1839, “A license was granted to the Rev Hugh Percy Rennett till 31 December 1840 to reside in a house called Evington Cottage, at Coombe Hill in the Parish of Leigh; no house at Norton” and on 3 March 1841, “A license of non-residence was granted by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol to the Rev H P Rennett constituting his present dwelling distant one mile and ½ from his church as his legal house of residence to 31 December 1842”.
C H Warstopher conducted one off baptisms in June 1839 and February 1842 and Ernest Mason was officiating minister at two burials in March and April 1843.
Rev Rennett did not have a particularly happy time in our villages being shot by his step son at their house at Coombe Hill; “…the son fired a loaded pistol at Mr Rennett, the ball from which struck him in the neck, penetrated the centre of his stock, passed by the larynx, taking an oblique direction towards what is called the painters muscle, and then descended downwards towards the shoulder, where all trace of it was lost…”. He survived the shooting but, almost certainly as a result of this incident, on 24 April 1843 it was recorded that “The resignation of the Rev Hugh Percy Rennett, clerk, was this day accepted and notification to patrons issued”. The London Gazette newspaper of 1 May 1868 records that Rev Hugh Percy Rennett had died three months earlier, at the Grand Hotel de France et d’Angleterre, Paris, where he had been living.
Marmaduke Cockin - Born on 29 August and baptised on 16 October 1814 at St Mary’s, Portsea, Hampshire, son of Richard and Mary Cockin. The Essex Standard, and General Advertiser for the Eastern Counties newspaper of 13 March 1840 reported under ‘University & Clerical Intelligence’; “Marmaduke Cockin, Esq., BA, of Queens College, Cambridge, has been unanimously elected to the Third Mastership of the Collegiate School, Sheffield”. In 1841 was living in the household of John Brownbridge and his wife at Gloucester Street, Sheffield. The Standard, newspaper of London, of 21 December 1841 reported the ordination “at a general ordination held by the Lord Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol on Sunday last, in the cathedral church of Gloucester, the following gentlemen were admitted into holy orders … Marmaduke Cockin, BA, Queens, Cambridge”. On 7 August 1843, Marmaduke Cockin BA was licensed to the perpetual curacy of the Parish Church of Norton. It was Rev Cockin that had the vicarage built with the Queen Dowager heading the list of subscribers and Miss Webb of Norton Court giving the land. On 10 January 1844, Rev Cockin was married, by his father Rev William Cockin MA, to Anne, the youngest daughter of the late Thomas Lewis of Machynlleth, at Towyn, North Wales. Rev Cockin remained at Norton until July 1847 when he resigned and left for Dunton Bassett, Leics. Jacksons Oxford Journal newspaper of 10 July 1847 reported; “Preferments. – The Rev Marmaduke Cockin, MA, Incumbent of Norton, near Gloucester, to the Vicarage of Dunton Bassett, Leicestershire; patron, the Rev John Longhurst, MA”. In 1851 was living at Dunton Bassett, Leics, employed as a clergyman. Had son Marmaduke Lewis Cockin, baptised on 14 May 1854 at Dunton Bassett, Leics. The Leicester Chronicle or Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser newspaper of 21 February 1863 reported; “Deaths … On the 14th instant, at Shrewsbury, in his 49th year, the Rev Marmaduke Cockin, MA, vicar of Dunton Bassett, in this county”. Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury newspaper of 1 April 1882 reported the re-opening of Dunton Bassett Church and included a description of the church which included; “In the Lady Chapel are a couple of handsome coloured windows, one of them, consisting of two lights with tracery in the heading, having been erected by the parishioners in memory of the late Rev Marmaduke Cockin, MA, formerly vicar of the parish, who died on Feb 14th, 1862, aged 48 years”. Apparently a charity was established in Leicestershire, presumably Dunton Bassett, named ‘Marmaduke Cockin and Anne Cockin Charity’. It was first registered on 22 November 1963 and ceased at 22 September 2009. It’s main purpose was the relief of the poor at Christmas.
Edgar Lloyd appears at a one off burial in November 1843 where he signs himself as curate of Leigh. He appears again as officiating minister at two burials in March and September 1844 where there is no reference to Leigh. Conducted a series of burials between November 1847 and February 1848. P B Brodie first appears at a baptism in August 1843 where he was the officiating minister. Appears again at another baptism and a burial in October 1847 and at a burial in February 1848 each as the officiating minister. After another break appears again as officiating minister at two burials in October 1852 and October 1853. After a long interval William Hawkins returns as the officiating minister at a burial in September 1843 and at two baptisms in January and May 1844. Jacob Wood was officiating minister at a one off burial in February 1844 and R J Mills officiating minister at a one off burial in July 1844.
Michael Terry’s first burial was as curate of Norton on 12 October 1844 and his first baptism was on 9 November 1845 with his last on 19 September 1847. At both baptisms and all in between he signs as curate of Norton. Appears again for a one off baptism in February 1850 where he signs as the officiating minister. H A Tyndale appears at a one off baptism in August 1847. Appears again at a later one off baptism in September 1853 when he signs himself as the Rector of Tattsfield. George Heaton conducted several baptisms between March and April 1848 where he is described as of Gloucester.
George Cox BA would appear to have been the next perpetual curate taking over on 13 April 1848. His first baptism was on 18 April 1848 and his last on 19 December 1852. At both and all in between he signs as perpetual curate. First burial was as perpetual curate on 28 May 1848. Last burial signed as perpetual curate was on 13 June 1852 but another occurred as officiating minister on 25 July 1852. Rev Cox resigned the curacy prior to 13 January 1853.
Thomas Bibby MA - Rev Bibby, of Malvern Place, Cheltenham, was presented to the incumbency at Norton in December 1852 and was licensed to the perpetual curacy vacant by the resignation of Cox on 13 January 1853. Thomas’ first baptism was on 13 February 1853. He signs as perpetual curate until January 1854 when he changes his signature to officiating minister. His last baptism was on 5 August 1854. First burial was as perpetual curate on 8 March 1853 and his last burial was on 11 June 1854.
Thomas was born on 7 March 1812, one of five children of John Bibby and Mary nee Mellard who began a successful shipping line in Liverpool. [Bibby Line Limited is the ship owning division of Bibby Line Group Limited; a family business with over 200 years’ experience in a range of industries from retail, offshore, finance, distribution, shipping, marine-based businesses, plant hire and woodland burials. It is one of the longest established family-owned companies in the UK]. Thomas Bibby graduated, MA, from Cambridge University. Rev Bibby married Elizabeth Wilson on 21 September 1843 and they had three children. At one time he was vicar at Holy Trinity, Liverpool. Rev Bibby died on 3 September 1883. It is not known exactly when Rev Bibby left Norton but it must have been prior to 1855 and there must have been a period of time when the village was without a vicar as evidenced by the appointment of his successor.
Arthur Cardew was officiating minister at a one off burial in July 1854. John Paul’s first burial was on 5 November 1854 and his first baptism was on 17 December 1854. His last burial was on 9 November 1855 and his last baptism on 13 December 1855. At all he signs as the officiating minister. Henry Arthur Herbert was officiating minister at a one off burial in April 1855 and at a second in August 1858. Appears at a one off baptism in August 1859 where he signs as the officiating minister.
Thomas Turner MA - The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 10 November 1855 reported; “The Rev Thomas Turner has been appointed to the perpetual curacy of Norton, in the diocese of Gloucester &c a benefice which has lapsed to the Crown”. [This was known as Lapsum Temporis; ‘Lapse of time’ or lapse. When a patron neglected to make a presentation to a benefice within six months of a vacancy occurring, the right of presentation ‘lapsed’ to the bishop. If the bishop neglected to collate within six months, the living lapsed to the archbishop, from whom after another six months it lapsed to the crown. The calculation of the six-month period depended on the circumstances of the vacancy. Where it resulted from an episcopal act, it ran from the point at which the bishop informed the patron. In cases of death in post, resignation, and refusal of a patron’s candidate by the bishop, it was calculated from the vacancy itself]. Thomas Turner took over from Thomas Bibby on 19 November 1855 but his first burial was not until 20 January 1856 and first baptism 27 April 1856 both signed as the incumbent. Continues to sign himself as the incumbent in the baptism register until September 1868 and in the burial register until 13 October 1868 when he changes to the vicar of Norton. Martha Adelaide Roberts (nee Herbert) of Twigworth kept a diary of her life in this district during this period. In it she wrote; “Opposite Sandhurst Lane lived a man named Griffin… there was no parsonage at Norton in those days; the curate, a Mr Turner, had two rooms in the home of the Griffins. Mrs Griffin was not famous as a cook. At Christmas Mr Turner invited the Churchwardens of Norton to dine with him out of a goose he had had sent him. Mrs Griffin cooked the goose without removing the leaf, serving the fat as gravy; the consequences may be better imagined than described”.
Thomas Turner appears to have had influential friends as evidenced by the presiding official at his own wedding as reported in The Morning Post, London, on 1 January 1870; “On the 30th ult, at All Souls, Langham Place, by the Right Rev, the Lord Bishop of London, assisted by the Rev E Eardley-Wilmot, rector, the Rev T Turner, MA, vicar of Norton, Gloucestershire, to Sophia Frances, third surviving daughter of R Jones Esq, of Waterloo Place, Leamington”.
Thomas Turner was also called upon to officiate at weddings beyond his parish, including family marriages, as reported in Berrow’s Worcester Journal of 8 February 1873; “Jan 30 at St James, Piccadilly, by the Rev Thomas Turner, MA, vicar of Norton, Gloucestershire, brother-in-law of the bride, Francis Edward Holyoake, late Capt 22nd Regiment, second son of G Holyoake Esq, of Neuchley, Shropshire, to Gertrude Hardman, fifth surviving daughter of R Jones Esq, of Waterloo Place, Leamington”.
Whilst Thomas Turner held the position John Southgate Austen appears at a one off baptism in October 1858 when he signs himself to be the vicar of Leigh and as the officiating minister at two burials also in August 1858. Appears again as officiating minister at burials in June 1860, January 1864, August 1868, May 1872 and November 1872. Arthur F Forde appears at two burials in April and December 1859 and at a one off baptism in July 1860 where he signs himself as the officiating minister. Appears again at another one off burial in October 1861.
Edmund Percy Brett was officiating minister at a number of one off burials spread over a number of years; April 1858, April 1860, November 1873 as vicar of Sandhurst and between January and March 1875 still as vicar of Sandhurst. Appears at a one off baptism in August 1865 at which time he was the vicar of Sandhurst. Appears at another baptism in August 1869 where he does not refer to a position at Sandhurst. H H Berkeley appears at a one off baptism in January 1866 where he strangely recorded his occupation as a postman and signs as the officiating minister. H W Maddy appears at a one off burial in December 1874 where he signs himself to be the rector of Down Hatherley. Appears again for one off burials in February 1878 and November 1880.
A Baxter was officiating minister at a one off burial in April 1875.
Thomas Turner was succeeded in post by Francis John Attwood BA. Francis John Attwood was born in approximately 1836 at Hammersmith, Middlesex. He married Clementina Agnes of Hempstead, Gloucester, and they had four children; Theodora Theresa, Eva Lacynthia Charlotte, Arthur Francis Lysons and Hilda A. Daughter Eva was born on the Isle Of Wight in 1867 and by 1871 Francis was the curate at St Margaret’s, Prestwick, Lancs. He took over at Norton on 4 December 1874 and was only to be here for a short while but he was to achieve a great deal in that time. His first burial was conducted as vicar on 28 May 1875 and his last burial was on 16 June 1877. During his time in the village Rev Attwood restored the church, built the school, enlarged the vicarage and either bought or built the Reading Room so clearly left a mark that can still be seen.
In The Times newspaper of 2nd November 1876, during Rev Attwood's time at Norton, the following item can be found amongst the ‘for sale’ section; “Stylish, nearly new Pony Victoria, built for invalid, Collinge’s axles, spring seats, morocco leather, newly painted; £50. Also Siamese, for pony or pair, in good condition, newly painted, - very easy, lamps, pole and shafts; £30 – Rev F Attwood”. The cart was built for an invalid but which member of his family was in need of it I dont know.
After leaving Norton he appears to have been 'out of work' for a period and in the 1881 Census we find him living at Gore House, Milton, Hampshire, where his employment is recorded as ‘Priest, Church Of England, without Cure of Souls’. When he took up an appointment in 1884 he was still being referred to as ‘formerly vicar of Norton’. The Citizen newspaper of 27 August 1884 included the following report; “The Rev F J Attwood, formerly vicar of Norton, near Gloucester, and previously curate of Quedgley and of Hempstead, has been nominated by the Bishop of Winchester to the vacant incumbency of St Luke’s, Burton, near Christchurch, Hants”. His 1884 appointment is also confirmed by the 1891 Census at which time he was living at Burton, Christchurch. In 1912 Rev Attwood returned briefly to Quedgley to preach a special ‘jubilee’ sermon almost 50 years to the day after he had preached at that church for the first time. Gloucestershire Chronicle newspaper of 18 April 1925 reported his death; “The Rev Francis John Attwood, who has died at Boscombe in his 90th year was ordained by the then Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol (Dr W Thomson) in 1861. He was Vicar of Norton, near Gloucester, from 1874 to 1877, and Vicar of Burton, Hants, from 1884 to 1895. Afterwards he held a general licence, first in the diocese of Winchester and then in that of Salisbury”.
Arthur Hill appears at a one off burial in December 1877.
Rev Attwood was succeeded by William Ferguson Steele MA who took over on 9 December 1877. His first burial was conducted on 25 March 1878 and his last on 8 January 1880. In February 1880 he was appointed curate at St Simon’s, Baptists Mills, Bristol, replacing Rev Harry Smith, resigned. The Citizen newspaper of 19 September 1881 reported; “We understand that the living of St Andrews, Montpellier, about to become vacant by the removal of the Rev C J Clarke, has been offered to and accepted by the Rev W Ferguson Steele, curate of St Simons, Baptist Mills, and formerly vicar of Norton, near Gloucester. Mr Steele has just resumed ministerial work after a serious illness. He is much esteemed by the congregation of t Simons, and his removal from among them will be much regretted”. The Citizen newspaper of 3 October 1898 included the following report; “The Rev W F Steele, who had been vicar of St Andrews, Bristol, since 1881, and was vicar of Norton, near Gloucester, from 1877-9 has accepted the living of Nettleton, near Chippenham”. The Gloucestershire Chronicle newspaper of 25 January 1908 provides the best summary of his years in the church; “We regret to announce the death, which occurred suddenly on Saturday morning, of the Rev W F Steele, rector of Nettleton, Chippenham. He was very well known in Bristol, and from 1881 to 1888 was vicar of St Andrews, Montpellier. In that parish he did much useful work. Mr Steele took the degree of BA at Cambridge in 1870, being at St John’s College. In 1872 he was ordained deacon by Bishop Ellicott, and the next year became a priest, and was appointed curate of Alvington, where he remained until 1877. From 1877 to 1880 Mr Steele was vicar of Norton, near Gloucester, and it was during his incumbency that the old church was thoroughly restored and the vicarage house built. Before becoming vicar of St Andrew’s, he was for a brief period curate of St Simon’s, Bristol. His wife died a few years ago, very suddenly”. Of course, the work on the church, vicarage and school was actually carried out during the incumbency of the previous vicar, Rev Attwood. In his Will, the Rev Steele appointed his daughter, Mrs Violet Tarrant, of Westbrook Villa, Faringdon, Berks, and his nephew, Mr Eric Burrell Steele, of Enfield, Frodsham, Cheshire, cotton broker, executors, of his estate valued at £813 5s 7d, of which £184 11s was net personalty.
H Slight, the vicar of Twigworth conducted a one off burial in August 1879 and Charles J Parker appears at two burials in May and June 1880.
The next curate of Norton was Francis Edward Broome Witts MA who was instituted to the vicarage at Norton from 26 October 1880 and remained until 19 December 1886. His first burial was recorded on 12 November 1880 and his last on 15 October 1886. The Gloucester Journal newspaper from Christmas Day, 1886, reported his departure from Norton; “On Sunday last the Rev F E Broome Witts, who has been instituted to the rectory of Upper Slaughter, took the services at Norton Church for the last time. Large congregations were present, and in the courses of his sermons Mr Witts feelingly alluded to his approaching departure from the parish. After morning service the churchwardens (Mr W G Pritchard and Mr H C Organ) accompanied by Mr W Cooke, sidesman, waited upon Mr Witts in the vestry, when Mr Organ expressed to him the regret that was felt in the parish at their losing him as their vicar, and wished him all health and happiness and a career of usefulness in his new sphere of duty. The deputation then presented him in the names of the parishioners with a silver salver, which they hoped would remind him of Norton in his new home. Mr Witts thanked them for the unexpected mark of their goodwill toward him which they had just shown, and assured them that he should ever look upon their present as one of his most precious possessions. The salver, which was supplied by Mr Hanman, Westgate-street, Gloucester, is of very chaste design, and bears the following inscription: ‘Presented to the Rev F E Broome Witts, MA, vicar of Norton, as a token of the esteem and respect of his parishioners, on his leaving the parish, December 19th, 1886’”. The Citizen newspaper of 5 February 1901 included a report of the funeral of Canon G D Bourne, rector of Weston Subedge, that was followed by; “It is understood that the living of Weston Subedge, which was in the gift of the late Canon, has been given to his son-in-law, the Rev F E Broome Witts, rector of Upper Slaughter since 1886, and who had before that been curate of Dumbleton (1864-66), vicar of Temple Guiting (1866-80), vicar of Norton (1880-86), while he was appointed Assistant Diocesan Inspector for the Diocese of Gloucester and Bristol in 1875, Rural Dean of Stow in 1891, and Surrogate in 1892. He edited the Diocesan Calendar from 1882 to 1891. The income of Weston Subedge is given by ‘Crockford’ as £562 gross and £351 net”. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 23 August 1913 reported; “The death occurred suddenly on Monday, in Switzerland, of the Rev Francis Edward Broome Witts, honorary canon of Gloucester Cathedral, of Upper Slaughter Manor, Gloucestershire. Canon Witts was the eldest son of the late Rev Edward Francis Witts, and succeeded to the rectory and family estate at Upper Slaughter in 1886; his grandfather, the Rev Francis Edward Witts, was rector of Upper Slaughter from 1805 to 1854. Canon Witts was educated at Rugby under Dr Temple, and Trinity College, Oxford, and was ordained in 1864, to Dumbleton. In 1866 he went to the vicarage of Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire, where he remained until 1880, when he became vicar of Norton. He was appointed honorary canon of Gloucester Cathedral in 1906. He took an active interest in all matters affecting the public welfare of the county in which he lived. He married, in 1875, Margaret Hole, eldest daughter of Canon G D Bourne, and leaves five sons and three daughters”.
Rev Witts was succeeded by Robert Marks BA on 26 March 1887. His first burial was conducted on 7 May 1887 and his last on 21 February 1907. Rev Mrks died, in post, on 6 August 1907. The Gloucestershire Chronicle newspaper of 10 August 1907 reported Rev Marks’ death; “We regret to announce the death, which occurred about 2 o’clock on Tuesday morning, of the Rev Robert Marks, BA, vicar of Norton. Deceased had been in ill-health for some time, and his official duties had been undertaken by the Rev Precentor Fleming. The deceased vicar, who was a BA of London (1864), was ordained deacon in 1872 and priest in 1873 by the Bishop of Bath and Wells. He was an assistant master at Clifton College from 1865 to 1887, during which period he was curate of Easton-in-Gordano (1872-73), of Montpellier, Bristol (1873-75), and Holy Trinity, Clifton (1875-1887). In 1887 he became Vicar of Norton, in succession to the Rev F E Broome Witts, which living is in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. The funeral took place at Norton on Thursday, amid every manifestation of respect and esteem”. The Gloucestershire Chronicle newspaper of 14 September 1907 reported on his Will; “The Rev Robert Marks, BA, of The Vicarage, Norton, near Gloucester, vicar of Norton since 1887, an assistant master at Clifton College from 1865 to 1887, during which term he held in succession the curacies of Easton-in-Gordano, Montpellier and Holy Trinity, who died on August 6, left estate sworn by his daughter and sole executrix, Miss Emily Louisa Marks, of The Vicarage, at £4,615 0s 8d gross, including £4,271 18s 2d net personalty”.
During Robert Marks time here a Thomas Holbrow, vicar of Sandhurst appears at a one off burial in March 1889. M Rickard, vicar of Twigworth, appears at a one off burial in May 1891. He appears again at burials in February 1905, July and August 1907, and January 1908. W W Singleton, curate at The Leigh appears at a one off burial in December 1891. Arthur Lister, vicar of The Leigh appears at one off burials in February 1905, August 1907, September 1913 and July 1914. W H Harding of the Gloucester Diocese appeared at several burials in September, October and November 1907.
Robert Marks was followed by Arthur James McLean MA on 27 November 1907. His first burial was on 10 December 1907 and his last on 1 August 1911. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 19 October 1907 reported; “The Rev Arthur James Maclean, MA, has been appointed to the vicarage of Norton, vacant after the death of Rev R Marks. The new vicar was educated at St John’s College, Oxford, taking his BA degree in 1884 and his MA in 1887. He went to Leeds Clergy School in 1884, and was ordained deacon in 1884 and priest in 1885 by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. He was curate at Tewkesbury from 1884 to 1890; rector of St Peter’s, Gympie, Queensland, 1891-94; rector of Mitcheldean, Glos, 1895-96; vicar of Haresfield, Glos, 1896-99; and rector of All Saints, Brisbane, 1899-1902”.
On 2nd November 1907 the Cheltenham Chronicle & Gloucestershire Graphic newspaper included a photo of the new vicar along with the following caption :- “The new vicar of St Mary’s, Norton, near Gloucester. He was formerly senior curate at Tewkesbury Abbey and besides holding other livings in the county and in Kent he has been in Australia. He takes a special interest in the Volunteer movement and is the founder and president of the Tewkesbury Town Club”. On 30 November 1907 the Gloucestershire Chronicle newspaper carried the following report; “Norton. Induction of the new vicar. There was a large congregation at Norton Church on Wednesday evening, the occasion being the induction of the new vicar, the Rev Arthur James Maclean, MA. The Lord Bishop of the Diocese performed the institution ceremony, and the Archdeacon of Gloucester (the Rev Canon Scoball) inducted the vicar into ‘the real, actual, and corporal possession of the church”. with all the rights, profits and appurtenances thereto belonging’”.
The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 19 August 1911 reported; “A representative gathering of the parishioners of Norton met at the Village Club and Reading Room on Thursday evening to present an address to the vicar of the parish, the Rev A J Maclean, MA, who is leaving for Kirtlington, Oxford, to which living he has been appointed. The address, which was written on vellum, surrounded by photographs of local interest, and mounted and framed in oak, was presented by Mr Edwin Archer, who spoke most regretfully of the vicar’s departure, and feelingly testified to the good work done during that gentleman’s four years’ of residence in the parish, emphasising the institution of the Village Club, which had provided a great boon to the young men during the winter evenings, and the guilds of St Mary and St George, which had been the means of doing good service for the Church. Many others present at the meeting added their testimonials to that of Mr Archer, and wished the rev gentleman success and happiness in the new sphere of labourer to which he is called. The Vicar, in accepting the address, heartily thanked all those who had helped him in his work, without whose aid, he said, it would have been impossible for him to have accomplished all that had been attributed to him, and he assured those present that he should always maintain an interest in the parish and retain many pleasant memories of his residence therein”. Rev Maclean was presented to the vicarage at Kirtlington on 5 August 1911. The Gloucestershire Chronicle newspaper of 8 April 1916 reported his death; “The Rev Arthur James Maclean, formerly vicar of Kirtlington, near Oxford, died on Thursday at Hove. Mr Maclean, who graduated at St John’s College, Oxford, in 1884, upon two occasions held Colonial appointments, having been rector of St Peters, Gympie, Queensland, from 1891 to 1894, and rector of All Saints, Brisbane, from 1899 to 1903. He had also been vicar of Haresfield and vicar of Norton, Gloucestershire. Became vicar of Kirtlington in 1911, and resigned 1913”.
Then came the wonderfully named Herbert Lucian Orlando Cherrington who had graduated from London University. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 16 September 1911 reported; “The Rev H L O Cherrington, curate of Brislington, in the diocese of Bath and Wells, has been presented by the Dean and Chapter of Bristol to the vicarage of Norton, vacant by the cession of the Rev A J Maclean, who went there in 1907”. He took over from 28 November 1911 and his first burial was on 27 November 1911. At a burial of 10 February 1912 he signs himself as vicar of Norton. The Churchwarden’s Accounts record at a meeting on 10th April 1917; “The vicar having offered his services for his country and the date fixed for him to leave the parish on the following morning, the following resolution was carried unanimously with acclamation. That this meeting desires to place on record its deep sense of appreciation of the action of our Vicar (the Rev HLO Cherrington) in following what appears to him to be the path of duty in the terrible time through which we are passing and that we all wish him every success, God speed, and a safe return”. Rev Cherrington then went to France with the Church Army. He returned safely as he continues taking services after the war with his last burial, before his resignation, being conducted on 6 September 1920. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 25 September 1920 reported; “The vicar of Norton has been made the recipient of a cheque for £35, subscribed for by the parishioners, as a mark of respect and appreciation for the work he has done in the parish during the nine years he has been incumbent. In making the presentation, the Chairman (Mr H E Archer) expressed the regret of the parishioners that the Vicar was leaving, and paid a tribute to the good work he had done in the parish, more especially in regard to the renovation of the school and playground. The Vicar suitably acknowledged, and the meeting terminated with the best wishes of the people for his success in his new parish of Bleasby, near Nottingham”. Rev Cherrington died on 11 November 1942. Details of his Will were published in The Citizen newspaper of 3 March 1943; “The Rev Herbert Lucian Orlando Cherrington, of The Vicarage, Newbold Pacey, Warwick, formerly vicar of Norton, in Gloucester, who died on November 11 last, aged 68 years, left £4,393 6s 6d gross, with net personalty, £3,188 1s”.
Alfred H Cheeseman, vicar of Twigworth, appears conducting burials for a period between 30 May 1917 and April 1918. Appears again for one of burials in January 1925, May 1926, July 1928 and September 1928.
Rev Cherrington was succeeded in 1920 by Herbert Marlow Ward MA who had previously been vicar at Hampton, Evesham and was vicar of Bleasby-with-Halloughton, Nottingham, at the time he was appointed to the vicariate of Norton, vacant after the resignation of Rev Cherrington, in September 1920. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 23 October 1920 reported; “The Rev Herbert Marlow Ward, MA, formerly vicar of Bleasby-with-Halloughton, Nottingham, has been instituted to the vicarage of Norton … in place of the Rev Herbert Lucien Orlando Cherrington, with whom he has exchanged livings”. His first burial was conducted on 28 May 1921 and his last on 8 May 1923. Bernard R Cooper was officiating minister at a one off burial in July 1923. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 16 August 1924 reported; “The Rev H M Ward, vicar of Norton from 1920, has been appointed to the rectory at Whichford, Shipston-on-Stour, in the gift of Christ Church, Oxford”.
Rev Ward was followed by William Antipas Congdon MA who was educated at St Edmunds Hall, Oxford, and took over at Norton on 25 August 1924 conducting his first burial as officiating minister on 1 November 1924 and his first signed as vicar on 3 April 1926. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 30 August 1924 reported; “The Dean and Chapter of Bristol have offered the vicarage of Norton, near Gloucester, to the Rev William Antipas Congdon, MA, curate of St Mary’s, Fishponds, and he has accepted. The appointment is made in succession to the Rev H M Ward, MA, who has been presented to the rectory of Whichford, Shipston-on-Stour. Mr Congdon was curate of Chippenham parish church before going to Fishponds, and previously held curacies at South Normanton, Derbys, and All Saints, Nottingham”. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 4 October 1924 reported; “The Rev William Antipas Congdon, MA, curate of St Mary’s, Fishponds, Bristol, has been presented to the vicarage of Norton, by the Dean and Chapter of Bristol Cathedral, in succession to Rev H M Ward, who has accepted a living in Coventry”. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 15 November 1924 reported; “The Archdeacon of Gloucester (fen C H Ridsdale) as commissary of the Bishop (Dr A C Headlam), has instituted the Rev William Antipas Congdon to the vicarage of Norton vacant by the cession of the Rev H M Ward”. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 9 December 1933 reported; “The Rev W A Congdon, who has been Vicar of Norton, near Gloucester, since 1924, has been appointed to the Vicariate of Clearwell, vacant by the resignation of the Rev J P Clarke”.
This image has been extracted from a large wedding group from 1933. It is poor but is the only photo I have been able to identify of Rev Congdon.
Rev Congdon was followed by Kendall Frederick Evans-Prosser MA BD - The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 14 April 1934 reported; “The Rev Kendall F Evans-Prosser has accepted the benefice of Norton vacated by the cession of the Rev W A Congdon. He is at present chaplain of the National Nautical School, Portishead. The Rev Evans-Prosser, who is a Jesus College, Oxford, man, was ordained deacon in 1924 and priest in 1925. From 1924-28 he was curate at All Saints, Kilvey, and of Tormuhun from 1928-30, since when he has been at Clevedon”. As well as Oxford, Rev Evans Prosser also studied at St David’s College, Lampeter. The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 19 May 1934 reported; “’The clergy and the laity have one object, the building up of the work of Christ’. This was emphasised by the Assistant Bishop of Gloucester (Dr E J Palmer) at the institution and induction of the Rev Evans Prosser, as vicar of Norton. Mr Evans Prosser was presented by Canon M H Fitzgerald (representing the Dean and Chapter of Bristol). The living was vacant by the cession of the Rev W A Congdon. A large congregation attended the ceremony”.
The report continued; “Bishop Palmer, in his address, stressed the fact that … the body of Christ was incomplete without the parishioners, and Bishop Palmer urged them to help their new vicar all they could. They should all remember that the clergy were men like themselves, and were glad of a little encouragement sometimes. All people had slightly different ideas as to how church services should be conducted. Bishop Palmer urged the people of Norton not to resent any changes that their new vicar might make, and said he felt sure that any such changes would first be explained to them”.
In a Parish Magazine from I believe the mid-1970s includes an article written by Canon Evans Prosser describing his appointment as vicar of Norton and his arrival in the village. I repeat this story below.
“I was asked to attend a meeting of the Chapter of Bristol Cathedral on March 2nd 1934. I knew that they would be choosing a new vicar for Bathampton but I did not know that they would also be deciding upon one for Norton. When I got there, I heard a lot about the vacant parish of Norton though I had never before heard of it and did not even know where it was. They seemed to be pressing this place upon my attention. I shall not go into details about what they said. Anyway, on March 3rd I got a letter from them asking me to become Vicar of Norton and saying that they hoped I would at least go and see it before turning it down. That was a Saturday and on the following Monday, March 5th, we came to see it, after a thorough study of road maps to find out where it was. We arrived outside what was then called Fairview, now Old Lane Cottage, where the Barnes family then lived. Enquiries were made as to where the Vicarage and Church were and we duly got to the Vicarage. Mr Congdon was out and the family was in the throes of getting ready to move out. I remember seeing a pram in the kitchen and a child’s toy cinemagraph in the passage leading to what was afterwards the drawing room. We quite liked what we saw of the house and so we made our way to the church. When we got there it was all locked up. It always was in those days and old Mr Jordan regularly came to the Easter Vestry to ask for it to be kept open so that visitors could get in and see it. This was not done until the war came, when the PCC felt that it should be kept open so that people could shelter there from air raids. Anyway, there we were outside a locked church and with no information as to where a key could be had. But Miss Beach, who was then secretary of the PCC, had seen us from her back window and probably thought it was time to investigate who these strange people were who were perambulating around the church. She had a key to the Vestry only and so perforce we had to go in that way. I took an immediate liking to the church and felt that I was called to be Vicar of this place. So when we got back home I wrote to the Chapter accepting the living.
As you know, I was Chaplain of the Nautical School at Portishead at the time and we had a rather tearful departure as the boys were all lined up to see us off and we drove between their ranks, some of them openly weeping between the cheers. We arrived at Norton Vicarage on April 23rd 1934, St George’s Day, complete with two boys who had left the school to come with us, one for the house and one for the garden. It was not until May 17th that I was actually instituted Vicar but I took some of the services almost right away. Bishop Headlam was not able to come for the Institution and Bishop Palmer came in his place. The latter had previously been Bishop of Bombay but had recently retired and come to live in these parts where he became assistant bishop. He was a short man with spectacles and a white beard and had a distinguished record. Unfortunately for the congregation, he had a bad impediment in his speech. The Rural Dean in those days was Mr Braithwaite, Vicar of St Michael’s, Gloucester, who afterwards became Vicar of Deerhurst. To be honest I do not remember very much about the service of institution but I do recollect ringing the church bell. In those days, it was always thought that you could tell how long a new Vicar was likely to stay in the parish by the number of times he rang the bell on that occasion. If I remember rightly, I did ring more than the usual number of times. So I became duly instituted as Vicar of Norton”.
In April 1974 Canon Evans-Prosser completed 40 years as vicar of Norton Parish. The event was recorded in the Gloucester Citizen as follows; “Church packed to mark vicar’s 40 years. Norton church was ‘packed to suffocation’ yesterday afternoon when a special service was held to mark Canon K F Evans-Prosser’s 40th year as vicar of the parish. The service brought to an end a week of ‘family’ celebrations in the village and the St Mary’s church was bright with flowers for the occasion. The Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Rev Basil Guy, gave the address to a congregation swelled by many former parishioners and representatives from St Catherine’s, St Stephen’s and St John’s churches.
In addition to 131 communicants, a large number of children were brought to the altar to be blessed by Canon Evans-Prosser the popular father of the village ‘family’ for so many years. A highlight of the afternoon came when Canon Evans-Prosser disclosed the remainder of the surprise gifts he has made to the parish. In addition to the processional cross and the pair of candlesticks which he had announced at a meeting earlier in the week, he produced a set of new white vestments, a burse and veil, a set of linen for the altar and a new glass wine cruet for the Eucharist.
Canon Evans-Prosser has a reputation for making gifts to his parish. The point was stressed earlier in the week when he was presented with a £20 cheque by Norton villagers on the condition that he spends the money on himself. ‘People have been very kind indeed’, said Canon Evans-Prosser after the service. “It has been a truly memorable week. I was surprised to see the church packed to suffocation for the service and most impressed by the floral decorations”.
Canon Evans-Prosser was vicar of Norton 1934-1979 and The Leigh 1947-1979.
On Thursday, 2nd January 1992, The Gloucester Citizen carried the following piece in memory of Canon Evans-Prosser who had died the previous week; “Citizen ‘Message’ man dies, aged 91. The man who gave Citizen readers a message of hope each week for 30 years, has died at the age of 91. Canon Kendall Frederick Evans-Prosser started his ‘Saturday Message’ column in 1949, and never missed a deadline until his retirement, often delivering his copy by hand. For 46 years he was the vicar of Norton, latterly taking on The Leigh as well. He was also active in local politics as a member of the former Gloucester Rural District Council for 31 years. In recognition of his long service, he was made an Honorary Alderman of the Tewkesbury Borough Council when local government was reorganised in 1974. He was also a member of the City Education Committee, vice chairman of the Diocesan Council of Education, secretary of the Gloucester Council of Churches and chairman of the Governers of Selwyn School. A bachelor, Canon Evans-Prosser wrote several booklets about Norton, including an account of how the village was bombed during the Second World War. In 1958 he bought the Church of St Johns from the Methodists with his own money, and gave it to the village. A car crash in 1980 forced his retirement and he lived at the Bredon View home in Cheltenham for some years. He died at the Greenlands Nursing Home in Gloucester on Friday. His funeral service will be at St Mary’s Church, Norton, on Monday.”