The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.
We regret to record the death of Mr Frederick James Wootton, son of the respected Post Master of Clophill, who had been suffering from partial paralysis and heart trouble for the past two years . He became much worse at the beginning of last week, and passed away on Sept. 28th (immediately after the funeral of his cousin, Mr S. Perkins), at the age of 52 years. Mr Wootton was the first clerk of the Clophill Parish Council, and held the appointment for some years. He then left the village and took a business at Southend, returning to his native village about four years ago. The internment took place on Monday. In the absence of the Rector, the funeral service was read by the Rev. T. F .F. Williams, vicar of Silsoe. The mourners were Mr and Mrs Jas. Wootton (father and mother), Misses Edith and Dorothy Wootton (daughters), Mr James Wootton (brother), Mrs A. Sharp (sister), Mr A. Sharp (brother in law), and Mrs Burgoine.
On Friday the remains of Mr Samuel Perkins , jun. (whose death we recorded last week), were laid to rest in the Old Churchyard on the hill. The coffin was borne into the Church by four of the deceased's friends, Messrs. E. Appleby, E. Matthews, W. Taylor, and W. Young. The mourners were, Mrs Perkins, (widow), Mr and Mrs J. Smith ( brother in law and sister), Mr Cyril Smith, (nephew). Mr and Mrs A Sharp (cousins), Miss Hanley (sister in law) and Mr Wilks. Mr W. Matthews and Mr J. Tatman also followed. The Church was filled with villagers. The service was read very impressively by the rector the Rev. C. L Matthews, who had visited Mr Perkins very frequently since his arrival in the village. There were many beautiful floral tributes.
Mrs S. Perkins wishes to thank all her friends for their kind enquiries and expressions of sympathy in her sad bereavement.
On Saturday a football match was played here with Pulloxhill. The homesters were assisted for the first time by the Rev. C. L. Matthews, who played himself in by scoring a good goal. Three others were scored by Clophill and Pulloxhill bagged two.
The football team went to Ampthill on Saturday to try conclusions with Ampthill Wesleyans, who, in the first game at Clophill a few weeks ago, were victorious by 6 goals to nil. This time the match ended in a draw, each side scoring twice.
The congregations at the evening services at the Parish church, since the coming of the new Rector, have been very large, and last Sunday evening practically every seat was occupied. The outspoken manliness of Rev. C. L. Matthews in his sermons, appears to be much to the liking of the parishioners; and the rev. gentleman is becoming deservedly popular. The singing of the responses, and the general brightening up of the services are all changes in the right direction, and meet with universal approval.
INSTITUTION OF THE REV. C. L. MATTHEWS
On Friday the Bishop of Ely visited Clophill to institute the Rev, C. L. Matthews as Rector. The clergy present included the Rev. J. H. Spokes, Rector of Barton and Rural Dean; The Revs. T. Collisson, Gravenhurst; Cory, Hexton; Houfe, Pulloxhill; C. Bromley, Maulden; W. C. Browne, Haynes; and May, Ampthill. The evening service was sung by the Rev. T. Collisson, the first lesson being read by the Rev. F. Cory, and the second by the Rev. J. H. Spokes. The Bishop then delivered an address. He said that the institution was a repetition of the ordination service, giving the rector his special work in the Church. He would baptise their children, would be commissioned to preach the glad tidings of the Gospel and explain the Christian doctrines held by the Church. He would remind his people that faith must be shown by good works. The Rector would also administer the Blessed Sacrament. He would prepare candidates for confirmation. He might to make up quarrels, and would sometimes perhaps speak strongly to those who were in the wrong. He would also visit the sick, and help them to make their peace with God. But we must not think that all the work of the church is done by her ministers. All must work and there were many ways in which the laity could help, e.g., Sunday School teachers, choir, etc. He asked the parishioners to pray for god's blessing on their new Rector, and also to help him in his difficult work. The Rector then made a declaration and took the oaths of allegiance to the King, and of obedience to the Bishop, and the Bishop then formally instituted him Rector of Clophill. The induction followed. The Rural Dean led Mr. Matthews to the church door and afterwards to the belfry, where he tolled the bell. The Bishop then pronounced the blessing, and the interesting ceremony was over. This is the first visit of the Bishop of Ely since 1985.
On Sunday the annual C.M.S. Sermons were preached in the Parish Church by the Rev. A.C.Clarke, who has spent 15 years working for the Society in the Punjab and is home on furlough. The offertories, amounting to £7 18s. 10d., were devoted to the Society. On Monday evening a meeting was held in the Parish Room. The Rector, who presided, said that the life of the church in a parish might well be judged by the amount of help given to missionary enterprise. Mr. Clarke gave an interesting description of the life and habits of the people among whom he had worked and also of the town of Amritsar where he lived. Although the town is an ancient one, with walls and gates, western civilisation is making headway, and there are shops where you can buy cycles, gramophones and sewing machines. He made an earnest appeal to all to help forward missionary work to the utmost of their ability.