Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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162                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIII.
East-Bourne is now honeycombed with a multitude of religious societies, nearly every church and congre­gation having its own favourites, but in my early days I think there were only three societies represented. At the beginning of the 19th Century the S.P.C.K. had a Sussex auxiliary under the title of " The District Committee for the Deanery and Rape of Pevensey." I have a copy of the Report for the year 1828 on which is written the name of Lady C. Fitzroy," and which Mr. F. J. Howard gave me at Compton Place many years ago. The President of the Committee was the Earl of Abergavenny. The East-Bourne Secretary was the Rev. A. Brodie, D.D. and the Hailsham Secretary the Rev. T. R. Welch. There were two other local secretaries farther away. The Report is couched in somewhat glowing terms, and it would seem that the Committee possessed considerable vitality, for during the year 1827 they raised £256, and remitted £244 to the parent society, and circulated during the year 5411 publications. The East-Bourne subscribers numbered 27, but there may have been more, as the addresses are not in all cases given. I do not know when this Local Committee died out, nor do I even remember its existence; the present East-Bourne organisation of the S.P.C.K. is modern dating only from the " Seventies." As regards societies my earliest remembrance is only of the Church Missionary Society, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Church Pastoral Aid Society. I took a collecting book for the Bible Society in 1853 and enrolled many subscribers in East-Bourne. The annual meetings and sermons for the C.M.S. were always held during the first week in September because the East-Bourne season was over, and the few residents who went away in the summer had settled themselves home again for the winter. This condition of things is now entirety upset; and it was because of this upset that September was abandoned as the C.M.S. anniversary month. About 1863 I was asked by Mr. Simpson, the Rector of Bexhill, to assist in starting a Branch of the Additional Curates Society, but I declined on the ground of a principle which I have
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