Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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186                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [CHAr. XIII,
Church was consecrated on July 6, 1882, by the Bishop of Chichester (Durnford).
Not only has the Church as a building a history, but the patronage has likewise a history. Bishop Durnford tried very hard to persuade Lady Victoria to hand over the patronage to him as Bishop of the Diocese, but she would not hear of it. She told me, and I think most probably she told him, that she had no confidence in episcopal patrons. This will be better understood when I say that she subscribed in her life-time 1000 to the National Church League under its original name of the National Protestant Church Union ; and left it a legacy of the same amount. She was indeed a loyal and attached member of the Church of England, satisfied with the Prayer-Book and the XXXIX. Articles, and with a deep aversion to Romanising Ritualism. Accordingly she decided to keep the patronage in her own hands, at any rate for a time.
After her death, in March 1897, I found to my extreme surprise that she had bequeathed the advowson to me, forgetting apparently that she had in her life-time invited me to become one of 5 trustees of the Church, and to suggest to her 4 other friends or acquaintances of mine, who could be relied upon to cany out her wishes and principles. This design was successfully accomplished, though I failed to find a second East-Bourne resident to be, with myself, a local trustee. That point has, however, automatically been met by one of the original trustees having been Canon Goodwyn, who has since become resident in East-Bourne, by reason of his having become Vicar. The original trustees were the Hon. and Rev. W. T. Rice, Mr. Penruddocke, Canon Goodwyn, the Rev. H. P. Stokes, and myself, and there has been no change since.
Only once has there been a vacancy for us to fill up,, and that vacancy (caused by the resignation of the Rev. J. B. Fletcher) gave me my first insight, and a very illuminating one, into the customs and ideas of clergy desiring preferment. As senior trustee, the applications came in the first instance to me. They »
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