THE PARISH CHURCH.
favour of re-seating the church, and on a poll being taken it was confirmed by a majority of 20 voters with 40 votes in favour, to seven voters with 15 votes against. A committee was formed to carry the matter through. Mr. J. M. Hooker, an architect, of Seven-oaks, was consulted, plans for 1,013 seats and estimates were got out and an appeal was issued for £900, to include also the cost of installing gas, oil lamps having, up to this time, been used. In the year 1855 some progressive worshippers had sought to secure the introduction of gas in the place of these oil lamps, in order that evening services might be tried, but on December 6th of the year named the parishioners decided in Vestry that it was not desirable to have evening service in the Parish Church and refused to sanction tne rate proposed for fitting up and lighting the edifice with gas.
The estimate for the re-seating was far too low. The work was carried out by the late Mr. John Godly, and the total cost of re-seating, lighting and cleaning was £1,523. It was not completed without opposition. A few opposed the granting of the faculty, but all finally fell in with the scheme except the late Mr. C. C. Tooke, of Hurst-an-Clays, and the late Mr. Henry Taylor, the latter then one of the churchwardens. The former's large, ugly pew was especially exempted by the faculty from the scheme, and it remained in the church, a sad disfigurement to the whole interior, until his death on October 21st, 1890, when, by the consent of his daughter (Mrs. Henry Padwick), it was speedily removed. The church was closed on September 7th, 1874, and re-opened by the Bishop (Dr. Durnford) on November 14th following; in the meantime the services were held in the School and the Holy Communion administered in Sackville College Chapel. On the re-opening day, for the first time, the church choir appeared in surplices.
The re-seating with oak threw into prominence the ugliness of the dirty deal panelling, which ran round the whole church to a height of over 5-ft., the plastered walls and flat whitened ceiling. The committee decided to build