4 March 2021

Lavington again; and some questions.

An adapted recycling of a 2015 blogpost, with a contemporary comment.

 Lavington Church was rather harshly treated by Street ... although I do feel the need to remind myself that the much-criticised Victorians had to make something of church buildings which had often received at best little more than patchwork ad hocery since the Reformation. You will find within it Soapy Sam's crosier ... I wonder when Anglican bishops resumed the use of the crosier? And the little church has early Victorian windows in which, innocently bestriding the gulf between the later ideologies of Zionism and Nazism, the Star of David and the Swastika alternate as decorative motifs. And, unmentioned by Nairn [Pevsner], there is what looks to me like a Georgian pulpit with a rather worn brass plate recording that it was given to the Church of ... S Mark's, Kennington! Does anybody know where it had been originally; how it got to S Mark's Kennington (the 'Waterloo' church opposite the Oval Underground Station, on the spot where they killed the officers of the Manchester Regiment after the '45); and how it migrated thence to Lavington?

As I turned away from Caroline's grave, I found myself wondering how often the Cardinal Archbishop quietly murmured, as the Ministers turned away from him at the Altar so as not to overhear his Names, "... qui nos praecesserunt cum signo fidei et dormiunt in somno pacis: et praesertim coniugis meae carissimae Carolinae ..." [the manuals of that age suggested that one could offer Mass for departed schismatics but only privately]. The former Rectory, later renamed Beechwood, does not seem to have a blue disk recording his residence.

S John Henry Newman is sometimes, and naturally, thought of as the more 'Anglican' of our two greatest modern English  Cardinals; but Lavington could suggest a new approach to his confrater in purpura. Manning's background in England's Squirearchy; his own years as a country parson; above all, his affection through so many decades for a wife, affection disclosed on his death bed, surely give him a dash of 'Anglicanism' or at least of Englishness in fields where the mighty Sanctus lacked it.

Furthermore, should the historians reclassify him as an outlier jure conjugis of the great Wilberforce clan? Could we thus insert Manning, and his role in settling the London Dock Strike, into a continuum linking the Anti-Slavery Movement and Rerum Novarum?


John F H H said...

The Survey of London Volume 26: Lambeth: Southern Area has this about S.Mark's, Kennington.

The church was severely damaged by enemy action in September 1940; after partial restoration it was re-dedicated on April 9, 1949. In 1898 the fine late 19th century carved oak pulpit was brought from the demolished City church of St. Michael's, Wood Street. (fn. 85)

This would seem to suggest that the pulpit in Lavington is the one of 1824 removed in 1898 from St.Mark's?

However, the guidebook to St.Peter's Woolavington
The pulpit was given to the college by the Southwark Diocese. It came from St Mark’s, Kennington Oval, one of the four churches built as a thank-‐offering for victory in the Battle of Waterloo
which might mean that it came via Seaford College (the church is now the school chapel).


does not mention the pulpit, but has some notes on the restoration, which it suggests was not by G.E.Street.

PM said...

Coincidentally, William Wilberforce's son Arthur became a Catholic and one of his sons, born at Lavington in 1839, became Fr Bertrand Wilberforce OP. See the brief biography below:


Robin said...

Manning's dying words about Caroline 'all the good I may have done, all the good I may have been I owe to her' must rank as one of the most moving tributes ever to have been paid by anybody to his deceased wife let alone from a Cardinal to the daughter of Evangelical aristocracy.
A few years ago I visited Lavington and was sad to see how unkempt the little graveyard was and I wondered if some effort should not be made to mark her grave. But too often people seem to feel one should admire either Manning or Newman not both. One cannot but resist recalling the comment of Manning's detractors that the death of Caroline Manning was the greatest disasters ever to befall the English church. I for one believe Manning's rehabilitation is well overdue.

Bob said...

Father you have a typo. "early Victorian windows", not "early Victorian widows"...

E sapelion said...

This pulpit seems a bit flighty!

Pulpit: Late C17 and said to have come here from St Mark, Kennington, London (BE(W) p368), though it must have come from somewhere else originally as that dates from 1824.

E sapelion said...

Here is a candidate :-
St Michael, Crooked Lane, 1687, Wren, demolished 1831 to make room for the Northern appoach to London Bridge.
"a fine specimen of a metropolitan parish church" - James Elmes: Topographical directory of London and its environs. 1831

Some of the monuments moved to St Mark's Kennington. Two of these are of the Webb family. Does the brass plate on the pulpit mention who gave it to St Mark's?

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Domine Cardinaiis,

Impetra per suffragium tuum in caelo remedium, pro nobis clericorum qui in terra opprimuntur onere caelibatus.


Adrian said...

I preached from that pulpit for nearly thirty years when I was an assistant master at Seaford College. My understanding was that the late Canon Charles Johnson, who was Headmaster from when the College moved to Lavington at the end of the war until 1990, acquired it as salvage from the bombed St Mark's Kennington. It is a good sized pulpit which I think has been considerably lowered to fit into Lavington church - the 'stem' has clearly been cut off above a wider base, now lost. Wilberforce's crozier was not, I think, ever used liturgically but had some more heraldic purpose. The furnishings of the church apart from the pulpit date from early in the 20th century, replacing an enchanting High Victorian interior, so not much that Wilberforce and Manning would have known remains.