Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1885, February 14, Saturday 

Drove Bell, Frank and Willie Thame to Brailes and Winderton.

At 11 o’clock this evening Joseph Pettipher came and asked me to go baptize his baby the survivor of twins born 10 or 12 days ago. I went and baptized the child. It was so dark I was obliged to take my lantern. The baby is a very tiny thing and does not seem likely to live.

Mrs Pettipher senior was there and evidently in a queer state of mind. She said she had agreed to let me be sent for because she wanted the funeral service read over the child if it died, but she did not believe in what some people said etc etc but she was not going to argue. I told her that the Church did not teach anything about the condition of those who die unbaptized. But she would scarcely let me get that out. She did not want to argue – etc etc.

Mrs Salmon, mother of Mrs Pettipher junior was there. I baptized the infant in the bedroom where the mother was. It was almost crowded with the 5 or 6 people in it and dreadfully hot. The young mother looked very frail.

1885, February 15, Sunday 

Bell and I visited widow of Thomas Manning and John Manning’s wife.

Attended Choir Practice this evening. The two boys of Ellen Hone looked so halfstarved that I brought them down here and gave them a good supper.

Miss Dix called to see Rosa.

1885, February 16, Monday

Taught in School this morning.

Held Boys’ Conformation Class in School Room this evening. The Tarvers did not let the boy Sabin (orphan son of Humphrey) come. They give him 1/- a week and his victuals, except on Sundays. He sleeps at home and works for them from early morning till long after dark.

1885, February 17, Tuesday

Visited School this morning. Held Girls’ Confirmation Class in Vestry this afternoon.

Spoke to Ann West (age 50) about confirmation. She seems as though she would like to be confirmed but is somewhat shy, as she cannot read. She is I think a good sort of woman, and says she knows the substance of the Catechism though she could not repeat it.

Mrs Elijah Hancox and her daughter Mrs George Harris came to me at the Vicarage. She told me that Miss Capper, quakeress, told her the Sacraments were “Rubbish”. Miss C. thinks she is doing Christian work! She seems to be endeavouring to get the people away from Church teaching, and apparently does not mind whether they go to the Methodist Chapel or Quakers’ Meeting or absent themselves from Divine Service altogether so that they do not come to Church. She told the Goughs at Sibford Ferris that “Baptism” was all nonsense and that if they got the child’s name put down in the Registrar’s book that was all that was necessary.

Click on an entry date to view an image of the original diary page.

Read about the Rev Edward Stevens here.