PCC Member of the Month – January 2019

PCC Member of the Month: Gordon Bramall

In this, the sixth in our series of pen portraits of members of St Chad’s Parochial Church Council, Gordon Bramall, a member continuously since 1958, looks back over the years

Life and PCC times with ten very different incumbents

I would like to recall times past and look at the present in and around St Chad’s, centring on the vicars.

1932 The Rev Scott Rogerson is first on my list, for he Christened me in 1934.

1937 The Rev Fred Brighton came and soon the Second World War was underway. Gasmask training for the infants began and Sunday School prizes were given out much as they are today, although books were expensive then.

1943 The Rev Geoffrey Prime and his wife moved into the vicarage and this was soon to be used as a place for young people to meet for recreation and games. Rambles took us to many of the village’s outer-points, with arranged stops for refreshment – Patshull Hall being just one of them. This was my first experience of Church-involved youth work and fellowship, all those years ago. I joined the PCC in 1952.

1955 The Rev Peter Talbot added a new dimension, a vicar who liked half-a-pint and a cigarette, what an incentive for finishing a PCC in good time!.

It was during this time that National Service took me away from the PCC but not to escape my religious duties. I was referred to a service by the then head chaplain of the armed services together with others from similar backgrounds. To be relieved from square bashing was heaven! When I eventually returned, Mr Bill Pugh asked me to replace him as rural deanery synod representative for the PCC in early 1958 and that’s where it all started.

1962 The Rev Edwin Hayward with his wife moved into the vicarage. Church finances needed to be addressed and an almost military activity was bought in: following “The Send Off Meal”, volunteer groups went out cold-calling the village under the name of a Stewardship Campaign.

It was also during this time moves were made to make the churchyard manageable and I was delegated to take it on. A small party moved and levelled what we could to make it possible for mowers to go where they had never been before.

The Rev Hayward read the banns for our forthcoming wedding which took place in Much Birch Church, Hereford in 1968.

1970 The Rev Christopher Walters joined us with his wife Pam. The vicarage and gardens were well used for meetings of the PCC and the garden for the Church Fete. Mr George Turner, who was a churchwarden gave the present organ and his daughter Winifred was PCC secretary.

1990 The Rev Roy Bradbury led the PCC, heading groups meeting at different homes to explore how we could move forward in our mission within the parish. Some differences of opinion gave quite an edge to the meetings …

1995 The Rev Gill Broomfield came as Priest in Charge working in a part time capacity.

2002 The Rev John Daimond came; a former chaplain in the RAF, he also enjoyed a pint. His sermons were short and concise always with a message. John performed the marriage service for our daughter Zena to Peter Cameron and in 2004 baptised Edward my grandson.

2009 The Rev Maureen Hobbs, our presiding vicar, came. In August 2018, she gave my family another strong link with St Chad’s, baptising my granddaughter Alma.

That’s my St. Chad’s. As John Daimond would have said: Wonderful. And so it goes on .