Church Going In The 1960's

A Memory of Alwington

As local village children we used to walk from Fairy Cross meeting other children from the council houses along the way and wind our way through  the narrow lane, sometimes picking wild strawberries in summer - moving out of the way of cars that needed to pass us - usually on their way to church also - untill we arrived at St. Andrews, Alwington. We always sat up in the choir stalls with Mrs. Elston (who had been my first teacher at Abbotsham school - Alwington school, where my mother had attended, had closed some years previously because of low numbers and all from our village then went by bus to Abbotsham).  I can remember at special services - Christmas etc. - that some of us children would read from the Bible to the congregation and when I did this I was always very nervous and once I lost my place and it seemed like ages before I found it again!  Old Colonel and Mrs Pine-Coffin were always in the Portledge pew and often when the sermon went on a bit long I think the old Colonel used to doze off - he certainly had his eyes closed regularly !
On Sundays the children stayed for half of the service and then we filed out of the church to the old schoolrooms next to the church for Sunday School. I can remember that in winter in the schoolrooms it was freezing and a few times we stayed in the church and had Sunday School in the old minstrel gallery that originally came from Portledge House. After Sunday School we would then walk home again and be ready for our Sunday roast dinner which we always looked forward to!!
This was just a normal way of life for us then but looking back I think we were very lucky to have experienced it this way - no computers, fast food and only limited television - but we were healthy, entertained ourselves and were very happy with simple things.

A memory shared by Derek England , on Jun 11th, 2006.

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