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A surprising discovery

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Mar, 2021 10:01 PM

There are hidden treasures in our parishes, and some are still coming to light as part of our rich, shared Christian heritage.

A surprising discovery

Original photo courtesy Onwards and Upwards

It can take decades before such material is uncovered, but the wait is worthwhile.

Beaminster's Mary Treacher says:

"My mother died in 2001 but it was not until 2018 that my brother, Andrew, came across in his files a handwritten copy of a talk which she had once given. He was struck by its spirituality and imagination. He showed it to me and my sister and we were both similarly impressed. I asked whether there were any more such talks and, in response, he gave me an untouched and unpretentious folder containing more than 100 scripts, one dating back to 1934!

"On top of them all lay a luggage label on which she had written: “Just in case you thought I spent all my time in the kitchen. Mum.”

"I typed each script and, between the 3 of us, we selected our favourite 40. A number of friends with whom we shared the talks were enthusiastic about their contents. Andrew then approached his former Bishop in Rochester Diocese and several other prominent people for their views and they all responded warmly. We were so pleased when Onwards and Upwards agreed to publish the talks.

"Mother was Senior Student at Ridgelands Bible College when, in the early 1930s, she attended my father’s ordination. Subsequently they married and her considerable Bible knowledge was put to good use in assisting him in his ministry in England and later on, overseas. She was generally given charge of women’s groups, particularly the Mothers’ Union.

"My father’s first parish was Woolland, and my mother’s sister Anastasia was with the Community of the Healing Saviour at Milton Abbey during World War 2.

"During the war, father was Rector of Stree, which I believe was under the flight path of many German aircraft on their way to bomb more northerly towns. I can certainly remember having to take make-shift shelter at very short notice! Mother’s war-time talks must have given comfort at that time to many anguished minds.

"Much later, after the family had migrated to Australia, mother’s ministry became especially active again. While father was Archdeacon of Tamworth in New South Wales, she gave a series of Epilogues over the local radio station. Some of these scripts now appear in 'Treasures from a Deep Mine' by Alison Daunton-Fear, which I have co-edited.

"My husband and I moved to Beaminster in 1984. He died in 2003 but I have remained here. We have always been active members of the laity at St Mary’s Church."

'Treasures from a Deep Mine' is published by Onwards and Upwards this month, at the price of £11.99.

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