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Patrons and parsons

25 September 2015

by Prudence Fay

A new stained-glass window in St Nicholas’s, Longparish, in the diocese of Winchester, marks the 250-year-old association of the Woodcock family with the parish. Not only has the family had the gift of the living, presenting to the bishop since 1762 the next vicar or (from 1897, rector) of Longparish, but has also provided three of the incumbents, including Henry Burnaby Green for 63 years, from 1821, and John Parry Woodcock, (1906-33), the father of the present patron, John Woodcock (below). Now 89, Mr Woodcock, who was for many years The Times’s cricket correspondent, recalls being urged to “keep in mind the Tractarian sympathies of your forebears” when appointing a new rector. Nowadays, as Longparish is part of a benefice of four churches, the appointment is made in consultation with the Bishop, to whom Mr Woodcock plans to return the advowson in due course. The window, given by Mr Woodcock, was designed by Jude Tarrant, and was consecrated by the Bishop of Basingstoke, the Rt Revd David Williams, on Sunday of last week, during a packed evensong

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