From Ambleside Parish Magazine, 1881
Extracts from the vicar’s monthly letters.

“My Dear Friends,

The first thing I wish to bring before you this month is the attendance of children at the Day School. Our three Schools re-commenced on Monday, January 10, and although three weeks have now elapsed, the attendance has been far below the average. It has been very poor in the Boys’ School, worse in the Girls’, and worst of all in the Infants’. I know the weather has been very severe ; but then I frequently see many children, who ought to be at School, either going errands or playing about in the cold ; if they can do this, they can come to School: and even if the weather has been cold, it has been dry ; and if the children are well wrapped up, and do not loiter about in going to and from School, I do not believe they will suffer from the cold. Then, too, many have been afraid of the fever ; but I really think the fever has almost disappeared ; and not one of the children, who have come to School since the holidays, has been taken ill. I cannot see that there is any good reason why the children should not be sent as usual; and therefore I would ask the parents not to keep the absentees at home any longer. A continued low attendance does a great deal of harm to a School, considerably impairs its standard of efficiency, discourages the teachers, and makes those who are kept away backward in their attainments. I earnestly beg all parents to ensure the regular attendance of their children, unless there is an absolute necessity for their being away.

The next thing I wish to mention is a course of Lectures, which I have arranged to be given on the important subject of Health. The dates and titles of these Lectures you will find at the end of the MAGAZINE. What I wish to do here, is to invite you to attend them. I believe we are all of us very ignorant of the simple elementary rules which relate to the maintenance of sound bodily health. The subject is one which has been very carefully investigated of late, and has excited great interest among all classes of society. I feel sure that the information which will be given by the gentle men who have kindly consented to deliver the Lectures will be most useful. The admission will be by Free Tickets, to be obtained from myself or the District Visitors. There will be a limited number of reserved seats, price 2S. 6d. for the course.
Your faithful Friend and Pastor,
February 1, 1881.

From Ambleside Parish Magazine, March 1881
Extract from the vicar’s monthly letter.

“My Dear Friends,

I wish in this month’s Magazine to say a few words, by way of explanation, concerning a matter which is of some interest to the Parish. An advertisement has lately appeared in the local papers, notifying that the Trustees of the Ambleside Charity are prepared to receive applications from “sick poor persons resident in the Township” for Medical Attendance, Medicines, and Nursing; and also applications for apprenticing and clothing orphans or the children of poor persons resident in Ambleside. I should like to make the matter a little clearer to you by briefly describing the object of the Charity. The purposes above mentioned are of course expressly laid down in the terms of the Scheme, according to which the Trustees are obliged to act. They cannot be carried out without great care, and perhaps some difficulty; and yet there is no doubt that they may be made a very great boon and blessing to many persons. The Trustees are very anxious that the help which is proposed to be given should be bestowed only on deserving objects ; that is to say, that it should be given only to those who are really unable to provide themselves with the aid they require, not to those who can do so, but who do not – nor to those who spend upon self-indulgence and other things what they ought to spend in paying the doctor’s bill. Those who are relieved must be, as the Scheme describes them, really “sick poor persons.” And the Trustees reserve to themselves full discretionary power to refuse any applications which they think do not come within the meaning of the terms of the Scheme. But no harm can be done by any persons making application ; and I believe there will always be some, who ‘ from no fault of their own, are in need of the help which it is proposed to give, and to whom such help will be nothing less than a God-send. The object of the Charity is, not to do for others what they can and ought to do for themselves, but ‘to help those who really cannot help themselves. I will only add that applications must be addressed, in writing, to Mr. W. Barton, The Crescent ; and they will receive consideration, in due order and upon their merits, at the hands of the Trustees. Your faithful Friend and Pastor,
March 1, 1881.”

From Ambleside Parish Magazine, November 1881
Extract from the vicar’s monthly letter.

“My Dear Friends,

I find I am called upon to address you again, as you are still without a Pastor. I trust, however, the time is drawing near when you will have your own Minister to counsel and advise you.

The Temperance Meeting in connection with your branch of the Church of England Temperance Society was not such a success as I thought it would have been. The attendance was only small. I am sorry for this, as I had hoped the interest your late Pastor took in the cause would have induced many to come, and help forward a work which needs all the energy and zeal we can give to it. The amount of drink consumed in the country is so enormous, and the crime caused by it so fearful, that every effort should be made, by all who love their God and country, to stop it. I ask you each one to think over this subject and see if you cannot do something to further the cause of Temperance in your own immediate neighbourhood and in the country at large. Your affectionate Friend,
November 1881″

“My Dear Friends,

I have to announce that the Annual Children’s Flower Service will be held on Sunday afternoon, July 3rd, at 3 o’clock. The flowers will be sent to a Hospital, and the Offertory to Dr. Barnardo’s Homes for Destitute Children.

While speaking of flowers, I am sorry to be obliged to refer to some complaints which I have received about the robbery of flowers from the graves in the Churchyard. We’re all of us concerned in the sacred preservation of the last resting-places of the departed; and there are few things so shocking as the profanation of them. I must beg all parents to warn their children that they are not allowed to wander about the Churchyard. If the nuisance continues, the Churchwardens will be compelled to treat the offenders as trespassers; and if any persons are discovered stealing flowers from the Churchyard, they will be brought before the Magistrates.

July 1, 1881″