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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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On   the   20th   March   1915   the   elderly   Rector   of   Itchingfield,   Rev   John   Moses,   died   after   a   long   illness.   By   the   time   of   his   death,   the Diocese   had   already   taken   control   of   the   Parish,   probably   to   prevent   Moses   being   declared   bankrupt,   and   Alfred   De   Rougemont   was appointed as the new Rector. Rev   de   Rougemont   could   not   have   been   more   different   to   his   predecessor   –   Gwen   Upcott   (daughter   of   the   Headmaster   of   Christ’s Hospital School) described the new Rector ; .    .   .   He   was,   by   persuasion,   a   Catholic,   by   birth,   a   gentleman   and   he   had   private   means.   Everything   was   changed.   The   creepers   and   ivy came off the Rectory, the ‘Beauty of Holiness’ was removed from the Church wall, my boy scouts were trained as servers. . . Gwen Upcott Perhaps   aware   that   a   new   and   potentially   very   different   era   was   starting   at   Itchingfield,   the   Bishop   of   Chichester   was   at   pains   to   ensure that the parishioners would welcome the new man. During his sermon at the service to install Rev de Rougemont he said: “   he   came   to   serve   them   and   that   was   the   one   and   only   object   of   his   dwelling   in   their   midst.   He   came   to   help   them   in   every   possible   way that   he   could   :   not   to   think   of   himself,   his   own   interests,   his   own   pleasures   or   concerns,   but   just   to   be   Christ’s   servant.      .   .Could   the   new Rector   conceive   of   any   greater   privilege   or   any   heavier   responsibility   than   was   his,   the   privilege   of   being   allowed   to   stand   as   his   Master’s representative   among   the   people   there,   to   be   allowed   to   bear   their   cares,   troubles   and   sorrows   and   to   counsel,   uphold   and   strengthen them?      .   .   .   it   was   the   duty   of   the   parishioners   to   trust   the   Rector,   to   give   him   their   confidence   and   to   believe   whatever   he   did   there   he would   do   for   the   glory   of   God   and   for   the   good   of   their   souls.   .   .   .with   the   coming   of   their   new   Rector,   there   would   be   changes   made   .   .   . There   must   be   changes   when   new   men   came   and   new   methods   were   employed.   .   .   .   I   know   this   ministry   which   is   beginning   today   will   be greatly blessed to you and that you will thank God in the time to come that your new Rector came among you.” WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES June 1915 Change   had   most   certainly   come   to   Itchingfield,   the   new   Rector   was,   in   a   way,   symbolic   of   the   new   order   in   the   world.   Over   the   next three   years   the   local   residents   would   see   almost   every   aspect   of   the   old   world   of   Victorian   England   swept   away   by   the   consequences   of war.
Winds of Change