23 July 2012

Writers in Churches in Nottinghamshire #10 Constance Penswick Smith and William Morris in Coddington

Constance Penswick Smith (1878–1938) was twelve years old when she came to Coddington, where her father had been appointed as the new vicar of All Saints'. It was in 1913 that she learned of the American Anne Jarvis's plans to introduce Mother's Day into the UK, which Smith felt would take the religious significance of the tradition of Mothering Sunday. Consequently she devoted the rest of her life to campaigning for the re-establishment of that tradition, writing a book, plays, and articles dedicated to that purpose.

The lady chapel in the south aisle was originally designed as a Sunday school. It was dedicated to Constance Penswick Smith in 1951:

The window is by Wiliam Morris:

The left light: St Joseph.

The centre light: St Mary Magdalene.

The right light: St John.

The east window.

Top left is a self-portrait by William Morris as St Peter, one of a number of such windows that he designed.

By the south porch is the grave of Constance Penswick Smith, the inscription acknowledging her as 'the founder of the Movement for the Revival of the Observance of Mothering Sunday'.

And next to her is the grave of her father, the Rev. Charles Penswick Smith, who spent 32 years as vicar of the parish.

All Saints' Church.

(I visited this church because of the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham's Open Churches Weekends (Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15 July and 21 and 22 July 2012). Details of participating churches and opening times are listed here.)

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