Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Church of St James the Less, Litchfield



Litchfield has played a large part in the lives of the family since the 1930s and the little church of St James the Less is the family church. My grandmother Nina, Sir Alfred Herbert's third wife, attended church there with Sir Alfred from Dunley. In 1930, Sir Alfred had the low retaining wall on the roadside of the churchyard built as well as the path up to the porch while the family of his second wife, Florence Pepper, erected the lytchgate in her memory.

My mother Annette was married to Arthur Luxmoore there in 1935 and my father Patrick's first wife Catherine Lawford (nee Stephenson) was buried there in 1941.

Herry was christened there in Sept 1945, when the family was living at Litchfield Manor

Sir Alfred Herbert was interred there with Florence in 1957 (a service that was followed by a memorial service in Coventry Cathedral). Nina donated the organ to the church in memory of Sir Alfred, commorated by a plaque

Many of the Dunley and Litchfield estate staff also lie there including Miss Tidd, Sir Alfred's private secretary. "Nannie Pugh" - nannie to the children of Lt-Col Archie Pugh and Nina and therefore to Annette, is also buried there as is Mary Bragg, the wife of Percy Bragg, who was Patrick's first farming tutor.

The Rev Hamilton Lloyd, formerly vicar of Whitchurch and who retired in 1984, was the curate at Litchfield for for 27 years until his death in 2011. Greatly loved - as was his wife Suzanne, who died in 2007 - 'Ham' became a family friend and buried Annette in 1998 and Patrick in 2002. Miraculously, Ham remarried a local widow, Cecilia Ingram, in 2009, and continued to invigorate the Litchfield living in his own inimitable way until his death.

Subsequently, services have been taken by visiting clergy and Hazel Cormack, a lay reader, until Mark Christian, a retired army padre, was appointed in 2015. He and his wife Yvette have again added greatly to the life of the church and its congregation.

Return to the Archive Index
Return to Litchfield 1938-1946
Return to Dunley 1917-1957
Return to Lady Herbert's Memorial 1930

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