All Saints


Origins of the Village

A late Bronze Age cremation urn (probably c1500BC) and a polished stone axe head were found at Coddington and were at one time on display in Newark Museum. The Fosse Way lies about 2 miles north-west of the village and the nearest Roman sites are thought to be at Ad Pontem (in the vicinity of of East Stoke), Newark, Southwell, and Crococalana near Brough. The area later became part of the Kingdom of Mercia. Newark, two miles away, for which there is settlement evidence from the 5th century, was granted by King Wulfere to the Abbey of Peterborough in a Charter of AD 664.

Local place name evidence indicates mixed Anglo-Saxon and Danish settlement or ownership in the neighbouring parishes. The village's name probably derives from ‘farm of Cotta or Codda’s people’. As an ‘ingas-tun’ it may be a later Anglo-Saxon foundation than ‘ham’, ‘tun’ and ‘ingas-ham’ such as Collingham or Balderton.

In Anglo-Saxon Nottinghamshire it is argued that the extra-parochial annexes to the church of East Stoke are evidence of a church of ancient (pre-Danish, conceivably even related to Ad Pontem) foundation, or parochia, which was disrupted by the creation of a new superior status church, a comital “minster”, at Newark in the late 10th or 11th century. It is not known when East Stoke acquired the territories of Syerston, Elston, Coddington, and Newark Castle; none of the villages are listed as having a church in Domesday.

Early Church History

Cotinton(e) appears in Domesday book – the owners recorded from the time of Edward the Confessor are Wulfric, Leofric and Bugg (with additional holdings by Countess Godiva at Newark). 11 bovates of land was supporting 14 oxen plus two and a half ploughs.

In 1086 Cotinton(e)’s two manors were owned by Remigius Bishop of Lincoln and Odo Bishop of Bayeux - since the Conquest the value of the two manors had halved and Bugg’s holding had become waste. At 23 households the village was quite large, but the tax paid was quite small. There is no mention of a church or priest: these were available at neighbouring Danethorpe, Barnby and Langford (and within 5km at Newark and Balderton), though the absence of one in Domesday does not imply that a church did not exist.

For most of its history the parish has been attached to that of distant East Stoke (also without mention of a church in 1086), and later to that of Newark or Balderton. The churches of East Stoke and Coddington were confirmed as prebendaries of Lincoln by Pope Alexander III on 5 June 1163 – the first known reference to a church here. In 1171 he confirmed the ancient liberties and customs of the church of St Mary of Southwell and approved the custom for clergy and laity of Nottinghamshire to solemnly process there at Pentecost. Pentecostal offerings were set at £15 15s 3d, of which Newark Deanery’s share was £3 16s 7d. This included 2s each from Coddington, Balderton and Barnby, and 8d from Winthorpe.

Around 1200 some land in Coddington was granted to Thurgarton Priory. In 1226 agreement was made in the presence of Hugh Bishop of Lincoln and others between Richard and Edith Hoppetrave and John Precentor of Lincoln about disputed property of the churches of Stokes Codintun and Ronceby. The Hoppetraves were given a life interest in the property of 2 oxgangs of land, 1a meadow, and two messuages in Newark, for an annual rent of 4s 4d. Similarly Walter and Beatrice King agreed to pay 6d annually for half a toft in Newark.

In 1291 in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica the church was listed under ‘Ecclesie de Stok et Codington que sunt Prebende in Ecclesia Lincoln' and the taxable value was £86 13s 4d. In 1341, the Nonae Rolls also list Coddington under Stoke [East Stoke] but give a separate value for this church of 12 marks (£8). The 1428 subsidy of Henry VI again has Stoke and Coddington together as a prebend of Lincoln Cathedral; the value of the subsidy was £8 14s 4d.

The stone church surviving in a poor state of repair into Victorian times was judged stylistically to be 13th-14th century, but we have no reliable image of it. (There is a sketch or symbol on one of the Siege of Newark Civil War maps.) It was largely demolished and rebuilt in 1864-5 by G F Bodley, on its original foundations. The stone tower was encased in ashlar and important architectural stone elements were retained or reused.

A papal bulla plumbata of Pope ‘Clemens PP:V’ (papal dates 1305-1314) was found in Coddington church “a few years before 1867”. We do not know how Coddington fared during the Great Famine of the first two decades of the 14th century, or during the onslaught of the Black Death, 1347-51. In 1350 Master Hugh Peleryn was confirmed as prebendary of Stoke and Codyngton – the first known churchman associated with the parish.

Occasional snippets emerge from the work of later antiquarians, often gifts to religious houses or to establish chantry chapels, eg at Newark St Marys. The first incumbent of St Mary Magdalene in Newark whose name is known was Walter Adam de Coddington (1301-1320). At least seven other related ‘de Codyngtons’ were in holy orders in the area between 1274 and 1405: Richard, Hugh, John Snr, John Jnr, Henry and Robert (according to evidence in the Patent Rolls).

The De Codyngtons and the Chantry Chapel

In 1404 Henry de Codyngton, parson of Bottesford having sought permission from Richard II, founded a chantry at the altar of St Peter in Coddington parish church. One priest was to pray for his soul and that of (his father) John de Codyngton late Parson of Adesham, and for their family and benefactors. It was endowed with an estate in Coddington and Holme by Muskham of 5 dwellings, 3 tofts, 144 acres and 27 acres of meadow. John Ashwell was the first priest and his successors were to be named by the Prior of Thurgaton who had charge of the Chauntry (with the Prior of Shelford “if he should fail”). Henry’s monumental brass still exists at Bottesford Church and an Ashwell family was prominent in Coddington until the mid 19thC.

The will of John de Codyngton, King’s Clerk and parson of Bottesford was proved in 1367 – and he asks to be buried in one of three burial places, including Coddington Church if he should die ‘in the north’. John makes many bequests to religious foundations, including 100 shillings to his chantries at Newark church; but also 60s to his son Henry and 6s 8d to Isabella Porter of Codyngton.

In 1911 Rev Atwell M Y Baylay wrote a paper for the Thoroton Society on Coddington Church in which described the 13th century church as having a tower, nave with two side aisles and chancel (probably small). He believed the western lancet window, the font, the two arcades, the north and south doorways and the north lancet windows dated from the 13th century and also that the circular arcades (columns) of the south aisle were likely to be earlier than the octagonal ones of the north aisle with their ‘nail-head ornament’ and little owls. From stylistic evidence of the south aisle windows he thought that aisle had been widened not long afterwards to accommodate a chantry chapel. The tower belfry windows and its parapets and pinnacles Baylay attributed to the late 15th century.

By the 1530s Rufford Abbey and Gilbertine Priory of St Catherine both still owned land in Coddington, but Thurgarton’s holding had been lost. The value per year of Rufford’s holdings is given in the Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1534-5 as 10s. In 1543 Henry VIII appointed William Eresbye of Coddington Grange to the property of St Catherine’s Lincoln. 100 shillings was paid to Edward Norman, incumbent of the chantry in Coddington on its dissolution. In 1552 Edward VI gave the Coddington chantry to Sir Edward Bray, John Thornton and John Danby, and the heirs of the two latter; Elizabeth I later re-assigned it to Thomas Pocklington and heirs at the yearly value of 67s 4d.

Archdeaconry Presentments under the Tudors and Stuarts

Archdeaconry Presentment Bills from the 1570s are the earliest surviving records naming the incumbents and curates. The earliest known rector of East Stoke (and Coddington, Syerston and Elston) is Richard Gymney 1578-1628; the earliest known Coddington Curates are Richard Hardall, Charles Slack and Robert Breedon.

The second surviving Archbishop’s Presentment dated 1589 makes interesting reading: Mr Gregory Garthe, Chancellor of Lincoln was a presentee (“we want our quarter sermons in Mr Garthes default”), along with complaints about unpaid dues (Richard Coe of Coddington “presentee refuses to pay the clerk's wages“) and “Denys Methringham of Newark, Notts presentee - has taken away the church Bible”. Mrs Florence Shadocke, widow of Coddington was presented for fornication, by churchwarden (and swornman) Stephen Ashwell, churchwardens Robert Birch, Edmond Lane and Curate Richard Hardall. The following year the rector was presented: “our vicarage is in great decay in default of Mr Gymney the vicar”.

Many of the swornsmen and churchwardens’ names are known until 1642, when the Civil War and Interregnum disrupted records until 1663. They seem to have been a rather strident group: In 1609 curate Charles Slack was presented “for being drunk so that he could not read prayer” as was George Eland Chancellor of Lincoln for failure to maintain the choir. Complaints about the state of chancel and church were repeated, though in 1620 “we are promised by my Lord Burley that he will cause it to be repaired this next spring”. Documents and equipment were also lacking – in 1610 “a table for allowed marriages”; in 1612 “we want a Bible of the largest volume; our church wants paving … a pewter pot to put wine in at communion”. The churchwarden Humphrey Birch was presented for not providing a book entitled 'An Act for thanksgevinge to almightie god for 5 day of November’ to celebrate the failure of the Gunpowder Treason Plot in 1605. (We know the book was later provided, however, because in 1951 it was listed amongst documents deposited at the County Record Office.) In 1632 it was reported that “the church is in good repair; the books and ornaments are well kept”. Between 1635 and 1640 expenditure of £17 10s on church repairs was noted in surviving records. In 1638 John Leedham churchwarden and tenant of the vicarage was presented because the vicarage house was in decay.

It was not just the state of the fabric that was criticised, but also the spiritual example given. In 1612 Humphrey Birch was said not to be vigilant enough in presenting fornicators or the owners of the dogs who had fought during a church service. In the 1622 Easter Presentment of East Stoke the Coddington churchwardens were accused of allowing an improper person to take their services:

Robt Breedon, 'clerk as he saith' … and without examination and admission by the ordinary of the place has there executed the function of a minister; the churchwardens of Coddington for allowing Breedon to administer the sacraments and celebrate divine service within Coddington chapel without showing an authorised licence.

In 1625-6 Coddington also presented their erring curate:

for not reading service on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (according to the 6th article) and for not reading the homilies on Sundays and holy days when there are no sermons.

He survived until at least 1630. The presentments also include members of the laity for the usual misdemeanours – pregnancy outside of marriage or before marriage, failure to pay tithes or the clerk’s wages, swearing or disturbing the peace, lax church attendance.

Nottinghamshire Archives has about 50 Churchwardens’ Vouchers (1630-1782), 26 Churchwardens’ Accounts (1631-1795) and 6 Churchwardens’ Levies (1715-1737), together with the ‘return of all ministers and schoolmasters in the parish c1655’ (in response to an Ordinance from Cromwell, aimed at ‘ejecting scandalous ignorant and insufficient ministers and scolemasters’). Constables’ Vouchers, Levies and Accounts and Overseers of the Poor Accounts and Vouchers have also survived.

In 1644 during the Civil War, Prince Rupert drew up his men in front of Coddington before charging down Beacon Hill when raising the Second Siege of Newark. In the ‘Last Siege of Newark’ Coddington village was part of the Parliamentary ring surrounding the royalist town - Colonel Theophilus Gray’s headquarters were in the village. The siege map provides the only known ‘image’ of the old church, which lay a good distance away from the Parliamentary earthworks centred on Balderton Lane.

After 1663 the Presentments again survive, until 1719 recording the identity of churchwardens, swornsmen and more rarely curates. Specific complaints become much rarer in these more tolerant times, though complaints about failure to pay tithes, dues or make repairs recur. In 1663 the church bells were not in repair, the floors were uneven – in 1685 ‘our church steeple is out of repair’ and the church and the chancel ‘wants beautifying’. We must presume that this means the tower as there is no evidence that All Saints ever possessed a steeple atop its tower. By the parochial visitation of 1719 however everything considered needful had been done to the church and its furnishings, apart from setting up the King's Arms. The Arms, if they were installed, did not survive.

In 1684 vicar Francis Clarke was presented for failing to provide care ‘we have no prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays; our minister does not read the statute against profane swearing and cursing.’

The Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries

There is little information currently available for the first half of the 18th century. Marriages in the church 1676-1813 are known from Phillimore’s lists (the earliest parish register having been lost).

At the time of Archbishop Herring’s Visitation in 1743 the vicar lived at East Stoke, with which the parish had been consolidated ‘above 400 years’, but this in turn meant that as it was six miles away ‘I cannot catechise so often as at Stoke’. He administered Communion three times a year, but only ten people attended the previous Easter.

In 1760 the open fields of Coddington were enclosed by Act of Parliament; petitioners included the vicar of East Stoke and Coddington Thomas Wakefield, Charles Reynolds Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral and his lessee Thomas Howard who received the Great Tithe. 213 acres were allotted to Charles Reynolds with a further 30 acres to Thomas Wakefield, Vicar of East Stoke, in lieu of tithes.

Although he drew neighbouring churches at Barnby and Winthorpe for Sir Richard Kaye in 1773, Samuel Hieronymus Grimm did not draw Coddington Church. In 1790 John Throsby dismissed it as ‘of but little note: it has a tower with three bells’.

A handwritten notebook containing church vestry accounts from 1785-1865, has survived, though coverage in some years is scant. The village was served by a large number of short-lived curates and relief ministers. Funding for church repairs and running expenses came from a local penny rate, set by the churchwardens.

Running costs consisted of providing consumables, labour and expenses (wine for the sacrament, coal and candles for heat and light, cleaning the church, linen and vestments, expenses and costs for confirmations, visitations and Pentecost, court fees and correspondence, bell ropes). There were also a sizeable portion for repairs to the church and churchyard fabric (materials and labour) and for fixtures and fittings.

Some examples extracted from the mass of data:

1789-90   For cleaning 3s 0d; 4 beesoms (brooms) – 6d
1791-92   3s 10d cloth for surplices; 2s 0d for mending; washing X 3 – 4s 6d.
1793   £2 for a Church Bible, 1s 6d for lock for chest.
1796-97   Bell ropes (set) – 12s 6d, 1s 0d putting-to bells
1820-21   10s 0d for Curate’s licence
1821-22   Mr Devonshire for mending church bell - £1. 6s 0d
1825-29   Hassocks and mats for Communion – 13s 0d
1829-30   £13 3s 3d to Rev Wm. Bartlett
1831-32   10s 6d – surplice making
1837-38   Clerk’s wages - £3 7s 6d
1839-40   Table cloths, surplices – 12s 0d
1839-40   Wine – 4s 0d, Communion Service Set - £3 16s 0d
1841-42   Paid to Mr Shelbourne for examining the church – 5s 0d. (perhaps an architect, builder or engineer?)
1846-47   New surplice - £1 10s 0d
1864-65   Mrs Pilgrim (Sexton and church cleaning) – £4 19s 0d; sweeping brush 2s 6d; new surplice £2 2s 0d

Between 1789 and 1861 significant amounts continued to be spent on repairing the church fabric.

A few examples:

  Stone for wall – 4s 0d; carpenter (for pulpit) – 13s 2d; glazier – 15s 4d; Sam Birkett – 12s 6d for church wall; whitewashing church - £2. 8s 6d; ale for workman 10s 11d; T Thompson for materials – 19s 1d; Huddleston for pulpit – 16s 4d; coals for whitewashing.
1810-11   New door from Barnby – 4s 0d; 2s 0d for hanging door; 10s 6d for lock,
1815-16   Repairs to church (scaffolding, etc.), 5600 bricks (£2. 16s 0d); John Hall - £6. 2s 7d; Mr Sutton (£8 2s 8d); Sam Beckett for laying stones.
1821-22   10s 11d for boards; Geo Newbert – 3.5 days 5s 10d; Rob Gibson – 6.5 days @ 9d per day = 4s 10.5d; Mr Clawson – 6 days @ 1s 8d = 10s 0d; Mr R Trone – 3 days @ 1s 8d = 5s 0d
1844-55   to John Newstead items totalling £11 1s 4d and to John Growcock £3 6d.
1860-61   3 tons stone – 9s 0d, 1 lime and leading 4s 0d, 1 sand 1s 0d; blacksmith’s bill – 6d

In 1851 All Saints’ had 150 sittings, and congregations of 20-30 in the morning and 30-40 in the afternoon, with ‘perhaps 30’ Sunday scholars in the morning.

Rebuilding the Church

A campaign was mounted and after long discussions with the church authorities Coddington became a full parish in 1860. The curate the Rev Cooper Lewty became the first incumbent in 1860. In 1863 the new vicar, the Reverend John Maximillian Dolphin was appointed - he went on to serve the parish for 27 years (his initials are carved inside the porch near the roof). White's 1864 directory says that the living was in the patronage of Lincoln Cathedral and was worth £90 a year. James Thorpe, churchwarden, wealthy owner of Beaconfield and de facto village squire also gave the Rev Mr Dolphin £30 a year to preach an extra sermon on the Sabbath. In 1872 a trade directory valued the living at £102 a year.

Mr Dolphin and the Thorpe family were largely responsible for the restoration of the church in 1864-65, and demolition work started on 6th June 1864. The new church was built on the original foundations, retaining the tower (encased in Ashlar) and reusing stonework elements judged to be of architectural merit (mainly the arcades, doors and most windows), though exactly how much ‘core’ medieval work was allowed to remain in the body of the church is not known at present without detailed archaeological investigation. The floor level was raised, the chancel and tower arches rebuilt, and steep pitched roofs made over the nave, chancel, south aisle and vestry.

The architect was G F Bodley, who employed Morris Marshall Faulkner & Co to help decorate the church. In the period 1865-69 they contributed the east window, chancel south window, tower lancet-window, settle (as sedilia) and reredos panelling. The font was restored by Bodley. Of the wooden fittings, only three sets of poppy-head bench-ends from circa 15th century survive today (plus an old document chest). The sanctuary wall panelling, the chancel wagon-roof decoration and paint on the piscina are all that now remain of an extensive Bodley or Bodley/Morris decorative scheme in the chancel – the rest fell victim to white-washing in the mid 20th century.

In 1911 the Rev Mr Baylay told the Thoroton Society that a beautiful clerestory had been lost to Bodley's predations whilst he was ‘under the baleful influence of Sir Gilbert Scott’.

Work was estimated at £1200, of which £800 had been raised by subscription and James Thorpe and Mr Dolphin were to be responsible for the other £400. The architect contracted to oversee the work was G F Bodley, who involved the young partnership of Morris, Marshall and Faulkner to decorate the church. The contractor was William Huddleston of Melville Street, Lincoln - the contract price was £1125, with additions (namely credence table, £8; chancel fittings, £50; pulpit, £30; lectern, £12; sedilia, £15; communion rails, £4)- total cost: £1535 15s 1d. (The windows would have been charged separately).

The 45ft tower was encased in ashlar, windows and doorways were preserved but the south aisle was re-erected on the old foundations and the clerestory and chancel were destroyed. The tower and chancel arches date from the rebuilding. Not everyone was pleased: Baylay declared in 1911, ‘it would be difficult to find a more glaring instance of a church being travestied in the name of restoration … (Mr Bodley’s) early work, when he was still under the baleful influence of Sir Gilbert Scott and his school.’ Baylay criticises the high pitch of the nave and the south aisle roofs, noting the lack of tabling more appropriate to an area poor in building stone such as Sussex. His conclusion was: ‘architectural discord’.

The tower is open to the nave and contains 3 rooms – the upper rooms being accessed by ladder. Five bells were cast by Messrs Taylor & Co of Loughborough and set in an oak frame in 1867. The seating was of oak throughout. A handwritten note on Bodley’s plans indicates that the ‘Incorporated Society for the building etc. of Churches and Chapels granted £70 towards rebuilding this church upon condition that 137 seats numbered 1-13 and 23-38 were reserved for the use of poorer inhabitants.’ There was great concern in the 19th century over the cost of church attendance to the poor and the lack of places as the population expanded. The organ chamber also served as a vestry whilst the organ, a gift from James Thorpe, was built by Messrs Bevington. The vestry walls also incorporated some ancient sepulchral crosses, mostly from stone coffin lids.

The Vestry accounts of 1864-69 list named individual’s bills, and in 1865-66 they received £6 4s 6d from the sale of unwanted stone. An itemised bill from 1867 from Fretwell (stone mason and general builder) for £14 0s 2d and presented to James Thorpe, included work to the tower to prepare it for reinstalling the bells.

An account was given in the Newark Advertiser of the reopening of the church, which included the names of all the churchmen and worthies who attended, and details of the ceremony and its sermon, lessons, hymns, music, the takings of the collection, the celebratory luncheon and speeches and then the evensong service. It also included detailed descriptions of the church and its fittings and fixtures and praise for those involved. The church fund was said to be £600 in arrears since the outlay had exceeded £2000 – the report notes a donation of £70 by the Incorporated Building Society and a 5d in the pound parish church rate. It goes on to outline plans for a greatly needed graveyard extension, and a general wish for a new peal of bells, exhorting parishioners and benefactors to clear the deficit and raise the necessary funds.

A paper on the restoration was read to the Lincoln Diocesan Architectural Society in 1865. In addition to the two stained glass windows in place at the opening a third was installed in the tower in 1869, and the same year the reredos was also fitted. However effective the Bevington organ at the opening ceremony, further modifications (or a replacement) were made in 1872. Three further stained-glass windows were fitted in the south aisle in 1881-2 and in 1891-2 the chancel screen and wainscoting were inserted. In the mid-20th century an extensive painted and stencilled décor scheme in the chancel was largely destroyed by whitewashing.

Trade directories seldom give details of church personnel, but Wright's 1879 lists extensive details - Mr Dalgleish and Rev Mr Dolphin are still in place, Hymns Ancient and Modern is in use and services are on Sundays at 11 and 3, with the Sacrament on the first Sunday of the month.

The first Log Book of the National School 1871-1912 includes information about the visits of the Vicar and his family members to inspect the school and observe the children, and of trips to the church for services and instruction. Trade directories of the period give information about the times and nature of the service eg 1872: services Sunday at 11am and 3pm; sacrament first Sunday in the month; Hymns Ancient & Modern. Rev J M Dolphin; Churchwardens Messrs J Thorpe & Ross, Organist Mr Dalgleish of Newark; Parish Clerk Samuel Coleby. In 1872 a smart new Parsonage was being built on Newark Road. By 1881 the Rev J M Dolphin and a Thorpe-family legacy had also established a Working Man’s Village Library. (The building was later incorporated into the Village Hall.)

The Penswick Smiths and Mothering Sunday Revival

In 1890 the Rev J M Dolphin left Coddington after 27 years, and his place was taken by the Rev C Penswick Smith. The 1894 directory tells us more about the new Vicarage – completed in 1874 at a cost of £1600 in consideration of a benefaction of £1000 raised by subscription and a grant from Queen Anne’s Bounty. The living was said to be worth £300 a year.

The 1901 Census reveals something of the style of the Vicar’s household – Charles and Mary Penswick Smith had four children aged 14 to 20 at home and were looked after by a cook and housemaid – the three eldest (including daughter Constance) were not at their parents’ home.

In 1902 Colonel James Thorpe, died, leaving Coddington Hall and Ardbrecknish to his heir John Somerled Thorpe. John bought himself out of the regular army to look after his estate and business interests and undertake the usual public duties of the governing classes. In 1912 the sexton was George Walster, son-in-law of the former headmaster John Roberts and head of a growing (though more modest) Coddington dynasty.

In 1912 there was no record of any baptism or confirmations over the previous twelve months.

In 1913 when Constance was 25 she became alarmed that the new secular American custom of Mother’s Day would overwhelm the ancient religious festival of Mothering Sunday, celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. For the festival once a year people would return to visit their mother church (the senior church in the area, often where they were baptised) and the Lenten fast would be relaxed.

Later the celebration of Church as nurturing mother became associated with an opportunity for servants and apprentices working away from home to visit their families. Working as a Dispenser to a doctor in Nottingham, Constance used her spare time to research into the vanishing custom, its ceremonies, precedents and theological basis. She produced plays, and articles publicising the practise and gathered and designed materials for use in services. She was supported by her friend Ellen Porter, her father and brothers who all became clergymen, and other converts or people who had reached the same conclusion.

Mothering Sunday book

In 1921 she published a book Mothering Sunday – the foreword is dated Coddington Vicarage, Newark on Trent, Lady Day, 1920. A second expanded edition was published in 1932.

In the book she mentions one of the first to revive the custom of a procession to the Mother Church was Rev A C Dobie of Coombe Keynes in Dorset in 1898. Interest was by no means confined to the Church of England or Britain. The Rev Wesley Woolmer set a newly written Mothering Sunday hymn to music for the Rev J Edward Harlow (which was ‘graciously accepted by the Queen’). Mrs Sumner, founder of the Mothers Union, the Mother’s Guild and other societies such as the Scouting Movement and WYCA were supportive.

Mrs A D Houston of Christchurch New Zealand and the Rev W A Terry, Murray Bridge, Australia were very active (here Constance describes that at Murray Bridge they had revived the ancient custom of Clipping the Church). The word may derive ‘from the Anglo-Saxon clypan to embrace and it is performed as an act of love for a sacred building and the Faith for which it stands’. On emerging from the church the people joined hands, encircling the building, and led by the instruments of some members of the Town Band, sang two verses of ‘We love the place, O God’. A variant of this ceremony was last attempted at Coddington in 2010, but the insurance requirements have since prevented it.

The mixing of people from across the globe during World War I helped to spread ideas and at such times men are very conscious of the value of their homes and their mothers. In 1919 the Rev W S Pakenham-Walsh wrote from Foochow in China (having seen an article in the Guardian) to send Constance materials he had written in his own efforts over the years to revive the concept far from home.

The Rev F W Killer of the new St Cyprian’s, Sneinton, Nottingham was a staunch supporter and when his church was dedicated in 1936 he buried a time capsule of Mothering Sunday material beneath the altar. Constance went to live in his parish, but died aged 60 in 1938. During World War II American servicemen far from home acted as ambassadors for the American festival, which has come to dominate our secular world as Constance feared.

Constance was buried beside her father at Coddington and in 1951 the south aisle Lady Chapel altar was rededicated in her memory, with her nieces in attendance. The family gravestones were renovated.

During World War I Coddington Hall was requisitioned by the military. The officers and men of F Company 3rd Reserve Batallion of the Royal Engineers presented an altar book inscribed by one of the officers (Sgt Santo) to the church for the help and support given to them.

Recent History

Rev Charles Penswick Smith died in 1922 and at that point the parish of Coddington was amalgamated with Newark. Patronage alternated between the Crown and the Bishop of Lincoln.

From 1933-42 the Rev Sydney Cyril Bulley (1907-89) combined pastoral care as a curate of Newark and Coddington with that of Diocesan Director of Education. In 1936 he moved into Coddington Vicarage (with his sister and mother) as Priest in Charge – his autobiography of 1981, The Glass of Time, tells something of his time here. He eventually rose to the position of Bishop of Carlisle.

On All Saint’s Day 1946 the Coddington Youth Fellowship gave a beautifully inscribed book to the church listing the guild members, priest-in-charge, vicar and churchwardens.

The 1957 inspection report listed immediate repairs of £220 (leadwork, tiles, rainwater disposal, masonry, pointing and crack monitoring, timber insecticide, bell frame) and further repairs of £400 (further masonry work especially in the tower £120 and cleaning decorations and whitening walls £220). A legacy allowed the church to finance the inspection and repairs.

The restoration of The Penswick Smith Gravestones was completed in 2000 at an estimated cost of £3506 (paid for by the church).

Around 1961 the parish was detached from Newark and joined as a united benefice with Barnby-in-the-Willows. The incumbent from 1961 was the Rev Peter Gordon Wright, who retired in 1997, and was buried in Coddington in 2004.

A small extension for a toilet facility was added to the north side of the church in 2010.

The Rev William Thackrey and the Rev David Anderson managed the parish until 2003. The United Benefice was then dissolved by the Lord Chancellor, and Coddington was linked to Winthorpe, and Langford with Holme, under the Reverend James Healey. On his retirement in 2004, Coddington went into vacancy, and joined with the Newark Team in 2009 becoming the ‘Benefice of Newark upon Trent with Coddington’, under the Reverend David Anderton.