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William Barnes Society's service of remembrance for Dorset dialect poet

By Marion Tait

Tim and Angela Laycock at the graves of William Barnes and his daughter Laura
Tim and Angela Laycock at the graves of William Barnes and his daughter Laura - MN/WBS © 2017

The annual event took place on Sunday 23rd April at the Church of St. Peter Winterborne Came. The Service was in honour of Revd. William Barnes, B.D. Dorset’s greatest pastoral poet and was conducted by the Licensed Lay Minister Mr. Allen Knott, the organist was Ms Susan Pykett.

The Morning Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer of 1662, would have been recognised by Barnes.

The hymns were, in succession (first lines given here) Dear Lord and Father of Mankind; Jesus good above all other; Come down O Love devine; The King of love my Shepherd is; Praise my soul, the King of heaven’

The first Reading Philippians 1 21-end Read by Keith Hooper. The second Reading Matt 20 1-16 Read by Helen Gibson.
The Service included four of Barnes’s poems in Dorset dialect English ‘Volk a-comen into church’ Read by Devina Symes, ‘The Bwoat’ Read by Rod Drew, ‘May’ Read by David Guy and ‘The Beam in Grenley Church’ Read by Dr. Alan Chedzoy.

While the final hymn was being sung there was a collection towards the upkeep of the Church which is in the care of the Church Conservation Trust.

It was a beautiful service: brightly coloured daffodils, tulips and bluebells decorated the church, the readings were excellent, the congregation sung with gusto and the sun streamed through the stained glass windows.

Following the Service flowers were laid on the graves of William Barnes and his daughter Laura by Society members Tim and Angela Laycock.

A perfect morning and a service which Barnes would have been pleased with.

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