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May 1905 - Badsey Easter Vestries

Monthly Magazine for the Parishes of S James, Badsey, with Aldington & S John Baptist, Wickhamford
Transcription of article


There was a large attendance at the Badsey Easter Vestry which was held at the Vicarage on Easter Tuesday. The subject of appropriated seats was introduced. The Vicar explained that when the owners of pews in Badsey Church allowed those pews to be removed in 1885 they thereby resigned all rights to any particular seats. The seating of the congregation was a matter for the churchwardens - a matter, that is, for their discretion. He did not consider that any circumstances, short of unseemly behaviour, could ever possibly justify the turning of a person out of a seat in church, and he intended to use every legitimate means to bring about the disappropriating of seats in the Parish Church. There was a very powerful lever ready to hand in the Vicar's right to elect one churchwarden, and he had made up his mind never to ask any gentleman to serve as Vicar's warden until that gentleman had pledged himself to support the free and unappropriated system. He was happy to say that Mr. Sladden had given him such a pledge, in fact Mr. Sladden had informed him that he had always been strongly opposed to the allotting of seats, and, being people's warden when the church was re-opened after restoration, he had boldly championed the cause of unappropriated seats, but was over-ruled by the Vicar (Rev. T, H. Hunt) and the Vicar's warden (Mr. Savory). The Vicar went on to say that Badsey people were not so boorish as to take a seat merely to irritate the usual occupant of it; worshippers would, as a rule, occupy their old seats, but, if a stranger through ignorance, or a parishioner by accident took a chair usually occupied by another he would not be subjected to the indignity of being turned out of it. Mr. Sladden explained that it was only a sense of duty to the allottees of seats that had ever impelled him to remove or approve the removal of worshipper. After same free expressions of opinion it was proposed by Mr. McDonald, seconded by Mr. H. Johns, and carried unanimously that "it is desirable that all seats in the Parish Church be declared 'free and unappropriated.'”