20 DECEMBER 1935, Page 19


• [To the Editor of TILE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Mr, John Raynor's entertaining sketch provides some nice points of chronology and ecclesiastical custom, and I have tried in vain to solve the problem of .the date of • the Advent service he describes. The hymn does not help much ; it has stood as No. :53 in Ilynois Ancient. and Modern for well over fifty years. Afternoon Evensong with oil lamps is still common in remote country churches. The Vicar is a very perplexing character. "'The candle-lit altar "- might suggest that he was a High Churchman ; the moustache seems to forbid this conclusion. His dress in church is somewhat irregular. There is no mention of cassock. or hood, and he wears a green stole, which should have been discarded on Advent Sunday for a violet one. „ The writer of the essay, who was present at the service as a boy of twelve years old,• wears a starched collar—presumably of the " Eton " type—and long trousers. His mother wears a muff " that hung from her neck on a chain of wooden beads." All these scraps of evidence would suggest a date between 1895-1905, but for the fact that the Vicar indulges in the post- War pastime of solving crossword puzzles over the study fire.

I give it up.—Yours faithfully, E. 3..

Stoke Prior Vicarage, Bron4rove, Worcesterghire.