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January 2019, vol 14 no 4

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Geoffrey Winch

Book Marks

It being a Sunday of late, I gave to my daughter the Holy Bible I inherited from my mother which had been her father’s. About my grandfather – who passed from this earthly life six years before I was delivered into it – I know little other than he was a miner who hauled coal from mines in the Forest of Dean. I know, therefore, he would have known what it was to toil hard in order to sustain my grandmother and their family of nine – my mother being their youngest.

And I know that at the age of fifty-six – one year after he was widowed – he was so well-regarded by his Church’s congregation that they presented him with that Bible: “Presented to Mr. Frederick Nelmes as a mark of esteem, and in recognition of many years of faithful service in Knight’s Hill Methodist Church and Sunday School. Oct 25th 1925” – that day being a Sunday.

Yapp-bound, its black soft leather would have protected the book’s page-edges from sun and rain on many-a-Sunday throughout the seasons as he walked to take his message to other village churches within the local Circuit, for, indeed, I know also that he was a local preacher. And I can imagine just how that same soft leather would have felt comfortable in his work-hardened hands as he stood in various pulpits to read, for I too have held it.

a preacher’s old texts –
heavy graphite crosses
mark them as read