CHARACTER – Funeral of SKINNER – William J.P.

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the Sea Gazette 29/09/1876.


            The mortal remains of Mr. Skinner were interred at Coatham on the 21st inst., with great funeral pomp. The deceased gentleman was strongly attached to Coatham Church, and the full strength of the choir and ritual of the Church was laid under contribution to do him honour. His connection with the Church extended over twenty years, during a considerable portion of which he held office as churchwarden. Frequenters of the Church will greatly miss the then rubble form and silver head of the deceased, who when in the health was to be seen at almost every service. The procession was met at the Churchyard by the Rev. L. B. Towne, vicar, habited in a funeral cloak of dark colour, ornamented on the back with a Latin cross surmounted by a crown, and attended by an acolyte bearing aloft the metal crucifix used in processions, and the full choir in surpluses. The service was called throughout, including the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The bier was covered with a pall ornamented with a cross extended over its surface, on which rested beautiful wreaths of flowers. On entering the Church by the Western door, six taper-bearers vested in surpluses, each bearing a large candlestick with a lighted candle, met the bier, and proceeded it in solemn procession to the chancel, when the bier was rested, and the candles placed on each side. The funeral service then proceeded, the lesson been read by the Rev. G. Blair, curate of St. John’ s, Middlesbrough. After this the candles at the alter were lighted, including the to alter lights, whilst the vicar retired to the vestry, to change his cope for a chasuble, which is the investment used only for Celebrations. This was of dark colour, ornamented on the back with a yellow cross, marching the funeral pall. The Rev. Mr. McNeile, curate of Coatham, and a relative of the famous Dr. McNeile, somewhile Dean of Written, acted as deacon, and at the proper time brought the censor from the vestry, another attendant adding incense, which, when ready for use, was handed to the celebrant, who jewellery incensed the altar in the midst and on each side, after which the deacon censed the celebrant, who then proceeded with the service. During the communist of the priest the “Agnus Dei” was sung by one of the quiet, and solemn hymns, expressive of joy and hope of a blessing resin direction, were summoned from time to time during the service. During the prayer of consecration the celebrant genuflected after the consecration in either kind, and elevated the chalice and pated above his head. Four persons communicated with the priest, who then proceeded with the Eucharistic office to the conclusion, or meeting the “Gloria.” The celebrant then brought the censor and incensed the body, which was afterwards born to its last resting-place in the Churchyard, near to the East end of the chancel. At the words “Ashes to Ashes,” the Rev. H. D. Nihill, vicar of St. Michael’s, cast portions of earth into the grave, the vicar, saying the concluding prayers. More hymns were sung, concluding with St. Bernard’s.

“For thee, Or dear, dear Contrary,

Mine eyes their vigils keep;”

and at the close the flowers carried by the mourners and attendants were thrown into the grave. The coffin was wedged ship, and made of polished oak, with gilt ornaments. The attendance was very large, the Church being as full as at ordinary Sunday services.

On Sunday morning (24/09) a funeral service was held at Coatham Church, in memory of the deceased. The Church was crowded, and many of the congregation were dressed in mourning. Before the sermon, the hymn “Days and moments quickly flying,” was sung. The Rev. L. B. Towne preached, and took his text from the Book of Revelation, xiv. chap., 13, verse :- “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from the labours; and the works to follow them,” At the outset the preacher referred to the fact of the being no such doctrine as that of annihilation, either of body or soul, recognised by the true church: and the soul passed into Hades, the intermediate state where the spirits of those who died in the faith awaited the final resurrection, being in the meantime more fully prepared for the entry into the presence of the Lord, contemplating the terrible punishment which they were afterwards to undergo. They missed the familiar presence that morning of one without whom this service hardly seemed the same, so completely had he become interwoven with it, but in this case “the loss was his gain.” The departed friend had fully embrace the Holy Catholic faith, notwithstanding that, in his early life he had held contrary opinions; and it was a satisfaction to himself (the preacher) that he had been able to commit his body to the earth with all those Eucharistic observances in which the friend so much delighted. Having spoken of the essential difference between what was termed the Protestant faith and the Holy Catholic faith, he proceeded more fully to enumerate the good works of the deceased. In his capacity of treasurer of the Church funds, he had always made up what was required to meet the expenses, and reminded his hearers that this fearful one had had for the short-comings. The Schools, to, had been materially supported by him, no calls having ever been made on the parishioners for any expenses connected therewith, and he regained he would be greatly missed. To whatever object his aid was required, he gave a liberal response – it was not how little can I give to look respectable, but how much is required? His purse was always open for the relief of distress and suffering, and known of God’s poor ever applied to him in vain. He had likewise been the mainstay of the services which had been held during the summer in the Central Hall, which, though well-attended by those who complained of what they called the extremes at that church, had nevertheless failed to open the purses to any appreciable extent. He her. Towne) had for some time past been negotiating for the services of an additional priest, to assist him in the parish, at the request of the departed friend, and since his death he had been obliged to relinquish the project. In conclusion, he exhorted his hearers to try and follow his example, and also endeavour, amongst the many who attended the services, to make up for the loss of this one. After the sermon, the hymn “On the redirection morning.” Was sung, and the Holy Eucharist was celebrated, the Rev. Mr. McNeile, curate, being the celebrant.


Lol Hansom October 21, 2014 Churches, People & Characters