Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Thaxted 2

… The actual story goes like this...

"In 1914 (Noel) had the flags of the allies in church and along with it the red flag of the International and on it the words "He hath made of one blood all nations." It was during the miners strike of 1921 that someone objected to the red flag and removed it. Conrad replaced it. It was pulled down again by students from Cambridge. He put up another higher in the church and had it guarded night and day. But later a Church Consistory Court ordered its removal. He then said defiantly from the pulpit 'That flag has been removed but the preaching will go on.'"

I'm quoting from a radio talk by Jack Putterill, Noel's curate, son-in-law and successor as vicar of Thaxted. Putterill carried on the good work and hit the headlines in 1963 for instructing his parishioners to pray for the soul of Joseph Stalin...

The Thaxted tradition was (probably still is) big on processions- with robes and banners and swinging thuribles- and the lay out of the church- with its broad side aisles- is ideal for the purpose. The windows are blessedly free of Victorian stained glass- and I can't think of another English church that is quite so full of natural light...

Portrait bust of Conrad Noel by Gertrude Hermes

To be continued...
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