Taunton Courier 19 Jun 1929 Funeral of Canon V. S. Stuckey COLES of Shepton Beauchamp

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Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal, and Western Advertiser . Wednesday 19 Jun 1929

Page 5 Column 3



The Parish Church of Shepton Beauchamp was crowded for the funeral service of the late Canon V. S. Stuckey COLES, whose death was reported last week, on Wednesday afternoon, and many had to stand in the aisles. There was a large and representative gathering of clergy from over a wide area, while the people of Shepton Beauchamp were present in large numbers, and there were striking manifestations of sympathy, which testified to the great esteem in which the late Canon was held.

The service was simple, but very impressive, and opened with the singing of the hymn “Rock of Ages.” The Rector of Shepton Beauchamp (the Rev. Preb. A. LETHBRIDGE) conducted the service, and he was assisted by the Rev. F. M. ETHERINGTON, Provost of King's College, Taunton. The Bishop of Taunton (the Rt. Rev. C. F. de SALIS) also took park, and pronounced the Blessing at the graveside. The Rev. J. N. BOUGHTON, R.D. (vicar of Ilminster), was the Bishop's chaplain. The hymn “O Heavenly Jerusalem” was sung after the committal sentences had been read.

The body of the late Canon was enclosed in a coffin of unpolished oak, with black fittings, and the inscription on the breastplate was:- Stuckey Coles, Priest, died June 9th, 1929. Aged 84 years. R.I.P.” The coffin was covered with a purple pall and also a large cross of white flowers from the family. The full surplice choir was present in the church, and Miss Sybil ROWSWELL, who was at the organ, played suitable music.

The chief mourners were:- Miss COLES (Shepton Beauchamp), sister; Mr. Vincent LEAN (Shepton Beauchamp), nephew; Mrs. LEAN (West Hill, Ottery St. Mary), sister; Colonel W. LEAN (London), brother-in-law, and Mrs. LEAN; Mrs. SPURWAY (West Hill, Ottery St. Mary), niece; Mr. Hugh COLES (Clifton, Bristol), cousin; Mrs. Vincent LEAN (Shepton Beauchamp), niece; Miss WOODWARD (Seaton), God-daughter, Miss M. SPURWAY (West Hill, Ottery St. Mary), great-niece; Canon Hugh LEAN (Burnham); Miss I. LEAN (Shepton Beauchamp), great-niece; Mr. Deny COLES (Frenchay, Bristol), cousin; Mr. A. WESTON (Shepton Beauchamp), friend; and Miss Dorothy ENGLAND (Shepton Beauchamp).

Among the clergy in attendance were:- Father Cyril BICKERSTETH, C.R. (Mirfield, Yorks), Canon Geoffrey GRESLEY (Butleigh), Revs. E. A. BECKET (Butleigh), J. A. BRISCOE (Bagborough), L. A. PHILLIPS (Principal of Lichfield Theological College), Father W. H. KING, C.R., of Truro (representing the Bishop of Truro and the Community of the Resurrection), R. WOODHOUSE (Oxford), Father SHELLEY, C.R., Father DIETERLE, C.R., Dr. MICHELL (Principal of St. Stephen's House, Oxford), Revs. Frederic HOOD (representing the Principal of Librarians, Pusey House, Oxford), F. E. W. LANGDON (Parrocks Lodge, Chard), Canon BAMBRIDGE, Preb. G. RUCK (Bath), E. C. RICH (Bath), G. F. SAUNDERS (Martock), E. Parry LIDDON (vicar of Minehead), J. B. GLASS (Barrington), A. E. BECKET (vicar of Butleigh), Canon GILLSON (All Saints', Clifton), C. STROTHERT (All Saints', Clifton, and formerly of King's College, Taunton), W. H. HAVILAND (Batcombe, Somerset), A. H. MAWSON (Stocklinch), H. NAISH (Seavington), W. T. PHILLIPS (vicar of South Petherton), F. J. SPEKE (Curry Rivel), J. A. RAWLINS (Norton-sub-Hamdon), J. D. KENWOOD (vicar of Furnham, Chard), --- HENLEY (vicar of St. Mathias, Kensington), J. D. HORSFORD (Tintinhull), F. SHELMERDINE (Hinton St. George), E. M. TAYLOR and H. R. WILLIMOTT (King's College, Taunton), F. E. SPURWAY (St. John's, Taunton), B. M. HACK (St. Mary's, Oxford), &c.

The large gathering of public mourners included the following:- Mr. Hugh COLES, Mr. H. A. CLAPP (Seaton), Mr. and Mrs. J. HARDWICK, Mr. J. H. ENGLAND and Mr. C. E. VAUX (churchwardens at Shepton Beauchamp), Mr. Wilfred ENGLAND (sexton), Mrs. SAUNDERS (Martock), Capt. C. P. R. FIRTH and Mrs. FIRTH, Colonel G. S. POOLE, Mr. GULLY (Westminster Bank, South Petherton), Mr. PARNELL, Mrs. J. H. ENGLAND, Nurse MALE, Mr. R. L. TURNER (Ilminster), Mr. H. H. SHEPHERD (Ilminster) Miss BUNSTON (Chard), Mrs. KENWOOD (Chair), Mr. B. BURROWS and Mr. E. Haughton JAMES (churchwardens at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Furnham, Chard), Mr. J. W. ROWSELL, Mr. H. WYMAN (master) and H. BOASE and C. PRIOR (of the King's College, Taunton), Dr. MAIDLOW (Ilminster), Miss BRISCOE (Seaton), Mrs. B. W. BOGLE (Topsham), Miss BRANDT (Exeter), the Misses Aubrey MOORE (2), Mr. G. BEALEY, Mrs. BAMBRIDGE, Mrs. FULFORD (Ilminster), &c.

The bearers were:- Messrs. Michael BUDGE, Albert BUDGE, W. BEALEY, J. ROWSWELL, C. ROWSWELL, and H. ROWSWELL.

All the schoolchildren at Shepton Beauchamp attended in charge of the teachers.

There was a profusion of beautiful floral tributes and those of a public character included tokens from the choir, organist, and servers of Shepton Beauchamp Church; the children and teachers of the Shepton Beauchamp Church of England Schools; and from some members of the congregation of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Chard.

During the evening the bells of the Parish Church were rung half muffled.



Bishop GORE writing to the Times, says:-

Canon V. S. S. COLES, “Stuckey,” as his friends called him, inherited from the well-known “Stuckey's Bank” a moderate amount of wealth, which he distributed with a lavish hand on persons and objects which appealed to his compassionate heart. He was a man remarkable chiefly for his enormous capacity for friendship and his unforgetting faithfulness to his friends. I wonder if there was any one of his contemporaries who knew so many people, as one may say, within and without, and remembered all about them. He had a great discernment, and a keen dislike for vices of all kinds and for some foibles. Any touch of pompousness, especially in highly placed ecclesiastics, was noted and occasionally subjected to a mild ridicule. But he diligently restrained his capacity for sarcasm and was always good-natured towards what he disapproved. He was a most amusing talker, with a fund of laughter welling up from the depth of his being and shaking his large frame. Owing to his long residence and ministry at the Pusey House and in churches attended by well-to-do people, he had a vast circle of friends, of young men especially on their way to Holy Orders. But at the bottom of his heart he loved most the peasantry of Somerset, among whom he had been brought up, and whose dialect he could talk with inimitable humour. He had considerable taste and faculty as a hymn-writer. He wrote a hymn at Eton as a boy in company with young Primrose, afterwards Lord ROSEBERY, and some good hymns of his composition are included in our collections. He was never a student. He always preferred persons to books. But he had a great faculty for tearing the heart out of a book. He had a real gift of eloquence, and was at his best a wonderful preacher and missioner. But from youth to extreme old age religion, devout personal and Catholic in tone, was the main substance of his life; and, though he well perceived the weaknesses of the Church of England and cast longing eyes towards certain aspects of the Roman Communion, he remained signally loyal to the Church of England, and could not be persuaded to minimise his obligation of faithfulness to the requirements of the Prayer-book. He was like St. Barnabas a good man, and there are very few men of our time who have died more widely regretted by individuals who have owed very much to him.

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