Many happy returns!
|Charles Billington took over the living on 16 July
set about radical changes which brought the church into a new era. As
the early years many people did not like the changes and some actually
left. One of the first to go was the long-serving organist and choir
Mr Ernest Pratt, who objected to the new hymn tunes and proposed new
of service. The Sunday School at 3.00 pm ceased and began to operate in
parallel with the morning Sung Eucharist with Sunday School members
the main church after the sermon. There was a move towards a more
approach with local churches of all denominations, incense was used at
the Easter Midnight service in 1967 and in 1968 Fr. John Kennedy from
Edmund`s Roman Catholic Church was invited to preach. There were many
changes including the use of microphones but the most controversial was
the introduction of a nave altar. Many people were upset by the changes
but they have proved popular over the years thus justifying Fr.
far-sighted innovations. In 1972 he resigned the living to take up
in two parishes in Bedfordshire; his reason for leaving was the need
his young son to move to a better climate than could be offered in
In his few years at St. Faith`s Fr. Charles brought about many changes
which now seem reasonable but at the time they were controversial. The
church owes much to this brave and honest man who was described as
vulnerable, stubborn and lovable.
During his years at St Faith`s, and in his subsequent
elsewhere, Fr Charles was strongly supported by his wife and their two
children Chad and Tara. Both children were born whilst Fr Charles was
St Faith`s and both were baptised at the church.
Since leaving St Faith's. Fr Charles has kept up contacts with
the parish. On September 22nd, he was invited to celebrate the golden
anniversary of his priesthood here. Click
here for the story of this very special occasion, with links to his
connections with St Faith's Men's Group.
Hear the voice of Charles Billington.
Return to Clergy page