Monday, 21 June 2010

Simple Helps for Communicants

I received a book the other day with the above title from my Aunt. Its a small book and the title explains its purpose very well. It is compiled rather mysteriously by "M.B.W." and the first impression was 1903. This in itself was interesting but what made it even more intriguing was the inscription inside:

Ben C. Jenkinson

Confirmed by

Archbishop of York

March 25 1931.

Ben C. Jenkinson was my Grandfather who in 1931 was 27 years old. He died aged 62 in 1965 when i was only 1 month old. I would have liked to have known my Grandfather I would have liked to talk to him about his decision to be confirmed in the Church of England at a relatively mature age. Unfortunately no one in the immediate family knows the story.

Coming from a fishing family it is likely he was brought up in Primitive Methodism and certainly most of his contemporaries would have worshipped at Ebeneezer Chapel as my Aunt his daughter certainly did. Maybe his switch to the C of E coincided with his move from being a Fisherman to establishing his Fish Merchant business and represented some form of social mobility?

The inscription does not state where the Confirmation took place. I would like to think it was St. Oswald's as the Archbishop of York in 1931 was William Temple (see above) and i love the thought of one of our greatest ever Archbishops visiting Filey.

It was Temple who said

" Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness, norishment of mind by His truth, purifying of imagination by His beauty, opening of the heart to His love, and submission of will to His purpose."

However perhaps we should leave the last words to M.B.W.

"I hope this little book will help you to know Jesus better in His Blessed Sacrament; if it does so, and if you learn to value your little book, will you sometimes thank Jesus at the Holy Communion for helping me to put it together, and ask Him that you and I, and all our fellow-communicants, may, through this Blessed Sacrament, so learn to love and serve Him now that in the last day we may in mercy be placed on His right hand?"

Thank you M.B.W. for bringing me closer to my Grandfather and I will pray that the three of us may meet one day.


  1. What an inspiring entry. Upward mobility and education appears to have been a side affect of the Prim Methodist lead Christian Revival in Filey. Marilyn's Grandad was an ill educated labbourer, but she has a wonderful book that he wrote in with all kinds of biblical snippets. The latest Envoy contains an article which evidences that the Filey Fishermen owned 27 yawls outright in 1863, which cost up to £1000 each to build and equip. Surely all this wealth was as a result of beliefs which resulted in sobriety, hard work and a respect for God's creation.

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  3. Anonymous said...
    Dear Ben,

    thank-you for this lovely account. Can I use it in August Envoy? Please let me have your email address as there is something I would like to send on to you.




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