Christmas Roses and Christmas Past at Cowbit
It is December and my garden still has roses in flower. Although with last night's minus 5 frost possibly not for much longer. Nowadays winter blooming roses are attributed to climate change, whereas previous generations would attribute them to an "unseasonably mild winter". The different tone of language has different emphasis.
1932 saw a similarly mild weather in Cowbit that also saw roses growing. This was noted by the Vicar of Cowbit on December 25th when he wrote:
"Midnight Mass this year probably for the first time since the Reformation, a bowl of roses - outdoor grown in Cowbit - amongst the decorations, a sign of mild weather which persisted with bright sunny days into the New Year. A bambino was placed in the chancel and a Christmas Tree near the font. Well attended service throughout the day."
The above entry is from The Cowbit Log Book kept by the ministers of Cowbit from 1907 to 1947. The 1908 entry is quite interesting:
"Dec 25: Christmas Day was observed at the Parish Church, (the other religious body in the town having no observance of the Savious birthday) by two celebrations of Holy Communion. The alms amounted to 15s.1 1/2d. wre given to Waifs and Strays. A new silver chalice, of the reign of Queen Anne, having the Britannia Mark and weighing 25 ounces was used for the first time. Originally found in a second hand shop in Clerkenwell it was bought by Frances J. Dove, oldest daughter of John Thomas Dove, incumbent of Cowbit, and presented to the Vicar and Churchwardens. The object of the presentation of the chalice was to take the place of the old one, which was sold during the incumbency of Mr. Dove. Evensong and Carols were sung at 6.30pm"
1937 saw no midnight mass with very thick fog, but Cowbit did see a White Christmas in 1938 with "icy roads and a fresh blizzard on the 26th".
I wonder what Christmas Day 2022 will hold for Cowbit Church?