Persuasions #15, 1993                                                                                                                                                                    Pages 14


News from St. Nicolas Church,




Old Meade, Steventon


How quickly a year passes!  It is a delight when Lorraine writes and we enjoy the friendship that started in 1975 when we celebrated the Bi-Centenary of Jane Austen’s birth in Steventon.  It was at this time that Jack Grey introduced himself to our family and became a most welcome friend to us and to St Nicholas’ Church.  His  untimely death left us greatly saddened but there will always be so many happy memories …  One such memory is of the evening at The Wheatsheaf Inn at Popham when, with Lorraine, and Joan Austen-Leigh, and her late husband Denis, we first discussed the formation of a Jane Austen Society of North America.  I doubt if any of us envisaged the size to which the society would grow, and the happiness it would bring to so many people.

During the year we have met and talked with many visitors to the church.  Sometimes they come in coaches, sometimes they meet the flower ladies, and at other times some of us are busy tidying the churchyard.  Each and every visitor is so welcome to enjoy the peace, beauty, and interest of our church.

In 1994, visitors will find that the memorials in the churchyard to James Austen, the Rev. William Knight, his wives, and his three young children who died within a day or two of each other of the dreaded scarlet fever, have been restored.  We shall be planning the restoration of the three church bells during 1994.  These are of mediaeval origin, and it is such an exciting project.

Finally, here in Steventon, we never tire of acknowledging the great friendship and support we receive from members of JASNA.  Thank you all – do make your way to Steventon as we are always delighted to meet you.


Joyce Bown

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