Two interesting leaders of St Mary’s from the recent past.
Throwleigh has attracted some fascinating church leaders over the years and here we focus on two of them; George Gambier Lowe 1895-
Father Lowe left a significant and lasting legacy within the church community and wider village life. He built houses in the village and is remembered as a family man, High Church, yet not beyond rolling up his sleeves to mend a pump.
Just outside the churchyard, a memorial to one of his dogs, ‘Rip’ can be found. Father Lowe could often be seen in grey tweeds and leggings walking the lanes accompanied by his dogs, and ‘Rip’ was clearly a favourite. One parishioner recalls the dog waiting patiently on his master’s coat throughout church services.
Father Drew who succeeded him was a far more controversial figure. Through him the ‘High Church’ tradition became more extreme, and his manner was a stark contrast to Father Lowe. Clearly, any priest following Father Lowe would struggle to gain favour in the hearts of the villagers, and some parishioners went as far as to move their allegiance to Gidleigh Church during this period. There was much soul searching about the nature of worship in this rural community.
On his retirement, the type of worship that should be carried out in Throwleigh was debated. The Anglo-
Although he lacked the popular appeal of Father Lowe, Father Drew and his supporters gave generously to the church. Father Drew was responsible for the introduction of electricity. When one considers the bitter cold of Throwleigh winters, a little light and warmth in church must have been welcomed wholeheartedly by everyone who ventured inside.
Thanks to Michael Paget for allowing us to use material in the book,