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 1895-1933, who was followed by Herbert Leslie Drew 1934-1969.

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-Catholic supporters of the ‘High Church’ were pitched against more moderate Church of England supporters. The controversy was recorded in the Express & Echo 28.01.1970.

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,

Throwleigh-pictures and memories from a Dartmoor parish.

The book ‘Throwleigh-pictures and memories from a Dartmoor parish’, was published in 2006. It is edited by Michael Paget who also provided additional text. 2nd edition, price £16 is available from Dawn

The Church

Throwleigh Church team rector.

St Mary’s, Throwleigh is part of a group of local churches known collectively as the Whiddon Parishes benefice. In November 2011 Rev. Paul Seaton-Burn was appointed our team rector.

Church Guide   Download PDF to read   Download PDF to print

Michael Paget has produced a colour guide to Throwleigh Church.  This is free to download here and is available in the church for £1.