Wright Family Album

Boulton 1921-1923

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Boulton village and church
Postcard of Boulton Village  Postcard of Boulton church

Our time there had its ups and downs.  Gordon and Philip went to the Grammar school in Derby.  Elizabeth, Doris and later on, Basil, went to the Church school.  It was grand being all together again and for the children to really get to know their father.  Barbara was born in April 1922, so it was a busy life in a busy parish.

Two portraits of the family: GWW Hugh Philip Doris Betty Basil Gordon Barbara AMW
The family   The family

A visiting parson makes a Church going people.  That was certainly true when father was vicar of Boulton.  Afternoons and evenings he was out and about in the parish, and the people responded by filling the Church Sunday by Sunday.

After we had been there some time we found that it was not a very healthy place.  The first spring Doris and Basil went down with measles. I managed to isolate them, but the others got it the following year, Elizabeth and Hugh being quite ill after it, Elizabeth with an infection of the kidneys and Hugh with ear trouble.

Father made time for study in the mornings.  He was anxious to get his B.D.  Little did he think that in a very short time he would be given Honorary D.D. degrees from two Universities, Oxford and Durham.

In the autumn of 1922 a Missionary Exhibition was held in Derby. Naturally father took part in it and gave a number of talks. I remember one evening when he came home after giving a talk, he said to me, "How can I go on appealing for people to go out as missionaries when I am not going myself?"
We talked and prayed about it and. finally he decided to re-offer to C.M.S.  His letter was acknowledged and he was asked if he would be willing to go to any part of the mission field.  He wrote back saying "Yes". That was early in the year of 1923 and we heard nothing further. Weeks and months passed and we came to the conclusion that C.M.S. thought it would be too much of an expense to engage a missionary with seven children!

To our great surprise in July, father received a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury telling him that C.M.S. had put forward his name as the next Bishop of Sierra Leone, and invited him to Lambeth Palace to talk it over.  The people in Sierra Leone particularly wanted a man who was or had been a missionary as their new bishop and possibly one who had had experience of parish work in England.  Father seemed just the man, the Archbishop said, so would he consent to undertake this important piece of work.

We had heard something about the problems and difficulties facing the young Church in Sierra Leone as it was starting its life of self-support and self government.   "The greater the difficulties the greater the opportunities", was father’s motto, and so he consented to become their Bishop.

Then the fun began of trying to find a home for me and the children as it was quite impossible to take the family to Sierra Leone.  Too unhealthy for one thing and no schools for European children.
Our friends, the Kingdons, came to our rescue and found us a house in Birmingham.  Elizabeth was still in hospital in Derby with kidney trouble. So in October 1923 we went to our new home with Doris, Hugh and Barbara.

Doris' memories

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