Village News

30th Jul 2017 Last updated at 17:44

Chipstead’s Unfrocked Rector

In the 19th century, St. Margaret’s Church enjoyed about 80 years of strong and stable leadership from the two Aubertin Rectors, father and son, from 1808 to 1889. In total contrast, the church then had a new young and boisterous Rector from Yorkshire, the Reverend Charles Gordon Young.

 The new Rector was initially very popular in the village, both in the pulpit and on the cricket ground, but his critics suspected that he drank too much, especially when he was found in a notorious London nightclub with a hostess upon his knee! His notoriety rapidly rose and he was finally tried at a Consistory Court in London and found guilty of “habitual drunkenness” which “violated the canons of clerical conduct”.

 After the verdict some parishioners regretted the loss of a clergyman of “unquestionable gifts” and the Bishop received a separate testimonial from 220 residents of Chipstead.  But the verdict was already made and the Rector was formally “unfrocked” and ended his career with the Church of England.

 Author Tom Hughes describes in detail the remarkable career of Charles Young in his book “Clerical Errors” Vol. 2 which is available on the Amazon website.