St Leonard’s Church

DURING January, several important events have taken place at St Leonard s Church. The annual Plough Sunday service took place in early January and was well attended. We then had a surprise visit from Canon Thornton s great grandson, Robin Thornton, from K

DURING January, several important events have taken place at St Leonard's Church. The annual Plough Sunday service took place in early January and was well attended. We then had a surprise visit from Canon Thornton's great grandson, Robin Thornton, from Kent. He is researching his family history. Canon Thornton became Rector of Downham in 1892, coming from Northampton. He retired to Shudy Camps in 1907. His main concern was for the welfare of the parish and in 1895 he built St Owen's School and Mission Church at Third Drove, Downham Fen. He did much to educate the people of the parish and also instigated the metalling of many of the fen droves. Mr Thornton was given a guided tour of the church and parish and a visit to the now defunct St Owen's church and school by Roger Martin, church warden and parish historian.

A successful quiz night and fish and chip supper was held in the village centre on Friday.

On Monday, the funeral and burial of M W Biddy Atkinson, widow of former Rector of Downham 1952-1967, Canon Alwyne Atkinson. For many years she lived in Ely, but for the last few years was in a retirement home in Oxford. She will be remembered for her commitment to all aspects of parish life while living here, particularly her Sunday School parties and choirboy suppers.


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