Service, Conflict and Scandal in Penarth 1863-1889

Posted in the News Category

Dr Chris Riley gave a talk on the controversial Revd Charles Parsons on 22nd February 2018  in the Parish Hal.  Charles Parsons was Rector of St Augustine’s from 1862-1887 and so was the last Rector of the ‘old’ church and first Rector of the ‘new’ St Augustine’s. (St Augustine’s was rebuilt in 1865/6).

He was also probably the most controversial Rector St Augustine’s has had and appears to have been a somewhat ‘spikey’ character.  During the building of the Rectory he seems to have fallen out with almost everyone concerned.

Charles Parsons’ relations with one of his curates, the Rev Plater, was particularly difficult resulting in the curate setting up his own church!  The difference stemmed from styles of churchmanship and the popularity of the curate over the Rector.

Eventually Charles Parsons swapped livings with William Sweet-Escott and went to live in Somerset where he died in 1891 aged 60.

This was a fascinating talk about the time when Penarth was expanding from a small rural community due to the building of the docks and the railways to become an important coal exporting town.



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