William Bonney 1936 - 1940

Bonney was born in 1878 in Bolton the son of William a cotton carder and Mary. In 1891 at just 13 he was a weaver’s assistant in Bolton but in the 1901 census we find him in Branksome Dorset a Church Army evangelist. The Church Army was founded in 1882 and focused on ministering to those in the poorest areas similar to The Salvation Army.

In 1906 William married Isabella Shipperbottom. He must have travelled widely with the Church Army, in 1911 he was in Burton-on-Trent with his wife and two children who had been born in Wentworth and Fordingbridge.

Soon afterwards he trained for the priesthood at Kings College London at the same time as working with the British Sailors Society. During the First World War he was a chaplain with the army then the Royal Navy. In 1928 he was ordained and was appointed rector of Monewden and Hoo in Suffolk, he also served for 15 years as port chaplain of Ipswich.

 He was involved in a car accident in 1935 and in 1936 came to Stowupland as vicar. Sadly, his time here was marred by ill health possibly as a result of his accident and depression. Obviously he had been an active man and ill health and age meant that he felt he could not fulfill his role to the standards he would have liked, this lead to depression and he said he felt a failure, after  He was buried under the East window of  Monewdon, Church. A stone vase at the foot of his grave was engraved “from Wardens and friends of Stowupland”

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