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News  »  Afternoon Tea with Marcus and Mary Braybrooke

   Afternoon Tea with Marcus and Mary Braybrooke    3 February, 2020

In 1993 when Marcus and Mary were considering coming to the Baldons, John Crowe, the Team Rector of Dorchester Abbey, gave to my husband Hew and myself a small book of Sermons by Marcus Braybrooke, entitled “Be Reconciled”.  We were so excited when we read it, we knew that we, in the Parish, had to do everything we could to encourage Marcus and Mary to take up the “House for Duty” Vicar’s post in the Baldons. How right we were! And how fortunate the Baldons and Nuneham Courtenay were to have the dynamic duo living in the Rectory, transforming our Church Services and bringing such friendship, wisdom and care to the parish.

Helen Hobin, the Braybrookes’ second granddaughter, has written this wonderful ‘biography’ of Mary and Marcus. Her aim was “to bring to life - through their eyes - the world as it has changed over the last eighty years”. She has more than succeeded. It is a book of insight and of humour and I am sure Marcus and Mary must be delighted with the quality of her writing.

It was a constant source of amazement to us all, when Marcus was our Vicar, that he would take the Sunday service, preach a brilliant sermon, disappear to the other side of the world to give a major speech at a conference, and arrive in church the following Sunday - to preach yet another erudite sermon (not forgetting to add in some humour).  He might, in addition, have made time to visit a parishioner in hospital on the way!  In Helen’s book we can now read about Marcus and Mary’s work on the international stage, at the heart of the Interfaith movement. Work for which in 2004 Marcus was awarded a special Doctorate by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for his contribution “to the development of inter-religious co-operation and understanding throughout the world.”

It was also fascinating to catch glimpses of Mary’s career as a forward thinking and highly respected social worker and long-serving magistrate. Two pictures, one with Ron Hewitt, remind us of Baldon Players’ productions and Mary’s acting skill.  This is the story of a joint ministry to a wider world, with family and Parish at its core.

There is nothing dry in this account - the book is full of adventures and entertaining incidents. Above all, throughout its pages, the very different and totally complementary characters of Mary and Marcus shine out. Helen’s book also reminds us about the many books which her grandfather has either written, or contributed to. In this divided world, books such as “Beacons of Light” give us hope.

Thank You Helen




“Afternoon Tea with Mary and Marcus Braybrooke” published by the Braybrooke Press www.Lulu.com  Available from Mary and Marcus:

marcusbraybrooke4@gmail.com or 01865 407566 – price £12

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