In many ways this account of the life and times of the Reverend William F Robinson takes us into a very unfamiliar world indeed. Some of the physical landmarks were the same, such as Bloxham's great church and spire, along with many of the village's older houses, but the social and economic background was very different. With little or no competition from other groups the Church was strongly at the heart of village life, whether in dealing with unexpected deaths on the battlefield or problems of a financial nature and the Vicar was very much a part of all that was going on.
Yet in many other ways the picture is not all that different. His successor today, the Reverend Sarah Tillett, is still very much a priest for everyone who lives in Milcombe and South Newington, to say nothing of Bloxham itself. Whenever things are happening in these communities it is quite likely that the Church (often in the person of the Parish Priest) will still be involved in what is going on. Some may describe this as an old-fashioned pattern of ministry, and certainly it is one that is much more difficult to follow than it was even 20 years ago, but time and again it has proved its value in giving people a person they can relate to in their search for God.
William Robinson was a fine example of the traditional Vicar and there are still things that we can learn from his example and I am grateful to Anne Williams for introducing me to him.
The Rt Revd Colin Fletcher OBE
Bishop of Dorchester
William Fothergill Robinson's five year incumbency spanned the latter years of the Great War. A lasting legacy from him was the gift to the church of a wonderful and enchanting window showing Saint Christopher bearing Christ on his shoulder in memory of his sister Margaret Fothergill Robinson. Her motto, 'The Readiness is all' and her inspiration 'The love of God, bearing the sorrows of the world' is a perfect reminder of what we, the church, are here for. Anne Williams has drawn together a fascinating collection of letters, poems and historical material that paints a picture for us of life in the church at the beginning of the twentieth century. This little gem is a wonderful contribution to the life and history of our beautiful church and village.
Reverend Sarah Tillett