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250-year-old prayer book's coming home; DONATED TO HOSPICE SHOP... OLD TEXT IS GIVEN TO CHURCH THAT FIRST GOT IT IN 1773.

Byline: STEVE BAGNALL Daily Post Reporter

A 250-YEAR-OLD book donated to a Wrexham charity shop is to be returned to its original home.

Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham was taken aback when the 1766 Book of Common Prayer was provided to raise funds for the centre which cares for critically ill people.

Hospice chiefs decided it was too historic to be sold and set about ensuring it was returned to its rightful ancestral home.

It was originally given to Worthenbury Church on October 6 in 1773 by the then Rector Philip Puleston, according to an inscription on the fly sheet and was likely to have been a reprint of a much earlier book, judging by the content style.

"We are used to all sorts of unusual items being donated to the Nightingale House Hospice shops but this one really did take us aback.

"To hold something with so much history is absolutely fascinating so we set to work researching all we could glean from the contents," said Nightingale House Retail Development Manager, John Donnelly.

The research turned up a dedicated website to the Puleston family produced by Hadyn Puleston Jones, who lives in Kent. It gave extensive details on the Puleston family, going back to the 13th century and he was able to give details on Philip Puleston and his link to the Puleston Estate in Worthenbury.

"The Rev Philip Puleston was rector of Worthenbury, formerly in Flintshire but now in Wrexham," said Hadyn.

"He was the son of John Puleston of nearby Pickhill Hall and his wife Eleanor (nee Bayley) and inherited the Pickhill estate on his father's death in 1748.

"Pickhill is now divided into flats.

"Philip's first wife was Mary, daughter of John Egerton esq of Broxton, Cheshire.

"His second wife was Annabella, sister and co-heir of Watkins Williams esq of Penbedw, who was MP for Montgomeryshire. Philip and Annabella had two daughters, Annabella and Elizabeth. Philip died on 27 January 1801."

The original Book of Common Prayer was published in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI and was a product of the English Reformation following the break with Rome.

This book was soon succeeded by a more reformed revision in 1552.

It was used only for a few months, as after Edward VI's death in 1553, his half-sister Mary I restored Roman Catholic worship. She herself died in 1558, and in 1559 Elizabeth I reintroduced the 1552 book with a few modifications.

In 1604, James I ordered some further changes and following the tumultuous events leading to and including the English Civil War, another major revision was published in 1662. That edition has remained the official prayer book of the Church of England.

The hospice, at the suggestion of Mr Puleston Jones, contacted the Rev Sue Huyton who on behalf of Worthenbury Church, is delighted to welcome the book home.

She said: "It was originally given not long after the church was built, so it is lovely its coming home.

"Our pews have themes and we are hoping that the book will go on the pew that is dedicated to prayer."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Aug 25, 2015
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