Historic gown used at Brede Christening

A CHRISTENING gown was used again at Brede Church on Saturday 100 years to the day after it was first worn.

The gown was worn at the Christening of Anya Mae Mitchell, daughter of Katie and Colin Mitchell and brother to Torr.

It was first worn by her Great Grandmother on February 11, 1912.

Anya Mae was the fourth generation of the same family to wear it as her grandmother Wendy and her mother Katie also wore the gown at their Christenings.

Katie is the daughter of Andrew and Wendy Burchett who have lived in Brede for many years. Andrew is the Tower Captain in charge of the Bell-ringers at St. George’s.

The gown was handmade by Miss Flo Dann, who lived in John and Mary West Cottage on the Brede Village Green, for Eleanor Apps (who was also known as Hayler/Heasman) and is of linen and lace which was given to her by one of her Godmothers Eleanor Aylward.

Eleanor was the sister to the Rev’d Augustus Aylward who was Rector of St. George’s Church between 1851 and 1885.

Over the years the gown has been worn at least 45 times by other members of the family and close friends with many of the Christenings being held at St. George’s given the close links the family have had with the church.

Saturday’s service was officiated by Father Martin Harper, who said: “While of course all Baptisms are special, this one had special significance for the family because of the long historical connections with St George’s Church.

“It was a time when many of those present – family and friends – were able to recall their own baptism in the very same font that Anya Mae was baptised in.”