Rev L Woolcott, who has been Vicar of Buckland Brewer since 1947, has been offered and has accepted the living of Abbotsham in succession to Rev W H Smith, who is retiring at the end of this year.
Mr Woolcott received early education at the Episcopal School, Exeter, and was ordained in 1914. He was Temporary Chaplain to the Forces from 1914-19 and then, for ten years, was curate of Alverstoke, Hants. From 1929, until accepting the living of Buckland Brewer, he was rector of Langton Malton, Yorks. Writing in the October issue of the Hartland Deanery Magazine, Rev L Woolcott states “As members of the Parochial Church Council know, a parochial reorganisation scheme is well advanced which will ultimately unite Buckland Brewer parish with that of Alwington and, although that union could have been indefinitely delayed as long as I remained at Buckland Brewer, I am certainly not desirous that my own personal predilections shall predominate where, in the view of the competent authority, the good of the whole parish is concerned. Furthermore, my recent illness has, in the opinion of my doctor, made it imperative for me to seek a more compact sphere of labour. My wife and I have tried to tackle the problems which have confronted us when we came here but we are fully conscious of the problems that still remain; and need I add how much we shall miss you and how much we should like to take so many of you with us.”
Rev W H Smith was a Master Mariner before taking Holy Orders and he has been Vicar of Abbotsham since 1946. He was ordained a deacon and became a priest in 1926 at Waiapu, New Zealand from 1926-31. For the next four years he was Vicar of Thorpe Catchville with Twyford, Leicestershire, and before coming to North Devon was Vicar of Castle Donington, Leicestershire.