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The Churchwarden

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Type ‘Churchwarden’ into Google Images and the picture above is the first image that comes up! The Churchwarden pipe.
All Saints is looking to appoint a new Churchwarden and the good news is that it is not a requirement to smoke the pipe. But, if you are a committed follower of Jesus, a regular member of All Saints, good with people and organising, then maybe you could be our next Churchwarden?

This is a key voluntary role in an Anglican Church, working with the Rector, PCC, staff and teams, supporting the mission of the church. Pippa Page has served for many years and is stepping down at the APCM on 01April. Ben Wynne will continue. We are in the process of reshaping the role as we also want to reintroduce the role of “vergers” at all our services. We are therefore asking everyone at All Saints to Pray about who will step up to this role alongside Ben Wynne. Please contact Mark Searle or Ben Wynne for more information or to discuss the role in more detail.

We’ve not asked Ben if he smokes a Churchwarden pipe, and we’ve not seen him doing so when out an about, so we assume not, however, the history of the Churchwarden pipe is interesting: they were reputedly named after churchwardens, or night watchmen of churches in the time that churches never locked their doors. These “churchwardens” could not be expected to go all night without a smoke, so they had pipes that were made with exceptionally long stems so the smoke and the pipe wouldn’t be in their line of sight as they kept watch. Churchwardens experienced a surge in popularity after the release of Lord of the Rings film trilogy in 2001, since many of the characters smoke churchwardens. Churchwarden pipes generally produce a cooler smoke due to the distance smoke must travel from the bowl to the mouthpiece. They have the added benefit of keeping the user’s face further away from the heat and smoke produced by combustion in the bowl. They are also more prone to breakage since more pressure is placed on the tenon when the pipe is supported around the mouthpiece. Long ago, churchwarden pipes were made of clay and were common in taverns, and sometimes a set of pipes would have been owned by the establishment and used by different clients like other service items such as plates and tankards.
P.S. We don’t think Pippa smoked a Churchwarden pipe either.