Wednesday, 20 June 2018

20 June 2018

The local clergy monthly meeting was held at St Mary’s on Monday 11th June. Sue gave a short talk to a group of 11 clergy about our project, followed by a tour round the churchyard. 

The tour included the kerbstone grave which looks like black marble, but is in fact ceramic. This was a surprise to the group as no one had seen a ceramic gravestone before. These ceramic gravestones tended to have been used in the 1940s–1950s. Sue has only seen two others - both in Lincolnshire - and would like to know the location of any others around the country. 

Ceramic memorial in Sibsey, Lincolnshire 
She also showed them Revd Charles Hardman’s grave. He was St Mary’s second vicar (1865 – 1879), and had the ignominy of being declared bankrupt in 1868. His income at the time was £225 per annum, but he carried on being vicar of St Mary’s. His father-in-law, Revd Phillip Charbert Kidd, rector of Holy Trinity, Skipton, did not appear to help him, or pay his debts! 

Rev. Charles Hardman's gravestone, Embsay-with-Eastby
There is also a stonemason’s error on the grave. At the bottom of the inscription it says:  ‘He was not for God took him.’ The group was asked what the missing word/words should be. The consensus was ‘Forsaken’.

They were very interested in the project, and one vicar asked if we could do one of his four churchyards next!

Sue Stearn, Project Co-ordinator, Embsay-with-Eastby St Mary the Virgin Churchyard project


  1. "He was not for God took him" is a direct quotation from Genesis 5:24 in the Authorized Version, speaking of Enoch. There is no stonemason's error here, I'm afraid!

  2. "He was not for God took him" is a quotation from Genesis 5:24 (Authorised Version), rather than a stonemason's error.

    It is a reference to Enoch, an Old Testament character who was an ancestor of Noah. The Epistle to the Hebrews interprets these words from Genesis as meaning that Enoch was taken directly to heaven, without experiencing death.

  3. Thank you Richard for that information. A roomful of clergy didn't know that - so full marks to you.