|Article from Evening Telegraph dated 21 December 1977 transcribed by Raylee Burton
Wynford Perry examines a Christmas tradition
Charity begins with Luck . . .
In 1546 William Luck of Burton Latimer left a sum of seven shillings a year in his will to cater for the needy people of the parish.
In 1792 Rev Samuel Barwick, rector of the parish at the time, left an annual sum to be disposed for the upkeep of St. Mary’s School, founded in 1581.
Both charities are still paying out money today.
William Luck’s bequest is one of six comprising the Burton Latimer Ancient Parish Charity, which annually distributes around £450 “to relieve persons resident in the parish who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress”.
Its clerk is Mr. Brian Mutlow of
For a small honorariumi “enough to cover the cost of petrol and shoe leather for all the running about I do” he administers the charity fund.
Christmas is his busiest time. “We invite people to apply for aid in November so that we can give them vouchers to buy coal, food and clothes, or to help with gas and electricity bills, in time for Christmas”, he said.
“Each October I post about 30 notices in churches, shops and public notice boards in the parish.
“Last year we had 105 claims. This year we’ve had 98”. Most of the claimants are over 80 years old.
“The trustees examine each claim. How long a person has lived in the parish, his age, his income are all considered.”
“We try to keep three-quarters of the trust income for the Christmas period, and the rest for special cases at other times for example the cost of taking an ill and needy person to hospital.”
Mr. Mutlow is also clerk to the Burton Latimer United Educational Foundation, which includes the Rev Barwick’s bequest.
Its brief is to pay such sums of money as may be required for the upkeep of St. Mary’s Church of England School. It administers about £320 a year.
As with the Ancient Parish Charity, its income derives mainly from land and property that have long since been sold and the proceeds invested.
“We had one piece of land left in Little Addington that brought in £5 a year,” said Mr. Mutlow. “We’ve just sold it for £600, which invested at ten per cent will provide 12 times the annual income.”
St. Mary’s isn’t the only school to benefit. Each of four schools in the parish receives an annual grant of £10 to buy religious books and the same sum to spend on other books.
In addition grants are made to individual students or apprentices to help with the cost of books, tools or special clothing not normally provided by the local education authority. This year 15 such applications were granted.
William Luck’s shillings and the Rev Samuel Barwick’s sovereigns have gone a long way.