Historic books on display at Venn Ottery flower festival

PUBLISHED: 10:25 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:25 21 June 2017

Venn Ottery Church

Venn Ottery Church

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A Bible dating back nearly 300 years is on display at a flower festival in Venn Ottery this weekend after an appeal to bring it back home.

An 1854 prayer book has been returned to Venn Ottery ChurchAn 1854 prayer book has been returned to Venn Ottery Church

The religious book from 1727 and an 1854 prayer book bearing the village’s name in gold print were found by an antique dealer.

Donations came in from members of the community and even a vicar in America to fund their purchase and restoration.

Judith Taylor, who has researched the books, said: “We raised funds within the community to buy the books back and then we had them restored by Rebecca Newman of Honiton.

“We think that they ‘disappeared’ from the church during major restorations during the late 1800s when the roof had fallen in after a fire, and maybe the books were taken into care by someone and then never returned.

A historic picture of Venn Ottery ChurchA historic picture of Venn Ottery Church

“Until now – the books will be displayed at the flower festival.”

It is also celebrating 250 years since Reverend Augustus Toplady, author of the great hymn ‘Rock of Ages’ was the vicar of Venn Ottery and Harpford.

And the church is marking a century since villager Harry Wheaton Channon, a farm labourer, was killed in action in France. He joined the Devon Yeomanry and died at the age of 24.

The festival will be open daily until Sunday from 11am to 4pm with refreshments and a songs of praise service on Sunday at 6pm.

A 1727 Bible has been returned to Venn Ottery ChurchA 1727 Bible has been returned to Venn Ottery Church

Money raised will go towards the church, Dream-A-Way and The Tipton St John play area.

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