John was a staunch member of the St Anne’s Parish community. He was the sacristan at Our Lady of the Angels’, Princethorpe College for many years and had a great gift for poetry and photography. Below is one of John’s poems – enjoy.
St’ Anne’s sits hidden down by the Leam,
A small Catholic chapel behind a yew screen.
It serves a wide rural area for those of the faith,
Over the past ages it’s shared the Lord’s grace.
After Henry VIII dispelled the teachings of Rome,
He abolished the true faith and set up his own.
The faithful came to Wappenbury from far and near,
To continue to hear Mass despite persecution and fear.
Many brave priests came to the house by the river,
To celebrate mass with consecrated bread to deliver.
Discretely till the 1829 Catholic Emancipation act,
The faith was preserved here, that’s an historical fact.
In 1849 a new chapel was built on this hallowed compound,,
Tho’ an ancient church stands on neighbouring ground.
Lets pray for the souls who kept their trust in the Lord,
So that we may pray with our freedom restored.
Let us not take for granted this church by the Leam,
Which whispers it’s past quietly in it’s setting serene.
It has survived due to people and their gift of the faith,
And will only continue in years to come with such grace.
Pray for the devout Priests who have passed this way,
Any for the many faithful who came here to pray.
Without their involvement there would be no trace,
Of this quiet chapel by the river, in a pietistic place.
3/1998. Dedicated to the Priests and faithful who pray
At St’ Anne’s RC Church.
In the parish of Wappenbury. Warwickshire
Transcribed from the original
This wonderful poem was written by Keene and Sheraleen Broganza
Leaves falling to the ground
An autumn morn
Not far past dawn
The ‘secret’ church we found
From ancient walls
We heard His calls
With haste, we did obey
And hypnotised by friendly eyes
We could not stay away
Autumn turned to winter
Snow flanked her tiny frame
But once her path was cleared
We returned to her again
The warmth and friendship offered
Right from the very start
Has simply overwhelmed us
St. Anne’s is in our hearts