IT started from small beginnings. An idea that Julie Cordiner had to write a book on the people who shaped Holy Trinity Church, in Seaton Carew, last September. Now it has developed into so much more, including a new story on the love letters of one of the congregation. Chris Cordner reports.
KEEN genealogist and writer Julie Cordiner might not have imagined her research could lead to so many fascinating stories.
Yet she has uncovered even more and shared them with Family Roots.
Julie Cordiner had investigated the background of Holy Trinity Church, in Seaton Carew, and the families who shaped it.
In September last year, we told how she was looking into names such as Ralph Thompson Walker, born in 1849 at Middleton Grange and who died in September, 1876 at Helmsley, aged only 27, and is buried at Holy Trinity.
She also investigated the background of Jane and Anna Wray, to whom the earliest stained glass window still surviving in Holy Trinity Church is in memory of.
Julie’s investigations into Stanley Robinson - born in Seaton Carew in 1909 to Thomas Buick Robinson and Laura Dryden - showed he was a choirboy and a churchwarden.
And William Henry Loveridge who was born in 1857 and died in 1938 also featured in her research.
Her completed book called Portrait Of A Seaside Parish helped raise £150,000 funds for the restoration of eroded parts of the church.
But the book itself has taken on a life of its own as Julie explained.
“Diane Marlborough, the reference librarian at the Central Library, is letting me do an exhibition for four weeks in July at the Central Library, on the theme of the book.”
Copies of the book will be on sale there.
Julie added: “I will also be doing a talk one evening for the St Luke’s Ladies Group in the library community room.
“Then in October there will be a smaller exhibition and another talk at Seaton Library to tie in with the Literary Festival.
“The great news is that we have covered all the costs and the book is now in profit, which is brilliant.”
But the success of the book is leading to further developments.
Julie added: “My next aim is to publish some of the letters of the Fawcus family, who feature in the book.
“They had 14 children and lived in a house on The Green, and the husband had trips away on the continent so his wife wrote to him and he kept them all.”
She said a surviving relative of the family has given her transcripts of the letters to raise more money for the restoration fund, but Julie hopes to raise more money by badging them as Victorian love letters which she says is what they are.
Once she has done that, Julie hopes to create a new e-book to raise money.
But her research and promotion of the families who shaped Holy Trinity still does not end there.
She added: “I am also going to offer community groups the opportunity to come to the church to hear a talk, and actually see the windows, furniture and so on in situ.”
Watch out for more news on Holy Trinity soon.