Revd. Charles Gowar

Author: Roy Tubb
Date published: 14/02/2015
© Roy Tubb

The following are extracts from Roy B. Tubb's book “THATCHAM URC200
History of the Independent Chapel of Thatcham, etc.
ISBN 0-9507736-8-9, published in 2005

Page 27
In December 1859 the church advertised for “a Minister to take the oversight of the Congregational Church at Thatcham”, where the members and congregation were “a very united but poor people”. The minister's salary was to be £20 per annum plus an endowment of about £30.

Page 28
In March 1861 a church management committee …. was set up. Its first task was to find a prospective pastor. Revd Charles Gowar of Upwey, near Weymouth, Dorset, was invited to preach on the first two Sabbaths in April. This he did and must have made a good impression on members because two months later, they voted by 16-3 to offer him the pastorship. He accepted in June 1861.

Page 31
Charles Gowar's place of birth was given as Greenwich, Kent, in the 1871 census. He was then a widower, aged fifty-four, living in The Manse, Back Lane (Park Lane), Thatcham. According to Revd Summers, Charles was “quiet, cautious and in very delicate health”. His wife, Harriet, died while here in Thatcham. She was buried in the Newtown Road cemetery, Newbury, on 10th September 1870. Just over one year later (5th November 1871), Revd Charles Gower gave notice of his intention to resign the pastorate as from the last Sunday in March 1872.
He then spent eight years (1873-81) as pastor of the Congregational Chapel at Bucklebury. Following that he preached occasionally for a few years as required, depending on the state of his health.
He died, aged seventy, on 13th April 1887 at Thatcham after a prolonged period of illness. He was buried in the same grave as his wife in Newbury.

Our thanks to local historian, David Peacock, for drawing this to our attention.

Sources:THATCHAM URC200: History of the Independent Chapel of Thatcham, etc.

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