Mark had not intended to attach himself to what he considered a too indefinite Catholicism; but inasmuch as the Bishop had found him this job he made up his mind to give to it at any rate his deacon’s year and his first year as a priest.
“I’ve been brought up in the vanguard of the Movement,” he admitted. “But you can rely on me, sir, to be loyal to your point of view, even if I disagreed with it. I can’t pretend to believe much in moderation; but I should always be your curate before anything else, and I hope very much indeed that you will offer me the title.”
“You’ll find me dull company,” Mr. Shuter sighed. “My health has gone all to pieces this last year.”
“I shall have a good deal of reading to do for my priest’s examination,” Mark reminded him. “I shall try not to bother you.”
The result of Mark’s visit to Galton was that amongst the various testimonials and papers he forwarded two months later to the Bishop’s Registrar was the following:
To the Right Reverend Aylmer, Lord Bishop of Silchester.
I, Arnold Shuter, Vicar of St. Luke’s, Galton, in the County of Southampton, and your Lordship’s Diocese of Silchester, do hereby nominate Mark Lidderdale, to perform the office of Assistant Curate in my Church of St. Luke aforesaid; and do promise to allow him the yearly stipend of L120 to be paid by equal quarterly instalments; And I do hereby state to your Lordship that the said Mark Lidderdale intends to reside in the said Parish in my Vicarage; and that the said Mark Lidderdale does not intend to serve any other Parish as Incumbent or Curate.
Witness my hand this
fourteenth day of November; in the year of our
St. Luke’s Vicarage,
I, Arnold Shuter, Incumbent of St. Luke’s, Galton, in the County of Southampton, bona fide undertake to pay Mark Lidderdale, of the Rectory, Wych-on-the-Wold, in the County of Oxford, the annual sum of one hundred and twenty pounds as a stipend for his services as Curate, and I, Mark Lidderdale, bona fide intend to receive the whole of the said stipend. And each of us, Arnold Shuter and Mark Lidderdale, declare that no abatement is to be made out of the said stipend in respect of rent or consideration for the use of the Glebe House; and that I, Arnold Shuter, undertake to pay the same, and I, Mark Lidderdale, intend to receive the same, without any deduction or abatement whatsoever.