Kinwarton was what could be called a Warwickshire rural backwater. However, the living of Kinwarton was united with Great Alne; each village had its own church. Seymour left a diary from the date of his arrival in 1834 until the very end, which occurred in 1877. His influence in church circles extended beyond the confines of his own parish.
He came to Kinwarton as a serious and godly young man of evangelical outlook at the very time when the Catholic influence of the Oxford Movement, also known as the Tractarian movement, was starting to have an effect across the parishes. (Keble, Posey, Newman are some of the names behind the Oxford Movement) Richard Seymour readily incorporated into his own thinking and preaching many of the tenets of the new movement: he addressed regular meetings of the clergy in the deanery on such topics as 'Confession and Frequency of Communion'. In his own parish he emphasised Eucharistic attendance, prayers for the dead and observance of special days (Ash-Wednesday, he wrote, had not been kept for fifty years).
Along with those things, Seymour made his two dilapidated churches into fit places for worship and founded a school at Great Alne: his interests included the Board of Education, the Savings Bank, the Workhouse and local medical clubs.
It is not surprising that he was appointed Rural Dean; he was conspicuous in his parish duties, particularly in his visiting the sick. His views undoubtedly influenced a large area of South Warwickshire and many of the Oxford Movement's doctrines and practices which are taken for granted today across the Deanery may be traced back to Richard Seymour's endeavours.
A letter from Frances Seymour -1837
Summer 1996 Index