During my stay in Haworth in 2007 I had the chance to spend some time and have a little chat with a very special person- the vicar of the lovely and often crowded St. Michael and All Angels, the church where the whole Brontë family is buried except for Anne, who rests in Scarborough.
At that time Haworth’s vicar was Jenny Savage, a thin, tall woman with white hair; she was very efficient in her clerical tasks and her nice husband was helping her very actively.
On Sunday 8th July, after the evening Mass – during which we enjoyed a musical performance by a choir from a bordering town – there was a party. It was on that occasion that Jenny and I exchanged a few words:
Reverend, you must live in Haworth, but since when?
Don’t call me Reverend, I’m Jenny. Yes, I’ve lived in Haworth for eight years. At the beginning I was curate of the former vicar Mr Slater and then, when he moved away, I replaced him.
Which are your tasks here?
As you saw, I officiate the Sunday Masses, prepare short but instructive sermons, and officiate at weddings and funerals. I do not have a curate, but my wonderful husband helps me very much- he’s retired and spends all his free time with me.
For how long have you been working here as a Vicar and how do you become a vicar in UK?
I’ve been working in the Church since when I moved in Haworth. Before that I was a Physical Education teacher at Primary School. Then I realized I didn’t like that job anymore so I went looking for another one. I passed some tests, and shortly, they gave me a job here in Haworth as a curate. And finally, as I said, I became a Vicar.
Have you got any kids?
Yes, four. The eldest one is the chief-chorister you saw before, the youngest still lives at home with us.
At that poin I said good bye to my interlocutor, who was strongly claimed and invited by her parishioners to enjoy the party.
Professor Maddalena De Leo, Representative of the Brontë Society in Italy