BBC News: Last Sin-Eater Celebrated with Church Service
Sin-eaters were generally poor people paid to eat bread and drink beer or wine over a corpse, in the belief they would take on the sins of the deceased.
Frowned upon by the church, the custom mainly died out in the 19th Century.
It was prevalent in the Marches, the land around the England-Wales border, and in north Wales, but was rarely carried out anywhere else.
Believers thought the sin-eater taking on the sins of a person who died suddenly without confessing their sins would allow the deceased’s soul to go to heaven in peace.
While most of the sin-eaters were poor people or beggars, Mr Munslow was a well-established farmer in the area.
Locals began the collection to restore the grave, which had fallen into disrepair in recent years, believing it would be good to highlight the custom and Mr Munslow’s place in religious history.
Too bad that didn’t work. Wonder how the poor felt. Were they just glad to have the money and food? Or were they concerned about the 1,000 years of purgatory they were adding? Did the vicar really turn a blind eye? Or were the unshriven allowed full rites?