A tale of two churches...
St Giles' Church
We continue to discover more about our beautiful church of St Giles' as each generation takes on different aspects of maintenance and renovation. We embarked on a substantial restoration project in 2017 thanks to a legacy from Mrs Edna Mayer, which revealed exciting new (but old!) elements of the church fabric. Read all about the restoration and the new discovery in this PDF download.
Parts of St Giles’ Church date from Saxon times whilst much of the chancel and tower are Norman. The building has been added to and developed over the years. There is a Tudor side chapel (Hastings Chapel) which was integrated with the rest of the church by the Victorians and the Vestry was added in 1902. We continue in this tradition and a new corridor and toilets were added in recent years. We completed a restoration of the Chancel, Hastings Chapel and Tower in 2016-17: further details can be found here.
The church has historic links with the poet Thomas Gray (1716–1771), who wrote his ‘Elegy written in a Country Churchyard’ whilst visiting his aunt, who lived in the village. He is buried in the churchyard. The inscription on the tomb reads:
In the Vault beneath are deposited,
In Hope of a joyfull Resurrection,
The remains of
She died unmarried, November 5, 1749,
In the same pious confidence,
Beside her friend and sister, here sleep the remains of
Widow, the careful, tender Mother
Of many children, one of whom alone
Had the misfortune to survive her.
She died March 11, 1753,
Another memorial to Gray stands in the adjacent meadow, which is owned by the National Trust. We have regular events to celebrate our heritage and enjoy these beautiful places.
St Giles’ has been at the centre of village life for many centuries and continues to be the place of focus for special events, such as Christmas, Easter and Harvest.
As of November 2020, St Giles' is open for private prayer Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 10am-3pm. Feel free to pop in or join us for a Sunday service at 9am. Please follow the signs at the church regarding Covid safety.
If you’d like to become involved in any aspect of the life of our churches please visit the Volunteers pages of the website.
Please visit the Bellringers page on the Parish Council website for more information about the bells, the ringers and how you could join in!
St Andrew's Church
In the 1950’s the Vicar, Bryant Bevan, bought a disused Methodist Chapel and field in the centre of the village for the use of the Parish Church. Its many additions tell the story of its growing use and popularity. In the 1970’s, Vicar, Cyril Harris and others, saw the need for a centre of worship in the middle of the Village and developed regular Sunday services in St Andrew’s with the main hall being used by many community groups. Since then the building has been enlarged still further, and developed as a resource for the village. It is now the informal venue for most of our family-orientated services and for our Junior Church.
During the week, part of the building is open as The Coffee Shop. In 2010 a new Youth Hall was added to the building, which, along with most of the other spaces in the building, is available for hire.
Heather McDowell, 23/07/2019