St Mary's Church
There has been a church or chapel on or near the present site for nearly 700 years. The first record of a Rector goes back to 1379. The first church would have been a black & white building made of wood. Existing records start in 1572 probably resulting from Cromwell's edict that churches kept records. That first re-build took place probably on the site of our existing church and almost certainly did not alter until 1827. In that year the decision was taken that 'due to decay it was unsuitable for public worship'. It was also resolved to take down that building and erect a new church on the upper original site. The estimated cost of the new 'barn like building' was £1,038.The bricks used were quarried and made locally. The new church was consecrated in July 1828.The church wardens of the day were faced with High Court writs and threatened with loss of their property to meet the debts incurred though this was settled when the parish agreed to underwrite the costs. The next major alteration came 50 years later when the Chancel was extended, the Vestry and the South Transept was built with small pews for the children. The old north door was closed and a new entrance created at the west end of the church.The choir vestry was built in 1905 and a covered way linking the two was brought into use the next year. The church hall was erected near to the church in 1967.
In 2004 we completed a refurbishment programme in the church hall taking into consideration current disability legislation. We have also made improvements to the Church building.
In 2006 we refurbished the choir vestry by carrying out major modernisation to toilets, drainage, heating and catering needs and also to more easily accommodate disabled people.
In September 2008 new lighting was installed in the chancel and the interior of the nave, chancel and entrance porches were completely re-decorated with colours to give a light refreshing appearance. The bell ringing chamber and stairs were also redecorated and re-carpeted.
We are continuing to look for ways to improve our buldings to make them attractive and welcoming to visitors and congregation alike. We would like to improve access up the relatively steep entrance path to the north of the building but costs at present make this difficult.
All this is part of our continuing policy of improvement in our efforts to serve the people of our parish.
We meet for worship on Sundays at 10.40 a.m. Full details of our varied parish programme can be found on the page 'Worship at our churches'. We also offer a service of Holy Communion using the Book of Common Prayer every Wednesday morning at 10.00 a.m. All are welcome to join us at any time.
St. Mary's from the air.