Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sunday 14 June - Churchstanton Church

We visited this church because some of my ancestors were baptised, married and buried there in the late 1700s to early 1800s (Osborn family). The village consists primarily of the church, a church hall and the surrounding farm houses. The village mail box is part of the church fence. Because of these factors, we expected little of the church. Once we entered the church, we were very pleasantly surprised. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book but how much of it dates back to then is not yet known and obviously there have been modifications since then. It is quite a large church of a size one would expect for far larger villages. It retains a box seating arrangement from ancient times when families paid for and maintained their own boxes. Earlier to that there had been pews and the carved pew ends have reportedly been used to provide a safety wall on the large organ mezzinine above the church entry - an obvious later modification. The font has been crudely but elaborately fashioned out of a single block of sandstone. We were at the church when a local came to lock it up for the night. From this person we learnt that the morning attendance was 12 persons but about 18 every Sunday was about the norm. A couple of years ago there was an order to close the church because the roof needed repairs. The locals banded together to raise 150,000 pounds for the necessary repairs.

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