The tiny little church at Llancillo, vested with us in 2007, is probably the most difficult of all our buildings to find – but the search is worth it. The key hangs in the porch but the door is only locked to keep out the sheep.
Dismayed by the ‘Low churchmanship’ of the nearby parish church, Mrs Louisa Harris decided to erect her own private chapel, and assembled a glittering array of artists to execute it. Architect: Sir Guy Dawber. Date: 1897.
Old St Luke, which sits in the same churchyard as the Victorian church that replaced it, was one of our very first vestings in 1974. It has survived against the odds, not least because it is one of the most loved of all our churches – with an active group of Local Friends.
St Mary’s was in a sorry state when the Friends took it on in 1975 , and chronic movement has led to severe cracking in the nave and chancel. We have carried out an extensive programme of underpinning and conserved the fragile mural paintings in the nave.
There has been a church on the site of St John the Baptist for nearly a thousand years, but the distinctive chequerboard design of clunch (limestone) and knapped flint you see today was a rebuilding of 1852-4 by the Ecclesiologist JH Sperling.
Church-moving is rare, but the residual tower of St Peter’s is all that remains of just such an exercise carried out in 1877. Partly because it was in the wrong positon, partly because it had started to move (the tower is still on a definite lean).
At St Andrew’s everything is roofless – as it has been since 1866 when a window was blown in during divine service. But this doesn’t stop this Grade II* church being used each August for an annual service held by local people.
St Leonards is a classic village church – double-cell with a tall, narrow nave of almost Anglo-Saxon proportions and a doll-like chancel rebuilt in Neo-Norman by an unknown hand in 1844. Closed and proposed for demolition in the 1970’s, now in use as an artists’ workshop.
For a tiny and once very forlorn church, St John the Baptist is now a hive of activity – with volunteer local friends organizing everything from a corn dolly workshop, to medieval music, to hedge-laying, to an exploration of English font stones. The ‘Spirit of Sutterby’ is an exemplar project bringing the community together.
“Bury me there!” said Bill Bryson, of Thornton-le-Beans church, in North Yorkshire. Well we can offer him a plot in the churchyard for the church now belongs to us.