St Michael and All Angels, Leafield with Wychwood

See below for Project St Michael

 

The present church was built in 1859-60 to a design by Sir George Gilbert Scott, one of a trio of eminent Victorian architects. The original spire was rebuilt in 1865 and further shortened in 1934. Even so, the church is visible for many miles around and is a much loved local landmark.
Some eleven years after completion of the church, a fine organ by Nicholson of Worcester was installed and is in use to this day. Sadly, the contemporary sheet metal scrolls with painted texts by the vicar’s wife, which decorate many interior aspects of the walls have now faded.
The tower houses a peal of eight bells, dedicated in 1874 and a tower clock was commissioned the following year.
The church (Grade 2*) is listed together with the First World War memorial lych-gate.
Following a review, plans are being formulated to update the interior of the church to improve its suitability for present day family worship, whilst maintaining its historic design features.

Restoration, Re-ordering, Renewal


Our Purpose

 

To repair and renovate a Grade II* listed church in active use - Restoration

 

To transform it with care for wider use by the community - Re-ordering

 

To invigorate the life of Church and Community - Renewal

 

Project St Michael is a local community initiative to restore and modernise the church, while preserving its heritage value, to make it suitable for use in the 21st century. Project St Michael has been running for 20 years. During this time, it has raised funds and completed work on several projects, including:

  • Substantial repairs to the roof to prevent water ingress
  • Repairs to stained glass windows
  • Repairs to the spire
  • Repairs to stonework and pointing
  • Modifications to improve access for people with limited mobility

The current focus is to replace the existing gas heating in the church with electric heaters. This will improve the comfort of the users of the church, protect the fabric of the building and reduce the building’s Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions to zero. The cost of this work is £38,400 and Project St Michael has raised over £20,000 of this to date.

After the heating upgrade, the project will focus on re-ordering the interior of the church to create an enclosed space at the West end of the building, which will be available to the local community for a range of activities. This will be supported by a kitchen and accessible toilets, broadening the potential uses of the church and so bringing more people into the centre of Christian worship in Leafield.

For more information, please contact: simonsalomebentley@me.com.

Holy Trinity, Finstock with Fawler

Holy Trinity was consecrated in 1842 as a Chapel-of-Ease serving under the Vicar of Charlbury but by 1860 it became a separate parish with its own vicar. At this time the building comprised the present nave with a gallery built on land provided by the 1st Lord Churchill of Cornbury.

Although located on the border of Finstock village and a mile from Fawler the church thrived and at the turn of the century the building was extended by the addition of the present ornate Choir, Sanctuary and Vestry. A new organ was installed and, due to relocation of the choir, the gallery could be removed. This was completed by 1906.
Worship is Anglican mainstream and a review of parish requirements at the end of the twentieth century, identified the need for space for Sunday School and other activities. The present Upper Room fulfils this need and, with the repositioning of the Rood Screen towards the rear of the Nave, the main worship area is made more accessible and the acoustic is improved.
Holy Trinity has literary connections, Barbara Pym, the novelist, worshipped here for many years, as did Gilbert Phelps. T S Eliot was baptised privately here in 1927, a few weeks before publication of his poem Journey of the Magi.

St James', Ramsden

Succeeding an earlier church of 1842, the present church, built in 1872 is the youngest of the four in the benefice. Raised by the incumbent, Revd R L Baker, to the designs of A W Blomfield, the porch, tower and spire were given by Mr Baker in memory of his wife Mary.
In 19th century Decorated Gothic style, the Nave is unornamented except for the oak Chancel Screen which separates the fine chancel with Resurrection window and alabaster reredos with symbols of the four evangelists.

The church occupies a central position in the village, at the intersection of the High Street and the Roman Akeman Street. With a tower ring of three bells, the call to prayer may be heard across the benefice.
Notably, the South Aisle is now screened from the main body of the nave by a twenty first century glass and oak screen, providing a facility for Sunday School and weekday worship separate from the main worship area.
It is a source of pleasure to the parishioners that descendants of Revd R L Baker still live in the village and worship here.

St Peter's, Wilcote

The small church in the middle of the mediaeval village of Widelicote (Domesday Book) has its origins in the 12th century or possibly earlier. A rounded doorway (now blocked) in the South side of the Nave is evidence of Norman origins but most other details have been subsumed by the Victorian restorations of H Woodyer (1858) and A W Blomfield (1868).
The resulting interior is simple but with an interesting squint in the wall between Nave and Chancel, just behind the Victorian pulpit. The North porch, a Blomfield addition, opens on to the Nave with a Victorian (?) font at the West end.
Without electricity until the twenty-first century, the original oil lamps on the pew ends remain.
The small churchyard contains a small number of graves at the east end, representative of Victorian, and later, internments.
As with all the other churches in the Benefice, Saint Peter’s church is open for visitors and private prayer on most days.

Church Services

 

Wednesday 14th February

7.30pm, Ash Wednesday Service, Ramsden

 

Friday 16th February

6.30pm, Evening Prayer, Wilcote

 

Sunday 18th February

10.30am, Holy Communion, CW, Finstock

 

Wednesday 21st February

7.30pm, Lent Group, Ramsden

 

Friday 23rd February

6.30pm, Evening Prayer, Wilcote

 

Sunday 25th February

10.30am, Holy Communion, CW, Finstock

 

Wednesday 28th February

7.30pm, Lent Group, Ramsden

 

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

 

 

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The Church of England: A Christian presence in the communities of Ramsden, Finstock, Leafield and Wilcote