St Mary’s Church Great Shefford

A Grade II* Listed Building in Great Shefford, West Berkshire. 

Great Shefford is one of six parishes that make up the West Downland Benefice of Brightwalton with Catmore, Chaddleworth, Fawley, Great Shefford and Shefford Woodlands, Leckhampstead and Welford with Wickham. An essentially Norman church and unusually for this county, it has a round tower. The approach is particularly beautiful and a wonderful poppy display is placed along the leafy avenue during remembrance, as well as the beautiful flower displays it has for special occasions. It often has community activities to riase funds, such as Christmas Craft fairs and it also frequently supports a Christmas tree exhibition.

The present civil parish includes the historical parish of Little or East Shefford, a small, reduced community downstream. It also covers the village of Shefford Woodlands, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-west of Great Shefford, near Junction 14 on the M4 motorway. The oldest buildings in the parish are its churches. The redundant church of St Thomas, in East Shefford, was built no later than 1100 AD, whilst the parish church of St Mary dates from about 1200 AD. East Shefford church is notable both for its medieval wall-paintings and a 15th century Fettiplace tomb. The flint church of St Mary has the only original round tower in Berkshire. However, St Stephen’s in Shefford Woodlands was consecrated in 1911 following its conversion from a disused Methodist Chapel. Methodism, both Wesleyan and Primitive, had a strong presence in the parish for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. The special character of the area around St Mary’s Church, the Manor House and Great Shefford House has led to its designation as a Conservation Area.

Accessibility

Parking is available on the street outside rather than at the church itself making it a bit harder for wheelchair access. It does have a ramp.

Services

Services can be found on the website here. There is a holy communion and a popular cafe church.

The church of ST. MARY consists of chancel and nave under one continuous modern roof, south porch, and circular west tower with octagonal belfry stage.

With the exception of the porch and an organ chamber on the north side of the nave at the east end erected in 1870, the building dates from c. 1200. A new window was introduced in the south wall of the chancel in the 14th century, and in the 15th century the present east window and two on the south side of the nave were inserted. The upper stage of the tower is also of 15th-century date read more ….

Revd Miriam Keen

West Downland Rectory, Main Street, Chaddleworth, Newbury West Berkshire. RG20 7EW

St Stephen's is a grade ii listed building , situated in the small village of Shefford Woodlands.

St Thomas’ Church, East Shefford Alabaster nobles and wall paintings in a rural idyll This simple little church, with pre-Norman origins, stands …

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