World War 1 St. Stephen's Church in Shefford Woodlands

World War 1 St. Stephen’s Church in Shefford Woodlands highlights the woods carvings around the church which act as a commemoration of the tragic events of the First World War and the impact on this small hamlet.

In the years after the First World War, the interior was converted into a memorial to men from Shefford Woodlands, or closely associated with it, who had died during the conflict.

Stained glass memorial windows on the south wall of the nave and carved pews and wall panelling were installed, much of it by Captain Burmester, perhaps to designs by his wife Alicia, with carving on the main door and Tree of Life by Joan Dewe, a daughter of the Revd Dewe, rector between 1923 and 1935. A date of 1935 on the wall panelling near to the pulpit suggests that this work continued over a period of time.

The nave has distinctive half-height panelling with carved friezes with lettering in relief on a red-painted background, thought to be created by Captain Burmester to commemorate the community’s fallen soldiers.

Each fixed pew bears the carved name of each of the fallen, the location, date and age at their death. The main door carved by Joan Drewe has the three magi and carved jambs topped by figures of wise men and kings.

. Between the windows to War and Peace is a memorial listing the names of the fallen soldiers of the hamlet. This tiled memorial reads ‘These windows are dedicated to those who being dwellers in this hamlet or worshippers in this church gave their lives for their country in the cause of mercy, truth, righteousness and peace in the years 1914-1918.

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