The West End

The thickness of the west walls of the aisles, and their lancet windows, may mean that they survive from an earlier church. The glass in the lancet windows depicts Zacharias and Elizabeth – the parents of John the Baptist. They were made at James Powell’s Whitefriars Studios in 1927 (look for the little white friar in the corner of the north window). The fine proportions of this splendid two-centres arch, with its concave mouldings and central shafting set in a wall three feet thick, are somewhat obscured today by the glazed partition and the oak screen below.

The stained glass of the tree-light perpendicular style window of the tower dates from 1880. It shows Faith (holding a cross), Charity (the Virgin and child) and Hope (holding an anchor). A new ringing platform was constructed in 1979 at the sill level of the west window and this enables the west doorway to be used while ringing is in progress. To gain access to the ringing platform a doorway had to be cut in the newel staircase. The bells date back to at least 1553. Today there is a ring of eight bells. In 1662 there were five bells plus the Sanctus bell – the number was increased to eight in 1771 with the following inscriptions:

On all the bells: Pack and Chapman of London Fecit 1771. In addition on the treble bell: Although I am both light and small I will be heard above you all. On the tenor bell: At proper times our voices we will raise in sounding to our benefactor’s praise. On the tenor bell: The Rev Walter Williams, Curate; Jeffs Inwood and John Ewer Churchwardens. The tenor bell, which was cracked, was recast in 1926 when the present steel bell-frame was fitted. The inscription is Cast 1771, P & C Ldn; Recast 1926 M & S Ldn. CEA Rowland, MA Vicar; John S Hogg, JP, A Townshend Churchwardens. It weighs 18cwts 1qr 18lbs and is in the key of E flat.

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