Saturday 25 July 2020

St Faith Shellingford

I had planned to visit this church last year but I did not have time so it remained as one which I would do at a later date. Then the Virus struck and my plans went out the window like most other peoples. Now things have eased off I felt I could go out and visit some churches. St Faith was the first one I thought about. I did not expect to see inside but was hopeful and was rewarded when I found the door was unlocked.
"The Church of England parish church of Saint Faith has a late 12th century Norman nave and chancel. The church still has its Norman chancel arch, south door, priest's door and part of the north door. The west tower is an Early English Gothic addition from the early part of the 13th century. In the 14th century the chancel was rebuilt with Decorated Gothic windows and a Decorated window was inserted in the south wall of the nave. In about 1400 a chapel was added to the north side of the chancel, but it does not survive. The tower arch was rebuilt in the 15th century. Early in the 16th century two four-light Perpendicular Gothic windows were inserted in the south wall of the nave and another Perpendicular window was inserted in the north wall of the chancel.
The spire and south porch were added in 1625 and three windows in the north wall of the nave were probably added at the same time. The spire was destroyed by lightning in 1848 and rebuilt in 1852. The church contains a number of monuments, including one to William, 2nd Viscount Ashbrook (1767–1802) by John Flaxman. St Faith's is a Grade I listed building.
The tower seems to have had a ring of four bells by the early part of the 20th century. The tenor bore the date 1586 but the founder was unidentified. Edward Neale of Burford cast the treble in 1653. Another bell bore no date but may have been cast in about 1599. Henry III Bagley, who had foundries at Chacombe and Witney, cast the final bell of the four in 1738. There is also a Sanctus bell that was cast in 1663. In the 20th century the ring was increased to six, but of the original bells only the Bagley and undated bells survive. Mears & Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the current tenor in 1920. In 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the present treble and another bell. There is also another bell from the Whitechapel foundry, cast by Thomas II Mears in 1841.
St Faith's is now part of the Benefice of Uffington, Shellingford, Woolstone and Baulking."
This was the fist church I  managed to look around during the crisis and I did not lay hands on anything even when I climbed in the pulpit I was very careful not to touch

First thing I noticed was a local person cutting the grass
The Tower with spire

The north side of the church with small rectory off to one side

The East end  and another view looking West along the South side

The church shows it's heritage with a Norman doorway and tracery windows

The porch with doors shut

I had been told by the local cutting the grass that the church was open and going in the porch you are greeted by another Norman

Inside looking down the nave, the memorials are very impressive and stand out

The Chancel and the Altar with chancel window

The Chancel window

Turning around looking back through the nave to the Organ at the back
A closer view with the font

In front of the font on a table hand sanitizer and wipes a reminder that the virus has no boundaries 
The organ looks new and I dare say is 20th century

If you go behind the organ you find yourself in the organ loft and there you can see this beautiful stained glass window

The Nave has some nice stained glass windows

I found the subtle and not like many others you see in churches

This beautiful one is in the chancel

This memorial on the North wall of the nave is very detailed with a Latin inscription beneath

Above the Roll of Honour of the men from Shellingford who died in the 1914- 1918 war.

Left memorial to Edward Wallace Goodlake

Top right two memorials to members of the Mann family.

Top right and on the left the memorial by the chancel arch
It is another with some very intricate detail on the top

In the chancel you find more memorials one of which really stands out

The main part at the top is beautifully carved with panels in Latin underneath the dedication to Mary Pcker

Who's husband written in English the lay together in a grave nearby
A vase of flowers stands on another tomb the brass that was on it long gone

 Left a memorial which is on the chancel ach in the chancel. Left the bust of Mary Packer

Above one of the cherubs on the Packer memorial 

The Box pews in the back of the church

and the ones looking along the nave, they all look relatively recent 

The high back chair took my eye with the kneeler on it
The nave has more tombs along it the outline of a long lost brass still there

Above a wine glass pew with steps to it
From which the whole of the nave can be seen the pews standing out with the embroidered kneelers on

Outside I wandered around the churchyard which I have to admit was one of the best kept I have see but then the local looked like he took pride in what he did

The North side which is usually left to grow wild beautifully cut

A lone tomb chest .

Towards the west end of the churchyard some of the more recent burials

The only wild are hear at the East end

The South side of the church looking West.  At the east end you will find this lone grave which is small the owner being forgotten years ago

Above the Commonwealth War Grave of Private A Goddard

A tomb chest with broken panel

Above looking East to the huge cedar tree

On the way out you pass this paved area that may be a family plot
A last look at St Faith with it's manicured churchyard.
A word of thanks to the gentleman who was cutting the grass and took time to talk to me telling me about the village he has lived in all his life. I hope it stays the way it is unchanged.
Till Next time I wish you all a safe weekend