The font, made of stone from Normandy, was installed in 1390. One of our Victorian Rectors moved it out in favour of a new Italian marble font, and it was later taken to a church in Bucks. However, in 1949, it was restored and the interloper itself given away. A ‘green man’ can be seen carved on the font, an ancient symbol of our unity with the natural world, with leaves instead of hair.
Under the Tower
At the back of the church is an alabaster carving of Elizabeth Robinson and her baby. Her death in childbirth during the Civil War, when she was only 15, united the families of her husband and her father: one a Roundhead, the other a Cavalier.
Our peal boards, located here, show that Harry Turner MBE, a former Verger, rang a peal in 1922 and was still ringing 60 years later, 50 of them as Master of the Tower.
The staircase leads to the ringing chamber and the bells, the earliest dating from 1626. In 1911 five of them were recast and a sixth added. The lists of Rectors since 1249 and Churchwardens since 1737 are also displayed nearby.
The massive oak timbers that form the tower are 500 years old, while the oak pews date from the 18th century.
A noted Victorian stained-glass artist, Kempe, designed the window to the left of the organ. It depicts Anna and Simeon. Kempe’s motif, a wheatsheaf, can be seen just by Simeon’s robe. A window by the pulpit shows Samuel Harsnett, a 17th century Rector, later to be Archbishop of York.
The Chancel and Sanctuary
The cushions and kneelers in the chancel and the nave were made by members of our church, as was the Mothers’ Union banner which was designed and made by a member of the congregation in 1979.
Behind the altar is a 19th century reredos by Frans Vermeylen, carved from three pieces of solid oak almost a foot thick. The centre panel shows Jesus surrounded by people of all nations, while the side panels symbolise the bread and wine which Christ commanded us to eat and drink in remembrance of him.
Behind the reredos is the east window, of Victorian stained-glass. It shows the visit of the wise men and the shepherds to the holy family.
The North Aisle
The organ console was moved to its present position in 1964, when the former organ was rebuilt. In 2001 it was decided that a new organ was needed and, after a stirring campaign, the present instrument, made by Principal Pipe Organs of York and paid for by parishioners, was installed in 2003. Behind the handsome screen are 1832 pipes. An inaugural concert was given by the organist of St Paul’s Cathedral.
On the wall of the north aisle are the royal arms of Charles II. They were placed here, after the King’s restoration to the throne in 1660, by the then Rector, following his own re-instatement.
On the wall are three hatchments. In the 18th century, after a person of ‘quality’ died, the family coat of arms could be hung over the doorway of the house for a month, and then placed in the parish church in perpetuity. The mottos are: Death the Gate of Life, In heaven Rest and By Faith and Virtue.
In 1984 the old vestry was enlarged and named after Harry Turner, and a new clergy vestry, named after a benefactress, Edith Tritton, was built. Both schemes were designed by a member of the congregation.
The Display Area
You will find information about some of our activities in the display area at the back, together with copies of the church guide written to celebrate our 750th anniversary, leaflets giving details of Our Services, Our Activities and The Charities that we support.