Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Wanstrow
Wanstrow lies on the A359 5 miles from Frome and the church is in Church Street, at BA4 4SU
The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Wanstrow is a Grade II* listed building which stands at the head of the ancient village street, Church Street, near the Manor House.
The church hosts a variety of formal and informal worship services, weddings and funerals, throughout the year. Sunday services usually take place on the first Sunday of each month at 9.30 in the morning. During the summer, teas are available on alternate Saturday afternoons. All are welcome to come and enjoy the peaceful and reflective atmosphere. Should you wish to enter the church for private prayer, then the churchwarden will be happy to open the church for you.
Members of the church and community are involved in all aspects of the life of the church including leading music, prayers and children’s groups during services, serving teas, cleaning and decorating the church, “Messy Church” and caring for the churchyard. The local bellringers are active in taking advantage of the 6 bells installed in the bell tower for practice, church services and other events.
Wanstrow church has recently signed up to the Eco-Church scheme and we are working towards our Bronze award. We are working to be more active in caring for the environment, both in the buildings and land that we look after, and in our communal church life. The churchyard is a tranquil spot to sit and enjoy the wildlife and pastoral views. There is a range of memorial types including Grade II listed chest tombs within the churchyard.
The Church of St Mary, Wanstrow
The first official record of a church is in 1189 when Roger, the Chaplain of Wandestrew, witnessed a land grant. in 1404 the priest John Wryngton, asked in his will to be buried before the altar of St. Katherine in the north transept, and bequeathed to the church a gold and blue cloth for a vestment and a surplice. The church was probably rebuilt in the 13th century and there have been many alterations since then. The present floor plan is much as it would have been in medieval times.
In 1810, the low, square tower with a pitched roof was taken down, rebuilt and raised. Drastic action was needed in 1874 when a builder called in to do a much-needed repair of the church fell through the chancel roof. The rector noted that “a feeling of insecurity is widely prevalent among Parishioners which is likely to affect seriously their attendance at Divine worship”. When funds were raised, the church was restored and made safe. A gallery on the west wall was dismantled, the harmonium and font moved, and the west wall rebuilt. A new vestry was added, and new windows put in. In the nave box pews and floor tiles were replaced and a wooden barrel roof installed.
A church clock was placed in the tower in memory of Elizabeth Clarke in 1908. The old “mass dial” near the south door: a sundial with the times for mass scratched round a circle, can now be found in the east wall. It does face away from the sun and is upside down.
Phone: 01373 837337
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