FACT Mission Statement

We are :
From various churches
Assisting and serving our communities
Christians working together
To make a difference

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

St Philip and St James' Anglican Church, Norton St Philip

It shouldn't be a surprise that Norton St Philip's parish church is dedicated to St Philip the Apostle, nor should it surprise us that it is a joint dedication with St James, as these two are so often associated with each other. It is 13th Century in origin and was altered in the 19th Century by guess who ... yes Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Another very nice tower dominates the church, and it contains a ring of bells, which were complimented by Samuel Pepys when he visited the village. Under the tower is a small chamber with stone heads of a King, a bishop, a lady and a monk, possibly representing the different states of life in the Church. Also in this chamber are the "two fair maids heads of Foscott" who were it seems co-joined twins.

The oldest part of the church is what is now the south porch, south aisle and the south-east chapel which was the original sanctuary. The North aisle is the major piece of nineteenth century work in the church, and in some of the window traceries can be found some 14th century glass. There is also an oak churchwarden's chest of some note.

Perhaps of most note is the work which has gone on in the church in the early part of this century. A modern set of stairs leads to "The Hub", a meeting and event room on an upper level which is part of the church's attempts to make their building the centre of village life once more. There is also a kitchen under the stairs ( and a modern vestry space ) which is easily concealed when worship is taking place. These improvements won the Country Life village church for village life award in 2008, the judges included Sir Roy Strong.

Address : St Philip and St James' Church, Norton St Philip, BA2 7LT

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