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The Parish Church of St Peter’s, Farndon
There cannot be very many residents of Farndon who haven’t at one time or another been inside, or at least in contact with, St. Peter’s Church. An ancient building, it stands proudly as the oldest structure in the village.
Its close association with St. Peter’s Church School means that over many years children have visited it for regular school services. Walkers strolling through the village have passed its tower. Many people have attended the various social occasions such as concerts, fairs, Christmas tree festivals, Easter egg hunts, and exhibitions that have been held inside its walls, and they will be aware of its comforting welcome with its central heating and upholstered chairs. Its dignified interior reflects a past record of Farndon’s history through the centuries in the shape of its varied architecture, beautiful stained glass windows, wall-mounted tablets and war memorial.
But of course its prime purpose through the centuries has been to act as a consecrated place for acts of worship celebrating the passing seasons, and to provide a calm and dignified place for those significant occasions in peoples’ lives such as baptisms, marriages and funerals when we all need to get in touch with our spiritual side.
With all this in mind the emphasis is on the fact that St. Peter’s is the church of this parish of Farndon, and, sadly, the only surviving place of worship in the village. As such, it is open to all and it offers to everyone a warm welcome. To this end we have introduced a less formal morning service called ‘Worship for All’ which takes place on the second Sunday of each month at 11.00 am and a more ‘user-friendly’ form of Holy Communion on the fourth Sunday also at 11.00 am. WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU THERE! ANY TIME!
The Parish Church of St Laurence, Thorpe
A small rural church heavily renovated in 1873-7 but with its original 13th century tower intact. Of interest are a stone font, probably Norman, but made up of fragments of uncertain date, and an effigy of Lady Margaret de Thorpe whose husband, Sir William, fought at Crecy in 1346 and was the first English Governor of Calais.
The east window depicts St Lawrence and is in memory of the Revd Andrew Ping, a former rector. The chancel window is in memory of John Wood, son of a former rector who was killed in the South African war. There is also a bronze plaque from his colleagues at Smith’s Bank (now NatWest), Newark, thought to be one of only two memorials in the country to a serviceman of rank lower than an officer.
The Parish Church of All Saints, Hawton
All Saints has eight pinnacles, which can be seen from some distance across the fields. The oldest part of the church, the north arcade, is 13th century, the south arcade is early 14th century whilst the clerestory and the tower ewere built in 1482 at the expense of Sir Thomas Molyneux. The church was restored by Charles Hodgson Fowler in the 1880s.
The existence of a comparatively large church containing high quality carvings in such a small village is something of a mystery. Some authorities have surmised that the masons who buit the chancel with its magnificent Easter Sepulchre, sedilia, and great east window may also have worked on Southwell Minster and that the plan fro Hawton was for it to become a collegiate foundation.
Pevsner described the chancel as “one of the most exciting pieces of architecture in the country”. The name Hawton (Holtone or Houtune) means a settlement in a hollow, or alternatively a dwelling in a wood.
The Parish Church of St Michael’s, Cotham
Surrounded by picturesque countryside, you reach medieval St Michael’s by walking along a country lane, over a stile and across a field.
It has a wonderful mix of windows in different Gothic styles. The tower and the west part of the nave were pulled down in the latter part of the 18th century, and the church has lost its side aisles and probably once had a longer chancel, leaving the basic layout we see today.
Careful investigation reveals two 14th century monuments partially hidden in in the south wall. The two uppermost corbel stones on the west wall of the nave suggest the position of a gallery, long since vanished. Below these are three carved medieval corbel stone “faces” rescued from the earlier building. St Michael’s church is now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.