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Weare



St. Gregory's Church, Weare

 To find the Church use the postcode BS26 2LE for Sat Nav or Grid reference 415 527

The church is dedicated to St Gregory the Great (540-604) , who was Bishop of Rome from 590.  The story is that he was in the market place in Rome when he saw some young blond children for sale as slaves.   He asked who they were and on being told they were Angles his reply was "Not Angles but Angels", and arranged for St Augustine to come to Britain (where the Angles came from) to bring the Gospel to this country
 

The church was built c1480 but there were previous buildings on the site. Longish chancels were the fashion then, and you can see the staircase that led to a presumably massive rood screen,  bearing a huge crucifix probably with the figures of Mary and St John. These were done away with at the Reformation when the stone altar was replaced by wooden Communion table.

 

The building was restored in 1846—8 (roof, extra aisle added, vestry) and again in 1901 (Chancel arrangements, much stonework and window glass.  There are three tiny pieces of early glass (1480—1500) in the side aisle).

 

The Communion Table, introduced late last century, is a Jacobean chest which once had what were described as garish pictures on the panels which have now vanished.  . There is a small brass in memory of John Bedbere, a merchant. The chancel paving, rails, and  carved stalls representing the life of Gregory the Great were given in 1901 by the Luttrell family, who then lived in Badgworth Court. There is no evidence that the choir ever moved there from their accustomed seating at the back of the church!  The choir stalls and lectern were made by the Pinwall sisters who ran a small carving studio in Devon

 

The font is Norman, about 1150, older than our present building. The pulpit is good Jacobean, dated 1617, and by it is the iron frame for an hour-glass for regulating sermons. The date on the latch of the entrance-door is 1755; the hat peg in the porch is dated 1690.   In 1868 Henry Barker, the Vicar, gave a 4-stop organ “in place of the barrel—organ”, and the present organ is dated 1885. Instrumentalists often help us in worship nowadays.

 

The churchyard cross (1350?) had a top added between the two wars.  Outside there are the marks of two sundials on the SW corner’ of the tower, and for the hours of Mass by the chancel door. Just to the left of the church porch is aI small headstone, half sunk in the ground, which says, “Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth, ye daughter of Robert Deane, who died May ye 9th, 1690. Christus mihi vita; Mors mihi. lucrum”.(”To me, to live is Christ, to die is gain”). We and our inscriptions crumble to dust; Life lived with Christ does not come to an end.





Weare Church of England First School Academy

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