St John the Baptist and St Lawrence, Parish Church of Weston-sub-Edge
The entrance to the church is through the Lych Gate, c.1920, which was designed by F L Griggs of Chipping Campden and is a memorial to the men of the village who died in both world wars.
In the churchyard there are two 17th century chest tombs and the oldest tombstone is Thomas Blackwell’s. He died in 1675. The stone coffin on the south wall may have been in the church at one time, and could have contained the bones of Robert Giffard who, in his will of 1446, wished to be buried in the church. Four coffin lids, situated below Canon Bourne’s memorial are thought to be over 700 years old.
A silver birch planted to commemorate King George VI’s coronation and a copper beech commemorating George V’s Jubilee can be seen. A second copper beech was planted on the north side of the church during the 7th centenary celebrations in 1984.
The 13th century church, with its 15th century tower, was much rebuilt during 1853-4. The architect was F Preedy, and Canon G D Bourne, Rector for 55 years (1846-1901), was responsible for the restoration. He removed the gallery, raised the roof, and paid for the stained glass windows in memory of his two wives. The beautiful stained glass is by Wailes and Preedy, 1854-1867.
In the tower there is a single bell, hung in July 1817 at a cost of £30.12s. The clock was installed in 1892.
The large stone altar was consecrated in 1315, and is just one large piece of stone measuring almost a yard wide and 11 feet long. Behind the altar is an arched stone reredos. The Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments were painted in 1849. In the chancel there are two carved stone figures under 14th century canopies. There is a fine Elizabethan brass memorial on the north wall to William Hodge who died in 1590. The hexagonal pulpit is late Jacobean and dates from about 1680. The choir stalls are Victorian.
A list of Rectors hangs on the north wall. Special note is made of Richard Giffard, appointed Rector in 1284, and Godfrey Giffard, Bishop of Worcester, who was responsible for the building of the church. The Giffards lived in the moated manor of Weston for 400 years until 1613.
ANNUAL CHURCH EVENTS
The Rector takes the first service at 6.00am on Dover’s Hill. All parishioners from the benefice are invited to attend.
The Flower Festival and Gift Weekend in the church.
The Church Flower, Produce and Photography Show and Fete take place in the Hall of Friendship and adjacent field. This is a most entertaining event for all the village.
Following the Harvest Festival service a Supper is held in the Village Hall.
There is a Christingle service in at least one of the churches of the benefice, carol services and the midnight service.
The Aston and Weston-sub-Edge Messenger is a monthly magazine for residents of the two parishes. It reports the social and official activities of the churches, clubs and organisations. It is also a source of local information for the many tourists that visit the area.