STOKE ST GREGORY CHURCH
by Sue Froud
The information on this page is taken from a leaflet I obtained a while ago from the church and from the parish registers themselves, also from a wonderful book written and published by Eric Hembrow. I have added some photographs I took while visiting the village just before Easter 2004, and was privileged to be shown around the church by Sue Hembrow, daughter of the late Eric Hembrow.
A church has stood on this site since Saxon times. The church is dedicated to St. Gregory, his statue is over the south door in the porch which is 15th century. The Patronal Festival of Gregory the Great is 3rd September.
The parish registers date back to 1561 and continue until present day. The registers were stolen and the early entries were re-copied out in the year 1600 by the vicar of the time Thomas Cutler exactly as they had been, not in the way he would have done them if he had had the chance to do it his way. Which is fortunate for us, because they were in English and not Latin, and the years were written 1st January - 31st December. Later they revert back to 25th March - 24th March the following year, to keep with the Church accounting year. The account of this can be viewed on the miscellaneous parish records page.
The church Stocks under the ancient Yew tree opposite the South porch. "They were used by the churchwardens as punishment for offenders at church services."
"The Bells form a ring of five, The largest, the tenor, weighs 19 cwts. Their inscriptions are:- 1. First I call to wake you all. 1628 2. God save the Church. 1714 3. John Barrington and W. Tuttiett churchwardens. 1818 4. Messrs. Hembrow and Barrington, churchwardens. 1828 5. John House and John Miller, churchwardens. 1823"
INSIDE THE CHURCH
The Pulpit is Jacobean with carvings of figures on it's five sides, representing "Time, Faith, Hope and Charity, with their corresponding symbols in the lower panels:- Hour Glass, spear, Anchor, and Dove". The fifth figure it is believed to "refer to a story from the Jewish Talmud where the Archangel receives the soul of Adam, the lower panel seems to depict the fatal apple, and what may be some tool signifying labour".
The Pews the pew ends are carved and survive from Elizabethian times.
The Font (no picture, sorry) is made of Ham Stone, it is octagonal in shape and dates from the late Decorated period 1325 - 1377.
Stained Glass windows. No church is complete without it's stained glass window.
E. Pierce, vicar in 1719 wrote in the registers "The scription in a window of our Parish Church of Gregory Stoke is this...Will Conqueror occisso Harold Regno potitus, istam ecclesiam in suis possessionibus". The inscription no longer remains.
back to Stoke St Gregory page
Memorial lists of those who served in WW1 click here