St Andrew's Church
Main Sunday service 11 am.
Services are mostly traditional from "The Book of Common Prayer" although on one Sunday each month there is a modern language service from Order 1 and there is a regular CW Service of the Word.
The church has a ring of six good bells and a keen team of bellringers. Bellringing practices are on Tuesdays at 7.30pm.
St Andrew's Church, South Stoke, was built in the early 1200s although it is believed there may have been an earlier church. It is one of the most beautiful churches in the district with a large and well-kept churchyard. The Parish of South Stoke cum Woodcote is believed to have been founded in Anglo-Saxon times, possibly by St. Birinus. In 1984 South Stoke became a separate parish in The United Benefice of Goring with South Stoke.
The church is built of local flint rubble with stone dressings and comprises a nave, north and south aisles, south porch, vestry and a western tower. It occupies a prominent position in the village, which has about 450 residents. The two lancet windows in the north wall and south aisle are from the earliest period. Since the church's foundation there have been many alterations and restorations. The east window was installed in 1875 and depicts the patron saint, St. Andrew, standing to the right of Our Lord with his brother, St. Peter, standing to the left.
The church contains some interesting memorials. On the north wall of the chancel there is a fine 17th century memorial in Latin for Dr. Griffiths Higgs, formerly Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia and Dean of Lichfield. He founded a charity which continues today. More details of the Griffith Higgs memorial can be found here. The war memorial was erected in 1920 and the clock was also installed in that year. The lych-gate was built in 1937. Both the clock and lych-gate are in memory of previous incumbents of the parish. Floodlighting was installed in 1999 in order to herald the new millennium.
Up to the mid-20th century South Stoke was an agricultural village. In 1366 there were 32 tenant landholders. In Victorian times there were 11 farms. Today, while the village retains its agricultural connections, it is largely a dormitory village for people working in the surrounding districts and London, and for the retired.
Priest in Charge
The Rev Mark Blamey
The Rev Liz Dowding
Mrs Cristobel Hargraves
Lady Sally Horton
A Quarter Peal (Approx 45-50 mins and 1,260 changes!) was rung at St. Andrews Church on Sunday, November 7th 2004 at 3.00 pm to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the National Lottery. This was rung with the endorsement of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers who negotiated with the National Lottery for grants to refurbish bell towers across the country (including our own) to ring in the Millennium and to revitalise the tradition at the heart of church and village life.
Anyone interested in bell ringing at St. Andrews, South Stoke, is very welcome at any time, whether inexperienced, experienced or visiting.
Tuesday: 7.15 pm to 8.30 pm
Sunday: 10.30 am to 11.00 am
Contact: Robert Small Tel: (01491) 873897