Header Image for Hurstbourne Priors Parish Council

St Andrew's Church

St Andrew's Church (from B3048)

St Andrew’s is the Church of England Parish Church of Hurstbourne Priors and is in the Diocese of Winchester. It is one of the four churches in the benefice of Hurstbourne Priors, Longparish, St Mary Bourne and Woodcott. To listen to the Bells, click Bells

Enquiries about services, baptisms, weddings and funerals should be made to the Assistant Priest, in the first instance.

Church Officials
The Church in the Community
Proposal for the New Baptismal Font
Timeline for the Life of the New Font
Parochial Church Council
Annual PCC Meeting
Annual Report & Financial Statement for 2019


Church Officials
Parish Priest:

Assistant Priest:

Church Wardens:
Mr Martin Briant-Evans
Tel: 01264 738489
email: martin.briantevans@btinternet.com

Mrs F Williams
Tel: 01256 892081
email: fenella.williams@btopenworld.com

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 Services in September 2021:

As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, it is beginning to feel distinctly autumnal. To lift the spirits, we very much hope you will be joining us for the belated Midsummer Fundraising Dinner and Auction in aid of St Andrews on Saturday 11 September. If you cannot attend, we will be circulating the list of Auction prizes shortly. Do bid and you may win a wonderful prize with all proceeds going into the rather empty coffers of St Andrews.

Here are the details of the Church services and other events in September :

Sunday 5 September

11am Holy Communion in St Andrews with activities for the children.

11am Lockdown Style Zoom Service

Sunday 12 September

6pm Benefice Evensong in St Andrews.

11am Lockdown Style Zoom Service.

Sunday 19 September

11am Holy Communion in St Andrews with activities for the children.

11am Lockdown Style Zoom Service.

Sunday 26 September

11am Pets Service do bring your cat, dog, guinea pig or any other beloved pet for a blessing, hopefully outside, at the Pets Service.

Advance Notice: There will be a Piano Recital by Christopher Burrows on Saturday 9 October in St Andrews Church performing pieces by composers including Rachmaninov, Chopin and Beethoven. Tickets available from a.briantevans@gmail.com or barbara.carrdos@btinternet.com

Fenella Williams will circulate the link for Zoom the day before the service. If you ever fail to receive this, use a previous one, they are the same!

We wish to say a huge thank you to all those who so generously came forward with contributions towards the running of the church. It is greatly appreciated. If anyone else would like to make a one off donation please email Ann Orr at annjorr@btinternet.com and I can provide bank account details. If you were willing to set up a regular donation please email fenella.williams@btopenworld.com We also now have a card machine at services for anyone who prefers to donate in a cashless manner.

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New members are always welcome, whether you are a beginner or an experienced ringer.
To find out more, contact Martin Briant-Evans 01264 738489 or 07753 839219
email: martin.briantevans@btinternet.com

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The Church in the Community

Church Interior

Hurstbourne Priors Church

How does it serve the community?

The church in Hurstbourne Priors is:
  • An attractive building in a beautiful setting.
  • A place for baptisms, weddings and funerals.
  • A place of spiritual significance hallowed by many years of use.
  • A building where Christians go to worship God and for fellowship and teaching.
  • A place where services are held that continue the long Anglican tradition.
  • A place where the village community comes together particularly for the main Christian festivals.
  • A place where children can learn something about Christian values.
The church is all these things and others as well, but would you like it to do more or serve the wider community in different ways?

The Diocese of Winchester has particularly asked all its churches to look at how they serve the wider community. In Hurstbourne Priors we are regarded as being quite a close-knit community, for example because of the way so many people help to make the annual May Fair such a success. But a relatively small number of people come regularly to church services – although attendance at special events is good.

The Parochial Church Council would like to have your views on ways that the church could serve the community, both young and old, better. The Church Warden would therefore like you to send any comments you might have to Mr Martin Briant-Evans
email: martin.briantevans@btinternet.com

Alternatively if you feel that it would be helpful to have a village meeting at which ideas could be presented and discussed, please let Martin know

Thank you.
Martin Briant Evans – Church Warden

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Church in 1835

The ancient church of St Andrew the Apostle is probably the oldest existing church in the Diocese of Winchester. It was originally the 'manorial church' of the even more ancient manor of Hurstbourne Priors.

War MemorialThe charter of Denewulf, Saxon Bishop of Winchester, dated AD 820, refers to its consecration in that year and the present church is believed to stand on the remains of the original Saxon building.

The present church was built by the Normans in the 12th century and a north chapel added in the 16th century. In the 18th century, a south transept was built for the use of the Portsmouth family (the Portsmouth Aisle), with the nave being rebuilt and the old wooden balcony replaced by a tower in AD1870.  The chancel was also heavily restored but does retain some medieval details, including the chancel arch and the outline of the blocked priests door in the south wall.

Church NaveThe building consists of a West Tower, Nave, South Transept, North Chapel (now the vestry) and the Chancel. It has a light and airy appearance with perpendicular windows. Much of the later restoration was undertaken at the expense of the Portsmouth family who were lords of the manor until the estate was broken up in the 1950’s.

In the north wall of the chancel is a fine canopied tomb, a splendid example of 16th century craftsmanship, possibly by Dutch craftsmen employed by the famous firm of Janssen in Southwark.

Church Oxenbridge TombThe Oxenbridge Altar Tomb was built in AD 1574 and shows the recumbent figures of Sir Robert Oxenbridge, Lord of the Manor, with his wife by his side.   The inscription on the north side, dated 15th December 1574, stated the tomb contains the body of Sir Robert Oxenbridge, son of Goddard Oxenbridge, and that of his wife, the daughter of Thomas Fogge, Knight at Arms.

The Bell Tower originally contained six bells which, from their dates, were installed in different periods. The treble is dated 1667 but is believed to be a recast of an even earlier treble bell.

The Font is 12th century Norman work, constructed of Caen stone. The Oak Choir Stalls were made by Lord Portsmouth’s workmen in AD1907. The Lectern, in the form of an angel, was given in memory of the 6th Earl of Portsmouth in 1918.

The Organ was designed by Sir Hubert Parry, the famous composer, and was played by him at the opening ceremony in 1906. Harry Plunket Greene (author of the book on angling “Where Bright Waters Meet”) sang as a member of the choir on that occasion.

Church Choir at Organ Dedication 1906

Outside the Church stand two remarkable trees.  A yew which, a century ago, was judged to between 700 and 800 years old and a horse chestnut which is not less than 200 years old and acknowledged to be the second largest in England.
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Proposal for the New Baptismal Font
From the Proposal for a New Baptismal Font at St Andrew's Church, Hurstbourne Priors (19th December 2005) - taken from the Order of Service - 21 October 2008

The previous font was 12th century Norman work, constructed of Caen stone.

“St Andrew’s Church is situated in open surroundings of a particularly tranquil and spiritual nature in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. An avenue of mature lime trees leads to the churchyard gates.

On entering the church by the west door, the immediate impression of the interior is somewhat austere; the new font presents a rare opportunity to introduce a decorative and welcoming point at this end of the building.

After much thought I chose the text “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16) from the Sermon on the Mount, as I have always found it especially profound and arresting, and apposite as an inscription on a baptismal font. In my proposed design the text is arranged to form visually coherent groups of words, carved in relief and set amongst decorative foliage, most of which is found around the churchyard and has religious significance.

The circular form of the bowl and its decoration allude to the passage of time from daybreak to nightfall and through the seasons.

The foliage depicted begins, facing the west door, with the snowdrop (purity) and violet (humility); the gilded rays of the rising sun shine through lime leaves. In January and February a carpet of snowdrops is a feature of the churchyard and in spring, violets grow in the shade of the yew trees. Oak leaves and acorns convey strength and faith and the vine, with its clear Christian symbolism, also refers to summer and then the autumn’s rich harvest. Yew foliage and berries suggest the close of the year and are joined by a rising dove and a star.

The orientation of the font allows the words “Let your light so shine” with the gilded sun behind to be seen immediately on entering the church. The text continues around the bowl past the south window and “Glorify your Father which is in heaven” will be highly visible on leaving the church from the altar towards the west door.

A section of green Cumbrian slate, carved to represent a river with fish, will stand between the existing column and the new bowl, thus creating a distinct separation between the original and the new components of the font. The carved fish provide, amongst other symbolism, a clear reference to St Andrew, and the river to the Bourne Rivulet which runs on the east side of the churchyard.”

Marilyn Smith, Carver and Gilder

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Timeline for the Life of the New Font
28 Jun 2002 - Much concern about the aesthetic state and safety of the old Font which now has a crack on its lip. Font expert, Andrew Ball MSc, visited and reported that, while the old Font could be repaired by conservation techniques, this would initially cost over £1500 and even more when the three rusted iron cramps were removed and internal damage assessed. The report recommends that it would be better to put the money towards commissioning a new Font for the Church.

30 Sep 2003 - Marilyn Smith offers to carve the new Font bowl.

Sep-Dec - Preliminary drawings by Marilyn for the Font bowl around the text, Matthew 5.16.

26 Mar 2004 - Presentation by Marilyn of preliminary ideas for the new Font after the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.

Jan 2005 - Sample limestone panel carved to demonstrate the character of the proposed lettering and decoration.

2 Feb - Meeting with Michael Morris, representing the Diocesan Advisory Committee. Chilmark limestone proposed for the new bowl.

Sep-Nov - Marilyn carves scale model for presentations to PCC and DAC.

2 Dec - PCC resolves unanimously to proceed with the new bowl.

11 Jan 2006 - Presentation of the model and plans at DAC: Approval given, suggesting the bowl is a carved little larger than originally proposed.

Mar - Roundel of Cumbrian green slate for the ‘river’ layer ordered by Marilyn from Francis Buchanan, Wandsworth. Cost £726.

2006-7 - A variety of local Fund Raising events and gifts – Barn Dance, Jane Austen Lecture, Bridge Lunch, Champagne Tasting:– including on   8-9th July 2006, the ‘Harry Plunket Greene in Hurstbourne Priors’ Weekend; donations from Scottish Country Dancing, a number of very generous individuals, including the late Jean Baverstock and her family. Estimates for the cost are: £1875 for the bowl, £2130 for carriage and installation when finished, and removal of the old Font.

12 Apr 2007 - Delivery of the limestone, weighing about half a ton, cut and shaped by Wessex Dimensional Stone, from the Teffont Quarry, Chilmark, to Marilyn’s workshop in Hurstbourne Priors. Carving begins.

5 Jun - Faculty (legal) approval for the installation of the new Font.

Aug 2008 - Carving of the bowl and roundel completed, subject to finishing touches to be added in situ.

8-9 Sep - Installation of the new Font in St Andrew’s Church by Richard Deane Stonemasonry.

17 Sep - Burial with prayers of the old Font in Hurstbourne Priors Churchyard.

28 Sep - Gilding finished. Dedication of the Font at Evensong.

5 Oct - First Baptism in the Font – Rufus James Adeney.

21 Oct - Blessing of the Font by the Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt.

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Parochial Church Council
St Andrews ’s PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the Parish Priest in promoting, in the ecclesiastical Parish, the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, social and ecumenical. It also has maintenance responsibilities for the church and churchyard of St Andrew’s.

The method and appointment of PCC members is set out in the Church Representation Rules and all Church attendees are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and to stand for election to the PCC.

PCC members are:

Chairman TBA

Vice Chair

Mr Mark Williams


Mr Martin Briant-Evans

Mrs Fenella Williams

Elected members

Mr Edward Beasley  

Mr Charles Ekins

Mrs Julia Mattison

Mr Simon Mattison

Mrs Ann Orr (Secretary) 

Mr Mark Williams

Mrs Fenella Williams (Treasurer)

The Standing Committee is the only committee required by law and is composed of the Vicar, two Churchwardens, the Secretary and the Treasurer.

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Annual Report & Financial Statements
A copy of the Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2019 of the Parochial Church Council may be downloaded by clicking on the following link:
Annual Report & Financial Statement for 2019

Click to open the document in a new window.
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