St Mary & St David, Kilpeck
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HISTORY & ARCHITECTURE
Kilpeck Church is a jewel, described as ‘one of the most perfect Norman village churches in England…’ [Pevsner]. In c.850 a charter records [in the Book of Llandaff] the gift of the Church with a surrounding estate to Bishop Crecielis; described as the cil, or retreat / cell, of Pedic in Ergyng, an area in the southern part of Herefordshire, it suggests an earlier dedication to an unknown Saint Pedic. The graveyard was originally rounded denoting an even older religious site. It was evidently an important and ancient site. The present building, in red sandstone, is a typical lay-out of nave, chancel and apse of c.1134-1145, though it may incorporate some Saxon masonry. The builder was Hugh de Kilpeck. The Church’s glory is the wealth of decoration, originally painted and is the prime surviving example of the Herefordshire School of Sculpture. Much of it seems to have been produced about the time the Church was given to the Benedictine Abbey of Gloucester in 1143; a priory of this Abbey was nearby. The sculptures on the south doorway, chancel arch and west window are magnificent. The eighty-five corbels, include a ‘sheela-na-gig’, probably a fertility symbol. The massive font, is Norman or earlier, the gallery c.17th century. The Church stands between the remains of Kilpeck Castle and the six acre deserted medieval village whose main road still serves as an access road to the Church. There is an informative and interesting Guidebook on sale in the Church. Copies of 'The Herefordshire School of Romanesque Sculpture' by Malcolm Thurlby, postcards and CDs are also on sale.
Guided tours are available by arrangement with the Churchwarden, telephone: 01981 570315.
FROM MARCH 2015 KILPECK'S SERVICE WILL BE ON THE 1ST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH AT 6.00PM (except 10am on Easter Sunday, 5th April) usually Evensong (1662). You are most welcome to join us.
7th June 2015 - 6pm SONGS OF PRAISE
We share services with St Devereux on the second Sunday (10am) and with St Peter's Wormbridge on the third Sunday (10am). On the fourth Sunday we worship elsewhere in the Ewyas Harold Group of Parishes. On a fifth Sunday there is a 10am Group Service - Palm Sunday 29.3.15 at Ewyas Harold (with 9.45am Procession with donkey, then a non-eucharistic family friendly service) and 4.15pm Holy Communion 1662 at the Cockyard Mission Hall in Abbeydore Parish; 31.5.15 at Dore Abbey (HC CW Trad); 30.8.15 at Llangua (HC CW); and 29.11.15 Advent Sunday 10am location tbd, with 6pm Churches Together Advent Service at St Michael's Ewyas Harold.
Harvest Festival - 11.10.15, 11am at St Devereux with lunch after in Kilpeck & District Hall.
Christmas 2015 - 20.12.15, 3pm Carol Service at St Devereux. Christmas Eve, 11.30pm HC at Wormbridge. 27.12.15, 10am Group HC location tbd.
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Herefordshire HR2 0EZ
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