We are a small church with a big heart - welcoming, busy, comfortable and warm!
For pictures of our church, people and activities please visit our Facebook page.
The church in the settlement of Ludford, which is just across the bridge from Ludlow, has existed since the 12th century. The evidence for this is the Norman window high in the tower, which was originally the west end of the church. By the early 13th century a leper house, dedicated to St. Giles, was founded adjacent to the church. This was later demolished and replaced in Tudor times by a house which is now part of the beautiful complex of buildings to the rear of the church, called Ludford House.
The Foxe and Charlton families, who lived in Ludford House were strongly connected with St. Giles' Church. The Foxe family commissioned the side chapel addition to the church during the 16th century. In this part of the church there are some very fine brasses, and a monument for Sir Job Charlton, who was a distinguished judge, member of parliament and Speaker of the House of Commons.
In 1869 the church was restored in various ways which were not entirely sympathetic, e.g. the plaster was removed from the interior and the masonry pointed in imitation of dressed stone. A welcome addition in the early 20th Century was the porch.
OUR CHURCH TODAY
A modest re-ordering at the end of the 20th century transformed St. Giles into a welcoming, comfortable and flexible space. Fully carpeted, and with an uncluttered interior, it has a peaceful atmosphere that is often remarked upon in the visitors' book. Our faithful congregation of around 30 regular worshippers is known for its warm welcome and sense of fellowship. After special services and festivals we gather in the Foxe chapel for refreshments, usually seasonal and often linked to the specific festival. Two or three times a year we have a bring-and-share meal in the church to celebrate special occasions.
The Foxe chapel includes a children's area, where books, toys, crayons, etc. keep young ones happy and occupied in comfort.
Accessibility and transport for those who are less able
The approach path, the entrance, and the inside of the church are all step-free, so fully accessible for those with limited mobility and wheelchair users. We have a loop for those who are hard-of-hearing, and large-print hymnbooks are available, as well as full-page magnifiers. Guide dogs and assistance dogs are welcome. For those who need help getting up the sloping path to the church for services we have a wheelchair and there are always willing pushers.
Some members of our congregation who do not have their own transport have set up a shared taxi scheme to get to and from St. Giles on Sundays. The cost is covered by a special fundraising programme. There is spare capacity if anyone wishes to join this scheme.
OUTSIDE OUR CHURCH
Our churchyard is oval in shape, which suggests great antiquity, and is well kept. It has a lovely view of the town of Ludlow with Titterstone Clee Hill as the backdrop, which visitors frequently sit on the bench and enjoy.
Next to the church is our lovely little Garden House, with a kitchen and toilets downstairs, and a meeting room on the first floor. (NB: there are two steps down to the house entrance, and the toilets are not yet fully equipped for disabled use.)
Ludford cemetery lies behind the church, at the end of Park Road. Its setting is idyllic; surrounded by farmland and within hearing of the River Teme. Alongside it is an eco-burial ground, the Meadow of Remembrance; in summer this is bright with wild flowers and butterflies, and humming with bees.
Sunday morning services are held at 11.15am, and the monthly programme of services is:
1st Sunday Family Service - informal services, usually lay-led, and especially family-friendly
2nd Sunday Holy Communion (Common Worship)
3rd Sunday Morning Prayer (lay-led and usually loosely based on the Book of Common Prayer)
4th Sunday Holy Communion (Common Worship)
When there is a 5th Sunday in the month our benefice has a joint service at one of the six churches. There may also be an evening service at St. Giles; please check our Services & Events page.
On the first Thursday of each month we have a 9.00am said service of holy communion, which is much appreciated by those who may not be able to attend regularly on Sundays.
In Lent and Advent there are usually short contemplative services on one evening a week; again, please see the Services & Events page.
St Giles' patronal festival is on the nearest Sunday to 1st September. In addition we celebrate traditional church festivals, particularly those with special relevance to the rural community. These include:
Plough Sunday - on the Sunday after Epiphany
Candlemas - on the Sunday nearest to 2nd February
Rogation - on a Sunday between Easter and Pentecost
Lammas - on the Sunday nearest to 1st August
Harvest Festival - first Sunday in October
All Souls - on the Sunday nearest to 2nd November
From time to time we have services with special themes or purposes. These have included a Celtic-style service, Eucharist in the Lutheran tradition, and a Disability service; we hope to hold a Carers' service this year.
St. Giles' enthusiastic flower arrangers are modest about the reputation they have earned for lovely decorations in the church for special services. They accept commissions for flowers for weddings, funerals and baptisms. To enquire about this, please make contact via our Facebook page.
Holy Knitting Group
This group makes knitted and crocheted prayer shawls for babies being baptised, tiny teddy bears for their siblings, poppies for Remembrancetide, prayer scarves for adults who are in need of support, and many other things for good causes. The afternoon meetings are held once a month at The Rectory, Ashford Carbonell.
The Ashfords Benefice's monthly prayer group meets at 9.00am on the last Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held for three months at each of the six churches, so if you wish to attend, please use the 'Get in Touch' page to find out where the next meeting will be.
In 2016 St. Giles, which has always had a "village church" feel about it, joined the Ashfords Group, consisting of village churches to the east and south of Ludlow. On 1st June 2017 this arrangement was formalised when the new Ashfords Benefice was created. Our congregation is enjoying working with worshippers and forging new friendships at our sister churches at Ashford Bowdler, Ashford Carbonel, Caynham, Knowbury and Richards Castle, and we are looking forward to many shared events in the future.
Our congregation take an interest in the varied and interesting programme of events organised by CTAL, including inter-church services for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, a 'Living Nativity' in the town square at Christmas, and the 'Walk of Witness' through Ludlow on Good Friday.
We are one of 42 churches in the deanery under our Rural Dean, Prebendary Ashley Buck, who is based at Cleobury Mortimer.
This ecumenical mutual support group of Shropshire churches helps us to do the best we can for visitors to St. Giles.Hereford-Nuremburg Link
As part of the long-standing link between the dioceses of Hereford and Nuremburg, we were very fortunate to have as our minister from 2013 to 2017 Pastor Brigitte Malik, who was seconded to us from the Lutheran Church in Nuremburg as part of a clergy exchange arrangement. Pastor Malik has now returned to Germany where she has a church at Neustadt Aisch, and we are delighted that plans are being laid for the twinning of their Deanery with Ludlow Deanery.
St. Giles hosts a collection point for the local food bank, which is co-ordinated by Ludlow Baptist Church. Donations of tinned/packet foodstuffs can be left in the green box in the church porch at any time.
In 2018 St. Giles was honoured to be invited to host one of the WW1 warrior silhouettes which were placed around our community to commemorate the Centenary of the Armistice. Our warrior stands near the porch, and we are taking great care of him.
All of our electricity comes from 100% green sources, via supplier Ecotricity.
Alongside Ludford Cemetery, which lies behind our church, is the Meadow of Remembrance. This is maintained as a wildflower meadow where insects, birds and small mammals are nurtured.Saving trees
We are saving a lot of paper and printing ink by circulating our newsletters and notices electronically to the congregation, as nearly all of them have an e-mail address. If you would like to join the circulation list please provide an e-mail address (which we will not use for any other purpose).