About Us

The present building is made from blue lias and hamstone and dates from the 14th century, although restorations and alterations have taken place. It is built in the perpendicular style.  At the time of the dissolution, Drayton was held, with Thorney & Midelney Manor, by the Abbot of Muchelney.

The two windows in the Lady Chapel depict Our Lady with scenes of local arts & crafts and were designed by Martin Travers, who also designed the rood figures and candelabra. In the north aisle, facing west is a window, said to be original from about 1350. The rest of the stained glass is mostly Victorian. As well as scenes depicting Christ in Glory, the Nativity, the Last Supper and Christ, the Light of the World, there are emblems of St Catherine (wheel) and St Peter & St Paul (cross keys and sword of the Abbey), and the diocesan badge of St Andrew.

The panelled chancel arch, with canopied niches is 15th century. The pulpit is open with vigorous carvings of the wild beasts of the Evangelists. The pulpit, lectern and tower screen are made from oak taken from the tower. The carpenter was from the local village of Norton sub Hamdon.  A number of the furnishings in the church were the gift of the Trevillion family who still live in Midelney Manor.

The tower contains eight bells and has been said to be ‘the sweetest peal in Somerset’. The bells are regularly rung for Sunday services and weddings. The ringers can be seen from the inside of the church where a ringing chamber is a glass fronted tower balcony.

Outside the church is a 15th century ancient cross, and two giant yews, which are mentioned in the Doomsday book, were grown to provide bows for soldiers. They are said to be among the oldest in the diocese.

The church is dedicated to St Catherine, who is said to be patroness of Philosophers and Preachers. She was tortured by being splayed on a wheel and finally beheaded. The firework ‘Catherine Wheels’ are named after her. At certain times of year, the altar frontal depicts a spoked wheel, her symbol.