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Welcome to St Swithin's, Thorley, Isle of Wight!
St Swithin's is a delightful, well managed church that serves the village of Thorley and surrounding communities. It was built in 1871 to provide a place of worship nearer to the village than the old church which stood close to Thorley Manor. Funding was through public subscription, the land being donated by the family of William Henry Holmes A'Court. On 9th December, 1871, the new church was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester.
Several items were incorporated from the old church, namely the Font which is thought to date back to the 14th century, and a Jacobean alter table, currently kept in the Vestry. In addition, the wall of the churchyard is built in part from stone taken from the old church. The organ was installed by Forsters and Andrews of Hull. It has the original tracker action but is pumped electrically now and sounds as sweet as the day it was commissioned.
Of immense historic significance are the two bells that hang in the open bell tower. These were cast somewhere between 1260 and 1285 and were moved from the old Thorley church to St Swithin's in 1871. There is firm belief that the bells originally belonged to Shalfleet, this notion coming from the old rhyming couplet, 'Shalfleet poor and simple people, sold their bells to build a steeple'.
Services are held at St Swithin's on every Sunday throughout the year. The church is lovingly maintained by a team of people that includes the regular worshippers and Friends of St Swithin's. In January of 2013, work started to completely renovate the Vestry and incorporate a Kitchenette, and most importantly to install a much needed toilet facility with a fully disabled capability. The new facilities were formally opened in November 2013 and have greatly enhanced the usability of the church, and opened up new opportunities for religious and social events in this lovely Victorian building. Significantly, the worshipper numbers are slowly but surely increasing now that all of the essential facilities are in place.
Please visit our website and learn all about this fascinating place of worship: www.stswithin.co.uk
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