Church Archives

The village records related to St Marys Church have been collected by the village history group and digitised so that everyone can have access to them. They include photos, Orders of Service and meeting records.

To access the records click here

The records are being continually updated, so if you have anything to contribute please email [email protected]


An example of what we have is the records of one of the rectors from the late 19th/early 20th century. This selection refers to the time during the fist world war when he lost his son and, as a result, installed the magnificent altar window in his memory

9. 8.1914: WAR broke out between Russia, France and England on the one part, and Germany and Austria on the other on Aug. 8 1914. Special intercessory Services used this day on behalf of all engaged in the War. No D...'s at a.m. or p.m. as they had motored into Bury. Will their Motor Car be commandeered for Army use purposes!

11.10. 1914 : I offered up Eucharist with 'special intention' for all engaged in the War, and requested all to stay, although they might not be communicants. This all did - the children as well.
25.10 1914 : A long drought came to an end this week, copious rains falling on several days - it was of more lengthy duration than that which occurred in 1911.
29. 11.1914 : On Monday, November 23. A telegram from War Office announcing the death of my 2nd son. Rex C.P. killed in action Nov. 19 1914, "R.I.P." Held a Memorial Service for the poor old fellow at 3 p.m. on the afternoon of the 29th. Church more than full. Service conducted by Rev. B. Fleming. May, who feels the blow-terribly, still in bed with neuritis, but slightly better today.

3.1.1915: The year 1914 was a most distressing one to us, from many points of view. About March, May became ill and in July it developed into neuritis. Confined to her bed for many months, under the doctor's hands. She has become somewhat better now. The European war which broke out in August was the cause of our losing Rex, who was killed in action. Thus I may say the year 1914 has proved the worst I ever experienced. May the New Year be of a different stamp! This Sunday has been set apart as a Day of Intercession in all Churches that we, as a Nation, may humble ourselves before God and petition Him to give us victory over our enemies. Special 'Forms' have been provided.

Palm Sunday: May had to reprove B... for giggling behaviour this p.m. H..'. was probably the cause of the bad behaviour

Ascension Day: It being wet in the morning, I did not take the schoolchildren to Church. Mrs. MacKean is indisposed with influenza. A Miss Coward from Haverhill takes charge of school.

13.6.1915: Several lads, soldiers also present at a.m.
18. 7. 1915 : 6.30 p.m. Church Parade of V.T. Corps of Newmarket, Saxon Street and Thurlow. Collection amounting to £3/14/6 given to Red Cross Society. I addressed mer ??? and numerous other civilians in meadow opposite "Fox"
22.8.1915 : Boy scouts at a.m.* ditto some soldiers working in harvest here.
28.11. 1915: About 40 children ill with measles.
12.12. 1915 R... was fined £3 at Newark for not having lamps on his haulage engine!
26.12 1915: Leslie [Burnard Wilder's son] in winding up Motor, got struck by handle and broke his arm.

19.2.1916: Mr. Felton, who had an accident - by being kicked By a horse - did not light Church fire.
7. 5.1916: The V.T.C. of Thurlow, 29 strong, attended Evensong under Sergeant Campling of Gt. Wratting. Full Church.
21. 5. 1916: On Saturday night all clocks advanced 1 1/2 hours.
3. 8.1916: 6 soldiers and 6 boy scouts at a.m. One soldier communicated. These soldiers and scouts are here for the harvest. Very vet week. Bad for harvest.
17. 9. 1916 : The boy scouts have left the Parish.

1917: The whole of January and February - very cold easterly winds prevailing -with severe frost.
18. 3. 1917: Had a tramp working in garden from March 10 to 17.
15. 4. 1917: Visited Chap. General April 11 in London with the view of obtaining an Army Chaplaincy. Shall know later.
5. 8. 1917: I engaged myself to Church Army for war work
Aug. 2 1917. Services in remembrance of Aug. 4 1914, our day of entry into the War.
26. 8. 1917: Very good congregation. 70 present at p.m.

From Sept. 2 1917 to Jan. 13 1918, I was away at Krummel, Flanders in charge of a Church Army Hut under the auspices of Preb. Carlile. During my absence, Services were held once a Sunday by the Revs. Gower, Ramsey, Jones ~ the major portion of the work fell on Mr. Ramsey.

I returned to the Parish on Jan. 18 1918 and resumed usual services on Jan. 20 1918.
20. 1. 1918 : Have had report from Mr. Ramsey on the scanty number of Communicants during my absence. This is deplorable.
24. 3. 1918: The month of March has been exceptionally fine and warm. The finest March for many years.
14, 4. 1918 : Mr. Woods, of the Mill House, acted for the first time in the capacity of my 'Warden'
16. 6. 1918: The Rev. Wilson, Headmaster of Ardingly College, here to arrange for school boys coming for Harvest.
4. 8. 1918: Remembrance Day Aug. 4th. In the evening, held a "United Service" on my lawn.
11. 8. 1918: 30 boys from Ardingly College arrived in Parish for the Harvest on Friday,
18. 9. 1918 : The Camp broke up on Sat. and left the Parish.
3.11. 1918 Parish down with Influenza.
10.11, 1918: Influenza slightly better in Parish.
17.11. 1918: Thanksgiving Day for Victory over Central Powers.
2. 1918 In afternoon held "Memorial Service" for those who had died in the War, particular mention being made of Parishioners (3).

5. l. 19l9 : The prisoners of War present at a.m.
10. 3.1919: Fire badly laid, therefore went out at 10 a.m.
27. 4.1919: A heavy fall of snow commenced at 2.30 p.m.
6. 7.1919: Collection this day for providing a 'Tea' to all the Children on Thanksgiving Sunday for Peace. Full Church. 18/8d collected.
19. 7.1919: "Peace Thanksgiving" festivities took place today. A cricket match of returned soldiers v. civilians of the Parish began at 11 a.m. Luncheon, given by the Rector, was partaken of by all the returned soldiers at 1 p.m. Cricket match resumed at 3. Tea for all the Children and others on the field at 4.15. Sports for Children at 7 p.m. Weather fine but rain commenced at 9 p.m. Some 40 or 50 people had a 'meat tea' at the Crown Inn.
31. 8.1919: Church closed on Aug. 27 to have new floors and benches etc., School being used temporarily commencing Aug. 31.

1.1.1920: Held a concert on Jan. 16 to raise Funds for "Roll of Honour". Realised £6/16/-.
5. 2. 20: Very fair congregation. More men than women.

During the week March 21-28 1920, the stained glass East End window and stone work were inserted to the memory of Rex. Following this, on 28th March at Evensong there was a good congregation.