CHURCHES IN THE UNITED BENEFICE OF WEST WOODHAY WITH ENBORNE, HAMSTEAD MARSHALL, INKPEN, COMBE, AND KINTBURY WITH AVINGTON
(The West Berks Cluster)
The United Benefice was formed in 1981, the Rector being the Revd Richard Jeans. In 1994 the living of the Benefice of Kintbury with Avington, was suspended and in 2006, the two parishes were added to the United Benefice of West Woodhay and formed the West Berks Cluster under the Team Rector, the Revd Julie Ramsbottom.
We are all rural parishes facing the pressures that all rural parishes endure. However, the Christian faith is strong and our churches stand as visible expressions of our faith.
Each church is set in beautiful surroundings, is a place of prayer and spiritual refreshment and holder of many valuable historical memories and monuments.
ST. MICHAEL, INKPEN
The present church was erected in the thirteenth century and dedicated in 1316, at the same time as Enborne. In the early 1700s the then Rector threw out a late 13th century effigy of a knight, probably a crusader as it had crossed legs and a half drawn sword. This was rescued from a farmyard and in the 1896 restoration placed in the chancel on a Templer coffin lid.
Inkpen is praised as one of the few Victorian restorations that enhanced the church. Furnished in Anglo-Catholic/ Arts and Crafts style with a rood screen (carved locally), a new arcade and north wall were added, plus a new porch. During the restoration, traces of medieval paintings were found but too decayed to restore. New paintings by Ethel King Martin were commissioned.
The beautiful carved modern font cover, 'in praise of water' was made in 1972. There are six bells, the oldest dates from 1590. The latest two were added for the Millennium.