The church of St Swithun is almost entirely 14th Century. At one time it boasted a spire and peal of bells, but when the spire became unsafe, it had to be taken down and the work was financed by the sale of all but one of the bells. The church clock also became defunct and a few years ago the engine was replaced by an electronic device linked to the master clock at Rugby. The old engine is now on display within the church.
The church is large enough to seat 200, but has no permanent system of heating. During the summer months, whilst it is warm, the whole church is used for worship. To avoid the need to heat the whole church in the winter, the PCC has installed a large folding screen to allow the church to be used for services. This permits the small area to be made attractive and warm, using portable gas heaters and can support services for up to 40 people.
St Swithun is fortunate to have the services of some very gifted flower arrangers, and for special occasions the church is decorated in a spectacular fashion e.g. at Harvest, Christmas and for flower festivals.
Merton is one of 8 parish churches within the Ray Valley Benefice.
The Ministry Team comprises:- A Rector - The Revd Stephen Hayes, 01869 247813 [email protected]
Revd Lucy Thirtle, 01865 379470, with responsibility for Islip, Woodeaton and Noke
Revd. Lisa Holmes, curate in the Benefice
Mrs. Glenys Edwards, Licensed Lay Minister, based in Oddington, 01865 331233
Mrs. Lynne Lewis, Benefice Administrator, 01869 247813.