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. LAURENCE, WEST WOODHAY
The medieval church of St. Laurence, next to West Woodhay House, was destroyed in 1716. A new building in classical style was erected in 1717. None of the memorials from the old church survived. This 1717 building was, in turn, pulled down in 1882 and a new church built on a different site.
A fine example of Blomfield's Early English Revival style, it is built of local flint and bath stone. The sanctuary windows are by William Morris's company and the central crucifixion the work of Edward Burne-Jones. The nave windows illustrate the 'Te Deum'. The carvings over the altar are by the Belgian artist, Goyer.
Other carvings were the work of Miss Jessie Cole, and her sister worked the embroideries. Mr. John Henderson presented the three carved cherubs that originated in Castle Moy.
The memorial garden created by Mr. John Henderson in memory of his first wife, Sarah, who died in a hunting accident in 1972, is a place of peace and beauty.