Donhead: St Mary the Virgin
St. Mary's Church was built by the 12th century. The architecture of the church covers the 12th to 13th centuries, with 19th century restoration. It is built of dressed limestone with a tiled roof. The gabled porch is 14th century. All of the chapel and aisle windows are square-headed and the three stage west tower is 15th century. The nave has a five bay wagon roof and a 19th century Perpendicular style screen filling the arch. The north arcade has three double chamfered arches and there is a restored late medieval lean-to roof in the aisle. The chancel contains a 13th century style east window and a 19th century wooden pointed barrel-vaulted roof.
Charlton: St John the Baptist
From the outside, St John the Baptist Church, Charlton, is the least attractive church in the Benefice. However, inside it is light and airy. The Church was built in about 1839 in a 12th century style to replace a smaller church dating from the 14th century located in the centre of the village of Charlton. The position of the new Church - at the crossroads of the current A30 - was chosen to make the Church more accessible to worshippers in Ludwell and the Coombes, whilst continuing to be close enough for those in Charlton.
East Knoyle: St Mary
The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, a Grade 1 listed building, has been at the heart of parish life for over a thousand years. The oldest part of the structure is the chancel, on the outside north wall of which there is pre-Norman 'blind arcading'. The nave dates from the 13th century and the tower from about 1450. The six bells are rung as regularly as possible. The plasterwork in the chancel is unique. It was designed by Dr Wren, a 17th century rector, whose famous son Christopher was born in the village.
Sedgehill: St Catherine
Sedgehill is the smallest of the Benefice parishes, and as a village, very spread out. Anyone visiting for the first time invariably gets lost. But we try to make up for this by organizing lots of events that bring us - and anyone else who wants to join in - together. Events that have varied from Bangers and Mash evenings, BBQs, Christmas film shows (two classics - It's a Wonderful Life, and White Christmas), an amazing flower festival, tennis tournaments to name but a few.
Dedicated to St Catherine in 1395, St. Catherine's is an understated, beautiful church with wonderful views to the north. It really does seem as if the peace of the Lord is with us when we congregate there.
Semley: St Leonard
A parish church has stood in Semley since Norman times. However the present church is Victorian. The remnants from the older buildings are the Norman font and a thirteenth century effigy of a priest, which are both situated close to the north door. The rebuilding of the church was begun in 1866 by the then Rector of Semley. He took down the old chancel and built a new one entirely at his own expense. The rest of the building was demolished in 1874 and was rebuilt around the new chancel in Perpendicular style. The Church contains some fine stained glass; this includes a spectacular window in the Lady Chapel designed by Henry Haig in memory of WPC Yvonne Fletcher who was tragically shot while on duty at the Libyan Embassy in St James Square, London and died on the 17th April 1984.
The tower is a prominent feature with a small spire in the northwest corner. There is a fine set of 6 bells (one of the heaviest rings in the country) which are in good working order.
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Proof of charity status
Most churches are “Excepted Charities” and are therefore not registered with the Charity Commission. You can download a PDF that includes your church name, address and church code. This PDF, which is an extract from the Church of England’s database of churches, can serve as a certificate for churches requiring proof of their charity status when registering for online and card-based giving. Click on the download button below and fill in the short form. You will then be emailed the certificate as a PDF.