Ludford: St Giles, Ludford
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We are a small church with a big heart - welcoming, busy and comfortable
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History of our church
The church in the settlement of Ludford, which is just across the bridge from Ludlow, has existed since the 12th century. The evidence for this is the Norman window high in the tower, which was originally the west end of the church. By the early 13th century, a leper house, dedicated to St. Giles, was founded adjacent to the church. This was later demolished and replaced in Tudor times by a house which is now part of the beautiful complex of buildings to the rear of the church, called Ludford House.
The Foxe and Charlton families, who lived in Ludford House were strongly connected with St. Giles' Church. The Foxe family commissioned the side chapel addition to the church during the 16th century. In this part of the church there are some very fine brasses, and a monument for Sir Job Charlton, who was a distinguished judge, member of parliament and Speaker of the House of Commons.
In 1869 the church was restored in various ways which were not entirely sympathetic, e.g. the plaster was removed from the interior and the masonry pointed in imitation of dressed stone. A welcome addition in the Victorian period was the porch.
Our church today
A modest re-ordering at the end of the 20th century transformed St. Giles into a welcoming, comfortable and flexible space. Fully carpeted, and with an uncluttered interior, it has a peaceful atmosphere that is often remarked upon in the visitors' book. Our faithful congregation of around 30 regular worshippers is known for its warm welcome and sense of fellowship.
The Foxe chapel includes a children's area, where books, toys, crayons, etc. keep young ones happy and occupied in comfort. This is also where we gather after some services for coffee/tea/wine and biscuits, or sometimes a bring-and-share meal to celebrate special occasions.
The approach path, the entrance, and the inside of the church are all step-free, so fully accessible for those with limited mobility and wheelchair users. We have a loop for those who are hard-of-hearing, and large-print hymnbooks are available, as well as full-page magnifiers for those attending services.
Outside our church
Our churchyard is oval in shape, which suggests great antiquity, and is well kept. It has a lovely view of the town of Ludlow, with Titterstone Clee Hill as the backdrop, which visitors frequently sit on the bench and enjoy.
Next to the church is our lovely little Garden House, with a kitchen and toilets downstairs, and a meeting room on the first floor. (NB: there are two steps down to the house entrance, and the toilets are not fully equipped for disabled use.)
Ludford cemetery lies behind the church, at the end of Park Road. Its setting is idyllic; surrounded by farmland and within hearing of the River Teme. Alongside it is an eco-burial ground, the Meadow of Remembrance; in summer this is bright with wild flowers and butterflies, and humming with bees.
Sunday services are held at 11.15am, and the monthly programme of services is:
1st Sunday Family Service - informal services, usually lay-led, and especially family-friendly
2nd Sunday Holy Communion (Common Worship)
3rd Sunday Morning Prayer (based on the Book of Common Prayer)
4th Sunday Holy Communion (Common Worship)
In addition, there is said holy communion at 9.00am every Thursday.
St Giles' patronal festival is on the nearest Sunday to 1st September. In addition we celebrate traditional church festivals, particularly those with special relevance to the rural community. These include:
- Plough Sunday - on the Sunday after Epiphany
- Lammas - on the Sunday nearest to 1st August
- Harvest Festival - first Sunday in October
- All Souls - on the Sunday nearest to 2nd November
The bible-study and prayer group meets fortnightly on Monday mornings at the home of one of the congregation.
St. Giles' enthusiastic flower-arrangers are modest about the reputation they have earned for lovely decorations in the church for special services. They accept commissions for flowers for weddings, funerals and baptisms. To enquire about this, please make contact via our Facebook page.
Ashfords Group of Churches
In 2016 St. Giles, which has always had a "village church" feel about it, joined the Ashfords Group, consisting of village churches to the east and south of Ludlow. Our congregation is enjoying getting to know worshippers at our sister churches at Ashford Bowdler, Ashford Carbonel, Bitterley with Middleton, Caynham, Knowbury and Richards Castle, and we are looking forward to many shared events in the future.
Members of our congregation take an interest in the varied and interesting programme of events organised by CTAL.
We are one of 42 churches in the deanery, and are participating in the Year of Unity that runs from Advent 2016.
As part of the long-standing link between the dioceses of Hereford and Nuremburg, we are very fortunate to have as our minister (until the end of 2017) Pastor Brigitte Malik, who has been seconded to us from the Lutheran Church in Nuremburg as part of a clergy exchange arrangement.
St. Giles hosts a collection point for the local food bank, which is co-ordinated by Ludlow Baptist Church. Donations of tinned/packet foodstuffs can be left in the church porch at any time.
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The current editor is: Elizabeth Woodall