Vicars, repairs and restoration
Vicars through the ages
Father Stotterwell in 1287, but there are no signs of a Vicarage until 1381 when the Archbishop Simon Sudbury took over the advowson (the process for appointing a parish priest in the Church of England or patronage) and ordained a Vicarage. It would appear that Father Stotterwell and his successors came over from Warmington to care for the congregation.
The earliest entry in the registers is 1564 these are now retained by the Diocesan Archivist and can be inspected at the County Records office in Warwick.
Repairs and restoration
In 1807 the tower and spire were in a poor state of repair and a contemporary record describes the wall on the southern side as bulging and out of perpendicular. Stones were both loose and ready to fall, structural failure seemed possible at any time. In March 1807 a public meeting was held in the village at which it was agreed that the spire and tower should be demolished and that the tower only should be rebuilt. An application for a faculty granting permission for this was lodged and a local builder John Pulliger quoted £149.19shillings for the work. Permission was granted in April 1807. It is uncertain as to quite what was carried out, but it was not as had been approved under the faculty as the church thankfully has a spire!
It seems that the tower and spire were rebuilt in 1807/08 from ground level making use of old materials with only minor changes to the original design.
It is considered likely that the condition of the structure was discovered to be more serious than originally suspected and that more funds became available for the rebuild of the spire. General restoration followed in 1875.
The spire received further attention in 1935 and again in 1990. In 1990 about ten feet (3.04800 m) was dismantled and rebuilt and a new capstone carved to replace the old one that had cracked. The stonemason was born in the village so it was nice for him to undertake this work, Trevor Dean. The weather vane was restored as the opportunity presented itself with the scaffold in place.
The roof of the nave, chancel and south aisle were restored and re-leaded in 1903 and the north aisle re-timbered and leaded in 1964.
In 1990 some repairs to the stonework around the tower windows and louvres were instigated. Due to Hornton stone (which most of the cottages in the village are built from) weathers badly particularly in exposed positions like the spire, the decision was taken to use Guiting stone from the nearby quarries in the Cotswolds, although harder and somewhat lighter than the traditional Hornton stone, it does darken with age. At the time of the rebuild the advice was given to use cow dung on the stone to speed things up a bit, but I don’t think this was ever followed up!
Before the Reformation, Latin Mass would have been the norm, probably for half the history of the church. The conflict of the Civil War in the seventeenth century saw serious divisions to this part of the country.
Church activity is still ongoing as are the repairs to the building, currently fundraising is taking place to complete some further building work detected by the architect.
Despite the Civil War the church escaped any obvious attention by the Puritans, despite the close proximity to the ongoing battlefields. More recently the rise of the Non-Conformist tradition in these rural parts bought a division of loyalty that is still remembered by some. Find out more here.