St Catherine's

St Catherine's is a place of great tranquillity set in an idyllic secluded position on the edge of Sacombe Park with parts of the church being over 800 years old.

About this church

There was a clerk among the tenants of the manor of Sacombe in 1086, so it is probable that there was a church at that time. The first entry in the record of Rectors is dated 1217. The oldest parts of the present building, which is a grade II* listed building, date back to the Early English Period (1189-1280). The churchyard was designated a County Wildlife site, following a survey in 1996. More than 60 species of flowers and grasses have been identified : rabbits, badgers, muntjac and other deer, and a barn owl, also frequent the churchyard.

Since 2005 St Catherine’s has been part of the benefice of Standon and the Mundens with Sacombe. The three churches share regular worship, based firmly on scriptural teaching.

The church was restored in 1855/6 with the roof, tower, vestry and west wall being rebuilt. The outside of the church was entirely refaced with flint. Specific features in the church include the Piscina, the purpose was originally for the priest to wash his hands and to rinse out the chalice. The two seat stone sedilia were seats for the priest and deacon to use during the singing of the Creed and Gloria. The east window dates from 1913 and was given by Alexandra Hay in memory of her husband. She recorded that it was 'symbolical of love and hope'. It was designed and executed by Henry Payne (1868-1940).

Thomas Rolt's imposing monument features military trophies. Its creator, John Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770) was one of the most eminent sculptors of his day. The marble epitaph to Elizabeth Caswall (d1815) is by John Flaxman. Rector for 31 years John Meriton (d1669) founded a charity for children of the parish. The organ was made by EJ Johnson & Son of Cambridge in 1975.

There are over 70 different kneelers made mostly in the 1970s donated by members of the parish. The churchyard, set high above a pretty valley, has superb views and shelters some ancient and interesting memorials. There are over 40 different types of lichen in the churchyard.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven

Visitors information

  • Level access throughout
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Car park at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets in church
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike
  • Wifi

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