St Aldhelm’s Church, Bishopstrow
About Our Church
At St Aldhelm’s Church is an important part of the village.
All people of all ages are welcome in our Church.
Before all our services you will be greeted by a member of the congregation but if you arrive during a service, please help yourself to one of the hymn books at the entrance and take a seat wherever you wish.
1st, 2nd, 3rd (4th) in month: 9.30
Last Sunday in the Month 6pm Evensong
Church Lane, Bishopstrow, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 9HN
We do not have a car park, but you can park in the small lane leading down to the church.
St Aldhelm’s Church, Bishopstrow
Cobbett Rise, Bishopstrow, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 9HN
If you would like your wedding with us, please get in touch. We can then arrange a meeting with you and discuss your special day. You will need to complete some paperwork, but you will be guided through this process and will have the opportunity to ask questions.
If you would like to have a baptism at St Aldhelm’s Church, we will arrange a visit with you to complete the details of the person to be baptised as well as those of the potential godparents. You will usually have a rehearsal prior to the day and on the day you will be greeted by the priest taking the service. Please let us know of any hymns, music or readings you like prior to the day.
St Aldhelm’s Church will assist where we can with the preparation of any funeral service, and we will work closely with the funeral directors. If you would like to have the service at St Aldhelm’s Church or details of the churchyard, click the button below to get in touch.
The History of St Aldhelm’s Church
The village of Bishopstrow is referred to in the Domesday Book as ‘Bishopstreo’ meaning Bishop’s Tree. We know that St Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne and Abbot of Malmesbury, spent much of his life as a missionary in the county of Wessex. Some say that Bishopstrow is one of the places where his body rested on its funeral journey to Malmesbury.
Whatever the authenticity of this, there seems no doubt that a church has stood on this site since the time of St Aldhelm, 639-709AD. Until recent years it was thought to be of Norman foundation with an apse; an unusual feature in Wiltshire. However, in 1981 lightning damage destroyed the lightning conductor. A trench was dug for a new one and the foundations of a Saxon church were unearthed, thus strengthening the link with St Aldhelm.
The church underwent considerable restoration in1757 and at that time the church retained the apse.
However, most of the present building dates from 1877 when the present chancel was built. The plaster ceiling was removed to reveal the mediaeval oak roof, which was restored.
If one compares the pictures of the church taken from the west end in 1897 and 2003 they are remarkably similar. The gas lamps are no longer in place and the main difference is the addition of the chancel screen.
This beautiful wooden screen given by the Southey family at the beginning of the twentieth century holds a fascination for all who study it closely. The upright consists of hundreds of carved leaves. Tiny figures, including a lizard, a mouse and a fox, sixteen in all, hide among the leaves to be discovered by the sharp-eyed observer.