Our beautiful Grade 2* listed church of All Saints has been a unique feature in the village for nigh on eight hundred years. It is a significant landmark for miles around, looking lovely for us locals and catching the attention of motorists and ramblers passing through the village. You don’t have to be a regular churchgoer to care about the place, and most people are grateful to those who volunteer time and effort to maintain the church and surrounding land. The tower’s clock is a useful and handsome feature. Each week a volunteer clambers into the cramped space beneath the bells to wind the mechanism to keep it ticking bang on time.
The church is used for services on Sundays and for baptisms, weddings and funerals. The school, who don’t have a school hall, enjoy the space it offers for occasional assemblies and end of term services. While it stays empty it remains unlocked during daylight hours for those needing a quiet and beautiful space for prayer and contemplation. Anyone is welcome to step inside to soak up the calming atmosphere and take time to reflect. Every morning a volunteer goes over to unlock the church door, every evening someone locks up.
Volunteers keep the building clean and beautiful: they sweep the stone floor, polish the wooden pews, clean the carpets, polish the brasses and make sure there are flowers near the altar. Most of these people have been volunteering for twenty years or more. You may have noticed the flagpole positioned near the front gate. It was previously near the church porch, leaning at an unsightly angle, rusty and an eyesore. Now it stands straight and looking as good as new since it was sanded down and repainted by two volunteers.
Surrounding the church sprawls the large graveyard, which our trusty band of helpers are now struggling to maintain. Think of an average domestic lawn, then multiply that by at least 40! They need more helpers desperately! Our churchyard is for everyone, not just those who go to church services, but it won’t look after itself. If I have managed to tug at a few heart strings and you have some spare time and muscle power, please get in touch with Jeremy (01454/260376) or Paul (01454/260277). So finally, here’s a huge THANK YOU to all those kind people who give up their time to lend a hand, for without them All Saints’ Church, Stone with Woodford, would close. The building and surrounding graveyard are a community asset that most of us treasure, so let’s try and keep it going for future generations to cherish too. Please get in touch if you’d like to lend a hand, inside or outside. We’d love to hear from you.