St Martin de Tours, Woolstone
There is no record to show when the Church was first built or consecrated, but it was restored and partly re-built in 1499, replacing a building of Decorated period, and the original structure may have been Saxon. There was a further extensive reconstruction in 1873. The present building is mainly perpendicular.
There is now only a Tower, Nave and Chancel. The Tower has a marked lean to the West and South but under-pinning is believed to have arrested the movement. Woolstone Church was attached to Deerhurst Priory as early as 1271. Unfortunately the Church Registers and records do not date earlier than 1889 for in December of that year there was a serious fire in the Rectory nearby and the records were lost. Woolstone belonged to the Diocese of Worcester from ancient times until the See of Gloucester was formed by Henry VIII in a charter dated 4th September 1541. It is possible to trace through Diocesan records, a list of incumbents from 1269.
Churches such as these are a part of England’s Heritage, but the more ancient they are the greater the cost of repair and maintenance. Donations are very welcome but a regular subscription through membership of the Society and/or a Deed of Covenant would enable much to be done.
If you are interested please contact the Treasurer, Dr John Bishton tel 01242 677290.
taken from St Martin de Tours, Woolstone Church leaflet.
Oxenton Church contains fascinating wall murals, some overlaid on earlier work. Specialist conservation work has revealed many glimpses but no complete pictures. A mortuary chapel was added to the north of the building for Edward Law, who was created 1st Earl of Ellenborough following a term as Governor-General of India. He was the architect of the model of British rule in India which was instituted after the Mutiny. The chapel is completely sealed, but re-roofing works in 2005 gave a rare glimpse of its contents. The church stands within a village surrounded by working farms, and is supported by residents from all three villages of the parish. The church hall (formerly the village school) is now administered as a community asset.
Gotherington Church Centre started life as Gotherington Chapel, built and owned by the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion. It is now used both for regular worship and also for community events.