Stoke D’Abernon, St Mary
Practice Night: Monday
Ringing Times: Sunday Service: 9.25-9.55am. Practice: 7.45-9.15pm
Entry: Entry is via door on the outside of the church at the foot of the tower
Contact: Ringing Master: Jenny Gordon - firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Mary’s was founded in the 7th century, following St. Augustine’s mission to England in 597 AD, and is one of the oldest churches in the South of England with Roman bricks built into the South wall. Whilst the Saxons began this beautiful ancient church, in its lovely setting by the River Mole, most of the Nave and Chancel are 13th century Norman work. The Norbury Chapel is early Tudor (c. 1490) and the west end, tower and transept are Victorian (1866). There are seven ancient memorial brasses in the church, the two most famous being those of Sir John D’Abernon, the Elder (1277) and Sir John, the Younger (1327). The 1277 brass is believed to be the oldest in this country and the second eldest in the world. Most of the very fine stained glass dates from the 16th and 17th centuries, but was brought into St. Mary’s in the 1950’s. Other features of note are the Statue to ‘The Madonna and Child’, the pulpit, lectern and font, the Crusader Chest and the Sanctuary furniture. There are also the remains of a mural painting on the East wall, the tombs in the Norbury Chapel and the funerary helm of Sir Thomas Vincent with the painting of the Crucifixion and Pilgrims crosses on the pillar on the north side of the nave, plus the Te Deum mosaic. The organ, by Frobenius of Copenhagen, was installed in 1875 and is a fine example of a modern instrument built on classical principles. The ring is a light set of six bells, with the oldest cast in 1450.