Worship

Sunday 10th September 2017

9.30 am Holy Communion

 

Sunday 24th September 2017

11 am  Harvest Festival

All donated produce will be taken to the Salvation Army Hostel for the Homeless in Ipswich

 

Bell Ringing

Bell ringing practice takes place at the church every 

Friday at 7.30pm.

Please contact David Stanford on 07711683792 for details.

New ringers very welcome

Prayer for the Month

“The Way It Is” There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread. William Stafford (1914-1993)

 

Church

 

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The church address is Grundisburgh Road, Clopton. The post code is IP13 6QB

 

 The church stands at the top of an incline but it's siting in one corner of the village causes comment as being so remote from most of the parish, as is the neighbouring church of Burgh, only two fields away. A recent aerial photo shows evidence of a medieval village on the high ground immediately behind the church, and an earlier building on this site could well have served a more closely knit community from Saxon times.

The present building dates from the thirteenth century. There are no features of great architectural interest but it is spacious, well lit, and with furnishings of a fair quality.

The oldest evident feature is the octagonal font with step and quatrefoil riser and simple early Perpendicular design.

In 1883 an extensive restoration was begun. The windows repeat the Perpendicular design though the one by the pulpit is of a simple Gothic style. The gallery, poor quality box pews and pulpit were removed and the present seating installed.

The nave roof has the pleasant proportions of a single hammerbeam type with arched braces and kingposts standing on them. Prone angels give functional support to the roof. The shields they hold depict emblems of the Passion of Christ. The two at the East end with wheatsheaf and grapes recall the Last Supper and the sacrament then given. We see some of the richness there would have been here before the destruction by the Puritan zealots. The lead from the roof was sold and replaced with Westmorland slates.

An early Piscina in the south wall gives evidence of at least one altar before a chancel screen.

The rails at the entrance to the chancel are Jacobean and formerly enclosed the sanctuary.

The pulpit was a gift from members of a Temperance Society who were friends of the Rector at that time.

The Chancel was rebuilt and extended in 1883 at a cost of £461. The corbels below the arch are well executed and depict the Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan.

The Altar and Reredos were given by the parents of a young pilot who was killed in 1950 when his 'plane crashed in a field in Clopton.

The East window is the only one in the church which has stained glass. It was made by Ward and Hughes in1887. The three main lights illustrate the sacrifice of Isaac.

The Porch and Tower

The porch is in the base of the tower. The inner doorway has two big continuous chamfers accentuating the thickness of the walls.

There is an interesting merchant's mark near the door, made at Eastertime in 1570. The design is traditional with a ship's mast and flag of St John the Baptist, patron saint of the wool-staplers. On the east side of the entrance a boy has recorded that he was 'John Cooper adopted Childe of Thomas Cooper the Archer 1681'.

On the outside wall, above and to the right of the entrance archway there is a stone incised with a cross, probably marking the consecration of the tower.

The tower is a massive structure dating from the fifteenth century and is eighty feey high. It has banded mullions in the Perpendicular windows of the top course. Originally a turret stairway gave access to the first floor where the Parish meetings were held until the eighteenth century.

The wooden bell frame in the tower moved and acted as a battering ram each time the bells were rung and cracks started to appear in the walls. It has not been possible to ring the bells for many years.

An appeal for money to repair the cracks was launched in 2006. With a large grant from English Heritage and other grant making bodies, and support and donations from villagers, who held or attended fundraising events, the sum of £90,000 was raised to repair the cracks. The work was completed in 2008.

Once the tower was repaired fundraising started to get a new steel bellframe and repair the bells. Full details of the work can be found in the Bells section of this website.

Thanks to the late Frank Rowell for the above description of the church taken from his guide book written in 1973.

One of the gargoyles

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 Find out about our Church on the Simon's Churches website 

 

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