Our Church Warden

Susan Fitzmaurice

Telephone             01963 824582

Email                     sfitzm@aol.com

 

 

Amenities and Activities at St John the Baptist

 

History

 

North Cheriton St John the Baptist church rests comfortably in it’s churchyard on sloping ground at the focal point of the village. The name Cheriton meaning, in old English, ‘village with a church’ indicates that there was a church on or near this site at the time of the Doomsday Book in 1086. Below the church, with a path leading to it, lies the substantial 19th century Manor House. By the entrance to the churchyard – the village war memorial, the pound ( for stray animals), and the 16th century stocks. Only the perpendicular tower, probably built in two stages, remains from the church of the later Middle Ages, for in the 19th century there was substantial restoration and the addition of a north aisle in the perpendicular style. The cost of these works including the facing of the interior with ashlar, typically Victorian, was £830 in 1878. Uniquely, the gatehouse family provided all the incumbents except one between 1799 and 1933 – Thomas for forty years until 1863 and Thomas Ernest for forty years until 1933.

 

 

Significant features in the church and churchyard

Nave, with arcade in the decorated style of the 19th century, the pillars with delicately carved capitals, passages tiled and fine set of simple benches flush with floor

Furnishings – Norman font with crude 17th century ogee ribbed cover;pulpit dated 1633; corona luminis (chandelier) in nave

Perpendicular Rood screen much restored c.1500 brought from Pilton in 1870’s, model for the 20th century tower screen

Chancel offset to nave, a not uncommon feature perhaps symbolic of Christ’s drooping head on the Cross

Peal of five bells, earliest 1651, in the tower, which has early medieval splayed window and door to tower staircase

Panelled arch leads to vestry and organ chamber which is continuous with the north aisle

Recess by altar with stone credence table, unusually on the north side

Corbal table of nice faces supports chancel roof

The view of the church and it’s squat embattled tower with pinnacles and hunky punks (grotesque figures common in Somerset) at the corners

Two chest tombs, one 18th century and one 19th century

The base of a medieval cross

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1 Peter 1:23

“For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.”