ST MARY'S CHURCH
The Church is part of the 'Glyme Churches' and aligned with Glympton and Kiddington and so services are held at St Mary's on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at 10:15am whilst Glympton and Kiddington host on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month respectively.
CHURCH CONCERTS FOR 2024 - check events page for more information
5th May @ 3pm
18th August @ 3pm
8th September @ 3pm
Like many old villages there was most probably a small chapel for some years, then in 1219 the first Rector, Andrew de Vitre, was appointed by his mother, Eleanor (a local landowner and benefactor), who later became Countess of Salisbury. Later, in 1273 King Henry III decreed that “oaks from his royal forest could be used to provide beams for the tower of Wootton Church”. The Church itself dates from the 13th century and was developed through to the 15th Century, with a 14th century font.
The church grounds contain a number of memorials to former Rectors and Parishioners and particularly has Crosses taken from the graves in Flanders of some Wootton men who died in the First World War. The then Rector, Canon Frank Marriott, whose 19 year-old son, Douglas had been killed, obtained permission from the War Graves Commission, to bring the crosses to the Church.
Another poignant story is that of Captain Dashwood visiting Manancourt in France near to where his brother had been killed and, finding the crucifix amongst the ruins of the bombed Church, brought it back to Wootton where it was placed behind the pulpit. Sadly, he himself was killed in 1917. To commemorate the centenary of the Crucifix being brought here, we welcomed the Mayor of Manancourt and members of their community for a Service and Commemoration.
Since 1219 the list of Rectors has continued unbroken, and the “Patronage” or Right of Appointment has passed from the de Vitre family to the King, to the Abbott of Mont Cenis in Savoy, the Lee family of Ditchley, and then in the 17th century it was bought by Dr Pinke who gave it to New College, Oxford where he was the Warden. The connection with New College continues to the present day,
St Mary's has continued to be at the centre of the village to inspire faith and service to the Community. In 1785 a Boy’s School was founded by Rev Charles Parrott, a Norfolk Rector who owned the house opposite the shop. Later, in 1835 the then Rector, Lancelot Lee built the present school to encourage the education of girls as well as boys.
For a long time, church members and clergy have been very much involved with our community, for example, through TRIO Lunch Club, the monthly Tea Room, and sharing in events like the Flower Show and regular fairs and bazaars. Recently, a “Help Fund” was started, giving grants and vouchers during the Pandemic to help those in need during the economic crisis.