St Lawrence Church
The Church of St Lawrence, Steppingley requires a complete electrical re-wire, including replacing all light fittings, at an estimated cost of £8,000 to £10,000.
The Parish Church Council are looking for funding from various sources, but this is unlikely to cover the full cost of the work. They are therefore appealing to all residents of Steppingley for their help in funding this work to keep the village church open.
If you feel that you can make a donation, please contact Fiona on 714853, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in a cheque to 26 Rectory Road. Please make cheques payable to 'Steppingley PCC'.
Linked with St Andrew's Ampthill and St Michael & All Angels Millbrook.
Services take place at 11.15am every Sunday.
If you would like to receive Holy Communion at home, please contact the Rector (details below), or send us a message using our contact form.
‘Church and Town’ Magazine (currently 30p per month) can be delivered to your home if you wish. It contains details of all the Church and social activities. Contact us via our contact form for more details.
For information about Baptisms and Weddings, please contact the Rector (contact details above).
St Andrew's Ampthill have an excellent Church Choir of boys and girls and adults, which practices every Friday evening from 7pm until 8.30pm. Anybody interested in joining the Choir should speak to the Director of Music, Alan Richardson, after any service.
Mothers’ Union - meets once each month (4th Tuesday) - see ‘Church and Town’ for details.
The Ampthill Bell Ringers practice every Wednesday evening, and ring at St Andrew's Ampthill on Sunday mornings. For details, contact Tower Captain Jackie O’Regan at www.ampthillringers.org.uk .
St Lawrence Church was rebuilt in 1860 on the site of an earlier church, which collapsed when repairs were undertaken to rectify an outward leaning wall. The old church was once described as the 'the smallest church in Bedfordshire' by the Gentleman's Magazine, 1849 and the oldest parts of the building, the Norman nave, probably dated from the twelfth century and the chancel from the thirteenth century. However the only portion to have been preserved is part of the sedilia or piscina, which now forms the niche in the sacristy of the present building.
The new church was designed by the architect, Henry Clutton, who also designed the Romanesque church at Woburn, and the rebuilding was financed by the Duke of Bedford and the rector. Built of local red-brown sandstone excavated at Green End, Maulden, it is an example of the Early Decorated and Perpendicular styles of the fourteenth century architecture.
It consists of a chancel, nave, vestry, north aisle and a western tower containing 4 bells. The broad and regular tower is supported by buttresses which terminate half-way up each wall. An embattled newel-turret rises above the tower and below the embattlements are four gargoyles, one at each corner.
St Lawrence Church was restored in 1912 by the Duke of Bedford K.G. at a cost of £1000 and in the course of excavations in the chancel, 531 English and Scotch silver coins of 13th century were found. It is thought that these were offerings of patients of a former rector, John de Schorne, who acquired fame for his healing powers. A popular myth credited him with conjuring the devil into a boot and keeping him there under a restraining hand that allowed only his head to emerge.
The register of the church dates from 1562 but not continuous until after 1647.