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Clungunford: St Cuthbert
Address: Church Road Clungunford Craven Arms SY7 0PS
Contact: Contact Clungunford: St Cuthbert
Deanery: CLUN FOREST
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People have worshipped at St Cuthberts for more years than we know. Prior to the building we see today, there was an earlier, wooden church which stood on the same site, dedicated to the much loved Anglo Saxon, St Cuthbert, who loved animals and wild countryside. His body is buried in Durham Cathedral which is dedicated to him
The present stone building was begun by the Lord of the Manor, Roger de Halberdine, soon after 1305, unfortunately just before a mini ice age. Nevertheless, the villagers continued building their church for more than 40 years despite such great poverty that they were frequently excused from paying tax. They used stone from quarries, which are still visible in the parish and chancel roof beams from local oaks. Dendrochronological dating shows those trees to have been felled in the winter of 1329-30 and put up straight away. The sandstone windows were bought from a more distant Shropshire quarry and would have been a great expense for the Lord of the Manor.
Earlier glass and decorations were destroyed in the Reformation but the archway for Roger’s tomb remains and 14th Century wooden chest, which held his robes, is still in use in the chancel. The medieval bells, which were originally housed in a turret on the roof, are frequently rung today.
Once completed, probably with help from the Earl of Arundel after the cost had bankrupted Roger de Halberdine, the church was carefully maintained through the centuries by local builders under the direction of the Church Wardens. A fire in the early fifteenth century, caused the side chapel, (the modern Vestry) to be re-roofed in 1415 but no major alterations were done to the medieval structure until, after 650 years, the Victorians added a stone tower to house the bells.
In more recent years, internal toilets and a kitchenette have been added, making the church much more usable for a wide variety of modern day functions.
St Cuthbert's today supports a lively congregation and warmly welcomes both visitors and those wishing to worship with us.