St Mary's Church, Farnham
Farnham Church overlooks the River Alde valley towards the west, facing its sister church St Andrew at Stratford St Andrew which is now redundant and converted into a private house.
In 1992, following the formal redundancy of St Andrew’s, the parishes of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew were united and since 2003 have formed part of the Alde River Benefice where they share the incumbent with the parishes of Great and Little Glemham, Blaxhall, Snape, Benhall and Sternfield.
The Church of St Mary stands on a hill and there is a theory that it marks the site of a Roman encampment controlling the road through the ford below. The original church building may well have been built around AD800 but was probably hidden by forest and swamps. It was not recorded in the Domesday Book.
The present building was erected in Norman times and is mainly built of flint and stone. The slit windows in both north and south walls are 12th century Norman. The interior remains simple and unspoiled with several original fitments. The chancel roof, although repaired in 1980, still retains the original 14th century oak rafters. On the south side of the chancel there is a disused priest doorway beside which is a fluted piscina of probable late Norman origin. The holy water stoop is now opposite the door, which was placed in its present position in the 19th century when the old door was blocked up to help strengthen the south wall which is supported by four brick buttresses. At the junction of the nave and chancel is a doorway and stairs which once led to a rood loft. Only two panels remain of the carved rood screen and they are displayed in the church. The box pews are 18th century and match the pulpit. The octagonal font is 13th century style but dates from the 19th century. The organ, a Fr Willis Scudamore single manual, was installed in 2000. It is dated 1849 and was enlarged by Bevington in 1882.
In the west Tudor tower with its brick battlements hang two bells, one dated 1521 the gift of Robert Kryke and the other 1630. The communion plate consists of an Elizabethan cup and lid (used as a paten) dated 1567 and a silver flagon dated 1636.
We continue to hold services in the church every Sunday (except the fifth Sunday)
Holy Communion – First Sunday 8.30am
Morning Prayer – Second Sunday 11.00am
Holy Communion Common Worship with Hymns – Third Sunday 11.00am
Creative Church Family Service – Fourth Sunday 10.00am
Evening Prayer – Fourth Sunday 6.00pm
Rector: Rev Barrie Slatter 01728 603180
Churchwarden: Mrs. Jacci Churchman 01728 603540