St. John The Baptist, Little Somerford
St John the Baptist covers the parish of Little Somerford, 2½ miles to the south east of Malmesbury in North Wiltshire.
The village is surrounded by open countryside, and lies in the broad valley of the River Avon, deriving its name from a ford across the Avon between the two Somerfords which was only passable in summer. The parish is a Saxon, or older, estate, first recorded in the 930’s and also described in the Doomsday Book. the present parish church dates form the 13th Century.
Although the village has a small population, the church is at the centre of popular community events such as the church Fete, Harvest Auction and Christmas Fayre. Key services within the Christian calendar, such as Easter, Harvest and Christmas, see the church packed to the rafters.
The church lies close to the original centre of the village, and is a structurally undivided chancel and nave with a south porch and a west tower. Box pews were installed in the 17th Century, but were later cut down into the benches that remain today. The chancel is internally separated from the nave by a carved wooden screen below a 15th Century tympanum showing the Ten Commandments flanked by angels. The painting was only revealed in 1983, during conservation work on an Elizabethan Coat of Arms that had covered it. A fine early 20th Century pipe organ remains in regular use. In March 2010, after nearly a century of silence, an electronic timing control and electric striker were installed in the tower to sound the hours on the big 1752 bell. This has proved extremely popular in the village, and is an hourly advertisement for our church.
Services at St. John The Baptist, Little Somerford usually keep to the following monthly pattern:
|Sunday of the Month||Time||Service|
|1st Sunday||6.00pm||Evening Prayer or Holy Communion (alt months)|
|2nd Sunday||No service||No service (except for seasonal specials)|
|3rd Sunday||11.00am||Morning Prayer|
|4th Sunday||10.30am||Woodbridge Group-wide service at different churches in the Group by rotation.|
|5th Sunday||10.30am||Woodbridge Group-wide service at different churches in the Group by rotation.|
For the current service schedule, please click here.