our church building
Our Church, and Christian life in Little Horkesley, have quite a history!
A Cluniac priory was founded at Little Horkesley around 1127 by Robert de Horkesley and his wife Bridget. The priory church was originally dedicated to St Peter, and then in 1190 the dedication was changed to St Peter and St Paul. It was only ever a small house, with 2-4 monks under a prior. The priory was dissolved by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525 and the nave of the priory church converted for use as the parish church. As for many Churches of its time, many original, 12th-Century features were retained in the building, which continued to grow - but all that was lost on 21st September 1940 when a landmine came through the roof and exploded, leaving nothing of the Church except rubble to a height of three feet.
By considerable fundraising and personal effort, the Church was rebuilt to its original design and rededicated in 1958. Almost all interior fittings and artefacts were destroyed but, amazingly, 13th-Century effigies of the De Horkesley family were saved, as were a number of brasses of the Swynbourne family and Lady Marney. These, amongst other features, were lovingly and painstakingly restored and are on display in the Church.
The building is, like those who worship here, warm and welcoming. It is beautifully furnished and well-maintained. It is a good place to sit, pray, contemplate or just relax, perhaps whilst looking at the spectacular East window.
The side chapel is reserved as a Prayer Sanctuary; if you leave a message in the Prayer Journal, it will be a blessing for us to pray for you or the topics you record.
There is a small bookstall at the back of the Church, and a display of items and photographs which remember the destruction and rebuilding of the Church.