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St. Andrew’s, Wheatfield, Oxfordshire

January 11, 2014

St. Andrew’s, Wheatfield, Oxon







January isn’t the best time to visit churches but the purchase of a copy of Mark Chatfield’s good book ‘Churches the Victorians Forgot’ (Moorland Publishing Co 1989) showed a gem of a building not too far away. A dry day beckoned so off I went. St. Andrew’s is a strange little church sat in a field with just it’s graveyard and a solitary tree for company. There is nothing to indicate that this in fact an active church. No signs at all. Yet it is just about alive still. St. Andrew’s is used from March to October as it has no electricity. A Church near you gives a contact phone number to enquire when these services take place.

This wasn’t such a lonely place at one time. A mansion used to stand nearby and the church was the chapel for it. The house burnt down on New Years day 1814 and was never rebuilt. Fortunately the church survived. It is not the most friendly place to visit as it is surrounded by a barbed wire, stock proof, fence and the gate was padlocked. I climbed over and found the church locked. That is a shame and rather unnecessary I would have thought. It is part of a team ministry centred on Thame. There is the above mentioned presence on a church near you but no other website but others have been in and photographed the wonderfully untouched interior. We often forget that what we regard as a traditional church building is often a product of Victorian improvements. Looking through the windows showed a lovely interior with chandeliers and their candles being the only lighting. Some things had been covered up and the rush mats laid across the pews, presumably to keep them dry. I did take a couple of photes through the glass…

DSCF8917DSCF8916I haven’t rated St. Andrew’s but will seek it out again when hopefully it will be open. This would be a great place to be still in and think and pray.



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