A History of St John's Old Church and Churchyards



Old St John's Church was built in 1839, but the history of the Church in Long Lawford goes back much further than this, for it is the people who make the Church, not the building. For many centuries Lawford people walked across the fields to Newbold Church to worship, and their memorials are in St Botolph's Church and churchyard there, families such as Crofts and Gambles, Oldhams and Rounds.

The Church was built by John Caldecott as a Chapel of Ease to Newbold Church and was intended mainly for the use of the servants from Holbrook Grange.

It is a simple building with a deceptively large churchyard which is approach through a Lych Gate.

The brick built Church is in the "pointed" style, with pinnacles at the four corners of the main roof and a bell turret of sandstone. The bell is no longer heard, as the turret is bricked up and the bell has been removed.

The Porch through which one enters is balanced by a Vestry on the North side of the Church. The simple Nave has a Sanctuary at the East end and a matching recess at the West end.

The furnishings are quite rare, for the Pews, Pulpit and Reading Desk are the ones John Caldecott originally installed and they have been only slightly altered in the lifetime of the building. The pews seat about 150 people. The stained glass East Window is also original. Although used for services since it was built, it was not until 1939 that the Church was licensed for marriages.

The Church has a Chalice and Paten which were given by John Caldecott in 1839, a smaller chalice and paten given by the Mother's Union in 1952 and an upright rose bowl given in memory of Mrs Archer in 1975.

The former Church Hall next door was built in 1936 on land sold to the church by the late Herbert Kay, headmaster of the village school for many years. A course of bricks is engraved with the initials of the Sunday School children of that time and of others who who each bought a brick to help to build the hall.

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