St John The Baptist Church
8am Holy Communion, first Sunday
10am Worship Service / Eucharist and Sunday Club, weekly
Please visit our website: www.needhammarketparishchurch.org for more details on these services and others.
You can also find information about our mid week groups which everyone is very welcome to attend; for example, Home Worship, Prayer Group, Julian Meetings, Home Group, Little Pebbles, Christians Together, coffee mornings and more!
If you have a question or would like to let us know about someone who would benefit from a pastoral visit, please contact The Revd. Diane Williams on (01449) 720316 or e-mail;[email protected].
The church was built between 1458 and 1500 and is composed of irregular flints intermixed with bricks and fragments of stone from earlier buildings. The church was built at the expense of Bishop Grey of Ely and his coat of arms can be seen in the exterior stonework above the priest’s door at the east end of the building. The porch with its ‘spirelet’ was added in 1883 to replace the original. The weather vane was rescued from ‘Highlands’, a large house on Stowmarket Road when it was demolished in 1992. Although it is not known to have had a tower, early photographs do show a timber bellcot attached to the west end of the church and this may explain the outlines in the brickwork above the vestry. The single storey vestry was added in 1909, but in 1991 a second storey with a pitched roof was added.
The hammerbeam roof is described as “the climax of English roof construction” and “the culminating achievement of the English carpenter”, and so it is. Nikolaus Pevsner in his “Buildings of England” says that the hammerbeam roof achieves the unique effect of “a whole church with nave and aisled and clerestory seemingly in the air”. If the visitor lies on his back to view the roof he will be rewarded with the impression of gazing down a ship’s hull. Some writers have suggested that shipwrights came inland to use their expertise in crafting church roofs.
The roof was hidden until 1880 by a barrel vaulted plaster ceiling. The angels on the hammer beams were added in 1892 in memory of Major William Dods of Uvedale Hall. The building was a Chapel of Ease to Barking until it was elevated to the status of a Parish Church in 1901. It may have been built as a place of prayer for pilgrims travelling to the shrine of St Edmund at Bury St Edmunds. The church is set alongside the main road and is on a line running south east/north west, rather than the customary east/west orientation.
Revd. Diane Williams 01449 720316
Email: [email protected]
The life of our faith community began in 1662 when three local vicars were among the Church of England clergy who felt unable to accept the restrictions imposed by the Act of Uniformity. Consequently the first independent church in Needham Market was created and was one of the first three Non-Conformist Churches in Suffolk. The community has been served by some colorful ministers during the past three millennia, the most noteworthy being Dr Joseph Priestly, the scientist and discover of oxygen.
The most significant event in recent years took place in 1991when the Methodist church joined with the United Reformed Church to form Christchurch. The bond has remained strong during this past 18 years, with Christchurch being served by a unique constitution that allows for a minister from each tradition to serve together as team.
Over the years we have substantiality altered and improved our buildings to reflect the changing needs of our community, the most noteworthy in recent years, being the removal of the pews and pulpit to be replaced with chairs and movable liturgical furniture.
|Rev’d John Boardman (Meth)
||Rev’d Mary Playford (URC)
Tel: (01449) 711798
OUR WEEKLY LIFE:
Morning Worship: Sundays – 10.30 am
Service of Holy Communion: 2nd Sunday
Sunday Club and Creche: Sunday 10.30 am, Julia Calder, Tel: 01449 722184
Tiddlers (Toddler Group 18 mths – 3 yrs): 9.45 – 11.30am Monday, Cathryn Todd Tel: 01449 722810
Christchurch Knit for Peace: Meets the first Wednesday of each month at 2.30pm, Contact: Sheila Norris Tel: (01449) 720871
Ladies House Group: Julia Calder, Tel: 01449 722184
Women’s Fellowship: 2nd Wednesday 2.30 – 3.30pm, Linda Hills, Tel: 01449 721258
Pastoral Care: We have a pastoral care group who are available to visit at any time. Di Mitchell, Tel: 01449 721031
Transport to Sunday Services: Linda Hills, Tel: 01449 721258
Hall Lettings: Tel: 07851 742847