St Peter and St Paul

 

The Grade II listed church of St Peter and St Paul was largely built in the Victorian era, but is thought to date back to the 12th century. Its oldest feature is a Norman arch, but the church has many medieval elements, including a 13th-century font and several bells. It has a beautiful chancel screen carved in around 1500. The architect who rebuilt the church in 1863 was FR Kempson, a direct ancestor to the Redgrave acting family whose father was also rector there.

The church attracts visitors from around the world because of its association with the Morgan motor car. HFS Morgan, who invented the Morgan three-wheeler in 1909, grew up in the rectory of Stoke Lacy – his father and grandfather were rectors in the church for 66 years. The Morgan family graves are to be found in the graveyard. Stained glass windows in the porch pay tribute to the connection, depicting several of the famous Morgan cars as well as Peter Morgan, the son of HFS, who became chairman of the Morgan Motor Company.

This repair project addresses a number of urgent issues to the roof and spire, and will replace gutters and drains in order to prevent damp. The wooden shingles covering the spire have become rotten, and further damage has been caused by nesting jackdaws and woodpeckers. As a result, water and detritus from the birds is coming through, damaging the steeple and stopping bells from being rung. Meanwhile, crumbling and dislodged slates have opened up holes on the roof, allowing water to fall through on to the pews below.

The project also includes extensive community engagement plans, focused around the cultural connections of the church and its heritage. It will also see the identification and development of wildlife habitats in the churchyard. A new herb garden is in the planning stages for the churchyard.

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