St Mary - Barkby, Leicestershire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 40.956 W 001° 03.573
30U E 631171 N 5838729
Quick Description: St Mary's Church, Barkby is the Church of England Parish Church for Barkby, Leicestershire, England. The church mostly dates from the 13th century. It was grade I listed in 1966.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/17/2016 11:45:05 AM
Waymark Code: WMQQ63
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 1

Long Description:
"Barkby Church is what is termed a ‘West Gallery’ church. Another name for these churches is a Prayer Book church. The form these took started with the moves made in the reign of Edward VI, when there was a wish to move away from the Roman Catholic services and come into line with current thinking on theology. The churches were stripped of images, and wall paintings were washed over with white. With the 1547 Prayer Book came the requirement for the whole congregation to take part in all aspects of services. The Bible, now in English was to be read so that all could hear it. Pulpits were moved into the nave for this reason, and when altar tables were made of wood instead of stone, they were also often brought into the nave.

Worship had moved from Chancel to Nave.

In the time after the Civil War, sermons became lengthy and the introduction of pews into churches so that the congregation could sit spread across the country. Those who provided the pews, owned the pews.

Box pews, to shelter the occupants from cold and draughts were constructed for the more well-off. Some even had their own fireplaces!

In the time of Archbishop Laud, the altar was returned to the chancel and protected by a rail with closely spaced balusters, so that dogs could not foul the sanctuary.

Of more interest to us is the next change. From the early 1700s the focus turned to the poorer members of the congregation. At the same time, church music also became important. Music galleries were installed (as we have) and also galleries for choirs, which we also have.

The refitting of our church with a West gallery and box pews was very late and by the time it was done, in 1838, many churches were tearing them out. We have a the plan and correspondence relating to this time and looking at them we see that Mr Hoare, our vicar had in his mind supplying box pews for all his congregation, no matter what their station. These were set out just as we see them today, except that the area between the front pews and the East wall of the Nave was supposed to be for special pews for the Vicar and Patron, with some more box pews between the Patron’s and the South wall.

It is not known if these missing items were ever installed. At the Eastern end of the centre gangway and between these missing box pews, is shown a three-decker pulpit. Again we do not know if this was ever made and installed, but it is likely. The current pulpit dates from about 1875.

The costs had exceeded the budget by a large amount and late economies may have been made.

The balcony at the West end of the church was for the choir and originally had 5 full-width benches or open pews. At this time, music-making would be by a band playing in the high gallery. This continued until 1859, when an organ was installed on the balcony. Presumably the choir stayed there with the new organ.

Until Victorian times this ordering of the church was very common, but then there was a swing in fashion to some idealised medieval church building. Many good churches were greatly spoilt in pursuit of this. Box pews and balconies disappeared, and with it the church ritual also changed, the choir coming into the chancel.

It is said that in the thousands of churches throughout the land, only about 140 are known to have ‘Prayer Book’ features such as we have here. We should do our utmost to save what is here for the future."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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