St Andrew's, Grafham

St Andrew's, Grafham is a beautiful country church, designed, built and lavishly decorated by Henry Woodyer. Although we are a small congregation we love God, we love our church and we try to love and serve our neighbours.

Our weekly worship on Sundays at 11.15am  is from the Book of Common Prayer, compiled in the sixteenth century by Thomas Cranmer, and modified in 1662. Our services, of either Holy Communion or Mattins (Morning Prayer) have been familiar to generations of Christians for the wonderful language - dignified and memorable phrases that speak so clearly to our human condition.

We very much look forward to meeting you.
St Andrew’s Church Grafham on a late September evening. 
September evening

When coming to St Andrews you can always be assured of a very warm welcome. A welcome to those from all walks of life; the young, the elderly, the rich and poor, a welcome to those over 60 but not grown up yet, and a welcome to children and teenagers growing up too fast! 

The beautiful Chancel in St Andrew's Church

We moved to Grafham in 1949 when I was 5 years old, so my earliest memories of St. Andrews were from the 1950's. I can just remember when the walls were adorned with the wonderful Victorian paintings, before they were whitewashed in the 1950's. While we greatly regret it now, one must remember that at that time Victoriana was out of favour, being considered over-embellished and excessively ornate. Clean, white walls were greatly preferred and certainly lightened the church. Perhaps a salutary lesson not to destroy the art of an era just because it is currently out of fashion. 

At that time Frank Taylor, who lived opposite us at St. Andrew’s (the house) was the Church Warden.  He worked at a garage in Guildford, and when two wooden pedestals were being thrown out of the garage showroom he brought them back, painted and stained them, complete with the St. Andrews cross. They currently standing one each side of the altar, My early memories of services at St. Andrew’s were of a reasonably large congregation, being boosted each week by the boys from Grafham Grange school, who sat in the front rows of pews on the right hand side. There was a substantial (or so it seemed) choir, each in a surplice, who processed into the church from the rear of the nave, having walked round from the vestry. I am not sure what happened when it rained! My memory is that on ‘high days and Holidays’ the west door was used, but that may be incorrect.

In the late 1960's or early 1970's, as many of you will remember my father, Leonard, became a Lay Reader. He conducted many services at Grafham and elsewhere, as well as being ‘choirmaster’ - playing the organ and conducting choir practices - as well as undertaking the care of the churchyard. To him St. Andrew’s was very important, as it should be to all of us.  
Colin Thorpe