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St. Agnes' Church
Plough in Cawston Church given by
Mr Jimmy Payne
Photo of the engraving by J. Greig from a drawing by J.S. Cotman for the
Excursions through Norfolk. Pub. 1st September 1818
by Longman & Co.Paternoster Row.
The Church of St. Agnes' with its tower (with the exception of the north aisle built by Robert Oxburgh) was built by Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk and his wife Catherine the daughter of Hugh, Earl of Stafford, he was Lord of the Manor from 1386 until his death at the Siege of Harfieur, France, in 1415.The first name on the Rectors list was Henry de Castello 1189, there was a Church here before that time and could have been Rectors before him but no records seem to exist on this. We have a link with the early building in the form of a Clalice Case probably dates from about 1330.
The octocentenary in 1989 was celebrated with a special service.1189 saw the opening of the Priory of Mountjoy in the neighbouring village of Haveringland, it is likely that monks from the Priory ministered in Cawston.
The great tower of the Church of St. Agnes' Cawston is 119 feet 6 inches high and dominates the village skyline.
Many visitors come to see the wonderful hammer beam roof, one of the first in the country.
Carved Figures stand on the projecting beams on either side with cherubs, wings outstretched along the cornices, and finely-carved bosses. There is also the finely carved 15 Century Rood Screen as well as other treasures.
Another feature of the church is the Clock. It may look small from the ground, but is far bigger than one might think. The Church bell is also spectacular.
Nearby is the village sign (1937), depicting a weaver on his loom in the central centre, St. Agnes whom our Church is dedicated, a ploughman, the dual stone and the 'brazen gauntlet' symbol of John of Gaunt (once Lord of the Royal Manor).
1995:- Maintenance and Repair. Scaffolding has been in place for much of the year. Roof repair work. Work over the organ and to the west of it. Much protection of the organ, and care and cleaning when the plastic covering was removed. Costly (£53,000) met by grants and local generosity.
Some mould continues, as does much condensation in the Vestry. South Aisle receives leaks from above in storms. Several architects have visited the church during the year for inspection. Attention has already been given to very high priority safety matters arising from that inspection. Wood treatment with insecticide against the Death Watch beetle, has been undertaken by Norman White and David Nunn.
A programme of improvement in furniture layout and general tidying-up continues. There has been progress towards the installation of a Memorial Book.
Click on Photo to Enlarge
St. Agnes' Church decorated for the Memorial Service for Lieutenant Cecil Cawston late of the 18th Hussars who was killed in the S.African Wars 1900.
Photo taken 2011
Note: the box pews, the pulpit in its former position, the oil lamps, the absence of colour from the chancel arch from which thick layers of whitewash were removed in the restoration of 1911-12.
Saint Agnes our Patron Saint - c 291 - c 304
In the year 300 a.d. the Roman Emperor declared that Christianity was an offence which was punishable by death. This was the last serious attempt by the Roman government to wipe out Christians but nevertheless it was a time when many died, and the faith was all but killed
Agnes was a young Roman girl, the daughter of Christian parents. About the year 304 Christians were being persecuted, and they were forced to carry on their worship in a very secret way. Though Agnes was only twelve, the Prefect Sempronious wished her to marry his son. She refused, where-upon he had her arrested and accused of being a Christian. Though she knew that she would be killed for doing so, she admitted that she was a Christian, and was condemned to death. 'Remember' the judge said, 'you are only a child, though forward for your age'. 'I may be a child' answered Agnes, but faith dwells not in years, but in the heart.
Her firmness when she was yet so young made her famous throughout Christendom. St. Augustine says of her: 'Blessed is the holy Agnes, whose passion we this day celebrate; for the maiden was indeed what she was called, for in Latin agna signifies a she-lamb; and in Greek it means "pure". She was what she was called; and she was found worthy of her crown.
Her body is thought to lie in the church of St. Agnes in Rome, which was build by the Emperor Constantine. Here on her festival day lambs are blessed, and their wool is later woven into the vestments called the 'pall' or 'pallium' - a sort of scarf - with which Roman Catholic archbishops are invested by the Pope.
She has always been considered the patron saint of young girls. In olden times there was a tradition that on the Eve of St, Agnes' Day young girls could obtain a vision of their future husbands. The story was used by Keats in his poem, The Eve of St. Agnes.
1189 Henry de Castello First on the list of rectors,
but there were probably others before him.
1277 John de Bergondia
1281 John de Fentas
1283 John de Wykham
1298 John de Wytham
1316 Henry de Hale
1349 Adam de Skakelthorp
1371 John de Pyshale
1374 John de Lynsted
1384 Hugh de Cotyngham
1403 Robert Randulf
1409 Robert Bolton
1429 Michael Entwyshull
1435 Simon Alcock
1459 Richard Watton
1465 William Bagarde
1504 William Wyot
1525 Christopher Lynham
1535 Thomas Marthe
1541 Geoffrey Greycock
1554 Edmund Neve
1557 Thomas Singleman
1557 William Neve
1560 Robert Gertan
1573 Edward Hamond
1580 Hugh Robinson
1621 Thomas Colby (to 1625)
1656 Richard Conyers
1661 William Durham
1663 Edmund Chetham
1666 Thomas Holme
1667 John Hildyard
1703 John Snell
1710 Robert Whitefoot
1721 Thomas Browne
1747 Leonard Addison
1772 Richard Baker
1818 Augustin Bulwer
1832 Augustin Earle Lloyd Bulwer
1855 Theodore Henry Marsh - Fifty year incumbency is the longest recorded.
Opened school March 6th 1871.
1905 Theodore Henry Marsh. (The younger)
The three-panelled window near the war memorial in the church was unveiled by Mrs Marsh in 1933.
Nephew of the above of same name let Scouts have meeting place.
1933 Thomas William Bradburne - Father of John Randal Bradburne cared
for lepers in Africa and poems written by him are estimated at more then 9000.
1946 Edward Francis Welldon Ames -
Author of the book - Notes on the Church of St. Agnes 1953.
TA Chaplain during the first world war.
C of E. RAF Chaplain at North Weald RAF Station during the second world war.
1964 Allen Edward Henry Rutter
1969 Charles Mayhew
1975 Paul Farnham
1980 Michael Stallard
1991 Michael King
2012 Andrew Beane - Priest in charge & Vicar of Aylaham
Associate Priest - Andrew Tyler
Click on above to Enlarge
Click on above to Enlarge