St Nicholas’ @ Dormston

Sunday services at St Nicholas' are shared with the congregation from St James', Kington.  Services are held at St Nicholas' at 11am on the first and third Sundays of the month.  On the second and fourth Sundays, services are held at St James' at Kington.  On fifth Sundays, Café Church is held in the Kington and Dormston Village Hall.

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St Nicholas’s has huge support from villagers - churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike.

Locally it is thought that the church of St Nicholas was a forest church within the bounds of The Royal Forest of Feckenham and it is probable that the Church was first erected in Norman times, as a portion of the bowl of a Norman font was found buried beneath the present font. There are three 16c bells. The church was extensively restored in the early 1900s and the chancel almost entirely rebuilt.

Following the last quinquennial report major work was undertaken to restore and maintain the tower with the majority of the funding coming from grants and fund raising activities within the village. Some of these events have become an annual custom and make good use of the church building as a facility for the wider community.

St Nicholas’s is very fortunate in the huge support from villagers; churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike who help with flower arranging, cleaning, churchyard mowing and general maintenance.  The church is very well regarded within the village.

A Guide and Brief History

It is probable that the Church was first erected in Norman times, as a portion of the bowl of a Norman font was, found buried beneath the present font, which is of the 15th century. A few pieces of worked stone of Early English character were also discovered, and parts of the existing walls belong to that period, e.g. the south east corner of the nave. The chief characteristics of the present building, however, are those of the 14th century, or late decorated period. The roof, the windows in the south wall of the nave, and the West Window, though of different dates, belong to the 14th and early 15th centuries, when extensive restoration was carried out. 

The Tower, which is one of the most distinguished features of the church, is of 15th or early 16th century origin. It is known that in the place now occupied by the door in the Tower, there formerly existed a West Door, the opening of which was 6 feet wide. The whitewashed jambs are still embedded in the West Wall. This West Door was probably the original and only door of the Early English church. When the Tower was built, the upper Portion of the Nave was taken down and the stone used, as far as it would go, in the substructure of the timber-framed Tower, the rest being built of ashlar.

The Porch is an interesting example of ancient work. It was glazed in 1899. East of the doorway is the niche which held the Holy Water stoup in pre-reformation days.

The Chancel was rebuilt in 1837. Formerly, it was lighted by the East Window only, which is of a very nondescript design.

Features of special interest inside the Church are the old pews at the back of the Nave, the Jacobean altar rails, the old stone crucifix built into the South Wall near the Altar, and the Tudor chair in the altar space. Some of the beams in the Tower are also very interesting, particularly the curiously shaped strut introduced for the strengthening of the Tower.

There are still three bells in the Tower, as in 1552. The tenor bell is probably of that date. The inscriptions on the bells are as follows:

 Treble: GODZAVE OVR KING. 1640.

 2nd Bell: JESVS BEE OVR SPEED. 1631. I.F.R.D.

 Tenor: SANCTA MARIA ORA PRO NOBIS (no date)

For many years the Patron Saint was unknown, but was rediscovered by the late Rev. T.P. Wadley in a will of Thomas Hemmyg (Hemming?) of 1512, who bequeathed a bushel of barley "eccile sci nycolla de Dormystun", i.e. "To ye Church of St.Nicholas at Dormston".

One incumbent, Ricardus Baker, was buried beneath the altar in 1683.

 

Visiting St Nicholas’

The church is normally open every day from 9am until 4.30pm every day of the year.

Disabled Access: We recommend parking by the main gate for easiest access, although this is also possible from the car park. There is one very shallow step into the porch.