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Mattingley Parish Council

Parish Church

Mattingley Parish Council Parish Church

Mattingley Church

Mattingley Church is part of The Whitewater Benefice which includes the churches of Heckfield, Hook, Mattingley and Rotherwick.

The Priest in Charge:
    Rev'd Dr Marion de Quidt   (01256 763211)

The Church Wardens for Mattingley are:
   Vivienne Alexander   (0118 9326264)
   David Salisbury   (01252 843160)


Mattingley Church has always been associated with Heckfield, apart from the years 1863 to 1949 when it was a completely separate Parish with its own Vicar.  Rotherwick joined Heckfield and Mattingley in 1974.

The first church or chapel on the present site was probably built towards the end of the l4th century.  In 1425 Pope Martin granted a licence for a cemetery at the Chapel because the inhabitants found it inconvenient to carry their dead to Heckfield; the land between the two places being frequently flooded.

The building of the present church was probably started towards the end of the 15th Century; the bricks which are made as parallelograms and not oblongs seem to have been designed specifically for herringbone work and may well have been "burnt" on Hazeley Heath.  Up to 1837 the whole building was the same width as the present chancel but in 1837 the Nave was widened and the porch in its present form added.

The Church has no patron saint - possibly because the original building on the site was, to start with, a moot hall - that is, a place where meetings were held.  On the other hand it may have been because it was, in the early days, a "chapel of ease" to the Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Heckfield.

On entering the church, the first thing to notice is the ancient font, for some time removed from the Church to the Churchyard and only comparatively recently restored to its rightful place.  On the south wall is a board which records sums of money, bequeathed to the Church in bygone days, to be used for charitable purposes.  Beneath the board is an oak gate legged table.  This table replaces the table given to the Church in memory of Mrs John Pawson of Dipley Mill, which was stolen from the Church in the summer of 1991.

Turning to the west wall, in the centre there is an altar cloth enclosed in a glass case, which is dated 1667 and was used for 220 years.  To the left is a case which, until stolen some years ago, contained an ancient clarinet which helped provide the music before the days of the organ.  Below the altar cloth is the visitors' book: for many years an exercise book served the purpose and it was filled with the names of people from all over the world.  Recently some visitors from Holland who saw it, thought something better would be more proper for the Church - hence the very handsome visitors' book.

On either side of the west window are two colourful metal shields whose origin is unknown bearing respectively the following texts:

    "My House shall be called the House of Prayer"
    "Suffer Little Children to come unto me"

Turning to the east end, the stained glass window behind the altar was erected in memory of Viscount Eversley, who was Lord of the Manor towards the end of the last century.  Until recently the bottom quarter of this window had been obscured by dark wooden panels, presumably to enhance the visibility of the Cross, Candlesticks and Altar.  We now have the benefit of seeing the whole of this window, with the added advantage of increased daylight in the Chancel. On either side of the window are two panels on which are inscribed the Ten Commandments, possibly of 17th Century workmanship.

Above and not very visible if the lights are not on, is an unusual addition of the same date, giving the two (Positive) Commandments of Our Lord.

The north window of the Chancel contains some fragments of ancient stained glass - in particular the head of a saint which is probably of mid or late 15th Century workmanship.  Below is hung a shield bearing the Arms of Magdalen College, Oxford, derived from the shield of the College's founder, William of Waynflete, who was Bishop of Winchester 1447 to 1487 and probably responsible for the building of the Church.

The Churchyard, though licensed in 1425, seems to have fallen into disuse during the 17th and 18th Centuries when all burials must have been carried out at Heckfield.  The present Churchyard really dates from 1851, the most prominent feature being an enormous Celtic Cross, erected by the Singleton family who, for a time, lived at Hazeley House.

Nowadays the north and east parts of the Churchyard are kept in order by parishioners and the remainder is looked after by a contractor.

This information is largely based on the researches of the late Mr. W. J. James

Copyright © 2006-2016 Mattingley Parish Council. All rights reserved.