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St. James the Great, Gawsworth

St James the Great in the Parish of Gawsworth: Our Church has considerable history and stands in the Gawsworth Conservation Area, a magnificent setting at the end of Church Lane and sitting next to Gawsworth Old Hall with two beautiful ponds in front. Following Church Lane round, the other approach is flanked by an avenue of old Lime trees.

Previously a Norman Chapel that has been expanded, the walls of the nave being built of limestone in 1430 and the Chancel and Tower of pink sandstone in 1480. The splendid roofs are five hundred years old - the nave roof, barrel beam in design and unique in this Diocese, shows considerable traces of its original brilliant colouring and gilt. The chancel roof, arch camber beam in construction and with rare panelled sections with tie beams, was never painted but both roofs are of exceptional beauty of design and in excellent condition. The choir screen occupies the site of the original rood screen and was erected in 1893 to replace a similar medieval screen destroyed earlier. The cross and figures over the screen were added in 1978. The font with its octagonal basin is original 15th Century work and has a splendid carved font-cover.

The Church is Grade I listed and the Skull & Crossbone gates and Saxon Stone cross are Grade II listed. There are fragments of ancient glass in the chancel windows and the Main Window is reported to be by William Wailes. We have a good selection of services throughout the month all of which are set to the 1662 Prayer Book format, the only service deviating from this format is the Family Service on the first Sunday each month. Our congregation attendance is healthy, some people coming some distance for the 1662 format. We have a large number of Baptisms and Weddings each year due to the beautiful setting.

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