The Parish of St. James Bishampton and The Chapelry, Throckmorton are part of a group known as the Flyford Family of Churches, which includes Abberton, Naunton Beauchamp and Flyford Flavell, as well as Grafton Flyford and North Piddle. We call ourselves a family rather than a benefice as we feel it better reflects the care and concern we have for each other. We lie to the north and east of the historic market town of Pershore and stretch across the stunning location of Worcestershire villages, orchards and market gardens, and a historically significant airfield. The Flyford Family of Churches also works closely with the churches in our neighbouring Benefices of the Bowland Benefice, The Five Alive Parish and the Benefice of Drakes Broughton with Stoulton and Pirton.
Revd Gary Noyes is the Licenced Priest in Charge to the Flyfords Family and the Bowland Benefice and Associate Priest to the Five Alive Parish and the Benefice of Drakes Broughton with Stoulton and Pirton. Revd Sarah Dangerfield and Revd Emma Goldby are Licenced as Associate Priests to the Flyford Family.
We worship in the context of collaborative ministry working regularly with the other five churches in our family, and occasionally across some nineteen churches using each priest’s skills and strengths and those of the lay leaders in a ministry team of committed Christians.
Worship in our churches uses both Order 1 and Traditional Language services from Common Worship as well as a variety of event prayer services, a number of our services are lay led. We share many special services with the others in our family as well as across the entire group, such as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday meditation, Rogation, Remembrance Day etc. Our congregations’ embrace people from a broad spectrum of churchmanship, adding to the overall worship within the Family.
There is a licensed lay minister resident in Bishampton, supported by an active PCC. However, we are always looking for new members to serve with us. Please contact one of our Church Wardens, Andy Batchelor or Peter Chatterton, if you would like to join us.
The Flyford Family produce and distribute a free bi monthly news sheet called The Flyford Family News. We use this to report on local events and details of services held in many of the churches. The publication is edited and distributed by people who live within our villages at no charge to the recipients.
St. James Church, Bishampton
The Church, formerly named St Peter’s but now dedicated to St James, was originally built in the 12th century, with a tower added in the 14th century. The church was rebuilt in 1870 by Frederick Preedy, when the figure carved on the pulpit was St James instead of St Peter; it was easier to change the name of the church than to remake the pulpit – that just about sums us up! Click on the link marked quiz to test your knowledge!
Over recent years the church has undergone significant re-ordering to meet the needs of 21st century worship. With support from the Friends of St James, new heating and lighting has been installed, as well as the construction of the Bothy, which houses the WC and kitchen facilities.
There are six bells that have recently been refurbished 80 years after they were last rehung. In November 2017 we celebrated their return with a Festival of Bells. We have movable pine pews and individual seating for approximately 150 plus choir stalls. Click on the link below to learn more.
Church attendance is increasing, seeing some friends returning and new residents attending. We are actively trying to make the church a more user-friendly space and as such, hold a variety of Annual events such as The Village Fete, Heritage Day, Great Easter Egg Hunt, and Christmas Concert.
We also hold a number of special events such as History Society talks, Scalextric's events serving hot food, Mediaeval Banquets, Fashion Shows, Beetle drives and much more.
The Chapelry, Throckmorton
The earliest mention of Throckmorton is in a charter of St Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester 1062-1095. Throckmorton church is not dedicated to a saint but classed as a chapelry. The church building dates mainly from the 13th century, although the north windows, the oldest unaltered ones, are probably 14th century. The upper stages of the tower are of the 15th century, and the Chapelry is one of only five in the county to have a central tower. There is one bell out of the original four still working.
Most of the major restoration work was carried out in 1880, however, in 1976 the church was in such a bad state of repair that the Worcester Diocese put it on the redundant churches list. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Harrison family, the funds were raised to carry out substantial repair works, and the Throckmorton Village Charity was set up. The dedication of the Throckmorton Village Charity and the PCC now sees The Chapelry in a good state of repair.
The church has no dedicated mains electricity, the pipe organ is run from a generator. The church is lit by oil lamps and candles, and is very atmospheric.
The village of Throckmorton and Tilesford have a population of approximately 200 people. There is no shop or public house in the village, however, in Tilesford there is a residential care home with private bungalows around it for the elderly.