Southrey’s new ‘window of life’

Southrey Church
Southrey Church

They build things to last in Southrey - not least when it comes to churches.

It’s 119 years since villagers built their own church, dedicated to St John the Divine.

Constructed of wood it was supposed to be a temporary structure.

It is still going strong today and is regarded as one of the most beautiful and unusual churches in the country.

It will shortly boast a new feature.

A grant of almost £8,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund is providing money for a new stained glass window.

Entitled ‘Then And Now’, there will be five panels. Four will commemorate local servicemen who have given their lives in conflicts spanning the last 100 years - and the fifth a sunset.

The ‘list’ starts with the First World War and ends with Ben Tate, a Royal Marine who was killed in action four years ago.

The grant will also help restore and clean headstones featuring the names of the servicemen.

The new window is part of a series of events planned in the village to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

It will be in place for an exhibition in the church from September 11-14, focusing on the seven men from Southrey who fought in WW1.

In November, there will be a dance at the village hall - built in 1919 instead of a war memorial - with all 200 residents invited to attend.

It will be followed by a commemoration service for the new window.

Local Lay Minister Ann Pepper, who led the successful lottery bid, said: “All seven men from Southrey who fought in the World War 1 died as a result.

“The window should be a fitting tribute - and to others who died serving their country over the last 100 years.”