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Radley Parish Church


The current parish church of St James the Great in Radley was consecrated in about 1300. It is a beautiful building with the original, and rare, wooden pillars still standing. The church does not have a north aisle and transept, giving a rather lop-sided feeling. There is a long-standing tradition that both were destroyed during the Civil War but evidence for this is limited. There is a Norman font, a fine peal of bells and some interesting stained glass windows by the noted British stained glass maker, Thomas Willement, many of which show representations of the Royal Arms of Tudor and Plantagenet kings. The influence of the patron and local landowner, first the Stonhouse and then the Bowyer family, is evident inside the church. Stonhouse and Bowyer memorials line the chancel walls, while the impressive 17th century Stonhouse tomb is to the right of the altar. The intricate wooden choir stalls were a gift from George Bowyer in the 1840s; he may also have donated the carved wooden canopy over the pulpit.

The Church was closed between June 2008 and February 2009 to allow urgent work to repair damage caused by death watch beetle. Church reopens.

Reverend Rob Glenny (Tel: 01235 554739) is the rector of the United Benefice of Radley, Sunningwell and Kennington.

Contact details for the churchwardens and other church officers are available on the benefice’s website. Please contact the vicar if you are interested in being confirmed or if you have an enquiry about a baptism, wedding or funeral.

The church website also has information on the pattern of services and church organisations. 

The well-appointed Church Room next to the church is available for village and church functions.

The Parochial Church Council has published a Radley Parish Local Information Handbook.

St James the Great CoverThe Story of a Village Church: St James the Great, Radley

This illustrated 184-page book published by Radley History Club gives information about the building itself, the church history which influenced it, and the people who were involved in it, right up to the present day.

Price £5.00

Radley History Club has also produced Faith and Heraldry: the stained glass in the Church of St James the Great, Radley. This 20-page booklet, with colour photographs, is intended for those for would like to know more about the windows and their history.

Price: £5.00

Both are available for sale from the Club’s website or at Radley Village Shop


Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/ourvillage/history/radley-parish-church/