Horfield Parish Church

History of our church - Bristol Mirror
13th February 1847


Thursday last was fixed for the re-opening of the Chancel of this Church, which was for some time past, under the judicious direction of W. Butterfield Esq. the accomplished Ecclesiastical Architect, has been undergoing a complete restoration, if not being entirely rebuilt.

The Vicar and the Churchwardens have been indefatigable in their exertions to obtain the necessary funds, and have been assisted by kind friends both in this neighbourhood and at a distance, and by many secret and unknown benefactors.

We believe that among the latter are to be classed the donors of the stained glass windows; none of the ornamental work being paid for by the parishioners.

Perhaps never did the sun shine forth more - fit emblem of the Sun (sic) of Righteousness, who shall one day rise with healing in his wings.

Doubtless the severe state of the weather kept many at home who would otherwise have been present, but as it was the Church was nearly full.

At half past 11 o'clock the Clergy, numbering nearly 20, and having assembled at the Parsonage, walked in procession two and two, habited in gown and hood, to the Church, and as many as could found seats in the Chancel.

Among them we noticed the Ven. Archdeacon Thorpe, the Revs. G.N. Barrow, Hon. Canon of Bristol and Rural Dean Dr. Allen, the Vicar the Rev. H. Richards, Professor Reay, C. Bullock, G.M.Bullock, J.J. Coles, Jefferies Coles, T.B. Croome, - Carrall, G.H.Eland, C.Evanson, H.Gray, C.H. Johnston, L.Pope, - Todd, H.L.Waters, and J.R.Woodford.

Prayers were said by the Curate, the Rev. T.B.Croome, the Lessons being read respectively by the Rural Dean and the Rev. Dr. Allen. The Communion Office was said by the Ven. The Archdeacon, the Rev. J.R. Woodford of St. Saviours, Coalpit Heath, and the Rev. G.L. Eland, Incumbent of St. Pauls, Bedminster read the Epistle and Gospel.

The Archdeacon then proceeded to the Pulpit and choosing as his text PSALM 69, 9, delivered a most appropriate and excellent discourse.

For when we gazed in silent admiration at the Chancel, it's encaustic pavement, its windows of radiant glass, it's roof and stalls of oak, the Communion Table habited in it's gorgeous carpet of silk, the transept and tower cleared of their dissightly galleries, and the West End lighted by the beautiful stained glass; our minds began to realise what the material fabric of our buildings should be.

A train of thought very consonant with the reverential manner in which all the services were conducted.

We did feel that the English Church was neither a mere institution of 300 years growth, nor formed by man's device, but is founded upon the Apostles, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Cornerstone.

The Offertory amounted to upwards of £70.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was afterwards administered at which the Ven. The Archdeacon was the Celebrant, assisted by the Vicar, and the Revs. G.H. Eland and J.R.Woodford. The number of communicants was large.

Having said so much respecting the proceedings of the day, we must not omit to add that during the interval of Morning and Evening Prayer hospitality was predominant, both at the Parsonage, and at the house of K.F. Barnes Esq*. the churchwarden, who entertained a party of between 50 and 60.

At the Schoolroom, in the meantime the wants of the children and some of the older parishioners were kindly cared for; a good dinner of beef and pudding being provided for them.

The Church was fully attended at Evening Service, when the Rev. Sir George Prevost, Perpetual Curate of Stinchcombe, preached.

It is gratifying to say that in different ways upwards of £170 were collected.

On Sunday, February 14th. the Sermon at Evensong will be preached by Dr. Pusey.


* Francis Kentucky Barnes lived at Horfield Lodge.

N.B. These services were held in the Church as re-built in 1831 with the addition of the new Chancel, and after the galleries built at that time had been removed.

Shortly afterwards the new Chancel was blocked off from the Nave whilst the walls of the latter were knocked through and the new North and South Aisles together with the South Porch were built by extending the width of the 1831 Transepts back as far as the East wall of the Tower.

The completed Church was finally dedicated on the 22nd. December, 1847, which Service was unfortunately not reported in the local Press.

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