Dymock in one of nine parishes that make up the United Benefice of the Leadon Vale in the Anglican Diocese of Gloucester, part of the Church of England. The others are: Donnington, Kempley, Preston, Redmarley, Upleadon, Bromesberrow, Oxenhall, and Pauntley.
Dymock’s church building is mainly Norman.
The church and village (Pop 1,200) are mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086 AD). The church today serves many of the people and organisations in the village and its surroundings. To see if there’s anything we can do for you, click on the headings in the menu bar at the top of the page, or any text highlighted in blue
An account of the village life by Marion Allan
We moved to Dymock in 1966 – a very different village from today. The Crypt Estate was nearing completion, no Bayfield Gardens, no Willows, no Kyrle Acre, no Winding Pool and St. Mary’s Close was the Vicarage Garden.
Gordon my husband was the deputy head of Ann Cam School in the old building. Mr. Hobbs was the Headmaster. Rev. Eric Gethryn Jones was the Vicar and Canon Daniel Gethryn Jones – Eric’s father was Dymock’s own Archbishop!
The Church and school were influential in village life. The Canon acquired funds to bring the portrait of Ann Cam – the school’s benefactor- which now hangs in the school in Bayfield Gardens. At the time of the purchase the traffic through the village was such that Mr. Hobbs, Eric the vicar and Gordon were able to stand out in the middle of the road holding the very large painting for the photograph to be taken for the newspaper. No hold ups at all in fact no traffic for the half an hour or so that it took to take the photograph.
Children from outlying villages were bused to school in George Youngs coaches and local children walked to school. Daisy Dudfield – formerly Daisy Brooks was the school cook and a very hearty and tasty mid-day meal was provided in the school kitchen every day.
Each year there was a Church Christmas Fayre and Summer Fete. Both events highlights of village life. Parishioners beavered away in the preparation for these events. The Christmas Fayre was held in the Parish Hall and the Summer Fete in the Vicarage Garden. Harvest Festival was also a celebration – the church filled with fruit, flowers and general produce. The pupils from the top two classes decorated the Church Porch. A grand time was had by all.
Church Finances were managed quite differently – an income and expenses form of housekeeping – many transactions recorded on the back of an envelope. Then Martin Edwards arrived and gave the whole procedure a more professional view on things.
It was in the early 70’s that noticeable changes appeared. The Crypt was finished and plans for a new school were made.
Rev. Eric retired and Rev. Douglas Bell-Richards moved in to the Vicarage. A Sunday School was introduced led by Fenella Bell-Richards daughter of the Vicar. Many children were confirmed during Bell -Richards time. Jill Bell-Richards introduced the Christingle service, raising funds for the Church of England Children’s Society. Mother’s Union meetings were still held in Broom’s Green village hall.
When the Bell-Richards moved to Fairford the Rev. Reginald Nash came to Dymock. His was a short stay and was followed by the Rev. Reginald Legge. With the advent of Reg. Legge things noticeably changed. Reg Legge’s approach was more High Church than had previously been practised in Dymock. A fully robed choir was set up with Altar boys attending the priest. Probably the greatest innovation was the installing of lay pastors. Ruth Blandford, Chris Rivers, Sheila Alexander, Andrew Perry, and in time others joined the ranks, Brian Blandford, Phyllis Saxelby, Selina Marcon, Vi Chester, John Gregory, Hermonie Skrine,to name a few! At this time there were four churches in the Benefice, Dymock, Donnington, Kempley and Preston. They were known as the Windcross Parishes. The lay pastors were invaluable in providing services and pastoral care in the churches. At this time the Windcross Care scheme was developed and volunteers drove members of the community who were elderly and infirm to doctor’s appointments, trips to the shops, visits to gardens etc.
Around this time there was much discussion about changing the order of services from BCP to a more modern form. Many people were not in favour of such a change but finally the ASB was established.
By now the new school building was proceeding and in the late seventies the Bayfield Gardens school was opened. At first there was a split site with the old Ann Cam building and children walked down what was know as the Pig Path instead of on the road. The old school was eventually sold as a private dwelling and now has holiday accommodation for visitors.
After Rev. Reg. and Hazel Legge we appointed Rev. Richard Hart who came with his young family to live in the Vicarage. Richard worked hard to encourage young families into the congregation.
After Richard left the four parishes were amalgamated to nine and Rev. Pat Phillips took over and was here for ten years until retirement. Rev. Pat still lives in the area and was until recently Priest responsible for the retired clergy in the Diocese.
Rev. Tony Lomas followed Pat and Lara Bloom took over when Tony took a job as Chaplain of Aquataine. After a long vacancy with some difficulties we now welcome Rev. Kat and her family to the Leadon Vale Benefice and wish her every happiness in this delightful area.