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Rearsby's history: the church

St Michael and All Angels' Church as we know it today was started in the13th century. It took two centuries to complete, developing as population growth demanded and resources permitted. It was positioned on the highest point of the village so it could dominate the surrounding countryside.

The plan of the church is that of a typical small parish church, with a west tower, aisled nave, rectangular chancel and south porch. Three building materials have been used in its construction: ironstone (chancel), grey limestone (tower) and red Mountsorrel granite (facing of the nave and clerestory walls).

The first stage of the church was the south arcade of four bays. One of the windows in the south wall has some stained glass with a statuette of St Michael positioned on the mullion. The north arcade appears to be 14th century. The chancel is dominated by the three perpendicular windows with their four centred arches. Externally the chancel is supported by two French buttresses, typical of the 14th century. The perpendicular-style tower was the final part of the church to be completed. It is battlemented with four crocketed pinnacles.

The church underwent major restoration in 1858 and 1891 and a couple of minor changes have been made to the interior since then. In 1976 it was comletely redecorated.

The 13th century font is the most interesting part of the church. It has an unusual drum shape with four triple shafts attached. The ornamentation surrounding the rim has been damaged but it is believed to resemble wheatsheaves. The base is modern.

There is a war memorial within the church; it commemorates the following Rearsby men who lost their lives serving their countries during the first and second world wars.

First World War (The Great War): 1914 to 1918 Second World War: 1939 to 1945
Albert Edward BENSKIN
Walter Ernest DEWICK
Gerald Edgar ELLIS
Robert George HASSALL
George HILL
Thomas SHARP
Thomas Arthur TYERS
John Roy TYERS
Arthur Edmund WRIGHT

Edward NEAL
Frederick George WOODCOCK

Fuller details and further information on the names listed can be obtained from George Friendship. Email:CAmicitia@aol.com