St Peter's, Codford
A very warm welcome to St Peter’s! We continue the long tradition of worship here at the top end of the high street in Codford. There has been a church on this spot since at least the 13th century, but there have been people here along the old road from Salisbury to Warminster since before recorded history. Our lovely Saxon cross shaft (set in the chancel wall) certainly takes things back before the conquest: were our ancestors worshipping here when a certain Codda built a ford across the Wylye?
Today, we look to the future as well as celebrating our long history. Codford is now one large village with two historic parishes and churches, so every Sunday morning there are services at either St Peter’s or St Mary’s (see here for their page). At St Peter’s, we are always delighted to host the Team Choir for communion services. In addition, we host family services on two Sundays a month, one in the church and one in the village hall with a ‘messy’ theme that brings together helpers and children from across the upper Wylye valley. On Wednesday morning we meet in church for morning prayer and communion; on Thursday mornings the volunteer-run café meets in the village hall. Our ring of six bells is in good condition and is played every month.
The beautiful church building at St Peter’s is well maintained and we are currently working with architects to look at how to make best use of the space. First priority is a water supply so we can extend the range of drinks and excellent cakes served on Sunday mornings!
Whether you are new to the village or long-established, whether you are stationed here with the military or just passing through on holiday, you will be very welcome.
Do just join us at one of the services (the website is always up to date) or get in touch with one of us. Our team vicar Clifford lives in the village. People from across the village help out with everything from the Pimms & strawberries stand at the village fete to mowing the churchyard.
Our churchwardens Alasdair and Barbara would love to hear from you.
I live just behind the theatre in the centre of Codford with my wife Charlotte and two children Rory and Hector, aged 10 and 8. I work as a management consultant in London (and all over). We moved to Codford 3 years ago and it was the best decision we ever made!
I have lived in Codford for 20 years, and since my retirement have been involved in many of the organisations in this very active and friendly village. My four grandchildren love to visit with their parents and we all enjoy the walking and cycling around the Wylye Valley.
More about the history of our church
The church originates in the Norman period, but it contains a 9th century Saxon cross shaft, about four feet high. This depicts a man with a mallet or rattle holding aloft a stylised branch from an alder tree. His head is thrown back and he is wearing dress typical of the period, a full smock and a short cloak. Several theories have been advanced as to the meaning of this picture. One suggests that this is a dancer in a ceremony confirming local peoples' rights in the produce of the low lying marshland. It would appear to be a non-Christian symbol but one of great importance to be incorporated in an early church, which may have existed in Saxon times.
The present church of west tower, nave, south porch, chancel, north aisle and vestry dates from the 13th century. In the 15th century the gabled south porch and the Perpendicular west tower, of which the lowest part survives, were built. The gabled vestry was added in the 19th century and a substantial restoration took place in 1863 under T.H. Wyatt. The Norman chancel arch was moved and the Saxon sculpture was found in the walls. In 1911, the chancel screen by F.C. Eden was installed, while early in the 21st century the organ was moved here from Dorset.
The church contains the royal arms of George I (1716) and an 18th century communion table. The square font is 12th century and is carved with stars and crosses, while the font cover is 17th century. The registers dating from 1597 (baptisms and burials) and 1619 (marriages), other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.
Photographs of St Peter, Codford (click an image for a slideshow of larger images)
General Photo Gallery