Norman church believed to have been built, probably over a previous Saxon church of wood.
Domesday book records a church in Abinger (then Abinceborne), possibly built by William Fitz Ansculf, the Tenant-in-chief (who also held six other Surrey manors). Original here. [Translation in Papers on Abinger Church 1939 – paper1, page10]
North (Patron’s) chapel believed built.
Black Death strikes England.
Church registers of Abinger Church exist from this date, following an Act by Queen Elizabeth I. The first entries are: Baptism – Lawrence Dayre, son of Matthew Dayre, 23rd April 1559; Marriage – Richard Edshue & Joane Mower 20th October 1559; Burial – Alce Tallard 2nd November 1559.
between 1595, 1624
Richard Evelyn of Wotton aquired the manor of Abinger, Paddington, Paddington Pembroke, Paddington Bray.
29th November: a lease granted to Thomas Hussey of Old Sutton Place and son Peter for 1000 years for a space 7ft x 51/2 ft for putting two pews “on the south side adjoining the pulpit, the reading place and the clerk’s seat” at a yearly rent of one peppercorn and a charge of £5 in consideration of the lease.
Three new bells installed, one inscribed “Wm. Eldridge made me 1674”.
Reference to a “… fair kept on St James’ day for cattle etc. now much decayed” at Abinger in John Aubrey’s Natural History & Antiquities of Surrey 1719.
Rev R Offley bequeathed in his will four farms to the church of St John the Baptist, Oakwood.
July 23, William Bray (historian). To the “Hatch” to dinner, Mr. Evelyn, Mr. Godschal, Mr. Bridges, Mr. Steere, Mr. Spence, Mr. Courtenay, and Mr. Walsh there; left at 7; paid for dinner and wine, 4s. 6d
Tithes valued at £427 pa and the glebe at £52.
Considered to be the last decade in which the stocks and whipping post, on the green outside the church, were used.
Restoration under Henry Goodyer, architect. The Singers’ gallery in the west end which formerly held a small orchestra for services was replaced with a barrel organ (two barrels of ten tunes each). Roof gutters and downpipes installed. New oak pulpit made. Oak pews replace old high, deal ones.
Warming apparatus installed at expense of Wm Wheelwright of New York, manufactured by A M Perkins. Part of glebe land (approx. 1/4 acre) given up as site for the school and teacher’s house.
Churchyard enlarged southwards by 1 rood (1/4acre)
Easternmost window on the south side in the Chancel filled with painted glass “memory of Frances Carleton Bayley widow of Wentworth Bayley, Esqre. of Weston Hall, Suffolk, and of Jamaica” at the expense chiefly of “her daughter Miss Frances Bayley.”
Rationalisation of bounds of Abinger and neighbouring parishes brought Okewood into Abinger civil parish. (See modern boundaries here).
Further restoration and enlargement of St James’ church. This included a third bell (1880), cast by Mears & Stainbank (later Whitechapel Bell Founders); bellcot and weather vane were repaired. The West window was created; a new (Old) vestry and Organ Chamber built on the South Chancel Aisle; carved oak altar rails added; choir stalls and north aisle pews made; a porch was added; floors were repaired; roofs were repaired; the lychgate was built. The church re-opened 5th August 1880.
Glebe Act of 1888 permits the parish to sell glebe land. Rector Hill sells glebe land in 1890 for £11,700 (av. £173 per acre).
Creation of parish council (PCC) and civil parish (PC)
The war memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens RA was erected, a gift of Mrs Margaret Lewin, widow of Col. Lewin of Parkhurst, in memory of the men of the ecclesiastical parish of Abinger who fell in the 1914-1918 World War.
A new vestry added to St James’, given by Mrs Waterhouse in memory of her late husband, Edwin. Calvary erected.
Field west of the church repurposed as the village green.
Wall built around 1917 churchyard extension £240.
Rector Denny sold 22 .75 acres of glebe land (parsonage + lands) for £3,800 to C J Evelyn.
Electric cable run (paid for by Abinger Manor)
East window damaged in May, from a wartime ammunition explosion on the common
Completion of re-building of church (by F Etchells FRIBA), based on the 1879 structure with an additional 10 feet added for placing the organ. Re-consecration took place in May. Aprox. £46,000.
Church struck by lightning in June. Extensive damage to the tower, roof and east window. Church again repaired. “The repairs were again expertly handled and the result is superb, one of the most lovely of village churches…” Surrey Villages (Pitt & Shaw)
The glass for the restored East Window given in memory of John Coe. The new design by Laurence Lee ARCA depicts the cross as a living tree. Concealed ceiling lighting introduced.
A custom-built Nicholson pipe organ was installed: dedicated by the Bishop of Guildford in January 1991.
Three new bells were added in June to the existing three to mark the millenium, cast by Whitechaped Bell Foundry, first rung on New Year’s Eve.
Michael Bowler, verger, died after 59 years of continual service: the longest-recorded service to the church. A new oak cross and candlesticks commemorate his life.
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