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St John the Baptist Church

Church  The church was built in 1838 on land given by Sir John Lefevre, Lord of the Manor of Burley. Until that date, Burley was part of the Parish of Winchester. It was a simple rectangular building, designed by Charles Underwood. The well-known Victorian architect, William Butterfield, designed a new sanctuary, vestry, north porch and organ chamber and these were added in 1886 / 7. Since then other alterations have been made including the addition of church rooms in 1974 and enlarged in 1987.

The stained glass windows span over a 100 years, the earliest dating from 1886, the latest to celebrate the Millennium in 2000. The east window depicts St John the Baptist in the centre together with St Luke and St Paul. On the north side a window is dedicated to Miss Applebee, who introduced women's hockey to America. The Millennium window on the south side was installed following a fund raising effort by the whole village. The concept and original design was by a member of the congregation to celebrate 2000 years of Christianity. Visitors are very welcome and will find a more detailed leaflet on the history of the church as you enter the church.

The church of St John the Baptist lies on the north side of Church Lane at the junction with Chapel Lane. The building is Grade II listed and is also mentioned in Pevsner. It was built in 1838 on land given by Sir John Lefevre, Lord of the Manor of Burley (up to that date Burley was part of the parish of Ringwood). The rectangular, six bay nave was designed by Charles Underwood. A gallery, reached by an external staircase, was inserted in the west end in 1851 and in 1886/7 a new sanctuary, organ chamber, north porch, heating chamber cover and vestry were added. These extensions are attributed to William Butterfield, who is also reputed to have reordered the internal seating and to have removed the gallery. In 1974 modern church rooms were added to the north side of the vestry; this addition was further extended in 1987.

All of the additions to the original church carried out to date blend with the original building. Pevsner commented "It is remarkable....how he (Butterfield) kept his own personality under control"! The west end is not Butterield's, as suggested as probable by Pevsner. The Underwood church is constructed of red bricks with stone dressings and a slate roof. The smaller Butterfield additions are half timbered on red brick plinths. The infill panels of the north porch are stone, while those of the boiler house and vestry store are rendered. The church room is constructed of red brick with a slate roof. Internally, the high nave is open to the roof trusses which are supported on corbelled brackets approximately halfway up the wall. The length of the building is broken only by the high chancel arch. The tall narrow organ chamber opens onto the south side of the choir and is now empty. There are no small chapels or other enclosed spaces within the body of the church. The nave walls display many 19th and 20th century memorial tablets; these are mostly brass and of simple design. A wooden triptych mounted on the west wall is a memorial to local soldiers who lost their lives in two world wars and the many memorials to local families in the church and churchyard are evidence of the church's close ties to the community: approximately half the windows contain stained glass dedicated to the memory of local people. The millennium window in the first bay of the south side is the most recent addition to the church. The pews, choir stalls, altar rail, pulpit and lectern were replaced between 1936 and 1978 due to damp problems. Some of the new oak furnishings bear the mouse trademark of the Tompson family.

The church is well used; in addition to Sunday services there are regular weekday services and activities, including mother and child groups, drama and musical events.

Vicar.
 

The Revd Angela Gammon (01425) 402303

Website: www.burleychurch.co.uk