Church Lane, Stonehouse GL10 3QP
St Cyr’s Church is located in a beautiful rural landscape, next to the Stroudwater Canal. The church has a weekly Sunday morning Family Service at 9.30am which is live streamed via its Facebook page. There is also an active Mother’s Union branch which meets for monthly prayer meetings, together with other services including baptisms, weddings, funerals, blessings and celebrations.
The church also receives visits from bell ringers, walkers and cyclists, as well as being used by choirs and music groups for practices, concerts and performances.
St Cyr’s Church has a friendly outward looking congregation, many of whom are involved in other aspects of town life. We have an excellent relationship with Stonehouse Town Council, with the church being used by a number of local organisations including the Stonehouse History Group, Cotswolds Canal Trust and Cotswold Singers.
The church is open daily.
Although the church is some distance from the centre of Stonehouse High Street, it would most probably have been built to serve the ancient centre of the settlement, which grew up around the Manor House, which is now Stonehouse Court Hotel.
Stonehouse appears in the Domesday Book under its old name “Stanhus” but there is no mention of a church, although historians believe there was a Saxon church. The list of incumbents date from 1225, with the advowson belonging to the Abbess and Convent of Elstow Abbey, Bedfordshire. At the reformation, the abbey was passed to the crown.
The tower at St Cyr’s Church is the oldest part of the church, dating from the 14th century. The tower contains a peal of six bells, four of which are dated 1636 and the other two added by around 1703.
Due to the old church building being in a poor state of repair, it was rebuilt in 1854 by Henry Crisp of Bristol in a chaste perpendicular style. The new church building was built in the same perpendicular style as the former church building, with the Chancel raised on the foundations of the former Chancel.
The church has a spacious interior with 5-bay aisle arcades, together with a high pointed chancel arch, flanked by lower aisle arches. Older features were incorporated into the new church building, including a replacement 12th century style font and doorway in the porch. The tower is rather squat due to the high roof of the rebuilt church. The chancel aisles and vestry were added in 1884 by William Clissold. There are several memorials dating between the 17th and 19th centuries.
The stained-glass east window is by Wailes of Newcastle (1854). The sanctuary windows either side of the east window in the Chancel are the work of Edward Payne of Minchinhampton (1961 & 1964).
More recent changes which have been made to the church include the installation of an organ gallery and organ in 1957 at the west end, subsequently removed in 2017, the installation and removal of choir stalls at the east end, heating and lighting being added, together with major alterations in 1987 at the west end to provide meeting rooms, together with a basic kitchen and small toilet.
There are an outstanding collection of 50 Grade II listed table top tombs and monuments in the churchyard which date between the 17th century to 19th centuries. See below for a picture of some of the table top tombs. Several of these monuments were inside the old church and removed at the time of rebuilding in the 19th century, so their position does not necessarily bear any relation to the resting place of those commemorated. Most are of limestone or sandstone and include chest and pedestal tombs. In 1908, a new extension to the churchyard was given on the opposite side of Church Lane, with additional areas being provided in 1981 and 1997.
Formerly a standalone parish, St Cyr’s Church became part of the Stroudwater Team in 2017
Chris Amys, Churchwarden