St Mary’s Church Westcott is one of three worship centres within the parish known as ‘Waddesdon, with Over Winchendon and Fleet Marston’ (this is the official name of the parish). St Mary’s was built as a ‘chapel of ease’ for workers on the Waddesdon estate in 1867 at the expense of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, who also built Westcott CE School, between 1870-75.
The parish, that is now included in the Schorne Team of Parishes, is served by the parish priest, Revd Mary Cruddas (01296 655069).
The current worship pattern is under review. The present pattern is:
1st Sunday – 9.30am Westcott Breakfast A chance to share breakfast, read the news papers, with craft activities for the children. This is followed by a ‘Thought for the day”, a hymn and prayer.
3rd Sunday – 9.30am Family Communion A simple communion service to which children are welcome.
Further opportunities to worship within the parish are displayed on the Schorne Team website. On 2nd and 4th Sundays there is a 9.30 communion service at Upper Winchendon (HP18 0EP) . There is a service at 11am in Waddesdon on most Sundays (check Schorne Team website for details).
The whole school meets in the church building for weekly acts of worship during term time, with parents and any villagers welcomed to join the school as advertised in the Calendar. Christian festivals are also celebrated by the school in the church, usually in afternoons followed by an opportunity to meet in school for refreshments.
The History of St. Mary’s
It was designed by G.E.Street the famous Victorian architect, and considered the best of his work in the county. The leading character of the architecture of the church is early English; it consists of a nave, two aisles, chancel, and south porch, with a central bellcote. The simplicity of the design creates a deep sense of peace and stillness. The exterior walls are of local blue stone with Ancaster stone dressings. the interior walls are lined with pink and cream bricks, with stone dressings. The roof has exposed stained timbers with plaster infills. The octagonal, pulpit, is in the northeast corner of the nave. The font is hexagonal, each face being semi-circular.
The east window is dedicated to Edward Charles Bulmer, killed whilst serving at RAF Westcott. The altar was designed and installed by Canon Vernon Stanley of Ickford in 1924