This is a transcript of a leaflet about St Anne's that was published in 1984 for the church's centenary.


 
ST. ANNE'S CHURCH, BAGSHOT.

LOOKING AT ST. ANNE'S.

Welcome to our Church.

As you look around, remember that this building is not a Museum, but a centre where Christians regularly meet to worship God. Although we may not number our worshippers in hundreds Sunday by Sunday, thcse people who do come are here because they are committed to the service of God and because they are committed to maintain this place as a centre from which Gods work is done. Before you leave this place of Prayer, please pray for us as we pray for you.

HISTORICAL.

Bagshot has only been an independent Parish since 1874, and has had this Church building since 1884. This year we are celebrating our Church's centenary, and we are organizing many events to mark this important occasion such as a Flower and Craft Festival, a special Fete in nearby Bagshot Park, several Concerts, and a visit from the Bishop of Guildford. Christianity is, however, much more than one hundred years old in Bagshot and Christians have worshipped here for centuries. It is believed that there was a Chapel where the King's Arms public house now stands in the centre of the village, but this was destroyed by fire in the 16th Century. It was not until 1819 that a new Chapel was built in School Lane on the site of the present cemetery. Contemporary pictures show it as a simple, rectangular building. There was a curate-in-charge, responsible to the Rector of Windlesham in whose ecclesiastical parish Bagshot was until 1874.

See below for clarification of the architect's name.

In 1880 it was decided to build a new Parish Church, and the Duke of Connaught who had moved to Bagshot Park that year with his new wife, Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, gave the land fom his own estate. The foundation stone was laid by the Duke in 1883 and the building was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester on April 25th, 1884. (When the new diocese of Guildford was created in 1927, Parishes in this area were transferred from the diocese of Winchester.) The architect was Mr Alec Cheers. The appearance of the Church is substantially the same today both inside and outside. The Chapel in School Lane had by then been pulled down, but it is thought that material from it was used in the building of the new Church.

No-one seems to know why the Church (and the Chapel before it) was dedicated to St. Anne. We know very little about her for certain, except that she was the mother of St. Mary and so Jesus' grandmother. Since 1584 her special day in the Christian calendar has been July 26th.

Since 1874 there have been nine Vicars, making an average stay of twelve years, although the first Vicar, the Reverend F.A.P. Lory, stayed for twenty-six years until 1900 and had been curate-in-charge for several years prior to being Vicar. As with the 'parent' Parish of Windlesham, the patron of the benefice was the Lord Chancellor, and today he is still ultimately responsible for the appointment of each new Vicar.

THE INTERIOR.

The large west window features the arms of the British Royal Family and the House of Coburg, recalling the origins of Queen Victoria.

In the north aisle is a painting by an unknown artist depicting Jesus confronting 'doubting' Thomas. If you walk up this aisle, look at the foot of the last pillar before you reach the brass eagle lecturn: this is the foundation stone of the building. The door opposite in the wall of the Church was the Duke's door which he used for over sixty years when coming to worship.

Near the lecturn is a seascape painted by Lady Patricia Ramsay, the Duke's daughter, who also worshipped in this Church for many years.

The carved oak doorway to the vestry was erected in memory of King Edward VII. The nearby window shows the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

In the Childrens' Corner hangs a star with its centre depicting the Holy Family.

On the north wall of the chancel you will see the silken banner bearing the arms of the Duke of Connaught. This is his garter banner which formerly hung in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, until his death in 1941 when it was given by his family to the Church which he caused to be built.

The east window shows the Crucifixion, and the smaller window on the south side of the sanctuary shows the resurrection of the dead.

The Walker three-manual organ was installed in 1899, and in 1984 will undergo a comprehensive programme of renovation which will greatly enhance its quality and its ability to lead our worship.

Above the pulpit is a carving of the Crucifixion made in Oberammergau and given by Prince Arthur of Connaught, the Duke's son.

The Stuart Chapel is where most weekday Services are held, and commemorates the Reverend Canon R.W.H. Stuart who was Vicar for fourteen years until his death in 1934. The window in the Chapel shows Jesus walking on the water, and, if you read the nearby plaque, you will discover its naval connections.

THE EXTERIOR.

The tower and spire can be seen from many points in the surrounding area rising above the trees. It is a little unusual in that it is not placed in the centre of the building, nor at the west end, but on the south side of the building at the point where the nave and the chancel meet. The spire is 140 feet high.

There was originally a peal of six bells, but a further two were added in 1914. The bells are regulaly rung by our enthusiastic band, and visiting campanologists often include Bagshot on their itineries. The heaviest bell weighs 17 hundredweight.

The War Memorial in the Churchyard used to stand at the bottom of Church Road, at the junction with the A30, but it was moved to its present position when it was necessary to improve the main road.

At certain times of the year (when the trees are bare) it is possible to see Bagshot Park from the north-east corner of the Church. This was the home of the Duke of Connaught, but for many years has been the centre for the Royal Army Chaplains' Department.
 

Thank you for taking the time to visit us; please return and join us in the many opportunities for worship and social activities, especially in 1984, our centenary year. Do tell your friends and family about us, so that they too may visit St. Anne's.
 
 
 

These notes have been compiled for 1984 with the assistance of the 1970 'Guide' to St. Anne's which is gratefully acknowledged.

The architect was Henry Arthur Cheers, originally in the partnership Bromilow and Cheers of Liverpool, but later working independently. He has some 40 buildings including 4 churches to his credit. 6106.806

The source for the name Alec Cheers is a booklet "Bagshot Reminescences" published in 1949 by the son of Rev. F.A.P. Lory (who was vicar at the time of the construction) and this has been echoed in a number of subsequent publications. Whether 'Alec' is a mistaken reminiscence or whether the vicar had for some reason known Cheers by this as a nick-name is a matter of speculation. 6107.806

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