Bleasby Community Website
St Mary's Church
Bleasby Parish Church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, and is located on Main Street in the heart of the old village and conservation area, about half a mile from the River Trent. Situated on a bend in the road adjacent to the Glebe Field, it has an idyllic setting within a quintessential English country churchyard.
The church is a Grade II listed building which dates from the 13th century. It was restored in 1853, and again in 1869 by Ewan Christian. The organ dates from 1783 and was designed as a house organ by the composer John Marsh, the grandfather of one of Bleasby’s vicars. Rebuilt as a church organ in 1863 by Gray & Davidson, a specification for the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register. The entrance to the church is through a lychgate, which appears to be much older than it actually is, and to the side of the path is the village War Memorial.
During the long history of the church momentous events have occurred, one of the most significant was when the plague struck in 1604, when there were 104 deaths recorded in that year. It has been suggested that the population could not have been greater than 300 at that date. It stood at 358 in 1855 and then, in common with many Trent-side villages it declined, with numbers falling to 296 in 1885 as residents moved into towns in search of better paid work. Today the village is home to over 800 people, but very few parishioners actually work in the village.
It is not a large church, but it is well proportioned, with a nave, tower, chancel, north aisle and a short north transept which was once a schoolroom and is now used as a vestry. The tower is complete with a public clock and houses not only two traditional bells but also a set of eight tubular chimes.
An extensive churchyard surrounds the church is still in use today. Many of the grave markers can no longer be read, but those of slate and granite bear evidence to the antiquity of the burials, as does a record of the names and dates made about 25 years ago.
St Mary's Church is part of the Benefice of West Trent, which includes another six beautiful churches in the villages of Halloughton, Hoveringham, Morton (part of Fiskerton cum Morton parish), Rolleston, Thurgarton and Upton.
St Mary’s is often the focal point for many village events and not only for Sunday services, but for Christmas, Harvest and other annual services. It is there to welcome our parishioners and visitors attending baptisms, weddings and funerals.
Supporting St Mary's Church
The ongoing upkeep and long term survival of our beautiful church building and grounds is dependent upon the goodwill of the volunteers involved with running the church and the generosity of donors. If you are interested in helping out as a volunteer or donating via the St Mary's Appeal, please click here for further information.
For more information about St Mary's in the community and getting involved, please click here.