Swayfield Church

 

Church of St Nicholas, Swayfield
Church of St Nicholas, Swayfield

Swayfield is a friendly, rural village of approximately 145 homes and two farms surrounded by beautiful countryside, untroubled by traffic noise or pollution.

Church services are held every Sunday, at 9.30 am, and include a monthly Family Service led by the two local Authorised Lay Ministers, Morning Prayer, and two services of Holy Communion.

Church activities

Following our services we gather for refreshments and a chat. This allows us the opportunity to greet and welcome any visitors and become aware of any issues arising in the Parish. During our worship we pray for those known to us who are sick or in any kind of need. We take the opportunity to let them know there is someone available to help by the congregation signing and sending a card, which is delivered by a church member. There is also a telephone ‘Prayer and Care’ chain which is activated when an urgent need for prayer arises during the week.

At festivals such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter, and at special services such as a “Songs of Praise”, our worship is enhanced by a choir which includes both members and non-members of the regular congregation. We also welcome the Swayfield Handbell Ringers, who come from a wide local area. (The original handbells are the property of the Church having been gifted to St Nicholas Church by a former incumbent.) The organist who plays for our services and runs our occasional choir is a professional musician and music and hymn singing is much enjoyed in our church.

In April 2015 a larger choir was formed from singers in the Deanery and beyond to perform The Jesus Story – a musical journey into the life of Christ, songs with narration written by a local retired clergyman Richard Rice-Oxley, telling the story of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. This was very successful, with two sell-out performances in Swayfield and Corby Glen.

The building

The current building has stood at the end of the lane on the west of the village for 140 years. It was largely rebuilt between 1875 and 1878 by F H Goddard in the Early English style. It is built of stone, with a central aisle with wooden pews which seat 80, a north transept which seats 40, choir stalls for up to 20 choristers and a Holy table with communion rails at the eastern end. The stained glass windows are of very good quality. There is small vestry with a door out to the churchyard.

The churchyard surrounds the church and is still active. The grass is cut regularly by a volunteer from the village and a few sheep from the neighbouring farm occasionally graze a section.

We aim to be good stewards of the earth, so the churchyard has had an area of grass set aside for wild flowers to develop but this has not yet been successful. There are two bat boxes in the trees.

In 2012 a part of the Churchyard wall was rebuilt with the help of an expert dry stone waller and volunteer helpers from all sections of the community.