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St Mary the Virgin, Drayton Beauchamp

Whether you come from the road or the canal footpath, spend some time taking in the surroundings. The church in the field with red kites overhead, the sheep grazing, the ancient chestnut trees on the drive. Become aware of the tranquility of this place. Remember the words of the psalmist ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Repeat these words as, for a short while, you leave behind your busy life and discover or rekindle your living faith here at St Mary’s. Children and adults have been baptized in

As you step up into the Chancel, note how

this Norman font for 900 years. Baptism is the

the floor tiles become more elaborate. This

outward sign marking the beginning of our

reflects the tradition that only the most skilled

Christian journey of faith. As you remember the

craftsmanship was worthy of being near the

hope of new life in Christ, here you might want to

Altar. Give thanks to God for artists, musicians

pause and pray for new beginnings, giving over

and poets who through their works capture a

to God issues you’ve struggled with.

glimpse of the glory of God.

Richard Hooker is Drayton Beauchamp’s most

The altar is the focal point of the church; it is

famous Rector, whose work after the Reformation

where Christians meet the risen Christ in bread

was central in developing Anglican faith. Hooker

and wine, and where the community unites

wanted a church where the scriptures were read

around the Lord’s table. Reflect on the words of

with integrity, applying reason and tradition.

the psalmist, ‘O taste and see how gracious the

Take some time to give thanks for people who in

Lord is. Blessed are they who trust in him.’

previous centuries and now devote their lives to understanding the mystery of God.

The Apostles’ Window shows 10 of the 12 Apostles. These first Apostles were given the task of passing on the teachings of Jesus to

others. The Church continues their work, as we communicate our faith and make it come alive to each successive generation. Take a few minutes to recall with thanksgiving all who have helped you in your faith. Memorials You can’t fail to notice the huge 18th century memorial to Viscount and Viscountess Newhaven. This is the same family as the brass memorials in the floors. Death marks the end of our earthly journey, but the beginning of a new life with Christ in heaven. Beside this monument is a small stained glass window, showing the

Windows Illuminated by the light of the Creation

Risen Christ meeting Mary Magdalene on Easter

outside, the windows in the nave tell the story

morning. Pause here to pray for loved ones

of the life of Christ. As you prepare to leave,

who have died and to give thanks to God that

take a moment to reflect that Christ is always

even in the midst of death is the hope of the

with us, not just on pilgrimage or in church, but


throughout the whole of our lives.


You might also like to visit other nearby churches in the Pilgrim Project:

Oxford Diocese Pilgrim Project: St Mary the Virgin, Drayton Beauchamp HP22 5LU

St Peter and St Paul, Olney ‘Amazing Grace’


Virgin Mary, North Marston Shrine of John Schorne St Giles, Stoke Poges Gray’s ‘Elegy’

PILGRIMAGE PRAYER Pilgrim God, You are our origin and our destination. Travel with us, we pray, in every pilgrimage of faith, and every journey of the heart. Give us the courage to set off, the nourishment we need to travel well, and the welcome we long for at our journey’s end. So may we grow in grace and love for you and in the service of others. through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford

Illustrations by Brian Hall © Diocese of Oxford

DRAYTON BEAUCHAMP : St Mary the Virgin : Pilgrimage Guide  

St Mary the Virgin, Drayton BeauchaMp OXFORD DIOCESE PILGRIM PROJECT