St Thomas a Becket, Shirenewton

To find out more about Shirenewton church, visit the dedicated church website.

The church of St Thomas A Becket in Shirenewton was first established in 1220, by Humphrey de Bohun, known as ‘The Good Earl’, shortly after his accession on his father’s death. The plan of the church, with a square tower between the chancel and the nave is typical of this period, allowing it to be used for defence, as well as worship. Traces of the defensive features are still apparent in the battlements and slits now used for the clock. The church was much ‘restored’ and enlarged in 1853, under the incumbency of Revd Edward Inwood Jones, the nave and chancel were completely rebuilt and the north aisle was added at this time. The north aisle was converted into a lady chapel in 1967. The Liddell family of Shirenewton Hall have a long connection with the church and have made many donations to the church, including furnishing the lady chapel in memory of Capt Ian O Liddell VC, killed in action and a new altar rail.

The corbels in the chancel feature the heads of Archbishop Becket, Bishop William Blethin of Llandaff, who was born in the village, and local squires and their ladies. There is a parvis, or priest’s room above the porch, which was used by visiting clergy to rest between services and by the Rector to receive the tithes from local landowners. The clock in the church tower, was funded by public subscription and installed as a war memorial after the Great War.

Five bells, cast by William Evans of Chepstow, were placed in the tower in 1746, with a sixth added in 1918, given as a war memorial. After extensive refurbishment of the tower at the millennium, the bells are regularly rung by an enthusiastic and thriving band of ringers. The bell ringers make regular tours and train new recruits following the five stages Learning the Ropes scheme provided by the Association of Ringing Teachers.

Fascinating boards, describing the history of the church and the village are on display in the church.

The Saysell Centre, formerly known as the Church Room was opened in 2008, having been financed by a magnificent fundraising drive. The room provides a meeting room, kitchen, storage and toilets; this provides a valuable resource to the whole village and is used regularly by yoga, pilates and art groups as well as the church itself and is available for public hire.

Contact & Find Us

Contact Details:

Ministry Area Lead - Rev'd Philip Avery - 01291 620980,

Churchwarden - Sally Saysell -

Churchwarden - Andrew Baker -

Secretary - John Montague -

Treasurer - Graham Lambert -

Church in Wales Page: Visit the page »

Address: St Thomas a Becket, Shirenewton, Chepstow, NP16 6RQ