The 2017 AGM – based on the 2106 Annual Report – was held on Saturday 20th May at St John the Baptist church, Wittersham preceded by a visit to St Mary’s church,Stone-in-Oxney with a talk on the “Mithraic” Altar Stone by Norman Penny – here is the summary of the talk on the Stone, Bulls, Beliefs and Romans.
Paul Vercruyssen gave a talk about the history of St Mary’s church at Stone and Roger Kimber gave a short report on the repairs to the church at Wittersham that had been funded by a grant from FKC.
Members received a hard copy of the Annual Report on 2016 – also available here.
Click here to see the Minutes of the 2017 AGM. Highlights are:
- Ride and Stride in 2016 raised £133,406 – £500 more than in 2015. Diary date (and plan your route!) for 2017 R&S Saturday 9 September.
- Grant offers of £180,000 had been made in the past year.
- Sarah Bracher, Jane Boucher and Angela Parish have stepped down as members of the Executive Committee – many thanks for all their support through the years. Jill Rutland is now the “visits secretary”, Sir Paul Britton is an organiser of summer church visits and Deborah Sutch is Honorary Secretary.
+++++++++ Churches visited on AGM day +++++++++
St Mary’s Church, Stone in Oxney, is an elegant fifteenth century church occupying a picturesque site on rising ground. At the west end there is an embattled tower of three stages measuring fourteen feet square and sixty two feet high. The architecture is of the Perpendicular Period. Photos and text courtesy of Chris Rigby.
The Roman altar which is located beneath the tower is made of Kentish Rag Stone and has the features and proportions associated with Roman altars. The top has been hollowed out to form a basin and there is the figure of a bull on all four sides, although the figure of the bull is only clearly discernible on one side. It is believed the symbol of the bull represents the dedication of the altar to the Roman soldiers’ god Mithras although altars dedicated to Mithras are usually sculptured to show Mithras slaying the bull.
There was a short talk about the altar and the Mithras cult from Norman Penny.
The organ, situated in the South Chapel, is a two manual instrument housed in an oak case which was acquired by the church in 1908 and had previously been in use at St Georges Church, Brede, Sussex.
Wittersham is described by John Vigar as “An impressive church of mainly fourteenth-century date. The tower, which was still under construction in the early sixteenth century, is one of the most striking features. Externally it is memorable for the composition of the west door and window. The doorway has finely carved spandrels and label-stops, but the window above has two designs incorporated into it – Tudor arches for the bottom four lights, and Perpendicular arches above.”
St John the Baptist Church, Wittersham, is mainly of the fourteenth century although the eighty feet high tower was still under construction at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The weather vane at the top of the tower is dated 1751. Photo and text courtesy of Chris Rigby.
13th century trefoil headed three bay sedilia and piscina below two light decorated windows.