The Grade 1 listed  St Etheldreda’s church is mentioned in “England’s Thousand Best Churches” and contains one of the country’s largest and most impressive medieval wall paintings (c.1440) of Saint Christopher.

It serves Horley and other villages in the Ironstone Benefice as you would expect as a place of worship and it also plays a central part of our community as the venue for many events from the annual Ironstone Chamber Music FestivalDramatic Performances , Fetes, Dances, Christmas Markets,  and much, much more.

The people behind our magnificent church building are organised into formal teams and groups that use the church for events:

Ministry Team – Provides the lead for worship and the provision of pastoral care throughout the eight parishes of the Ironstone Benefice. Horley: St Etheldreda is a part of the eight churches of the Ironstone Benefice in North Oxfordshire, here is the latest service information .

The Rector is Reverend Alicia Baker, who lives at The Rectory in Wroxton.  Her phone number is 01295 738593 and her email address is  The Associate Vicar post is vacant at present. Recruitment for this post will begin in the next few months, as the current Coronavirus restrictions are relaxed.

Licensed Lay Minister: Lindy Bridgeman.

Parochial Church Council – Whilst the spiritual activities of our church are led by the ministry team, the executive management is in the hands of the Parochial Church Council, which consists of the clergy and churchwardens of the parish, together with lay representatives who are elected each year at the Annual Parochial Church meeting.

As will come as no surprise, the origins of PCCs (established in 1921) date back many centuries and are the modern (relatively speaking) replacement for Vestry Committees which in the past had responsibility not just for ecclesiastical matters, but for civil affairs as well. Towards the end of the 19th century, secular and ecclesiastical duties were finally separated and undertaken, respectively, by elected parish councils and parochial church councils.

Legally, the PCC is responsible for the financial affairs of the church parish and the maintenance of its assets, including the church building and churchyard, and for promoting the mission of the church. Oversight of these matters and setting the strategic direction for the church parish are achieved through regular, quarterly meetings. Minutes of the PCC meetings and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting are placed at the back of the church. Some members of the PCC are elected to roles through which, together with the activities of the churchwardens, the day to day functions of church parish management are undertaken.

Horley PCC – Ensures the running of our amazing Church, it is used for the usual religious purposes and also serves as the venue for many events from the annual Ironstone Chamber Music FestivalDramatic Performances and much, much more .

As well as the day to day activities of maintaining the church the PCC are involved in projects, most recent was the installation of new bells. See more about the Horley Bell Tower restoration project on Facebook  and the bell ringers. The next project planned is the restoration of the St Christopher painting.

Horley PCC Members:

Churchwardens – Somewhat quaintly, churchwardens are expected to lead parishioners by setting a good example and encouraging unity and peace, with a particular duty to maintain order and peace in the church and churchyard at all times (with powers to eject anyone disturbing a service and to apprehend and take before a magistrate anyone behaving violently, riotously or indecently in the church or churchyard or molesting or vexing any preacher or clergyman).

More prosaically, churchwardens are legally responsible for all the property and moveable goods belonging to a parish church. Inevitably therefore they have a significant part to play in the delivery of projects like the bells or the restoration of the clock. Our two churchwardens see their role very simply to make our church a nice place to visit. St Etheldreda is part of Horley and they love seeing it being used, whether as a place as worship or for celebration of a wedding, musical concert or village fete. They keep an eye on the maintenance of the building – no mean task given its age and structure – and the grounds around it. They also co-ordinate events and ensure that particular requirements for the layout of the church, staging or whatever are met. Visitors appreciate the fact that the church is kept open and recognise that it is a lovely space in which to sit, think and reflect on how lucky the village is to have it.

Horley Churchwardens- Tim Allitt  &   Charles Cozens

The Ladies Guild – plans and organizes various fund-raising events in the village in support of the Church and other charities. They care of the church interior with cleaning rota and decorating with flowers. Events include the Summer Fete, Christmas Market, Coffee Mornings and much, much more.

Also see the Michael Hardinge Trust. as many of the church activities are closely tied both in location and people.

Bookings – For religious services such as weddings, baptisms and funerals, contact Reverend Alicia Baker (Chairman)

For all other non-religious events contact the church wardens either Tim Allitt  or Charles Cozens

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