Our church building

The Church of St George in Whatley dates from the 14th century. 

Whatley church windows

The church contains a number of windows filled with stained glass by the Horwood Brothers of Mells between about 1859 and 1888.  

The east window depicts, in the centre light, the Nativity of Jesus, the Crucifixion and Christ in majesty.  In the left light is the Baptism of Jesus, paired with the Crossing of the Red Sea and in the right, the Last Supper, paired with the Israelites collecting manna in the wilderness.

The west window was inserted shortly after the 1870 restoration of the rest of the church.  It depicts St Adhelm, who had local connections in that he founded a monastery at Frome and died at Doulting. 

The other pictorial window is in the north transept and dates from 1888.  It depicts St George, the patron saint of the church, flanked by Queen Bertha, the staunch supporter of St Augustine of Canterbury, and St Hubert, patron saint of hunting.  It was erected to the memory of John and Elizabeth Shore by their son.

Whatley church bells

The church has 6 bells.  The four heaviest are of pre-Reformation date and form a complete medieval ring – a very rare survival.  The third, fourth and fifth bells are from the Bristol foundry, probably about 1500.  The tenor (11 cwt. 3 qr. 25 lb. in G) is a most interesting bell, cast by William Hasylwood of Reading at about the same date or slightly earlier and the only bell from that foundry in the West Country.  How it came to Whatley is a mystery. 

In 1717 William Cockey augmented the ring to five by the edition of a lighter bell inscribed “Gifts free bought mee”.  Finally, in 1937 a new cast iron “H” type frame for six bells was installed and the sixth bell added.  The work was done by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough at the instigation of Major J. Linthorn Shore of Whatley House.  It is inscribed “From Shores that stay to Shores away”.

The tower Captain is Jenny Norris and, although the village can no longer provide its own band, visiting ringers are very welcome and as a result the bells are rung fairly regularly. 

The organ

The organ, made by T.C. Bates of London circa 1840, is believed by the British Institute of Organ Studies to be of historic importance for its musical and technical qualities.

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