The Church Building

St Stephen's Church is a cruciform building, built in the Early English style of architecture.  

The original building had a wooden turret in the centre of the building, which housed the bells.  This was replaced by a 13.5 metre, castellated stone tower n 1927 and the three steel bells were rehoused there in an oak frame.  The holes for the original bell ropes can still be seen in the roof, at the intersection of the nave and the transepts.  Four gothic stone arches at the intersection of the nave, chancel and north and south transepts each have equally majestic wooden arches meeting in the centre.   

Internally, the roof is lined in pitch pine and ribbed with large wooden arches, supported on stone corbels set into the walls.  

 

Access to the bell tower is by Jacob's Ladder.  Sadly, for health and safety reasons, the ladder cannot be used at the moment.  It is hoped to have a safety cage installed at some point.  

Windows

EAST WINDOW  (to the left)

The inscription reads 'This east window was erected by the pupils and masters of Messrs Lord and Slack's School, East Hardwick. 1874-1880.

The left window depicts Abraham and Isaac.  The right window is Rachel weeping for her children and the centre window is dedicated to our Patron Saint Stephen, Deacon and first martyr.  

The symbol at the top of the central window is evidence of the link between the church and the founding Freemasons.

There are three Victorian stained glass windows (right), also endowed by Messrs Lord and Slack's School and the Millennium Window (far left), which was commissioned in 2000. The base of the Millennium window shows St Stephen's church.  The centre has the candle of light for the new millennium with sheafs of corn representing agriculture.  The top shows the Dove of Peace.  There is also another stained glass window facing south in the base of the bell tower (left).  

South Transept

The pews in the south transept were removed to create a pleasant open area for baptisms, meetings, refreshments, etc.  

North Transept

Part of the north transept has been used to accommodate modern kitchen and toilet facilities, with disabled access.  

On the east wall, above the vestry door,  there are two wall-hung canvasses of the Lord's Prayer, The Creed, and The Ten Commandments

The wooden wall clock shown right is still in use today and is regularly wound by hand. It was originally in the village school and the Latin inscription 'Dum Spectas  Fugio Sic Vita' translates as 'As you watch, I fly; so does life'

The stone font, which came from the old Cawood Chapel, was originally situated in the bell tower, before being moved into the South Transept.

Chancel

The raised,  carved-stone pulpit is situated to the left of the chancel steps, with the organ behind.  The small wooden clock affixed to the wall by the pulpit is no longer working

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On either side of the chancel as you approach the altar are two rows of choir stalls

The carved wooden altar is usually covered during services, with the exception of Christmas and Easter when the front cover is left off to display the Easter garden or Nativity figures.

The organ from the earlier chapel was replaced, originally thought to have been in 1874, by one built by Mr Booth of Wakefield at a cost of £332.  There is an entry in the National Pipe Organ Registry which confirms this.  The organ was inaugurated by Mr Rogers, the organist of Doncaster Parish Church.  He was reported to have said 'The instrument, although only small, contains some remarkably sweet pipes and has several stops which are usually contained only in continental organs'.  It is situated on the north wall of the chancel, next to the carved stone pulpit. 

There are several other memorial or commemorative plaques in the church

© 2018  St Stephen's Church, East Hardwick