Wembury Church


About Wembury Church

 The main part of the present church was built by the Normans in 1088, replacing an earlier Saxon wooden building. In the 1880s there was substantial restoration to the church, funded by the Corys of Langdon Court.

A number of interesting items of stained glass and woodwork contribute to the spirituality of the church.The St. Werburgh Window dates from 1886 (only seen by looking upwards from the front of church), the East Window, and the Fisherman Window in the south aisle, (both dating from the early 20th century). The Good Shepherd Window was installed in the south aisle in the 1980s. The Millennium Window in the east end of the south aisle was installed in 2004. 

The nave roof, a traditional Devon Wagon Roof, has a variety of carvings. Five of the bosses represent St. Werburgh and the four gospel writers. Parts of the south aisle roof are the original medieval timbers.

The organ moved to St. Werburghs in the 1960s. It was built in Huddersfield in 1915, and moved here having already served in other churches. It has been upgraded a number of times since its installation. Our current organ replaced a smaller chamber organ.

The last part of the building to be completed, early in the 15th century, was our church tower. The 1552 inventory recorded three bells. The peal was increased to five in 1909 and the bells recast to repair their cracks. A sixth bell added in 1948, is in memory of parishioners who fell in World War 2.

We don't know why our Church was dedicated to St Werburgh as there is no record of her ever having had any contact with Devon. She was the daughter of King Wulfere of Mercia, and wished to become a nun. 

At King Wulfere's conversion to Christianity in 673, when he became the first Christian king. After his coronation he acceded to his daughter's request. In due course she was given control of all the convents in Mercia.  After her death, Chester Cathedral grew up around her shrine. 

There are three other churches in the country dedicated in her name.

Visitors to our church will see the both the Australian and Western Australian flags hanging in the south aisle. These flags were presented to the church in 1979 to commemorate the raising of the British flag in Western Australia by Major Edmund Lockyer, son of the owner of Wembury House.

More detailed information is available in our booklet 'A Romantic History of Wembury Church', available from the church bookstall.

The church is under the historic Patronage of The Dean and Canons of Windsor.

The Friends of St. Werburgh's Church. receive an annual newsletter, and maintain contact with, and support for, the Church.