The Church today
The memorials in the Lady Chapel merit inspection. In the 18th and 19th century it became de rigueur, perhaps through the increased interest in classical times when these things were also fashionable, to erect monuments in churches to the great and good. Their florid language is very attractive, though the cynic may wonder whether there is not sometimes an element of hyperbole and exaggeration. The Bonham memorial in the churchyard, erected in about 1800, and a Grade II listed structure, was also part of this fashion.
The repositioning of organ and choir and the installing of the nave altar reflect changes in liturgical style in the second half of the 20th century. The building of the Church Hall, completed in 2000, and so designed so as to be in sympathy with the Norman church, testify of a desire to serve community needs, which is both modern and also as old as the Middle Ages.
The churchyard has grown in size over the years. The last addition was at the east end about a hundred years ago. To conclude: externally, the building remains fundamentally as it always has been, and it is a significant and unchanging landmark in this area. Internally, it has seen a process of change, driven by the changing contexts of politics, religion and society. The Normans would not easily recognise the church’s interior, so different now from the 12th century. And I suspect that if we were able to return here in a few hundred years time, whilst the shell of the building would remain (provided our successors have the resources for upkeep), internally another process of change would have taken place. And for a living church, that is absolutely right.