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Growing in God’s love

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All Saints Church, Sawtry

CHURCH HISTORY


All Saints is sited on some of the highest ground in Sawtry, sensible in an area prone to flooding and in a prominent position. This is probably why it has shared this site with a Roman look-out point just to the north of here, and a Cromwellian gun platform at the back, all influenced by proximity to the Great North Road, Ermine Street as was, and the A1 as it is now.


There has been a church on this site since pre-Domesday times and Sawtry receives 3 mentions in that. Subsequently there were 3 Parishes in Sawtry, each having a church. St Mary’s was sited out in the Fen and is reputed to have stood at the gate of Sawtry Abbey which started life in 1147 and was later linked to the Parish of St Judith. Then there was All Saints’ parish, with its church on the current site and the parish of St Andrews, with its church over by the A1 near where the new parish cemetery is today.


St Mary’s suffered the same fate as the Abbey, both, it is thought, being dismantled during the Reformation. Some of the many abbey stones reputed to be in so many gardens in Sawtry may include some of St Mary’s. There is a collection of abbey stones against the wall of All Saints, visible as you walk up the path to the church door.


In 1879 it was agreed to pull down the two churches of All Saints’ and At Andrews and rebuild one, the current building. There are windows and memorials from St Andrews in the church, so more history is contained within the walls, perpetuating the worship communities of time gone by.

 

There is a medieval full length brass of Sir William le Moyne, a Lord of the Manor, dating from 1404 and medieval stained glass from one of the three manors of Sawtry.


The church of St Andrews was never replaced and all that remains of it is a part of the churchyard.


For more information about Sawtry and its history, including the church click here