The Church of St. Mary’s in Pyrton is a Grade II* Listed building. Parts of the building date back to 987 AC although it has needed structural repairs and rebuilding over time, as well as enlargement in the mid nineteenth century. In 1115, William Fitznigel, Lord or Pyrton, granted the church to his foundation, the Augustinian priory at Runcorn, Cheshire. When the priory was dissolved in 1546 the church, parsonage and about 115 acres of land was granted to Christchurch College, Oxford. The church was rebuilt in 1856 by J.C.Buckler, but parts of the 12th century building sill remain, including the south doorway and the chancel arch, and these include decorations rarely found in Oxfordshire.
The churchyard is now managed as a ‘Living Sanctuary’ and there are two listed late eighteenth century chest tombs in the churchyard.
In 1991 parishioners held a fund-raising programme for the refurbishment of the Church of St.Mary and between 2012-2014 a further programme of restoration was undertaken.
It is a testament to the strength of the local community that over sixty people attended Church on Christmas Day and the Children’s candlelit service on Christmas Eve attracted around 150 people. For the fourth year local families decorated mini Christmas trees in each of the windows and these produced a perfect back drop for the wedding on the Saturday before Christmas.
Pyrton now looks forward to its annual fete, to be held at The Stables on Saturday 19th May. As a result of the energy and commitment of the community, this fete raises sizeable funds for both St.Mary’s church and specific charities.
For information on St.Mary’s Church including recent news, services and ministry team please see The Parish News.