St.. Michael and All Angels
Another contribution to this series, started by sadexploration.
The site on which the present church stands has been a place of Christian worship for at least 800 years and possibly from Saxon times. The earliest record of a chapel in A.D.1210-1214, during the reign of King John, identifies the first known incumbent, Pastor Jordan, whose name can be seen at the head of the incumbents’ board. Before the Reformation the church was dedicated to St Michael, and in the fifteenth century it is referred to as 'St Michael th' Archangel'. Only in comparatively modern times has the designation become St Michael and All Angels.
By 1783 the ancient building had become very dilapidated. The Parish registers note that Thomas Newman and Elizabeth Woods had to be married in Worplesdon, Pirbright church 'being out of repair'. Pirbright was at that time a very poor village, and villagers could not meet the cost of rebuilding, so a meeting was held at the White Hart pub (currently known as the Moorhen) and the decision made to apply for permission to raise money by public subscription. A statement in the Overseers’ Accounts declares : ‘1785: Att a publik vestry call, this thirteenth Day of September at the Wyte hart to impower Thomas Woods and John Collins Churchwardens………. to Bori mony towards the Bilden of the Curch we under set our hands to agree to hit’. Just at that time King George III was travelling through Pirbright when his coach was overturned. The villagers rescued him and gave him hospitality whilst his coach was repaired. Such was his gratitude that he issued a petition for all the churches in England to contribute to the rebuilding of Pirbright Church. A copy of that petition can be seen in the church today. The funds were raised and in 1785 the church and tower were taken down and rebuilt, the church with brick and the Lady Chapel and tower with small squared stones dug from the neighbouring commons.
The new building constructed in 1785 consisted of the nave, the chancel with a Lady Chapel to the South and the tower to the west. To the north west a community room with modern facilities was built in 1992. The porch was rebuilt in stone and wood in 1911, and opens into the wide nave where the original box pews were replaced in 1872. A small tablet near the pulpit commemorates Rev. George Dawson who was curate of Pirbright for 50 years. The rather poignant Latin inscription translates as 'Contented with his lot, but relying on the hope of a better one.' A simple Gothic arch carved from chalk separates the nave and chancel and the three-traceried stained window above the altar was installed in 1848, replacing an earlier single light. The chancel ceiling was completed for Christmas 1908 and is decorated with a design based on the sacred monogram I.H.S, the sword of St Michael and the star of the nativity.
On the north wall is a brass memorial to Ross Mangles V.C., the first civilian to receive the Victoria Cross. Mangles was sent to the relief of Arrah in 1857 when his party was ambushed and, although injured, he carried a wounded soldier to safety ‘through murderous fire’. The oaks on the plaque represent England, his native land; the palms are for India, scene of his life’s work and, after his retirement, his passion for growing roses is also commemorated.
On the west wall is the musicians’ gallery, which originally extended along the northern wall and now houses a fine new organ, installed in March 2000. Beneath the gallery is a transcript of a charter dating from around 1210, during the reign of King John, the earliest known reference to the church in Pirbright (written Perefricth) and identifying the first known incumbent, Jordan. A photograph of the parish church in Cagny, in Calvados, France, celebrates the twinning of our two villages.
On the south wall is a copy of the petition raised by George III to rebuild the church in 1785 and a memorial to the men of the village who fell in two World Wars.
The given coordinates will take you to the grave of a famous explorer. A few metres east of here you will find a military grave with a Latin inscription on it.
The first word of the complete Latin text has A letters.
The total number of words in the complete Latin text is B.
The number of letters in the soldier's surname is C.
The cache can be found less than 100 metres away at N51 17.A(B-1)(C-3) W000 38.(A+2)(B-1)(C+1)
The cache has a log book only but no pen so please bring one with you.
If anybody would like to expand this series please do, we would just ask that you could let sadexploration know first so he can keep track of the Church numbers and names to avoid duplication