Placed with kind permission of the churchwardens of St Swithun's.
We like to visit churches and find the geocaches, but the mini-cachers like to swap toys. Jesus welcomed the children (Mark 10:13-16), so this "church micro" is not so micro, but more welcoming of small people.
Stealth may be required at times, as you might expect the cache site will be busier on Sundays! Additionally various event happen in the church and church hall. Regular events occur on Thursday and Saturdays 10:30-12:30.
A history taken from the church website:
St Swithun's is dedicated to St Swithun. Swithun was Bishop of Winchester in the ninth century, however he is now best known for the popular British weather proverb that if it rains on Saint Swithun's day, 15 July, it will rain for 40 days and 40 nights. Swithun was buried outside at his request so the "sweet rain of heaven" could fall on his grave. In 971 it was decided to move him into a new indoor tomb, but it was said that the move was delayed by 40 days as a result of torrential rain, supposedly indicating Swithun's displeasure at the move. More information about him can be found on Wikipedia.
Up to 1958
We do not know when a chapel was first built in Kennington but there was certainly one here in the 17th century. Its date of construction is unknown but it could possibly have been a 15th or 16th century building administered by monks of Abingdon Abbey. By the 17th century it had become a chapel-of-ease to Sunningwell Church, the curate of which normally conducted the services in Kennington, and it was dedicated to St. Swithun.
The building stood on the site of the present church hall and the diarist, Thomas Hearne, described it in 1724 as a 'very small, mean building' which 'cannot, by the make of the building, be very ancient'. Whatever its age its condition must, by then, have been deteriorating, through lack of maintenance. By the middle of the 18th century it was probably nearing its end and in 1783 the Rector of Sunningwell reported to the Bishop that no trace of it remained. In 1828 a new church was built on the old site by Henry Bowyer, rector of Sunningwell and brother of the Lord of the Manor, Sir George Bowyer. The curate of Sunningwell was placed in charge and its arrangement remained in being until 1866 when Kennington became an ecclesiastical parish in its own right.
The 1828 building with seats for 80 people was large enough to cater for a purely farming community but as Kennington began to grow in size after the first war, the need for a larger church became obvious, but it was not until after the second world war that it became possible to start building it. Land next to the existing church had been donated for the purpose in 1936 and 20 years later the foundation stone of the present church was laid.
Building of the New Church 1958
In 1952 a new vicar The Rev Stuart Davies was appointed to Kennington, who saw it as his mission to build a new church. By now the church electoral role had risen to 238 and most people expected to be able to be married, have their children baptised and be buried in the parish church. Clearly there was an urgent need. Lawrence Dale a local architect was appointed and produced draft plan in 1953.
For more the rest of the history, and more information about the church please visit the church website
For full information on how you can expand the Church Micro series by sadexploration please read the Place your own Church Micro page before you contact him.
See also the Church Micro Statistics and Home pages for further information about the series.