Stratford sub Castle Church - dedicated to Saint Lawrence (225 - 258 AD)

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The Prebend (ecclesiastical living) was styled that of 'St Laurence in Stratford' in 1291. [1]

 

St Lawrence was martyred on August 10th so that is his festival day and is marked by a patronal festival in the church on the nearest Sunday.

Most of the kneelers in the church bear a grid emblem because of the legend that St Lawrence was martyred on a hot gridiron. The legend is almost certainly untrue and due to a one letter error in transcribing reports of his death, it is more likely he was beheaded. [2]

A bust of St Lawrence, presented to the church in 1958, is kept in the long ago filled-in North doorway that had been an entrance from the road which ran across that field.

 

It is a plaster copy of San Lorenzo, an original Donatello (c1440) held in a Private Collection and sometimes displayed in temporary exhibitions. [3]

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St Lawrence.jpg

The kneelers were embroidered by parishioners. Further information:

Article about the church's kneelers

and a photo album.

 

Sources

 

[1]  British History On-Line  http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/wilts/vol6/pp199-213#h3-0010

[2]  Rev. Patrick Joseph Healy (1905). The Valerian persecution: a study of the relations between church and state in the third century A.D. Boston, Ma: Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

[3] https://www.milestonerome.com/2018/12/donatello-sculpture-exceptionally-on-view-at-palazzo-venezia/

Further Reading: 

Summary of the history of the church

This article was written as part of Kerry O'Connor's

Local History Photo Quiz.

Click here to see others in the series