The Church of St John the Baptise



The civil parish of Harescombe is small, and stretches steeply down from the Cotswold edge. The parish church is situated in the lower end of the parish; on the upper borders of Harescombe is the ecclesiastical parish of Edge, founded in the nineteenth century. In medieval times the parish was united with Pitchcombe. The Ecclesiastical Parish is of Harescombe with Brookthorpe, formed some years ago when St Swithun’s Church Brookthorpe was closed for regular worship. The PCC is made up from regular worshippers who live in either Harescombe or Brookthorpe.

The church dates from the fourteenth century, and was consecrated in 1315; it consists of a nave and chancel. The belfry houses two bells one of which is the oldest bell in Gloucestershire, thought to date circa 1180-1200. It is likely that there was an earlier chapel with Standish being the mother church. The church interior was "restored" by Francis Niblett of Haresfield in the nineteenth century. The East and West windows are by Edward Payne.

The church may only have a small regular congregation but its importance to the community can be measured by the fact that all important occasions will see the small church filled to capacity. In a community where three families have been farming the area since the mid nineteenth century we have been happy to embrace the new services introduced within our liturgy. We have children who have been licensed to take communion with their parents before communion.