| The Parish of Osbaldwick with Murton | |
St Thomas's Church, Osbaldwick
Osbaldwick is mentioned three times in the Doomsday Book as Osboldewic. It is named after Osbald, an earl in the kingdom of Northumbria. The history of St Thomas’s Church goes back nearly as far, to the 12th century. Within the church there are several reminders of its great age – the windows on the North wall date from the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, and the 15th century East Window also remains, although re-sited in the 1960s in the South Transept wall.
During its life the church has undergone three major restorations or re-orderings. The first, in 1877, changed the building from a “wretched condition”, according to the Parish Almanac of 1897, where it was “most unsightly and as a place of divine worship the church was uninviting as it possibly could be”. The architect for this work was J.A. Scott, son of the celebrated Sir Gilbert Scott.
The second major reordering, in 1967, saw the addition of the South transept, vestry, porch, WC and heating system. The interior height of the building was reduced by means of adding a vaulted ceiling.
The third reordering, completed in 2005, greatly improved the entrance foyer, provided a kitchen and replaced the pews with comfortable seating. This has enhanced the versatility of the Church as both a place of worship and a social centre for the whole community.
Items of special interest
A feature of St Thomas’s Church is the repeated use of the triple cross motif. The principal example is the cross hanging above the altar, given in 1967. This is designed to provide a ’cross’ focus for worshippers in both the Nave and the South transept and also along the ‘line of the sacraments‘. The motif can also be seen in the windows and the Vicar’s prayer desk.
The octagonal altar and the rails were made from the original 17th century woodwork of the church prior to the 1897 renovation. This architectural design aligned the symbols of the three main sacraments of Baptism (the font), the Word (lectern) and the Eucharist (altar).
The Mary Ward Memorial Stone was brought in from outside the church and was mounted in the South wall of the Nave.
In the North West corner of the churchyard can be found the very simple plain gravestone of Eliza Raine from the early 19th Century.
The church is open every day throughout the year.
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