St Andrew's Church, Chippenham

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St Andrew's Parish Church, Chippenham
St Andrew's Chippenham.JPG
Viewed from the Market Place
St Andrew's Parish Church, Chippenham is located in Wiltshire
St Andrew's Parish Church, Chippenham
St Andrew's Parish Church, Chippenham
Location within Wiltshire
51°27′28.4″N 2°6′45.4″W / 51.457889°N 2.112611°W / 51.457889; -2.112611Coordinates: 51°27′28.4″N 2°6′45.4″W / 51.457889°N 2.112611°W / 51.457889; -2.112611
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationChurch of England
ChurchmanshipLiberal Anglo-Catholic
DedicationSaint Andrew
ParishSt Andrew, Chippenham
Vicar(s)Revd Rod Key
Reader(s)Eryl Spencer, Margaret Gubbins, Sam Gibbs

St Andrew's Church, in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, is a Church of England parish church. It is one of four Anglican parish churches in the town, and serves the south and east of Chippenham. The church is situated in the Market Place, beside the town centre, and is Grade II* listed.[1]

St Andrew's is a large church, with a wide nave, separated from a long chancel by a wooden, early 20th century screen. There is a Lady Chapel to the southeast of the chancel which is the oldest part of the church. There are two nave aisles, both of substantial width. A side chapel adjoining the south aisle is used as a Baptistry - it is also known as St Katherine's Chapel. There is a notable monument near the west end of the south aisle, to the Prynne family.


The church has 12th-century origins but was largely rebuilt in the 15th century, including the addition of the ornate south chapel which was built in 1442 for Walter, Lord Hungerford. The tower has a base from the 14th century but the rest was rebuilt in 1633. The church was restored in 1875-78, when the roof was raised, the chancel extended and the interior rearranged. A vestry was added in 1907.[1]

The tower's eight bells were cast in 1734.[2]

Traces remain of a west gallery, which, prior to the reordering in the 1870s, contained the Seede organ. The gallery was taken down when the organ was enlarged and moved to the east end of the north aisle. There was also a gallery in St Katherine's Chapel, also no longer in existence, though supporting stones for it can still be seen in the interior walls.


St Andrew’s is the Civic church of Chippenham, and an annual Civic Service is celebrated each September. The annual Remembrance Sunday service (starting in the church and ending at the town's War Memorial in the Market Place), and the annual Christmas Carol Service on Christmas Eve are also very well attended, and music at all of these is provided by the church's main, robed choir.

The church of St Nicholas at the hamlet of Tytherton Lucas, about 1.7 miles (2.7 km) to the northeast, is a chapel of ease of St Andrew's.


There are two singing groups involved in church services, the Robed Choir and the St Andrew's Singers. The former sings at the main morning service on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays. Choral services have been maintained at this church for many years. The latter singing group, less formally constituted, provides the music for the All Age services on the 1st Sunday morning of the month.

The church is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music, and training in the robed choir follows the RSCM's Voice for Life programme.


The organ is a large three-manual and pedal instrument with 46 speaking stops.[3] It retains much pipework from the organ by Brice Seede of 1752, together with the fine case façade. Pedal pipes and mechanical stop-changing facilities were added by Holdich in 1852. In 1879 the instrument was rebuilt by Gray and Davison when it was moved from its original west gallery location to a north aisle organ chamber. Further additions were made in the 20th century: the organ was converted to pneumatic action by Adkins in 1931, a detached console with electro-pneumatic controls was installed in a further rebuild by Percy Daniel & Co. in 1965, and further alterations were made by Coulson in 1986. A scheme to relocate and restore the instrument in a new west gallery location in 2005 was unsuccessful. Funds are now being sought for a renovation of the instrument and a re-ordering of its internal layout.

Cultural events[edit]

The church is also used non-liturgically by a number of local groups (orchestras and choirs) as their performance venue.

Recitals and concerts are organized from time to time. Local schools (primary and secondary) use the church for their Christmas events, generally during the full week prior to Christmas. Some also use the church for concerts at other times.


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Church of St Andrew (1268018)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Church of St. Andrew, Chippenham". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  3. ^ Kent, Christopher (1984). The Organ, St. Andrew's Parish Church Chippenham (2nd ed.). Vicar & Churchwardens of St Andrew's, Chippenham.


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