Parish Church of St Botolph

St Botolph's church  


The church of St Botolph (Grade I listed) has stood as a centre of Christian worship in the village of Hadstock for nearly 1000 years. It also plays an active part in the community life of the village, and is open almost every day to welcome villagers and visitors alike as a quiet space for prayer and mediation or just to enjoy its historic calm and beauty. Leaflets describing its history and archaeology are available in the church, together with postcards and details of current activities.


It may well be – we can’t prove it beyond doubt, but we believe the evidence is strong – the church founded by Cnut (Canute) when in 1020 he founded a church to commemorate those who fell in both sides of the conflict at Assandun in October 1016, when his Danish forces defeated the native Saxons and shortly after which he became King of England.

There is evidence of an even older church on the site before that. Was it even the site of the minster founded by St Botolph in the seventh century at a place which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle calls Icanho?

Certainly the door by which you enter the church has been dated by dendrochronology (study of tree rings) to around 1034-1042 – which makes it the oldest working door in the country. Look out also for the wooden carving of a fox in a pulpit, the font on its Saxon base, the mediaeval ladder in the belltower, and the Victorian chancel designed by William Butterfield. And don’t miss the banners showing the Battle of Assandun, which were designed and made in the village and dedicated by the Rt Revd Rowan Williams at the service in October 2016 to commemorate the Millennium of the Battle.


We are proud of our church's fascinating history, but it is first and foremost a place of worship. All are welcome at our services, which are usually at 9.30 am on Sunday mornings (with a few exceptions such as Harvest Festival and Remembrance Sunday). The usual pattern is as follows:



You are very welcome at any of our services, and may particularly enjoy those highlighted elsewhere in this month’s Magazine. Sunday Services normally take place at 9.30 a.m. The standard pattern is:

1st Sunday                 Family Service    (see separate notice for more details)

2nd Sunday                Holy Communion (said) using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer

3rd and 4th Sundays    Holy Communion (Common Worship) with hymns

There are no services on 5th Sundays.



Morning Prayer is a said service held at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesdays.

The service lasts about 20 minutes and is followed by refreshments and time to chat.

Together with the PCC, around 50 volunteers help to run the church, keep it clean, provide and arrange flowers, take part in services, prepare rotas, play the organ, refreshments at services, ring the bells, look after the grounds and the many other activities that help to keep our wonderful village Church alive. The Friends of St Botolph’s also support the Church. A list of group coordinators is on the Village Noticeboard, and also on the website and will be in the church porch when the church reopens. If you would like to help in any way, please contact Revd. Paula Griffiths.


Please also contact Paula if you would like a visit at home, or to discuss baptism, wedding and funeral arrangements. The Parish Office can also help with baptism and wedding enquiries.

The superb acoustics also make the church an excellent venue for concerts and community activities: please contact Peter Jarritt (

Like most historic churches, the building needs maintenance and repair. In September 2017 the church will be embarking upon a programme of works to make the building look clean, welcoming and inviting; to conserve our ancient church door; and to make sure that the structure is secure, safe and watertight. However at present we are sorry that the church has to be closed while this much-needed repair works are being carried out. Sunday services and Tuesday Morning Prayer are continuing in the chancel (access through the vestry) but there is no access at other times while the works are in progress. 
We hope that the works will be completed, and the building open again, well in time for  Christmas 2017.







  Priest at Hadstock:     Revd. Paula Griffiths

                         Greatford Cottage, Stocking Green   CB10 2SS   

                         Tel:  01799 599 141




  Parish Office:            Church Path, Saffron Walden   CB10 1JP          

                               Tel: 01799 506 024





St Botolph's is part of the Saffron Walden and Villages Team Ministry.



 Members: Tim Boyden, Patricia Croxton-Smith, Janey Devll,  Peter Jarritt, Ann Seward, Malcolm Seward              

 Secretary: Moire Jarritt

 Fabric Officer: Rick Albrow


Bell Ringing

St Botolph's church has a team of bellringers which welcomes new members (experienced or beginners). They meet every Thursday at 7.30 pm in the bell tower.


The Friends of St Botolph's

The Friends of St Botolph's is a charity which seeks to "restore, preserve, repair, maintain, improve and beautify” this ancient building, its fixtures and fittings and surroundings.

The Friends of St Botolph's holds concerts and events to raise money for the church. Please see the Friends website: