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Portrait of the Priest-in-charge, Teresa Towsend



Hello from Teresa!
It is such a pleasure  to say hello and to introduce myself to you. We think we have found most of what we thought we had brought with us and already feel at home here in Upper Clatford.  The ‘we’ I speak of is me, my husband Nic and our dog, Bladon.  
Nic and I have been married for thirty-three years and we have three adult children, Thom, Joe and Beth. Thom is engaged to Catherine and Joe is married to Ella who brought her daughter Eleanor into our family which has been a joy to us all.
I have spent most of my life living in the village I was born in, just south of Swindon, and our children grew up there too. My teenage years saw me heading up the hill to the parish church so that I could join the choir, quickly finding that singing was something I could do well and I stayed there for thirty-five years. 
My working life has mainly been in education. I was at the same primary school from 1997 until Easter 2022. I held many roles during that time but was a classroom teacher from 2006, with RE, PSHE and Music as my subject leads at different times. I shall enjoy getting to know the children and staff at Clatford’s school in the new term and supporting the teams there.  
I was a full-time teacher whilst also serving as an LLM within the parish church then taught three days a week whilst studying for ordination at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. I completed my curacy at West Swindon and Lydiard Tregoze which was a diverse and interesting setting with some amazingly prayerful and encouraging people.
I enjoy all styles of worship, engaging with children in Messy Church (and similar) and supporting couples and families with their Life Events and pastoral needs. Each is an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus.
Nic and I enjoy walking together with Bladon, exploring further afield when we have time off and visiting family and friends. We’re slightly daunted about having a garden larger than a postage stamp to tend but hope to develop new friendships with those who know more than us! I enjoy crocheting and can play the piano and flute – none particularly well as I don’t practice enough! I also still love to sing when I can.
I am excited about this new time and season in mine and Nic’s lives. I look forward to working alongside people, getting to know my new colleagues, congregations and communities as we begin, together, to discern the next steps for building up the kingdom of God here in this benefice and within the deanery. It is a privilege to be given this opportunity to be your priest in charge and do stop and say hello when you see me out and about in the villages.

​With every blessing

Keep up to date with me on the News & Events page



​As you look around this church, remember that it has been the centre of worship over many centuries for the Christian community in the area. Succeeding generations have added to or changed its structure, and the clues to these stages are to be found in architectural details, historical records and the framed floor plan on the Norman pillar by the font.


Why Goodworth Clatford? The original Saxon pagan settlement by the river was known as ‘Goda's enclosure' and it was to this settlement that missionary nuns came from nearby Wherwell Priory. Eventually a small Christian community formed, probably worshipping in a wattle and daub building of nave and chancel. In the Domesday Survey of 1086, the first great statistical document of modern Europe, the area is known as Godorde and recorded as held by Wherwell Priory: ‘Warwelle, the same abbey, holds Godorde and always held it' - which implies a settlement of some longevity. At the same time Godorde became Goodworth and the first register indicates the final change: ‘This is the Register Boke of Goodworth Clatford of all Christens, Weddings and Burials from the year of our Lord God 1538'. All registers except those in current use are now held in the Record Office in Winchester.


As Wherwell Priory had a central relationship to this church up until 1959, its history is relevant.  Founded by Queen Elfrida, wife of Edgar, around 986, it was one of the largest mediaeval religious houses for women in England, and held the patronage of St. Peter's until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Thereafter the advowson was held by the Lords of the Manor at Wherwell, and was only transferred in 1959 to the Bishop of Winchester by William Iremonger when the United Benefice of Upper Clatford with Goodworth Clatford came into being.


The church from which the present structure has grown began as a small nave and chancel to which a South aisle was added towards the end of the 12th century. Around 1190 the chancel space was thrown into the nave, transepts being added on either side and a new chancel built. The 14th century saw more building with the addition of the North aisle and the rebuilding of the tower, replacing an earlier one. Many stones with 12th century ornament can be found worked into it. Both aisles were rebuilt in the 15th century, the South being made equal in width to the transept. Over the years the usual necessary repairs have taken place.
The shape of the spire was changed from square to octagonal in 1860 and it was shingle covered.


When the chancel was stripped in 1979, a ‘workman's doodle' in the form of a miniature carving was found, and is now in the window reveal behind the vicar's desk.


While the church possesses no ancient monuments or gravestones, various details remind the visitor of past centuries.


​The South arcade has early Norman rounded pillars on square plinths with leaf spurs at the angles and trumpet scalloped capitals.


​The nearby font is also Norman, of a table type in Purbeck marble. It has six flat arches on one side, motifs on the others and has been restored.


​The pointed arches in the West bays of the South aisle are identified as of 1190 and the third one has dog-tooth carving. The chancel arch is late 12th century and matches the transept arches. In the North aisles the rounded pillars have octagonal bases and decorated capitals, with carvings of a man and woman on one, set in foliage at the angles.


On the rear West wall a similar carving of a bearded man can be seen. The North aisle opens into the organ chamber by the rear arch of a 15th century East window. On each side of it are two moulded brackets of 15th century dating. The higher pair probably carried the timbers of an extension of the rood loft across the aisle.


Ancient and modern history are linked in the Brother Douglas Chapel in the South aisle. A small piscina with a shallow round basin can be found in the South wall.


The chapel itself was dedicated in 1963 in memory of Brother Douglas Downes, co-founder of the Society of St. Francis, which in 1934 bought the vicarage opposite the church and used it as a home for ‘Wayfarers' and destitute men, filling a need in those pre-war years. That need disappeared with the demand for man-power in the 1939-45 war and the buildings were demolished.


Continuity is the theme of this church and as you walk around you will notice the windows commemorating many members of the Iremonger family connected with St. Peter's by a succession of incumbents and the holding of the patronage. The list of incumbents, beginning in 1 321, can be found on the South wall. A great feature of village life in Goodworth Clatford is the sound of bells summoning people to this church. The eight bells in the tower are regularly rung and the framed details are on the south wall to the left of the porch door. The oldest bell No.6 was cast by John Wallis in 1622 and is inscribed ‘Give Thankes to God', whilst No.7 cast by John Danton in 1627 is inscribed ‘Love God'. Two light weight bells were added to the existing six in 1986, the No.2 being recast from a bell given by The Royal Air Force Guild of Bellringers. The Treble, inscribed ‘Holiness Unto The Lord', was paid for from monies collected in and around the parish, adding to a bell fund started in memory of Ernest Dowling, a past churchwarden whose name was commemorated on No.4 in 1937; this continues the long links of the Dowling family with this church and reminds us that St. Peter's has been, and still is, central to the life of its community. Before you leave we invite you to ask for God's blessing on all who minister and worship her.






Grateful thanks are expressed to Helen Burroughs for researching, compiling and writing the above.

Layout of St Peter's Church to highlight age of the different sections
Colour code to match the layout image showing age of different sections of the church
St Peters Spire
Picture of early Norman rounded pillars on square plinths with leaf spurs at the angles and trumpet
Picture of a table type in Purbeck marble. It has six flat arches on one side, motifs on the others
Picture of the carving of a bearded man on the rear West wall
Image of ​the pointed arches in the West bays of the South aisle
Picture of the small piscina with a shallow round basin found in the South wall.
Screenshot 2022-12-30 at 12.37.58.png
Screenshot 2023-01-20 at 17.42.49.png



Priest-in-charge             Revd. Teresa Townsend             01264 571213


Ministry Team               Revd. Nicky Judd                         01264 729075 


                                      Peter Eastwood                             01264 353320 


                                      Tim Tayler                                       01264 710201 


Benefice Administrator Danielle Lloyd                           07393 944245 



St Peter’s                       Jane Eastwood                           01264 353320 

                                      John Milne                                   01264 361206 


All Saints’                     Meg Bennett                                01264 338755 

                                      Emily Fabricius                            01264 360359


Organist                       Paul Timms                                   01264 357452 


Benefice Pastoral Visits Administrator

                                    Cherry Milne                                   01264 361206



Anna Benefice website    

Facebook                                  Anna Benefice 

Clatford Bellringers Hon Sec.  Angela Rogers                 01264 323532 


Safeguarding Officer                  Eleanor Jakeman            07391 952303


Rooms for hire


The Benefice choir meets each

Thursday evening in St Peter's room at 7.45pm

Extra voices are always welcome.

Please contact Paul Timms on

01264 357452  or


The Clatford Bell-Ringers @ Upper Clatford & Goodworth Clatford


Anna Benefice covers: St Peter’s Goodworth Clatford, All Saints' Upper Clatford and St Mary’s Abbotts Ann​


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