The Church Plate

This is reckoned among the finest specimens of Elizabethan plate in the county. The chalice and paten-cover of silver were made in 1592 and are beautifully ornamented. The chalice is unusually deep and widens at the lip. The pair of flagons (also of silver) have the inscription "The gift of John Wellins and Jane Andross to the parish of Ropley, Hampshire, in memory of Mr. William Andross, a pious and charitable inhabitant of the said parish, who died 17th April 1714, aged 70 years."

A silver alms dish is inscribed : "The gift of Jane Andross, late wife of Wm. Andross to the parish church of Ropley, 1715."

In March, 1911, an old pewter christening basin or bowl was discovered under a platform on which the harmonium stood, and which was removed prior to the erection of the organ. It bears the following inscription :- "The guifte of James Parry to the parish church of Ropley, for a Christening bason, who died the 8th April 1672."

Before 1871 the Holy Communion was administered but twice a year - at Christmas and Easter.

The quaintest of old Hymn-books were used in church. In one hymn a reference was made to Martha, who "Lost her time and temper too !"

A Clerk (Henry Turner) used to sit below the reading desk and give out the hymns.

The Chalice

The Church Clock

On April 30th, 1902, a meeting was held to consider what steps, if any, should be taken to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty, King Edward VII. Mr. R. C. Turner, Chairman of the Parish Council, presided.

Later on it was decided that a church clock, with two dials, if possible, should be erected.

The clock was officially started at noon on Wednesday, October 7th, 1903, and dedicated at the evening service on Sunday, October 18th, when an impressive sermon on "The value of time" was preached by the Vicar, the Rev. W. H. Leak.

The War Memorial

The names of the 40 men of Ropley who fell in the Great War are inscribed on a handsome tablet of Carrara marble placed on the North side of the chancel arch with the text beneath : "Their name liveth for evermore." The cost of the tablet which amounted to about £150 was met by public subscriptions. The dedication service on March 10th, 1921, was conducted by the Ven. A. E. Daldy, Archdeacon of Winchester.

The Reredos

This forms a pleasing addition to the East end of the church. It is made of English oak and has six panels, and a canopy with three shields inscribed "I.H.S." and carved with bunches of grapes. Subscriptions were collected by Mrs. Wynne, of Ropley Lodge, and the work was executed by Messrs. Laverty, of Winchester. The reredos was dedicated on February 7th, 1924, by Bishop Taylor Smith, Chaplain General of the Forces, and one of the trustees of the living.

The following are extracts from the records in the Cathedral Library at Winchester, made with the kind help of Canon Goodman, the librarian :-

Before the dissolution of the monasteries Ropley together with Bishop's Sutton, was annexed to the Priory of Merton, in Surrey. Thus, soon after the Norman Conquest, the ancient parish church came to be known only as a chapel, and the official designation, found in a register of the end of the 13th century is "The church of Sattone (Bishop's Sutton) together with the chapel of Roppele." Bishop's Sutton is placed first probably on account of the Bishop's residence being there.

In addition to the parish church, the lords of the Manor were allowed the privilege of a private chapel, and a register at the beginning of the 14th century states that Henry, Bishop of Winchester, granted to William Gerveis licence to hear divine service in the chapel of his Manor of Roppele.

About half a century later Roger Gervays received a licence to celebrate divine service in the oratory of his manor.

As Ropley was joined to Bishop's Sutton there are few references to it in the ecclesiastical records and there is no mention of the institution of Vicars of Ropley previously to the separation of the parishes in 1882.

Ropley Vicars

  • 1538 Nicholas Symonson.
  • 1540 Thomas Gray.
  • 1544 John Gymmell.
  • 1545 James Meyke.
  • 1545 John Venables.
  • 1552 Nicholas Alexander.
  • 1565 Cuthbert Dickonson.
  • 1573 Edward Clive.
  • 1598 Roger Hedges.
  • 1622-3 John Lowman.
  • 1672 John London.
  • 1711 Jos. Alexander.
  • 1724 Henry Cooper
  • 1746 P. Henvill.
  • 1757 W. Howley.
  • 1796 W. Howley.
    1813 Bishop of London
    1828 - 1848 Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • 1811 W. Evans.
  • 1818 S. Maddock.
  • 1871 T. Woodhouse.
  • 1891 F. H. Baring (a few months only).
  • 1891 W. H. Leak.
  • 1912 H. S. Kelsey.
  • 1915 S. R. Cambie.
  • 1916 H. W. C. Geldart.


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