Strelley Church

Strelley Church

THERE is a record that in the year £356 Sir Sampson de Strelley "had licence that he and his parishioners might hear sermons for the space of a year in the chappel situate within his manor of the said village, because the parish church was not then fully built."

That is a very simple record, and to the historically minded it calls up many visions.

Since those far off days, nearly 580 years ago, service has been offered to God in this beautiful and remote little church, and the religious life and hopes of countless generations have centred round its ancient walls. It is a wonderful example of the coherence of English life.

It is a great record, and one which can be matched by many of the ancient churches which adorn the land, and the voice with which it speaks to the antiquary can be summed up in the words "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."

You can see what the Sir Sampson do Strelley, to whom permission to hear sermons in the chapel of the Manor House was granted, looked like, for his effigy lies in the chancel, separated from the nave by a wonderful wooden screen preserved to us, as by a miracle from the fifteenth century.

Sir Sampson is represented in the armour fashionable and serviceable about the time of his death in 1390, and by his side lies his lady, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Hercey. To our eyes her costume, and in particular her head dress, is strange, but there is no doubt as to the beauty and the craftsmanship of the monument.

Sir Sampson grasps his lady’s hand as if to comfort and sustain her as they together face the unknown.

Strelley Church is a beautiful place, and in these stern and practical days it is well that so close to the great city of Nottingham there should be this quiet shrine which with its strong though silent voice, recalls to us those emotions and sentiments which were the strength of our forefathers, but which, nowadays, are somewhat out of fashion.