Friday October 15, 2021

Coxwold Village - Pastures and Moors

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Coxwold Church, North Yorkshire

St Michael’s Church is open during the day for visitors and those who wish to use it for a quiet, prayerful space.  A new Guide Book has just been published.

Please come and visit: enjoy the space, learn something new and meet with God.   

Our usual pattern of services is subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions. In more usual times, services are generally held every fortnight on Sunday mornings at 9am, either Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, or a more modern service of Holy Communion.  Everyone is welcome to join us at services.  You can also visit our page on A Church Near You for detailed information on when services are happening and for other services around Coxwold.  If in doubt, please do contact us (details below) to check.

We share our Rector, with six other Churches in the local area.  Our group, or benefice, of Churches is known as The Byland Churches and we are increasingly working and worshipping together to keep faith in Jesus Christ alive in these villages.  If there is no service at Coxwold, you will find many of our congregation worshipping at one of the other Churches in the group.  Do join us! Please follow the directions in the Village Link and let us know you are intending to join us. Current restrictions mean that seating is limited.

If you have moved into the village recently you may find it useful to receive a copy of our monthly magazine, The Village Link, which lists services, events and other news in Coxwold and other nearby villages.  Please contact us (details below) to arrange this.

For further information on our regular services throughout the year, please go to:

The Village Link

The Village Link, the monthly newsletter for the eight villages of the Benefice, is available on-line through this website.  There is a new separate page containing each issue and past issues will be stored on-line.  You can download each edition every month as it is published.  If you have any contributions for the Village Link, please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The deadline for each issue is 15th of the previous month.  If you have comments or queries regarding the Village Link on this website, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

History of the Building

St Michael's is a Perpendicular-style 15th century church, replacing earlier buildings on the same site.  There is an unusual octagonal tower and the chancel is of later build.  The interior of the building is more Georgian than medieval in feel, with a flat oak ceiling and box pews.

The chancel (rebuilt in 17th century) is dominated by a selection of large monuments, mostly to members of the Bellasis family of Newburgh Priory.  The monuments have been recently restored, thanks to generous legacies from villagers.

In the graveyard is buried Laurence Sterne, the author of Tristram Shandy, whose remains were moved to Coxwold from his original burial place in London.  You can see his original gravestone in the porch.  There are also two Commonwealth war graves in the graveyard.

You will find more detailed information about the history and architecture of Coxwold Church inside the building.

There are also occasional historical displays at the back of the nave.

Special events

St Michael’s is a popular venue for weddings, often used by couples who have a reception at Newburgh Priory or Byland Abbey.  Many families also keep their links to the Church by bringing their children to be baptized.  Do contact the Rector if you are interested in finding out more.

Other big events during the year include the village Open Gardens in June, Harvest Festival in October and a village Carol Service in December.  There are extra services at Christmas and Easter as well.


Rector                         Currently we have no incumbent.  Please contact the Churchwarden for up-to-date information during the interregnum.

Churchwarden           Mr Chris Stratton, 01347 868854

Useful links:

            A Church Near You

            York Diocese          

            Easingwold Deanery

            Your Church Wedding