Saturday December 07, 2019

Coxwold Village - Pastures and Moors

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Coxwold Church, North Yorkshire

church svs table octSt Michael’s Church is open during the day for visitors and those who wish to use it for a quiet, prayerful space.  Please come and visit: enjoy the space, learn something new and meet with God.

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, the Revd Liz Hassall, 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!

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

St Michael's at Christmas

Revd. Liz writes:
The congregation of St Michael's Church extends a warm welcome to all villagers and visitors to our services during Advent and Christmas.
Our candlelit Carol Service, which this year includes the village of Oulston, will be held at 5.30pm on Saturday 21st December in Church, and will be followed by refreshments. Come and hear the Christmas narrative told through song and story!

On Christmas Eve we gather at 6pm for the Nativity Service. Children are invited to be involved and bring the nativity figures forward as we prepare the crib.

If you are looking for a Midnight Service, this year please go to Crayke, which is one of the other churches in our group. The Midnight Holy Communion (also called Midnight Mass) will be at 11.30pm.

Christmas morning sees us back in Church at 10.30am for a great celebration of Jesus' birth. Come and hear the good news. All are welcome.
For further information on our regular services, which continue throughout the year, please go to:

The Village Link

We are very pleased to announce that the Village Link, the monthly newsletter for the eight villages of the Benefice, is now available on-line through this website.  There will shortly be a new separate page containing each issue and past issues will be stored on-line.  You'll be able to 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 February's issue is 15th January.  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                         The Revd Liz Hassall, The Rectory, Crayke. 01347 822809 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Churchwarden           Mr Chris Stratton, 01347 868854

Useful links:

            A Church Near You

            York Diocese          

            Easingwold Deanery

            Your Church Wedding