Welcome to Forest Edge Group of Churches
St Michael and All Angels Church
Bulley Village, Bulley lane, Gloucestershire, England.
Sue Read & Bill Warburton.
As yet the church has No up and running sound system, but all of the worship leaders welcome the hand signal of a hand held up behind the ear from anyone who cannot hear what is going on clearly, and they will then try to increase the volume, or face the direction of the person who is not hearing clearly to try to assist.
Facilities for Weddings:
May Hill Village is an Ideal venue for your wedding reception if you are planning to get married in one of our Forest Edge group of Churches.
If you would like information on hiring the hall, its availability and hiring fees, then in the first instance please contact:Name: Mrs Jenny Grassam Email: Jennygrass@aol.com Tel: 01452 830350
visit the May Hill Village Hall website for more Details about the Hall.www.mayhillvillage.com/
History of the church
Built on Saxon foundations and the style is mainly Norman and Early English with Victorian additions.
The turret which contains one bell is tiled in wooden shingles whilst the remainder of the roof is clad with clay tiles.
The ancient south entrance door which is framed by a fine Norman arch with its alternate dark and light stones still has its old strap hinges and ring latch and is interesting for the eight quaint peepholes. In its three panels.
The large Norman tub font is supported on more recent masonry plinth. The reason we have the font covered up is to stop it from getting covered in bat droppings.
The Nave has its Norman windows set high in the ancient walls, the two north windows still retain traces of medieval red painted chevrons on the masonry returns.
The massive Norman chancel Arch has similar design features to the entrance doorway Arch with its fine zig-zag light and dark stones supported by plain round columns crowned with scalloped capitals.
The chancel was rebuilt in 1839 almost entirely at the expense of the vicar the REV. George Charles Hall, the East aspects of the church was built to a lower roofline than the original which must have been lost before the publication of The history of the county of Gloucester in 1803.
You can see a picture of the church within bulley church with the Nave roof in poor condition and prior to its partial collapse in 1878.
The church remained to be closed for 9 yrs due to its dilapidated condition which rendered it unsafe to hold divine service though at least one wedding is reported to have taken place in the ruins. In 1886 the REV G.C. Hall the then Vicar of Churcham and the chapelry of Bulley successfully appealed for funds to carry out repairs with the result that the Architect Sidney Gambier Parry of Victoria street Westminster a relative of Thomas Gambier Parry who lived in Highnam court and who built Higham church in 1850 was retained and the works, which included a further reconstruction of Chancel, were carried out by builder Albert Estcourt, support to the project was given by W.P.Price Esq. The then Lord of the Manor of Bulley who funded a new porch and entrance gate. The original architectral drawings by Gambier Parry is framed and hung at the rear of the church.
The cost of the works amounted to £895, the church commissioners as Tithe owners gave £350, the remainder came from contributions the Warneford trustees the Vicars family and a bazaar which raised £65. The church was reopened in June 1887 and since then has been in constant use, it has seating for 84 people.
The REV. Thomas Rudge (Rector of ST Michael in Gloucester ) in his publication " The History of the county of Gloucester brought down to the year 1803" contains the following references-Bully Bolay, anciently Bulelege is a small parish containing 500 acres five miles west of Gloucester, bounded on the south by the turnpike road leading to the forest of Dean. The Doomsday records the proprietor of Bulelege (a pasture of bullocks ) in Westberie hundred as Walter Balistarius ( the crossbowman ) who was taxed four hides. in the reign of Edward III, his Son John of Gaunt gained the title Duke of Lancaster through his wife Blanch and the rights to the estates in Gloucestershire which then incorporated Bulley into the duchy of Lancaster.
REV. Rudge continues-benifice is a chapelry annexed to churcham and the impropriation is in the chapter of Gloucester.
The church consists of a Nave only with a small low spire at the West end there seems to have been little alteration from the original building which appears by semi-circular Zig-Zag arches was erected immediately after the conquest. The chancel has some former period, either been destroyed by violence, or fallen from decay of time but the arch which led to it still remains and is fine specimen of Saxon architecture.
The south door likewise is of the same period.
There is reference in "The History" that 23 freeholders voted in 1776.In 1803 the population of bulley was 136,85 males and 51 females and the number of house inhabited was 38.
The voting register of 2001 listed 134 Electors and the number of houses occupied was 73.
The windows were commissioned by the Parochial Church Council to celebrate 2,000 years of Christianity of which 900 years of worship have been held at the site of this church.
The three windows are replacing three plain windows which were similar to those on the South side of the chancel
This window is the north window depicts-The creation-from the formation of the universe to Adam and Eve."As it was the beginning"
The central window is a familiar image of -Jesus Christ in Majesty-holding the book of The Word. "is now"
This window Illustrates-ST Michael-dressed in armour with a spear for his battle against Satan, holding a pair of scales to weigh souls at the last judgement and with the future at his feet. "and ever shall be"
The artist who designed and produced these was Mr Graham Dowding at his studio at Ruskin Mill, Nailworth, Gloucestershire. Mr Dowding has been responsible during his career for some repair and refurbishment works on windows at Gloucester Cathedral and other places of worship.
Bulley Parish Circular Walk
Return to Index