A privilege to pray at St Weonard’s, Herefordshire: a gem of church

“This gem of a church dating from the 13th century rightly merits its Grade 1 status from its commanding hilltop position overlooking beautiful rolling south-west Herefordshire countryside.” So begins the article on the church on the Visit Herefordshire Churches website, and justifiably so. We called in earlier today to say a prayer for the parish, and found it a place of peace amidst the Covid storm.

Although it has, as so often a 13th century core, much of what we saw was a little later than usual, 16th century, and the church must have had a make-over just before the strictures of the Reformation changed everything.

St Weonard (say Wonnard) a himself probably, is lost in the mists of time. Old stained glass in the church, now destroyed, described him as a hermit and showed him with a woodcutter’s axes and he is perhaps to be identified with the Welsh St Gwennarth. Of more personal interest were the memorials to the Mynors family: the north chapel his named for them, with its box pews, memorials and a massive and venerable hollowed-out chest.

Here was a place to give thanks for the life and work of Sir Roger Mynors in particular, a Latinist of the first water, covering both the classical and mediaeval periods (he edited the Nelson/Oxford edition of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History), and was also on the Literary Committee for the New English Bible. He remembered the Cathedral Library at Hereford with a bequest, and was working on the catalogue of their manuscripts when he died. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.