Cotterstock 2021

Friday 15th October


Glimpses of Cotterstock’s Past – talk by Reverend David Bond

David returned to Cotterstock on Friday 15th October to deliver both a matinee and evening talk in our village hall to raise money for St Andrew’s Church.  He gave an insight into Cotterstock’s history from Roman times to 1881 when the census of that year helped us to piece together a ‘who’s who’ of the village.

He explained the origins of the name Cotterstock, the chancery college and why our church has a chancel that is so out of proportion with the rest of the building.

It was a most enjoyable and informative talk and we are really grateful to David for doing it twice so that people could remain socially distanced if they wished.  Paul Brooker thanked David after the matinee and Graham Sands conducted the raffle and did a vote of thanks after the evening presentation.  Eighty people attended, both sessions were fully booked and the talk and raffle raised £578.  We are grateful to everyone who helped on the day to prepare the hall, serve the drinks in the interval and to tidy up; especially after the evening talk as people chatted until really late in the evening!  Thank you.

September and October 2021

U3a Video, Talks and Afternoon Teas

It is always a pleasure to welcome visitors to St Andrew’s Church.  In September and October we welcomed 97 people from four U3a groups to watch our “Weddings in Cotterstock 1631 to Present Day” video.  They also enjoyed a short talk by the Reverend David Bond about the church before a walk to the village hall where properties lived in by the people highlighted in the video were pointed out to them. 

At the hall the tables were laid with white linen cloths and vintage bone china in preparation for serving our visitors drinks and a selection of delicious homemade cakes.

The comments in the visitors’ book are lovely; people really enjoyed their visit, many said it had inspired them to research weddings in their local churches too.  We raised £582 for St Andrew’s and are grateful to everyone who helped to prepare the church, hall, bake the cakes, serve the teas and tidy up afterwards.  A special thank you to David for returning to Cotterstock and providing a guided walk for every group, we really do appreciate you.

Saturday 11th September

Ride and Stride

A huge thank you to everyone who supported the Ride and Stride coffee morning in any way.  We had a very successful morning with donations of fabulous flowers, cakes, jams and the amazing produce from Cotterstock gardens with many happy villagers taking home something delicious.  Thank you to everyone who donated, attended, set up, served teas, leant tables and ate cake for all your support and your donations. 

Secondly, a huge thanks to the brilliant group of riders and striders who cycled around some of the benefice churches ably led by Steve Ward.  Thank you to everyone who sponsored the cyclists and a marvellous well done particularly to our younger cyclists who did a wonderful job in raising much needed funds.  Thank you also to the volunteers who greeted and registered riders and striders from other churches stopping off at St Andrew’s.

In total we raised £442.05, a new village record!  Half will come back to St Andrew’s and half will go towards the grants programme run by Northamptonshire Historic Churches Trust to help maintain and improve churches in the county.







Sunday 11th July

Marriages in Cotterstock 1631 to the Present Day

In the week beginning Sunday 4th July we showed the video six times over four days in a socially distanced way to 93 people. 

The church was decorated with bows on the pews, flowers in the nave and rose petals in the porch to give the feel that a wedding was about to take place.

The idea of finding out how many people had been married in St Andrew’s since formal records began came about during our wedding exhibition in 2018.  We did nothing about it until the Covid-19 pandemic 2020 gave us lockdown and plenty of opportunity to begin to the task. Villagers traced couples from the recent past to ask if they would like their photograph or that of relatives to be included in our new leather bound church wedding album. We managed to obtain 33 photographs which are now proudly displayed, the oldest being David Spendlove from Glapthorn to Hannah Baxter (known as Carrie) from Cotterstock in 1899.

We discovered that, from the earliest records that we could find, 384 were recorded as being married in our church and we went on to find out more about the lives of some of them.

As word spread in the village, people shared old postcards, photographs and anecdotes and St Andrew’s baptism and burial registers were used to corroborate facts.

Eventually we had narratives for many of the couples who were married in St Andrew’s and current villagers were asked if they would like to read their narratives during lockdown number three.  Behind closed doors villagers were doing their recordings and then emailing them to Bob Davies who put the video together. 

The running time of the video was dictated from the beginning by how long it is possible to sit comfortably on our church pews, so we had to edit it accordingly.

Our thanks go to all those who contributed to the research, narrated the narratives and searched through dusty boxes of old photographs.  There was no charge to watch our amateur video but through very generous donations we received £503 all of which was gift aided. 

We welcomed the bell ringers prior to our 6.00 p.m. screening on Saturday which greatly added to the atmosphere as the bells sounded so joyful and marked the end of a really busy but successful week.

A lady who had a relative married in St Andrew’s 90 years ago was very interested in our wedding album project; she searched for a photograph but was disappointed that she couldn’t find one.  She did however enjoy receiving emails as other photographs of happy couples came to light and said it “gave me something happy to think about through lockdown”.  She wanted to be involved and very kindly donated a beautiful oak bookcase for St Andrew’s in September 2020 to house the album.  She donated it anonymously; on Tuesday 6th July she came from Norfolk to watch the video and had the opportunity to see the bookcase with the album proudly displayed inside it properly for the first time. 

On Thursday 8th July, two friends who used to play together in the village 78 years ago were reunited. Peter used to stay with his aunt and uncle, Walter and Alice Bone, who owned Church Farm in the 1940s during the school holidays and he would play with Bob. Peter watched the video with other relatives of the Bone family from Sussex and Norfolk before enjoying a guided tour of Church Farm as it is today. Afterwards Bob and Peter reminisced over tea, cake and homemade biscuits at Bob’s house, they had a lot to catch up on.  It was a really special afternoon that would never have happened if it wasn’t for the church wedding album project.

Saturday 12th June

The Warmington band of church bell ringers organised by Sylvia Upex and conducted by Alex Dyer rang the bells in St Andrew's today.  It was wonderful to hear all six bells ringing out over the village on such a gloriously sunny day and the sound of the bells enticed several villagers to walk down to church to listen in the churchyard; it felt as if normality really is being restored at last. The band were excited to be ringing again and were clearly delighted to be able to ring in Cotterstock once more.  The bells haven't been rung properly since November 2019 because of Covid19 restrictions and the ringers did comment that the clappers were very stiff through lack of use. 


Saturday, 17 April 2021

We are grateful to Nick Elks for muffling the bell and to Angela Whiteway for tolling slowly for a whole hour so that we could participate fully in this moving tribute to HRH Prince Philip.

The Church was open in the week preceding the funeral for villagers to write a message of condolence; others chose to write something online at  A selection of messages will be passed onto members of the Royal family and may be held in the Royal Archives for posterity. 

Friday, 9 April 2021

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Saturday, 27 February 2021


Monday 15th February

Due to very cold and wet weather in January and February work on the church roof has been delayed.  The contractors have been working at times when it has been possible and safe to do so.

Sunday 24th January

"Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow" and St Andrew's Church provided a photographic opportunity at every turn.

Sunday 3rd January

The following notice has been displayed on the two Church noticeboards since the 4th December to make people aware of the PCC's intention to apply for Faculty Permissions to have three gravestones in the churchyard professionally repaired.  

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Page last updated: 21st November 2021 2:40 PM