'Magical' church reopens for Christmas

The church of St Peter and St Paul in Winderton opens for the first time this year for a Christmas candlelit concert.
Winderton churchWinderton church
Winderton church

The church which was built in 1878 was closed down in 1976 because of a lack of parishioners in the tiny hamlet on a hill near Brailes. Since then it has lain untouched and rarely used.

Carole Foster, who organises the concert, said: "It’s a moment stopped in time, yes there is basic electricity but that’s it. No water no heating, just stained glass, polished rose marble, wrought iron and old oak.

"It is as the Victorians made it and as it was left when the doors closed 40 years ago but the sound and the atmosphere of the place is magical.”

The concert,on Sunday, December 8 at 6pm, features Valerie Vet who performed throughout the summer at Upton House and other National Trust garden parties and Kathryn Packer the winner of the Shipston Proms new talent of the year award .

Carols will be sung as the church is lit by candlelight with accompaniment by Helen Porter whose family has been performing across the UK for many years.

With just donations on the door and mulled wine and mince pies it’s a touch of Victorian simplicity and a chance to stop and contemplate before the whirlwind of an election week and Christmas.

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