St Swithin’s serves a rural parish with a very varied population of over 2,500 people, in the villages of Lower Quinton, Upper Quinton and Admington.
The church is situated in the largest settlement, Lower Quinton, with much of the population concentrated in an area a mile to the west, on land originally occupied by army housing, now replaced by modern estates. Planning permission has been granted for further housing in the village. Lower Quinton contains a relatively high proportion of social housing, and of young families, with dedicated accommodation for the elderly, including a Nursing Home. Two working farms are in the centre of the village and a thriving livestock market is situated within the parish boundary.
The village has a lively local authority primary school, a nursery, and a well-staffed NHS General Practice surgery with an NHS Dental practice and Dispensary. There is a Post Office and general store and a traditional pub with restaurant and accommodation. Other businesses include a fish and chip shop with Chinese takeaway, a hairdressing and beauty salon, a flower and gift shop and bed and breakfast accommodation. There is a flourishing and well-used village hall, with football and cricket clubs.
A mile to the south is the village of Upper Quinton, lying at the foot of Meon Hill, in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a large village green. In addition to mainly traditional dwellings it contains an agricultural/motor dealership and a caravan park.
The small village of Admington, which has its own parish council, lies two miles east of the church with houses lining its single road, leading to Admington Hall. There are two working farms in this very rural location.
St Swithin’s Church, built on a Saxon base, was originally linked to the Abbey of Polesworth, so came under the patronage of Worcester Cathedral, as it is to this day. The present church was consecrated in 1238. The building is in good repair, with toilet, kitchen and washing facilities, and wheelchair access. The church has a peal of six bells, with ringers who practice regularly and assist at weddings and major feasts. A growing choir of quality give special musical contributions at Christmas, Easter and other festival occasions. We wish to enable all to experience God’s presence in this sacred and beautiful place.
We come together to worship God in a variety of worship forms, to suit all, led by both clergy and lay members, with a different service on every Sunday of the month at 11:00am, including a very popular family service, and more traditional services at 6:30pm twice a month.
We hold holiday club activities for young children in the church, and run a flourishing weekly Parent and Toddler Group. We would like to find new ways to serve teenagers and young adults. Study groups are held in homes, especially during Lent, and we hope to extend the provision of small house groups. We have also started a Facebook page, which has recently been updated. Our collective aim is to share God’s love by unobtrusively serving the whole community, especially those least able to help themselves.
The Church has two Church Wardens, two Assistant Wardens, two licensed Readers, side persons, retired clergy and a committed PCC encouraging fund raising and charity giving. The core of Church members are very active in liturgical and pastoral activities, including outreach to Meon Vale. Time and effort are generously given for fund-raising events, providing a year-round focus for village life, including the Christmas Bazaar, Fun Ride, Plant Sales, Cream Teas, Skittles on the Green and the Harvest Supper. Most village activities are spearheaded by Church members, including Nosh and Natter (a monthly lunch for the elderly and isolated), the village Youth Club, the Ladies’ Circle, the Village Voices singing group, Rural Cinema and the Amateur Dramatic Society.
Despite this enthusiastic activity, and some modest growth in church attendance, we have not yet succeeded in attracting significant parts of the village into church, especially those who work elsewhere and remain on the periphery of village life, except through baptisms and weddings, which occur frequently. We seek to discern a way forward in this mission, along side the other Benefice congregations.