St Thomas of Canterbury East Clandon

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At the heart of the small village of East Clandon lies its beautiful, historic church. It is likely that there had been churches on the site of St Thomas of Canterbury in East Clandon since 600AD. However, construction of the present building only started soon after the Norman Conquest of 1066 as Chertsey Abbey celebrated the rewards it had gained from supporting William the Conqueror.

Following the murder of Thomas à Becket – the ‘turbulent priest’ of Canterbury- the Benedictine monks changed the designation of the church in 1220 and rededicated it to the new saint – St Thomas of Canterbury.

After the Reformation in 1529 and the dissolution of the monasteries, the manor and church of East Clandon were ceded to King Henry VIII who in 1544 granted it to Sir Anthony Browne, his Master of Horse, who converted the monastic building into a parish church.Thereafter the village had a series of ‘landlords’ including in the 17th century the Aungier family whose funeral hatchments hang in the nave.

The church eventually became separated from the manor and a period of gradual decline began. This continued until 1888 when Lord Rendel became the owner of Hatchlands.In 1893, he bought the manor and ‘patronage’ of the church from the Earl of Lovelace. In 1900, considerable restoration was undertaken, for which local residents raised over £2,000 (more than £110,000 today), including the installation of a new clock and organ. Both are still in use today, over 100 years later.

We have a small Sunday congregation, but we are very welcoming, and would love to see you at one of our services, which are at 9.15am on the first, third and fifth Sundays of the month, and at 10.30am on the second Sunday of the month.