St. Luke's, Garford
As well as the main parish church of All Saints' we also have a former chapel-of-ease in our parish. This is St. Luke's Church in Garford. Garford village is an historic, rural community of about 70 houses and 200 residents, consisting of a mixture of farm workers, professionals & commuters, retired people, young families with a number of children. The focal parts of Garford are the village hall and church, as well as the lovely countryside which surrounds the village.
This close community values their little church where there are services at key points of the church calendar. The Christmas carol service is very popular and Remembrance Sunday is also well-attended. Throughout the year the small but loyal and enthusiastic congregation helps to maintain the churchyard. The church is currently supported financially at a minimum maintenance level by donations from villagers.
The 'Friends of St. Luke's' are a group of Garford residents who are passionate about their little church and who help to maintain the church building and grounds.
Information on St. Luke's Services can be found in the main church calendar.
Garford belongs to the ancient parish of Marcham, which also included Frilford, Cothill and Gozzards Ford, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times and possibly earlier, based on an Anglo-Saxon estate, which may have originated in a Roman one.
St. Luke’s is near the ancient crossing of the river Ock, where there was a large religious site in use from the early Iron Age to the end of the Roman period.
The manor (or estate) of Marcham was granted to Abingdon Abbey, probably in the tenth century, and after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 it passed into secular hands. The patronage of the parish was granted to Christ Church, Oxford in 1546.
St. Luke’s was probably a ‘chapel of ease’, enabling the community to attend services locally rather than make the journey to the main church at Marcham. It was attached to the parish church there by 1291, and since then, if not before, the clergy of Marcham have been responsible for St. Luke’s.
Parts of the building date from the 13th century, but mostly it is a Victorian rebuild of 1880 by the architect Edwin Dolby of Abingdon. He extended the rectangular mediaeval chapel, which was without an aisle or external separation between chancel and nave. The church now consists of a chancel with north chapel, a nave with a north aisle, a south porch and west bell tower with a single bell. The oldest features are the 13th century lancets of the east window, and 13th century south porch doorway; on the south side the 14th century square-headed window in the nave, and portions of the large square-headed window in the chancel which date from the 16th century; and the 15th century open traceried panels along the cornice of the chancel screen. The rest of the building internally and externally dates from the 19th century. The church is Grade II listed as a building of special architectural or Historical interest.