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Church of St Mary the Virgin, Stoke Bruerne

Church Lane
Stoke Bruerne
NN12 7SA
United Kingdom
OS Grid: SP7406849838 streetmap

The Church is mainly 14th and 15th century. It consists of a body, north and south aisles and leaded chancel. There is an embattled tower at the west end with five bells; the lower part is of the 12th century, with buttresses added later. The vestry, the most recent part of the church, was built in 1881.

The Rev. Richard Lightfoot was ordered a deacon and priest in March 1582 by John, Bishop of Gloucester, and was licensed as preacher in December 1589 by John, Archbishop of Canterbury. The parish register reports that he was installed as Rector of Stoke Bruerne, England April 27, 1601 and was buried there November 28, 1625, after serving for 23 years. His tomb is marked by a small plaque bearing the Lightfoot coat of arms and the inscription [translated from the original latin]:-
This tomb was placed here to the memory of Richard Lightfoot, minister of the gospel and rector of this church for twenty three years by J.L., his son and heir. Death quietly and unexpectedly overtook him while feeding his flock by word and deed. His life was short for it was a long meditation on death. Thus he taught others to live and himself to die. He died in the year of our Lord 1625, aged 63 years.

Dr. Peter Gunning, rector from 1660 to 1669 was tutor to the living's patron, Christopher, Lord Hatton, and a staunch royalist during the Civil War and Commonwealth, and famed as a theologian and disputer. A prolific author, he became Lady Margaret professor of divinity at Cambridge and later regius professor of divinity. During the 1660s he was master of Clare Hall, and became master of St. John's on his appointment to the regius chair. At the same time as holding Stoke, he was rector of Cottesmore and a prebend of Canterbury Cathedral. He became bishop of Chichester in 1669 and bishop of Ely in 1674.

Edward Cardwell, rector between 1828 and 1831, was Camden Professor of Ancient History at Oxford and master of St. Alban's Hall. He edited Aristotle's Ethica and wrote several works on Greek and Roman coinage and theology.

English Heritage Listed Building entry
Image 6221 2003-11-16
St Mary, Stoke Bruerne
[Church of St Mary the Virgin][Church of St Mary the Virgin]Image 2707 2003-11-16
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Stoke Bruerne

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