The Church of All Saints and St James
Open daily during daylight hours, the Church of All Saints and St James is located in the heart of the oldest part of King's Cliffe. The church is situated on the site of a Saxon church, although the current building only dates back to the 12 th century with most of it being 15th century. The building is grade 1 listed, and as is to be expected of a building of this age, although in generally good repair, requires almost constant maintenance.
In the autumn of 2020, major works were carried out on the tower to stop rain leaking in, and the clock faces were regilded at the same time to make best use of the scaffolding.
In the autumn of 2021 additional stonework repairs were done to the spire and the weather cock was repaired and regilded.
Also in 2021, a new gas boiler was installed and the whole system was flushed and some rising pipework to the radiators replaced. We are currently seeking grants to fund the main repairs identified in the 2020 quinquennial report which are mainly many minor stone/flashing repairs.
The tower houses a ring of 6 bells which go well and have a good sound. The bells were retuned and rehung in 2012. The clock chimes the hours and quarters on the bells, and there is a team of bell ringers who ring for services, weddings and funerals as required.
There is a longer term aim to reorder the interior of the church. Among the proposals are better kitchen facilities for hosting the Community Café and offering refreshments at events, replacing the pipe organ with an electronic one which would allow the organist and the choir flexibility in location, and removing some or all of the pews to allow wider flexibility in how the space is used both for services and other activities. Overall, we want to encourage greater use of the building by the whole community.
The churchyard was closed for burials in about 1906 and is maintained by the Parish Council. There is also a large and recently extended cemetery in the village, also maintained by the Parish Council. Until recently, interments of ashes were still carried out in the churchyard but unless pre-arranged, these are now carried out in the cemetery.
All Saints and Saint James Church stands on an imposing site with the east wall of the chancel facing Hall Yard. The present rectory is a fine Georgian building which was formerly a mill house. The Parish of King's Cliffe is part of the Benefice of King's Cliffe, Bulwick and Blatherwycke, Collyweston, Easton-on-the-Hill and Laxton.
The tower is the earliest part of the church, built in the first half of the 12th century. The broach spire was added in the 13th century and the rest of the church dates mainly from the 15th century. There may have been an earlier Saxon church on this site, round headed windows can be observed in the north and south walls of the tower with their Saxon-style centre shafts and capitals. Similar windows have been blocked in the east and west walls. The west window can be seen from the nave high over the west chancel arch. Also note the Barnack stone quoins on the exposed north-east corner of the tower adjacent to the little outside door.
The Rectory, 3 Hall Yard, Kings Cliff, Kings Cliffe, Peterborough, PE8 6XQ