In the 10th century Ailwin, Earl of East Anglia, gave Hemingford Abbots and part of Hemingford Grey to Ramsey Abbey. King Edgar granted a charter for the first church to be built, on the site of the present chancel, in 974.
Two hundred years later this wooden church was replaced with a stone building, around 1190. Two columns and part of the former tower from this survive at the east end of the nave. The font, which is still used for Baptisms, originated in the early 13th century.
Much of the present church originates from the late 1300s, with the spire and wall painting being added in the 1400s.
The roof of the church was raised to its present height and the 22 carved angels were installed in the early 1500s. Five of the Six bells are dated 1754.
The Enclosure Award of 1806 consolidated church lands in the parish. The frontage of the Old Rectory dates from 1814, and several major repairs to the church were carried out in the 1820s.
Following significant restoration of the church porch and aisles in 1872-5, most of the present chancel dates from 1913. The main structure of the rest of the church has remained the same for over 500 years.
The church has four stained glass windows, but particularly noteworthy are those with engraved glass, which were created by local engraver David Peace.
The Church of St Margaret of Antioch can be located by turning into Church Lane off the High Street by the public house the Axe and Compass. The church tower can be seen from the village centre.
The Churchyard is approached from Church Lane via the Lych Gate which was given to Hemingford Abbots by Warboys Church and other friends in 1974 - the year when this church celebrated its millennium. Originally the Lych Gate was found in a derelict state in Tick Farm, Warboys and was believed to have been the entrance to a Chapel of Ease.
For further information about the church three publications are available:
Hemingford Abbots Church: A tour with David Peace and Charles Beresford, revised 2006.
Hemingford Abbots: Outline of a village story in its national context by Charles Beresford and Richard Butterfield, revised 2006.
A friendly cameo of St Margarets Hemingford Abbots, revised 2004, £2.50 per copy
For enquiries about the publications, click on this hyperlink Charles Beresford.
Who's Who at St Margaret's:
|Priest in Charge
||Reverend Peter Cunliffe
||Michael Sullivan, Jenny Stocker
||David Yeandle, Bruce Garner
|Gift Aid Secretary
|Members of the PCC:
Priest-in-charge and Chairman of the Parochial Church Council : Revd. Peter Cunliffe.
Churchwardens : Michael Sullivan, Jenny Stocker
PCC minuting secretary : Janet Stewart
Deanery Synod Representative : David Wordsworth
Other PCC members : Charles Beresford, Doris Bilton, Judith Bolton, Richard Butterfield, Bruce Garner, Daniela Spilca, Michael Sullivan, Jennifer Stocker
Main activities in 2014 : Further details of events in the “Diary” section:
||Regular Sunday services
||Sunday Feb 2nd :9.30 am : Sung Eucharist Candlemas
Sunday Feb 9th : 8.30 am : Holy Communion - 9.30 am : Family Service
Sunday Feb 16th : 9.30 am : Sung Eucharist
Sunday Feb 23rd : 8.30 am : Holy Communion - 6.00 pm : Choral Evensong
||Sunday Mar 2nd : 9.30 am : Sung Eucharist
Sunday Mar 9th : 8.30 am : Holy Communion 1st Sunday in Lent - 9.30 am : Family Service
Sunday Mar 16th : 9.30 am : Sung Eucharist
Sunday Mar 23rd : 8.30 am : Holy Communion - 9.30 am : Matins
Sunday Mar 30th : 6.00 pm : Choral Evensong Mothering Sunday
||Sunday Apr 6th : 9.30 am : Sung Eucharist
Sunday Apr 13th : 8.30 am : Holy Communion - 9.30 am : Family Service Palm Sunday
Friday Apr 18th : 12.00 am Hour at the Cross Good Friday
Sunday Apr 20th : 9.30 am : Sung Eucharist Easter Day
tbc Annual Parish Meeting
||June 28th & 29th : 50th anniversary of the Flower Festival : Display
The next Flower Festival will be in 2015. Details in the “Events” section
||Friday 7th Nov : Theatre Matters production : Memories of World War One
All Souls service and Remembrance Day service
Advent Carol Service
Christmas Carol service
Christmas services, including Christmas Eve midnight service at 11.30pm
Times of Services
All are welcome. The normal pattern as follows may change (e.g. for Easter and Christmas) to reflect the church year. Details are in the monthly Parish magazine.
The times of Sunday services at St Margaret's Hemingford Abbots are as follows:
8.30 am : 2nd & 4th weeks Holy Communion
9.30 1st week : Sung Eucharist
2nd week : Family Service
3rd week : Sung Eucharist
4th week : Choral Matins
5th week : Songs of Praise or Morning Prayer
6 pm Choral Evensong (once each quarter)