Great Ouseburn

Welcome to St Mary the Virgin, Great Ouseburn

The church of St Mary the Virgin today plays an important role in the life of Great Ouseburn. It is open at all times and weekly services are held jointly with Holy Trinity Church, Little Ouseburn. Children take a full part in all services, sharing reading, interceding and other duties with adults. Carol Services, a Crib Service and a Good Friday Workshop are enjoyed by all and the older members of our community meet monthly for Coffee and Communion in each other's houses. The churches share a thriving, 20+ strong choir which enhances worship on the first Sunday of each month as well as singing for weddings, funerals and other special occasions throughout the church year. The choir is RSCM affiliated and rehearses each Tuesday evening. Other thriving groups include kneeler-makers, a church cleaning team, flower arrangers and on-going churchyard maintenance. Our active 'events team' organises social and fund-raising events on a regular basis as well as weekly lunches throughout Lent in aid of outside charities.

Within the last twenty years a great deal of work has taken place to bring the church building up to date. A new internal porch, built by a local craftsman, was dedicated in 1994. The bell tower has become the vestry with an adjoining kitchen; the old vestry has been converted to provide toilet facilities; the organ has been replaced and re- sited and the side chapel, formerly housing the organ pipes, has been fully restored to provide a small, versatile worship and meeting space. It was dedicated as the Chapel of the Resurrection in January 2001. An audio system, new carpeting, beautiful hand-made kneelers, an improved lighting system and in 2010, a disabled access, have further enhanced the building.

The old churchyard, to the rear, is managed for the benefit of wildlife and is now home to an increasing diversity of wild flowers. Fallen or dead trees have been replaced by British native trees, given in memory of loved ones. Together, these provide habitat for many varieties of butterflies and birds.

Historically, standing on the highest ground in the village, the Church probably dates from the 12th Century. Its most interesting features are the unbuttressed tower with round headed slit windows and the Norman tower arch. There were years of disrepair in the late 16th century when the whole chancel was in decay. The nave and aisles were rebuilt in 1823 retaining the mainly 13th century arcades and the 15th century chancel arch. In 1883 another restoration was carried out at a cost of £3,000, during a year-long closure of the church. A side chapel was added, south of the chancel, for the Thompson family of Kirby Hall. The three lights of the chapel window were re-glazed in 1927 and illustrate the 'Sower of the Seed', the 'Faithful Shepherd' and the 'Good Samaritan'. Perhaps the most outstanding window in the church is the 'Good Shepherd' window in the bell tower. It was designed by Carl Almquist, after 1866, and in the background you can see indications of his Swedish roots. The two bells were cast by Edward Seller, in 1738 and 1750; the clock was in place by March 1898, bought by public subscription to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee and a flag-staff was erected in 1905. All are in working order today!

A complete history is available in the Church.

GDPR - Great Ouseburn · GO PCC Annual Report
Policy Statement on Safeguarding GO

Little Ouseburn

Welcome to Holy Trinity, Little Ouseburn

The church with its mausoleum and attendant yews, and the nearby Georgian bridge are charmingly set on a bend in the road in a landscape still keeping much of the feeling of C18th parkland. This famous sketch of Holy Trinity is by Anne Bronte who worshipped here in the mid C19th with the Robinson family by whom she was employed as Governess.


The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. The tower and chancel date from the 11th century, the south aisle, arcades and the chancel arch from the 14th century, and the battlements and pinnacles on the tower from the 15th century. In 1874–75 the north aisle was rebuilt to provide an organ chamber and a vestry, and the east window was altered, the architects being the Lancaster partnership of Paley and Austin. Also during the 19th century the porch was added.

The Church has Anglo-Saxon origins and notable features for visitors who appreciate church history and architecture, including Roman stone. Particular features to note are the east window, described by Pevsner as being “of more than ordinary interest”. The intersecting forms of the tracery date from about 1320. The stained glass was inserted after 1928 in memory of the Ambler family. The choir stalls of 1875 incorporate three fine late medieval ends with shields, birds, tracery and inscriptions. The superb writing on one of two of the Bequest boards is worth noting.

To the southwest of the church is a mausoleum dating from the middle of the 18th Century. It was built for Henry Thompson of nearby Kirby Hall who died in 1760. The Friends of Thompson Mausoleum purchased the building in 1997 and with the help of a grant from English Heritage had it fully restored. It was gifted to York Conservation Trust in 2009.

GDPR - Little Ouseburn
Policy Statement on Safeguarding LO

Marton cum Grafton

Welcome to Christ Church, Marton cum Grafton

Christ Church was built in 1875. The present Church replaced an earlier 12th Church standing about a mile from Marton, and many materials from the old one are used in the new Church. Built of stone to a simple plan, the church consists of a rectangular nave with a double bell-cot on the west gable, north porch, chancel and south-east vestry. The old bell is hung on a supplementary bell-cot on the side of the vestry chimney. Built mainly in Early English pointed style. It forms part of the Church of England United Benefice of Great and Little Ouseburn, Whixley and Green Hammerton. A warm welcome awaits new visitors and old friends alike at all our services.

A warm welcome awaits new visitors and old friends alike at all our services.

The first Sunday of each month is Parish Praise where tea and coffee (not to mention delicious homemade cake/biscuits) are offered after the service. The second Sunday is said Eucharist and the third Sunday is sung Eucharist. No service on third Sunday. The church has close links to the village school and is also fortunate to have an excellent choir - Collavoce, which enhances our services and performs in its own right at local concerts.

News and events

The Parish News magazine (1 pound per month) covers local news and events throughout the benefice. Please let us know if you'd like to have a copy delivered.

The Church is always looking for fundraising ideas. Please feel free to mention any potential money raising projects to the Church Warden. We have been fortunate in the past to be remembered in people's wills. The Church forms part of the fabric of our community and needs support to be available for people at the most important times in their lives. We would be honoured to be remembered in people's legacies in order to ensure the work of the Church is sustained into the future. Thank you.

GDPR - Marton cum Grafton · MCG PCC Annual Report
Policy Statement on Safeguarding Marton cum Grafton


Welcome to Church of the Ascension, Whixley

Whixley is a rural/agricultural village and is a conservation area. The church is situated at the edge of the village on an elevated site overlooking the village.

The church has been well attended over the generations and currently there are weekly services attended by 25-35 parishioners with annual services for Lent, Ascension, Harvest and Christmas and it is used by a wider community for Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals.

The church a Grade 11* listed building has its roots in the 12th and 13th century and consists of - West Tower, Knave, North Aisle, South Aisle, South Porch, Chancel, North East Organ Chamber and Boiler House beneath the western portion of the aisle.

Building materials:
Tower Roof - Red clay tiles
Nave, Chancel, Organ Chamber & South Porch Roofs - Grey or York Stone laid in random and diminishing courses.
North and South Aisle Roofs - Lead Sheet with wood roll joints.
Exterior stonework - Mixture of

Items of Special Interest

- It contains two obvious Norman connections - these are a font and the stone framed north window. Later Victorian additions were added as a result of a massive restoration during this period, together with contemporary changes carried out in a recent 20th century restoration which was extremely thorough.

- It has several stained glass windows and there are remains of mediaeval paintwork to the stone arcade at the West end.

- There are several memorial plaques on the walls and window ledges.

- The building has considerable historical association with the Tancred family, late of Whixley Hall. This includes a marble tomb, which was bequeathed in the mid 19th century in the south west corner adjacent to the bell tower entrance.

- The peal of six bells are in excellent condition and played regularly by our own bell ringers and visiting teams.

GDPR - Whixley & Green Hammerton · WGH PCC Annual Report
Policy Statement on Safeguarding WHG

Green Hammerton

St Thomas's Chapel of Ease lies on the York Road, on the right hand side going towards the A59, with the Church of England Primary School standing to the rear. It falls within the Church Parish of Whixley with Green Hammerton, the Parish Church of the Ascension being situated in Whixley.

St Thomas's Church was given Grade II listing in 2008.


The Chapel was built in 1873-75 on land donated by the Lord of the Manor, Henry Farrer, and completed in 1876, at the instigation of the Rev. William Valentine, incumbent of the Parish at the time. It is officially designated as a 'Chapel of Ease' as the Rev Valentine's purpose in building it was to relieve the local parishioners of the need to walk to the Parish Church in Whixley. The building was designed by the renowned Victorian architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott, who had connections with the area, probably through the Farrer family. (He was also responsible for the design of many other famous landmarks, including the Albert Memorial and St Pancras station in London)

The organ chantry was added in 1899, paid for by public subscription, and there are a number of high quality stained glass windows to be seen, designed and manufactured by nationally known firms such as Clayton and Bell (both of whom had initially been trained by Gilbert Scott) and James Powell. The church is also mentioned in Nickolaus Pevsner's famous book, 'The Buildings of England'.


In the Parish of Whixley and Green Hammerton, St Thomas's Church exists within a wider benefice of church parishes, which includes Great and Little Ouseburn, and Marton cum Grafton. At the present time, services - to which all will be made welcome - are conducted on the following basis:-

1st Sunday - Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer) - 9.00am / Sunday School 10.30 - 11.15 am

2nd Sunday - Parish Praise (family service, no communion) - 10.30am

3rd Sunday - Holy Communion (Common Worship)

4th Sunday - Combined service of Holy Communion at Whixley. 9.00am

In addition, 5th Sunday Services, when they arise, are held on a rota basis at the five churches in the Benefice.

St Thomas's is available for services of Baptism, Weddings and Funerals. It is also open to visitors for viewing or private meditation during daylight hours.

GDPR - Whixley & Green Hammerton · WGH PCC Annual Report
Policy Statement on Safeguarding WHG

Service Rota

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Forthcoming Events

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