Celebrate the opening of “King Alfred” Hall

Outside of Hall

We are excited to announce that the long-awaited refurbishment of our Church Hall has been completed. The hall floor, heating and lighting have all been renewed, and new toilets, kitchen and entrance hall installed.

It has been decided to rename it “The King Alfred Hall” in recognition of Chippenham’s historic association with Alfred the Great.

We would be delighted if you could join us for the inaugural weekend of 30th to 31st March. On both days the new Hall will be filled with a wonderful display of arts and crafts by both parishioners and local artists (free entry).

The programme for the weekend is as follows:

Saturday 30th March

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – view the local artworks in their lovely new surroundings.

5 p.m. –  choral evensong in the Church with guest quartet Anchorae. (There will be a retiring collection at this event for organ funds.)

Sunday 31st March

The “main event” of the weekend, when the Right Reverend Vivienne Faull, the new Bishop of Bristol, will lead our 10 a.m. service in the church, and will then formally name and re-dedicate the hall.

The Hall will then again be open to everyone to admire the artworks, from 11.15 a.m. till 3 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to join us at any of the above, whether for the choral evensong on Saturday evening, the Church service on Sunday, or just for the exhibition, so do come along, and bring your friends too. This will be a truly special event and you are sure to be impressed by the wealth of local talent on display.

As the 31st  is Mothering Sunday, perhaps this could be a special extra treat for all mums, young and old!

The refurbishment also means that this is a much enhanced space for hire, if you are looking for a venue on either a regular or one-off basis, whether for yourself personally or for a group. This weekend presents a perfect opportunity to have a look round at the facilities on offer.

You can find the hall next to the church, at St Andrew’s Church, Market Place, Chippenham, SN15 3HT

The Right Reverend Vivienne Faull

The Bishop of Bristol, the Right Reverend Vivienne Faull, formerly Dean of York Minster (2012– 2018), was appointed as the Diocese of Bristol’s first female bishop on 25thJune 2018 and ordained on 3rdJuly at St Paul’s Cathedral. Her appointment follows the retirement of the Right Reverend Mike Hill in September 2017.

Bristol was the first diocese to ordain women as priests in 1994 and there are now 18 female bishops in the Church of England.

Viv’s mother was brought up in Bristol, and her grandparents lived there all their lives; Viv herself was brought up in a village on the Wirral. She taught with the Church Mission Society in North India and did youth work in Everton before training at St John’s College, Nottingham. She was ordained a deaconess and returned to Liverpool. Amidst a variety of ministry roles, she was ordained priest in 1994.

Viv became the first woman to lead a Church of England Cathedral as Provost and then Dean of Leicester in 2000. In that role, she was incumbent of St Martin, Leicester, a city centre parish with significant diversity and areas of deprivation. In 2012, she was appointed Dean of York, a post which she held till being appointed to her new role in 2018. She was enthroned as Bishop of Bristol at Bristol Cathedral on 20thOctober 2018.
She was formally introduced to the House of Lords on 23rdOctober 2018. The 24 most senior Bishops in the Church of England – along with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York – have previously had an automatic right to sit in the House of Lords, but following the recent Lord’s Spiritual (Women) Act 2015, whenever a vacancy arises during the ten years following the act, the position must be filled by a female bishop, if one is eligible.


is a vocal quartet founded in 2018 by four musicians at the University of Bristol, established with the aim of performing chamber music to a high standard and encouraging the creation of new vocal repertoire.

The quartet consists of:

Peter Relph (Bass) was a choral scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge before taking up the position of Director of Chapel Music at Wills Hall, University of Bristol. His compositions have been performed widely around Europe and the United States by numerous notable ensembles, including Scottish Opera, the Britten Sinfonia, and Westminster Williamson Voices. His music is published by GIA Publications.

Ned Tennet (Tenor) is a music student at the University of Bristol and choral scholar at St. Mary Redcliffe Church. His singing has taken him to numerous locations across Europe including Salzburg and Bergen; he has sung a variety of repertoire including Britten’s War Requiem.

Adam Lloyd (Countertenor) is an undergraduate at the University of Bristol studying for a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. In addition to singing with Anchorae, he holds choral scholarships with St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol, and the Paragon Singers in Bath.

Chessie Smith (Soprano) is studying for a degree in Theatre at the University of Bristol. As well as singing with Anchorae, she is currently the head chorister at the Wills Hall Chapel, and has sung in choirs across Great Britain and Europe.

King Alfred (849 – 899 AD)

Chippenham is a town strongly associated with the kings of Wessex (present-day Hants, Dorset, Wilts and Somerset)in the era of Alfred the Great, and is quite well-attested in the documentary record from the middle of the ninth century on. The first record of the town dates from 853, when Ethelwitha, daughter of King Aethelwulf of Wessex was given in marriage to King Burgred of Mercia at the ‘royal estate’ (villa regia) called Chippenham, and the marriage was conducted in royal style’.
Chippenham soon found itself again at the centre of events. Though King Alfred had concluded a supposedly ‘firm peace’ with the Viking leader Guthrum at Exeter in 877 which required the Danes to remove themselves from the king’s lands, it was clear that they were intent on permanent conquest and settlement, and their withdrawal took them no further than Mercia (present-day Midlands).
Alfred was at Chippenham by Christmas 877. Guthrum’s forces attacked the town on Twelfth Night 878, inflicting such a major defeat on the king that they were able to begin settlement of Wessex itself, while Alfred was forced to undertake a guerrilla campaign from the Somerset marshes.
Nevertheless, by May 878, Alfred had restored his position sufficiently to win a substantial victory at the Battle of Edington, as a result of which Guthrum’s forces were compelled to withdraw from Chippenham, and Guthrum was baptised, with Alfred as his sponsor.
Thus it was that under Alfred, the Viking threat was contained, with Alfred staging one of the most unlikely comebacks in all English history.

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