St Andrew's Church History
The first settlement in Cobham is recorded in the Domesday Book and the present church dates from the middle of the 12th century. Although many modifications and additions have taken place over time, especially heavy restoration during the 19th century, parts of the original building still survive as do various features and artefacts from every period since that date.
For some 850 years, therefore, prayer and worship have been continually offered in this place by a countless number of people. Landed gentry and generals, ploughmen and domestic servants have each made it their spiritual home; all of them equal in the eyes of the One to whom their prayers have been addressed.
When you walk around and your eyes roam over wood and glass and stone you will need to remember that most of the story this building tells was written in lives that go unrecorded and can only be heard by breathing in the atmosphere.
Most people equate the Church with church buildings, but that is not really the case. The Church is made of people who, as part of their lives as Christians, regularly meet to worship together and to receive the gifts of God’s strength and blessing through the sacraments, especially that of Holy Communion. Serving a God whose nature is love is expressed in and through the life of relationships in community. Our church buildings provide sacred space which serves to speak of God’s unseen presence in our lives. Not only are they places for people to come together, but also signs of God’s constant presence, love and care in the whole of our lives.
A History and Guide Book to St Andrew's, Cobham
The booklet about St Andrew’s, written and published by Dr David Taylor, historian and author, has been updated with new discoveries. The Revised Edition was published in June 2022.
This beautifully illustrated booklet has been sponsored by the family of our patron, Dominic Combe.
Copies (£5 each) are available from the parish office or Cobham Bookshop.
All sales proceeds will go the Fabric Fund for the church to assist with the cost of maintaining our historic building.
The revised version of the book was launched with a talk by its author, Dr David Taylor. You can watch it on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eNDGM3aAoQ
Chapel Of Peace
Since the eighteenth century there has been a little chapel in the corner of our churchyard at Cobham. It was originally built as a Mortuary Chapel to serve as a place of rest for those whose life on earth was finally over. The coffin would be placed inside, probably the day before the funeral took place in the Parish Church. No doubt those closest to the deceased would often come and spend some time there with their loved one to feel close, to express their grief, to say the words they had somehow never been able to say when they were alive together, and to pray.
Around the turn of the century the chapel fell into disuse and over the years the fabric of the building went to ruin. Inspired by a parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1998, Peter Ostley, the Captain of our bell tower, set about restoring the chapel and today it serves as a special place for peace and prayer. In recent years we have used it on Easter Day to remind us of the empty tomb.
If you would like to know more, click here to download a leaflet. If you would like to visit the chapel, please enquire at the Parish Office.