A brief history
The parish of Chedburgh is the second largest community in the Benefice. The church, All Saints, which seats up to 70 people, stands in a prominent position alongside the busy A143 Bury St Edmunds to Haverhill road.
The church dates originally from the late 13th/early 14th Century but was largely restored to the designs of William Dudley of Bury in 1842 and the tower, spire, west end, chancel and the mid-14th Century style east window are all of this period. The tower is brick with rendered Gothic style openings and crenellated parapets. The gabled vestry was also added at this time.
It is a grade II* listed building of flint rubble with limestone dressings. Whilst the tower is brick, as already mentioned, most other 19th Century work is rounded flints with brick or limestone dressings. The chancel roof is slate and the nave roof plaintiled on the south side and concrete tiled on the north.
In the 13th Century nave are single-light north and south windows and a circular west window. The north and south nave doorways are mid-14th Century and there is a two-light south window with a shafted rear arch, which could have been the site of a side altar.
In 1873 further alterations were carried out and included the scissor-braced coupled rafter nave roof, the west gallery, south timber-framed open porch with traceried sidelights and carved bargeboards along with the complete internal refitting including pews, pulpit and limestone font. One pew, from the 16th Century has crude poppy-head ends.
The east window has some fragments of mediaeval glass incorporated in the early 20th Century.
The church is home to the RAF Chedburgh Memorial which commemorates all those pilots and crew that flew from there and were killed during WWII. Each of them is also commemorated by a cross on the two altar rail kneelers, a total of 398.
Near the altar is an impressive black marble tomb to a previous incumbent with an inscription in gold lettering which reads: “In memory of the Rev. Thomas Knowles, Rector of Ickworth and Chedburgh. Prebendary of Ely and Preacher of St. Mary’s Parish, Bury, who died October 6th1802, aged 78”
Photographs by Mike Chester