Welcome to Charlton - St. John the Baptist
Charlton village lies at the western end of a large rural parish of about 4800 acres. The total population of the parish is about 450. There is a village hall, children’s play area, playing field and pavilion, pub and cricket club, but no school; village children attend school in several of the surrounding villages or at Malmesbury. The Charlton Park Estate, the home of the Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, manages a small business park and is the venue for the annual WOMAD festival of world music. The village hall is greatly valued and a variety of well-supported organisations such as the Gardening Club, Farming Club, Play Group and Martial Arts Club use it on a regular basis.
Our Church and People
We enjoy a regular weekly pattern of services encompassing both new and traditional forms of worship.
Over the last few years we have introduced Lammas and Plough Sunday services to recognise our role as ministering in a rural community.
Our normal Sunday attendance is steady and at festival services at Easter, Christmas and Harvest it regularly increases to over 50.
There is a peal of six bells and an enthusiastic band of ringers who call us to prayer for nearly all services.
We can call on several talented local organists so music is a natural part of our worship.
Our congregation is aging and a priority for us is to find better ways to attract younger members of the community to worship and we need help with this.
Our Church and Community
We run a children’s group, Fisherman’s Friends, for 5–11 year olds weekly in term time which is well attended and we try various initiatives to encourage a greater involvement of the families in church life.
We organise a number of events throughout the year which are well attended by the community at large. These include a harvest supper, Christmas bazaar, carol service and other events such as concerts, sometimes associated with our patronal festival in June.
In partnership with the parish council, the church sponsors a free bi-monthly newsletter to help maintain a strong sense of community.
In general the community is supportive of the church as an important part of village life.
Our Church of St John the Baptist
The church is a grade II* listed building dating from the 12th century displaying Norman features. It has undergone a number of repairs over the last few years and needs some further work, but is in generally good condition. A roof alarm was installed two years ago.