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of St. Andrew's Church, Burnham-on-Sea


Between 1174 and 1192

Martin Pateshelle

Between 1192 and 1205


Between 1248 and 1264

Walter de Vyenne

Between 1248 and 1264

Richard de Bamfield

Between 1244 and 1292


By 1279

Thomas (or Richard) de Staunford (or Stanford)

In 1279 or 1280

Thomas Stede (alias Thomas de Axebrigg)

By 1306

Sir Henry de Corston



Sir John de Burford


William le Riche


John Jene


Thomas Frome Canon of Wells


Gilbert Capland (formerly Rector of Sarum)


John Haydon


Richard Swan


John Pedewel


Richard Hayne


John Hylle (Canon Res. of Wells)


Richard Pomeroy


Robert Tunby L.L.B.


Walter Hooper A.B.


Jacob Bayley


Christopher Webster


John Nosehar


John Wyet.

Christopher Helm


George Carrante A.M.


Paul Godwin A.B.


William Taylour


Robert Collier A.M.


John Bower A.M.


Robert Creighton A.M.


William Harris A.B.


Christopher Tachell


Richard Olive


Richard Jenkins


John Golden


Walter King D.D. Bishop of Rochester


Charles Henry Pulsford Canon Res. of Wells


Frederick Fleming Beadon A.M.


Theophilius Williams


Theodore Crane Dupuis M.A. Prebendary of Wells


Roger Hayes Robinson M.A. Prebendary of Wells


Geoffrey Procher M.A. B.D. Prebendary of Wells


Hereward Eyre Wake M.A. Prebendary of Wells


Hugh Parnell M.A. Prebendary of Wells


Raymond Dean B.A. Prebendary of Wells


Robert Pitt


Graham Witts M.A.

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The Angels

The Angels

From the Palace of Whitehall
to the church of Burnham-on-Sea
via Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

In 1698 Sir Christopher Wren was was appointed Surveyor of Westminster Abbey. In 1706 he suggested that the altar piece “might be placed with advantage” in the choir of the Abbey. With the agreement of Queen Anne the altar piece was reassembled in front of the medieval altar at Westminster Abbey.

The altar piece remained in place at Westminster Abbey until the Dean and Chapter removed them during 1820 in preparation for the approaching coronation of George IV in 1821 as they were thought to be out of place.

It was at this time the scupltures were offererd to Walker King who was at the time both the Bishop of Rochester and the vicar here at St. Andrew's Burnham-on-Sea.

The Palace of Whitehall

During his reign from 1633 to 1701 James II commissioned various changes to the Palace of Whitehall by Sir Christopher Wren. Among these changes was the building of a chapel which was finished in 1687. In pride of place in the chapel was an ornate altarpiece which stood some 12m tall, designed by Inigo Jones and carved by Grinling Gibbons and his assistant Arnold Quellin the younger, an Antwerp artist.

The commission which is understood to have cost the sum of £1875.1s 8d was thought by many to be too Catholic and affront to Protestant sensibilities. After James II left the throne the incoming William of Orange ordered the chapel and alterpiece be dismantled. The altarpiece was not however destroyed, being placed instead at Hampton Court where it was kept in storage.

Original Installation

When the altar piece first arrived in Burnham and up until the late 1830s the alar piece was installed behind the high altar, blocking the East window. The altar piece was later broken up, and when is displayed today is only the ramains of the grand altar piece.
Image taken from Survey of London: Volume 13, Part II

The Angels today


The two large Angels have moved around the church a number of times over the years, the most recent being in 2010 where several pews were removed to create a more versitile space and allowing the angels to be displayed within the chancel.

The Cherubs

The cherubs in their current form were designed to appear to be bringing the decending from heaven with the Holy Bible. Originally the uppermost part of the altarpiece when it was installed in Westminster Abbey it appears the cherubs are not in their original form. It is thought that this part of the altarpiece was altered by Sir Christopher Wren when he installed the alterpiece in `Westminster Abbey.

The cherubs were found in an attic and have been restored and installed in the North gallery by the Wynn family along with a plaque in memory of William John and Louisa Wynn and their daughters who worshipped here 1900-1975.

Read More

For those interested in reading more a book is available for purchase from the church during any church watch session.

Back to History

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Our History

A Church at the heart of Burnham for over 700 years

The leaning tower.

One unmissable feature of the church building is the lean of the tower. The church tower stands at 78ft tall and it is said that if a plumb line was dropped from the north side of the tower it would land 3 foot away from the building.

Presumably the tower was built upright with settlement taking place shortly afterwards leaving the list we see today. It is thought that the cause of the settlement was caused by the lack of foundations on sand. A false joint connects the tower to the rest of the building however there is no evidence of any further movement taking place sign the original settlement.

The tower is an intriguing structure with a void thought to be several feet wide in the North wall. Above the tower room where the font is located there is a bell ringers room accessed by a narrow spiral staircase. Above the bell ringers room is the clock room, the clock being installed in 1836. Finally above the clock room is the bell room where a staircase to the roof is situated giving fantastic views over the parish.

In the beginning

Although it is thought that a church has stood on the present site since the late eleventh century the oldest surviving part of the building is the South transept (now known as the St. Nicholas Chapel). Back in 1305 the Prior of Bath granted the Dean and Chapter of Wells two acres in Burnham, together with the advowson of the Church of St. Andrew, the church itself being commissioned in August 1315. It was the 700th anniversary of commission which we celebrated with a range of events back in 2015.

As well as the South transept the south door arch, the holy water stoop, the consecration cross and the sundial by the south door are all said to be from the earlier church. The exact age of the rebuilt church is not known but it is thought to have been built in the early part of the 14th century. There was originally a North transept, the north and south transepts known as Huish and Burnham respectively. The North transept would have been demolished to make way for the gallery and balcony built in 1838.

The Last Supper

Installed in 1962 the tapestry depicting the last supper were gifted to the church by Canon RV Sellars and Mrs Sellars. Of 20th century Belgian origin the tapestry is a copy of Leonardo Di Vinci's The Last Supper.

A building to be explored

700 years of architecture,
design and church history

The Organ

The 19th century organ was installed by WG Vowles of Bristolin 1885. The pipes are mounted above and behind the manual the longest of which stands at 5 meters tall.

The Chandelier

Made in Bridgwater by Thomas Bayley, the originally candle lit brass chandelier has taken centre stage within the church building since 1773.

The Pulipt

Thought to Jacobean the pulpit was altered in 1949 with the addition of a tester. donated by Elizabeth Parish and Ethel Woodman in memory of their parents.

Come and see for yourself

There are far too many historical and interesting feature of our historic church to display them all here. We actively encourage member of the community and visitors to the area to come in and explore the building and the historical artifacts which have been gathered over the past 700 years.

Every summer the congregation work together to allow the church to be unlocked during the day to allow visitors to come in and explore the building. Through a scheme we call 'Church Watch' there is always a friendly volunteer on hend to anser basic questions about the history of the church and if they don't have the answers they can point you in the direction of our guide books and other resources.

Details can be found on our church watch page.

The Angels

One of the most talked about features of the building are the angels which formed part of the historic marble altarpiece of Westminster Abbey.

They are so intereting we've given them their own section.

The Angels

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At St. Andrew's, Burnham-on-Sea

The support you need
when you need it We're here for you

We’ll always be here to help you through one of life’s most difficult times. A Church of England funeral is available to everyone, giving support before, during and after the service, for as long as it’s needed.
Church of England funerals aren't limited to a church building, they can be held at local Crematorium or cemetry. Wherever you need us, we're here to help.

Questions answered and resources for funeral services

The Church of England have put together some fantastic funeral resources. There's guides for planning, organising or attending funeral services including a walk through of what you can expect from a Church of England funeral service.

Go to the Funerals website

Get in Touch

How can we help you? To discuss funerals please give either Fr. Graham or Rev. Sharon a call to arrange a meeting.

Rev. Sharon

07925 089698

Fr. Graham

01278 782991

For details of fees payable for funeral service, please click the link below.

Fees & Pricing

Read more: Funerals

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