Welcome to the Minster Church of St Mary, Stow in Lindsey, the Stow Group of  Churches and the Friends of Stow Minster.

CORONAVIRUS   – IMPORTANT INFORMATION For details of  forthcoming services go to our Services page  where you will find details of both Sunday worship and and weekday evening prayer services via “Zoom” as an alternative means to gather in worship. 

We will be open on  Thursday afternoons (1.00pm to 4.00pm) for Private Prayer. Please read our coronavirus page where further details will be found.  Stow Minster remains closed for general visitors for the time being. 

The Post Office within the Minster will continue to provide an essential service though this is subject to change. Please see our Post Office page for details.

The Stow Group Parish Magazine for January is now available in paper format. Visit our Parish Magazine page. 

SALE OF ITEMS opens at St Hugh’s Church, Sturton.   The sale has been postponed in the light of the county’s tier 4 allocation in the fight against the Covid-19 virus. We will reschedule the sale as soon as relaxing of restrictions allows.

For many centuries Stow has been a small country village, but its origins lie at the heart of the Christian mission and ministry to North Lincolnshire and the ancient Kingdom of Lindsey.

Traditionally, a Minster was a Church which provided both a worshipping heart and an administrative centre from which Christian ministers and missionaries were sent out to the local countryside and villages.

Stow Minster remarkably still has such a worshipping heart and a desire to serve whilst being considered by many to be amongst the best tourist sites and visitor attractions in Lincolnshire.

Minster thru flowers2

In addition to St Mary’s, the Stow Group of Churches, in the Diocese of Lincoln, includes St Helen, Willingham by Stow; St Edith, Coates by Stow; and St Peter, Torksey, all medieval foundations, with their own fascinating history. We also care for the now dual purpose Victorian Mission Church of St Hugh, Sturton by Stow.

Enjoy Stow , We are here for you. Why don’t you come inside?

You are very welcome.

4 Responses to Home

  1. George Hillard says:

    I remain puzzled by the small arch in the North transept. I cannot believe that it was built about the same time as the ‘big church’ (11th century, roughly). It looks nothing like any other part of the church. It does, and it is pointed out by scholars, resemble the arch
    at Escomb. I believe that there is scant evidence for a date, but weren’t old foundations discovered outside the current wall? (and now under the sacristy) The date 871 AD is mentioned by some, but they point out that there is no real documentation. There are some interesting questions–and possible answers–as to why the older arch would be re-
    tained in new construction, but I think others did it, even if they were filled in.

  2. Naomi Field says:

    This door in the south wall of the north transept originally gave access to a porticus on the north side of the nave. Excavations in 1983 that were carried out in advance of the construction of the present vestry extension found the foundations for this chapel and the foundations of the original nave that burnt down and was rebuilt in the 12th century. The Saxon nave was shorter than its 12th century successor, being approximately the same length as the transepts and the Saxon chancel (which was extended in the 19th century). Unfortunately part of the area north of the nave was much disturbed by the foundations for the Victorian vestry, and its boiler house below. The stair turret to the tower was also moved to this part of the church when the vestry was built in 1863. It had previously stood inside the church obscuring the north side of the arch leading from the nave into the crossing. All this has resulted in any evidence for the relationship of the porticus foundations to those of the transept being destroyed. A similar arrangement for a porticus on the south side of the church has been suggested (as the stonework is very jumbled and may represent a blocked in opening) but so far no opportunity has arisen for investigating the possibility.

  3. George Hillard says:

    This is an interesting account of some of the history of this great church. My interest is in “door in the south wall.” I am aware that it was part of an earlier church, and that the foundations had been found. What I struggle with is the great difference(s) in this small Anglo-Saxon doorway and the great Late Saxon arches around the crossing. There is no similarity whatsoever. I also realize that there is little or no documentation as to its age. But it was clearly retained from an earlier period. But when? I think it is safe to say it was earlier than 1000. The stones were re-used Roman materials, not perhaps as fine as those in Escomb, but (opinion) not the same period as the big crossing arches. I have discussed this with colleagues, who try to make certain I don’t
    get out of control in determining (or guessing) the original date. To me, the clear differences in the two types of arch indicate that the small arch is considerably earlier
    than the crossing arches. However, one must recall that Corbridge and Escomb arches
    were quite early but were not placed in a church until much later. I’ll be back!

    • The are many views about the ages of various parts of the church. The earliest parts of the present building have been dated to around 975AD. This date refers to the lower walls of the north and south transepts, and as such would include the small Saxon doorway in the north transept. The columns that support the late Saxon early Norman rounded arches predate these arches since the style of the columns do not match the style of the arches. Evidence of a fire can be seen on the column in the north east corner of the present nave. This fire, in my opinion, was probably responsible for destroying the earlier nave to which Naomi Field refers. Whilst the columns remain, the original arches were destroyed, and the current arches were added to these columns when the present nave was constructed in the late 11th/ 12th century.

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