History of St Michael’s

St Michael’s Church

St Michael’s Church dominates Bishop’s Stortford’s skyline. It is thought that there has been a place of worship on the site of the church since Saxon times.

The only Grade 1 list building in the town, the present St Michael’s was built around 600 years ago. It is a church full of interesting and intriguing details, ranging from the Maplesden monument commemorating a tragic 17th century family, to the monument dedicated to the memory of Cecil Rhodes, whose father was Vicar of St Michaels, and whose mother also has a memorial in the church yard.

Like all buildings of such age, St Michael’s had been subjected to numerous changes and alteration over the centuries. Many interesting details can still be seen today, including the pulpit – built by a local carpenter in 1658 for £5 – which features an adjustable floor to accommodate preachers of all shapes and sizes!

The Choir stalls were originally part of St Paul’s and have unusual misericords, which have been a source of study for many people.

Whilst the lower part of the Rood Screen is original, the Rood has been removed.

Another unusually historic item of significance is our font, which pre-dates the rest of the building by some distance and is estimated to be over 900 years old.

In more recent times the church has been lucky enough to have seen a highly modern church hall built with the aid of St Joseph’s Catholic church. The Windhill Churches Centre is used by both churches and serves the community with modern facilities and an adaptable layout.

A registered charity, promoting & preserving St. Michael's Church, Bishops Stortford