St. John's Church Lacey Green


The Church of Saint John the Evangelist was built in the period May 1823 to May 1825 as a chapel-of-ease to the Parish Church of Saint Mary, Princes Risborough. The cost of the building was financed partly by a grant of £460 from the Society for Promoting the Enlargement of Churches and Chapels which had been founded in 1818; and partly by a public appeal which raised some £2200. The appeal was organised by the Reverend Richard Meade, Rector of Horsenden and Perpetual Curate of Princes Risborough.

The new Church was consecrated on the morning of 3rd July 1825 by the Right Reverend George Pelham, Bishop of Lincoln. There was also an evening service that day at which the preacher was the Reverend Richard Lendon, Prebendary of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and some 19 infant Baptisms took place.

The Church building was designed by John Norris FSA of Hughenden House. It was constructed by Richard Jordan of Amersham in traditional Chiltern flint with squared stones at the angles. The supervising architect was J. Chadley. It was originally a simple cruciform building consisting only of the present nave and the two transepts. In addition to the existing West gallery, there were also galleries along the south wall and in the south transept. These two galleries were removed when extensive alterations took place in 1871 when the polygonal Chancel was added, having been designed by J. P. Seddon.

In 1845, the entire County of Buckinghamshire was transferred from the Diocese of Lincoln to the Diocese of Oxford. The Parish of Lacey Green, Loosely Row and Speen was formed on 1st August 1851 out of part of the Parish of Princes Risborough. The Church continued to be known as a Parochial Chapel until 1868 when it officially became a Parish Church under the direction of the Bishop of Oxford. At the same time the title of the Incumbent of Saint John’s was changed from Perpetual Curate to Vicar.

In the original 1825 building, the South transept contained pews facing into the body of the Church. It was first set up as a Chapel in 1927 and when, by 1980, it had fallen into disrepair, it was completely re-decorated and re-furnished with chairs made locally in Stokenchurch. The Ladychapel continues to be in regular use for our mid-week Services.

In 1992, the centenary of the 1792 Samuel Green pipe organ was celebrated with a dramatic and musical pageant performed by members of the congregation and choir, having been written by Elizabeth Hale, wife of the then Incumbent, the Reverend Peter Hale.

The floor of the Church was restored in 1993 having not been renewed for over a century. A record of the previous restoration of the floor was inscribed on the reverse side of one of the boards which had been signed by the carpenter. In the course of the 1993 restoration a “time capsule” was placed under the floor and initials along the edge of the floor record the names of some of those who contributed to the cost of the work

In 1994, the west gallery was converted into the “Upper Room” with a glazed screen dividing it from the main body of the Church. The work was carried out by the Essex firm of Mabbit, renowned for its work in Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret’s Westminster, Westminster Palace and a number of stately homes. The “Upper Room” was formally dedicated by the Venerable John Morrison, Archdeacon of Buckingham, at an evening Service on 3rd July 1994, the 169th anniversary of the consecration of the Church.

The Armorial Window was constructed in 1825 by Thomas Hills of Chelsea at a cost of £153 9/- being a particularly fine example of enamelled glass. Originally the East Window it was relocated to its present position in the North Transept when the Chancel was added in 1871. The panes depict the coats of arms of benefactors who contributed to the fund to build the Church. On an adjacent wall is a hatchmen depicting the arms of Sir William Young (1806-1842), MP for High Wycombe, owner of a 100-acre estate in Lacey Green, and one of the original Trustees. The arms also appear in the Armorial Window. On the roof supports are twelve heraldic shields which, again, depict the arms of benefactors of which three are also represented in the Armorial Window.

Our regular services are:

First and Third Sundays – 8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)

Each Sunday – 10.00am Parish Communion with Hymns (All Age on First Sunday)

Each Tuesday – 9.30am Holy Communion (CW)

Do please see our weekly Pew Sheet for additional Services as well as special Events and Activities.