The parish of Stowe IX Churches is made up of two villages - Church Stowe and Upper
Stowe. The parish is located two miles west of the A5 south of Weedon. The church
of St. Michael’s is situated in Church Stowe and St. James’s is in Upper Stowe. The
parish has a population of 225 and the majority of the homes are owner occupied.
There are two farms within the parish, a craft centre and restaurant. The Jesus Fellowship
own two properties, one in each village. There are no schools within the parish and
the children attend a number of schools around the area.
For the past 200 years, Stowe IX Churches has been closely connected with neighbouring
Nether Heyford. In 1960 Heyford and Stowe became a united benefice, and in 1997
Flore with Brockhall joined the benefice.
Service times are listed in the Benefice Newsletter and advertised on the church
St. James’s was built in 1855 by the Rector of the time, Henry Crawley, and designed
by the architect Philip Hardwick. The nave and chancel have steeply pitched roofs
and a bell turret. The chancel is decorated with paintings of flowers, leaves and
fleur-de-lis, as well as numerous small shields representing the apostles, other
saints, and instruments of the passion and other symbols of piety.
In the 1970’s the interior arrangement of the church was altered to the design still
seen today, with seating for 80. The large churchyard is still open and is maintained
by volunteer parishioners.
The church is open all the time and anyone is welcome to come and sit quietly. There
is a secondhand book stall at the back of the church and visitors can browse the
books and put a donation in the box, which is emptied daily. Proceeds go to the
church roof fund.
St. Michael’s is the Parish Church, approximately 1000 years old, with seating for
100. There is a carved marble figure of Lady Elizabeth Carey, mother of the Earl
of Danby, on the south side of the altar. She died in 1630. The figure has been described
as one of the finest pieces of sculpture of the age for both design and execution.
A memorial to Dr. Thomas Turner, President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, who
died in 1714, is situated on the south wall.