Planning a Visit
For opening hours and how to find us please go to Visitors. Below are some points of interest in the church. During your visit you will see blue signs which provide additional information.
Points of interest
St Andrew’s Church is an outstanding, Grade 1 listed building with many points of historic, architectural and artistic interest. At every point in the church there are views, enclosed by arches, punctuated by delicate timber screens, and with an assortment of complex timber roof structures above. The recent internal re-ordering has given this spectacularly beautiful building a new lease on life. It is also the winner of the 2005 Waverley Borough Council's Design Award in the category of Alterations and Conversions.
One of the key features of St Andrew’s large churchyard is the recently refurbished grave of
William Cobbett, Farnham’s famous political
reformer and author.
This is situated right in front of the main north entrance to the church. Towering over the churchyard is the refurbished tower which houses a recently refitted bell support frame, new bells and the restored 17th century clock.
These improvements along with a new roof, guttering, new entrances and extensive interior works were recently completed as part of the Parish’s recent 10-year £1.3 million Conservation & Development programme. We are asking for donations towards continued work such as improving access to the tower and other important projects. To give please go to How to Give.
As visitors come through the main north entrance they can see the newly built Georgian-styled pavilions with gallery which are used by the church and whole community for meetings, social events, receptions, as well as theatrical and musical performances.
In front of the pavilions sits the newly installed nave font. Further up the aisle, in the crossing you will see the newly installed altar, now allowing worship services to be held ‘in the round’ with congregants sitting on three sides and the choir sitting facing the nave.
The church’s stained glass windows include a magnificent work by the famous artist Augustus Charles Pugin. This was first exhibited at London’s Great Exhibition in 1851 and it depicts scenes from the life of Christ. Six other panels on adjoining windows feature matching glass depicting, on the north side, three scenes from the life of St Andrew, and, on the south side, portraits of St Peter, St James and St John.
The west window under the bell tower, installed in the early 1880s, depicts God in the Burning Bush and Jacob’s Ladder and was placed in memory of John Manwaring Paine and his daughter. The windows in St George’s and the Lady Chapels were installed in 1959. The three lancets in the former show St George in the centre window and the Arms of the Diocese of Guildford and of St Andrew in the two flaking ones. The latter’s east window is of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Christ Child. They are the work of G.E. Crawford.
On the south east side of the church resides a 15th century font (see Baptisms), carved with sacred monograms and the symbols of the four Evangelists. The modern carved cover, installed in 1962, depicts children climbing up to the reigning Christ Child at its apex. Nearby, in the south aisle, the Pulpit of oak and burr walnut resides. It dates from 1895 and a memorial to the Revd Philip Hoste, Rector from 1875-1893. Just opposite in the north aisle sits the Lectern, a large brass eagle given in 1874 in memory of Bishop Charles Sumner. (Link to images of Lectern and Pulpit.)
St Andrew’s also houses some distinctive 16th and 17th century brasses, including one in the Lady Chapel commemorating the death in 1692 of Sir George Vernon. Another brass commemorates Sir George’s father Henry Vernon, who famously hosted King Charles I for a night in December 1648, just prior to his trial and execution. A more modern brass was erected in the 19th century in the memory of the Farnham-born Revd Augustus Montague Toplady who wrote the popular hymn “Rock of Ages”.
In addition to a number of wall monuments in memoriam to members of Farnham families, the
church features a collection of 12 distinctive funeral hatchment panels spanning the period 1740 and 1855. These used to be displayed in the homes of the bereaved during a period of mourning, before being transferred to the parish church.
The new terracotta limewash walls in St James' Chapel provide a more sympathetic backdrop for the highly ornamental painted 19th century reredos.
To read more about the history of this magnificent building go to: The Story of St Andrew's Parish Church - A History.
Special services and many musical events are held in the church throughout the year; go to: Notice Board for forthcoming events.
St Andrew’s spends about £350 each day to pay for its parish role and activities. All financial contributions are gratefully received from visitors. Cash and cheques may be put in the wall safe in the column near the main north entrance to the church or you can send a cheque to the parish office payable to St Andrew's PCC. UK taxpayers can increase their gift by 28% by completing a Gift Aid Form so that the church can reclaim tax from Inland Revenue. For more information go to: How to Give.