Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St John the Baptist's Church, Lea
St John the Baptist's Church,
Lower Lea (A40),
Lea, Gloucestershire.


This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in the 13th century, and we understand it is still open.

There were two returns supplied to the Religious Census of 1851 for Lea Church (HO 129/347/2/4/11), the second noted as a "duplicate". The first return is for "Lea, Coy of Gloster", for which the parish's Perpetual Curate John Hardy, of "Weston, near Ross, Herefordshire" replied to the enquiry when the Church was consecrated or licensed: "I do not know whether consecrated or licensed - it was formerly a Chapel belonging to Linton Parish in the Coy & diocese of Hereford"; and explaining the duplicate, he says "the resident Curate's return will answer No. vii. The entire population may amount to about 200". Evidently, they could all be seated in the Church, as he said it had 25 free sittings, and 175 "other" sittings. "No. vii" enquiry on the form related to how many actually attended services.

The second return was completed by Charles Snell, who was "Curate licensed since 23d. March 1851" and living in "Lea Cottage, Lea, Gloucestershire". He described the Church as "in the county of Gloucester, but the largest part of the parish is in Hereford - Parish contains about ... The Church built before the reign of Queen Elizabeth". He answered "No. vii" by noting an estimated 98 at morning service on March 30, and 120 in the afternoon; with an average over the last 3 months of 100 and 60 respectively. There were no evening services, and "the Sunday School was discontinued owing to the ill health of the former officiating Minister & unconsecrated on the 30th March, by the duly licensed Curate".

The Church is now Grade II Listed - the British Listed Buildings website says its structure dates from the late 13th, 14th and early 15th centuries. The font is south Italian, of c.1200, but is not contemporary, as it was given to the church in 1907: "the shaft is knotted in the middle and stands on an elephant. The capital is carved with four rams' heads. The bowl has a band of Cosmati work and is carved with scrolls and figures".

There is a large graveyard, on the west side of the church.

There may be more information available by by selecting one or more of the accompanying images on the right.


Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church is located at OS grid reference SO6576321739. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Lea, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 2 May 2013 at 08:14.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that whilst the above account may suggest that St John the Baptist's Church remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 26 Oct 2021 - 03:16:05 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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