St Michael’s, Kirk Langley.

Welcome to St Michael’s the parish church of Kirk Langley; a growing, welcoming and friendly church with a range of different worship opportunities.  Our Victorian chairs, with comfy cushions, provide a flexible place where worship and social activities can take place.
Please visit the church's own website at St Michael's Church Web Site

The Church

This building dates mostly from about the year 1320, and is in the Decorated style: but some rough walling at the West end of the north aisle is of earlier date, perhaps Saxon, (this is best observed from outside the Church). There was certainly a Church in Langley by 1218 because the name Kirk Langley existed by then. In the fifteenth century the walls of the nave and side aisles were raised and the roofs flattened, as was the practice at that time. The Church was considerably restored and a number of alterations made in both 1839 and 1885. Traces of a much older building than the present one were found during the 1839 restoration. 

In the North aisle the Font which after 1
839 stood for many years unused in a farmyard, and was later used as an alms box, stands on eight marble pillars, and has some interesting lead-work round the octagonal bowl. Its conical wooden cover, of considerable age, was recovered from the tithe-barn, now demolished, in 1885. Before 1839 this font stood by a pillar of the south aisle. Between 1839 and 1885 there was another font where the wooden alms box is now.  The windows by the font contain some fragments of 17th century Flemish glass. The book of remembrance contains the names of those whose cremated remains are interred in the Garden of Remembrance on the North side of the churchyard.  The roof is supported on corbels which bear wooden shields with the instruments of the Passion. The blocked doorway has a dummy window to give a symmetrical facade to the outside of the aisle. Until 1839, this doorway, together with another facing it in the south aisle, were the principal doors of the church. Each had a porch. There was only a small west doorway used by bellringers, sexton and others. The war memorial window depicts the church's patron saint, St. Michael, and the soldier-saint, St. George. The Chapel, often called the Meynell or Bassett chapel, is enclosed by a wooden screen restored in 1885 and contains some 16th century woodwork, probably by a local craftsman. In the chapel are memorials to members of the Beresford, Meynell and Cheney families, the oldest being an alabaster slab to the memory of Alice Beresford, 1511; and a plaque in memory of Captain Godfrey Meynell, who was killed on the North-West Frontier on St. Michael's Day 1935, and was posthumously awarded the V.C. for gallantry. The windows in the Meynell Chapel depict the four Evangelists, and the east window is a picture of the cruxifixion, with St. Mary and St. John on each side, and St. Mary Magdalene at the foot of the Cross. The Squint, has the remains of a scallop-shaped piscina.

In the chancel the Reredos is In alabaster, depicting the patron saint, St. Michael in the centre, and on one side the archangel St. Gabriel (with lily), and on the other the angel St. Raphael (with staff, only mentioned in the Book of Tabit in the Apocrypha). The east window, given in memory of John Meynell of Tapton in 1851, is of plain intersecting design, filled with 19th century glass by Burlison & Grylls, depicting the apostles, prophets and martyrs of the Te Deum. In the top row on the left are the apostles, including St. James with his staff and cockleshell, St. Philip with his long cross, St. John as a young man, St. Peter with his keys, St. Andrew with his diagonal cross, and St. Paul with his sword. In the top row on the right are the prophets and other Old Testament characters, including David with his harp, Ezekiel with his wheel, and Moses with the scroll of the Law.  In the bottom row on the left are the martyrs, including St. Lawrence with his gridiron, St. Catherine with her wheel, St. Alban, in armour, with cross and sword, and St. Edmund with his arrows. In the bottom row on the right are figures representing "the holy Church throughout all the world", including an African, a King who may be Edward the Confessor, and an abbess holding a church, who may be St. Werburgh. Other windows in the chancel show Zacharias and Simeon, the Walk to Emmaus, and St. Mary at the tomb, the latter in memory of the Revd. F. W. Meynell, in gratitude for the restoration of 1885.  Memorials include many to the Meynell family, including Godfrey Meynell of Willington, 1667 (note clear lettering,
abbreviations, and unusual spelling); William Meynell, killed in 1854 while leading a party of Turks against the Russians (note strange inscription in praise of war); John Meynell "deprived of life by a collision of carriages on the Midland Counties Railway"; and a well-preserved brass to "Gothofredi Meynel de Langley Meynel, 1705". The 14th century sedilia with trefoil
heads and clustered shafts are filled with modern woodwork with the words "Faith, Hope, Charity". The piscina is of the same date as the sedilia. The Communion Rails with their unusual double spiral balusters date from the late 17th century. There is also some good modern carving, especially the panelling, screen, and choirstalls. The blocked North Doorway presumably led to a former vestry. The Organ of 1894 replaces an earlier organ of 1854,which cost £70. The Pulpit is said to be the top section of the old three-decker. 
The Twyford Chapel is named after the Lords of the Manor of Kirk Langley (but not of  Meynell Langley which was held separately) from before the time of the present building until the reign of Henry VIII. It was used for some time up to 1750 as the village day school. The wrought-iron gates were made by the late Mr.Thomas Lee, the local black¬≠smith, and Churchwarden from 1949 to 1962. The Holy Table of 1720, probably stood originally in the Chancel. Beneath it are some old encaustic tiles, which may be as old as the Church. They are inscribed with the lettering "See Mich" (abbreviation for Sancte Michaelis).  The East Window is of three lights, the two outer being of Flemish glass dated 1631, but with Meynell shields inserted. The centre lights (of 19th cen¬≠tury glass) depict the appointment and stoning of St. Stephen. On the outside may be seen the hood-mould of an earlier arched window. The Wooden Ceiling has been painted in mediaeval style. The Squint incorporates the doorway which led originally to the rood-loft stairs. It is unusual to find a church with a squint on each side of the chancel arch. The Pole Memorial, a raised alabaster tomb depicting a man in plate armour and a woman in long fur-lined mantle. They are Henry Pole (whose mother was Ursula Twyford) and his wife Dorothea. The date is 1558. Before 1885 this memorial stood in the Twyford Chapel where the organ is now. You will see a photograph of the chancel before 1885, at a time when the chancel was seldom used, the pulpit and reading-desk being at the west end of the church, with the pews facing west. In this photograph may also be seen the old chancel screen, which is now across the vestibule. This scr·een, of unusual design, may well be the oldest wooden screen in Derbyshire, dating to the period 1375-1400. Under the Tower may be seen marks in the stonework which show where the Ministrels' Gallery used to be, and the steps which led up to it. In the mid-19th century singing was accompanied by a cello, two clarinets, a bassoon, and occasionally a cornet. Betwe,en 1839 and 1885 there was also a gallery above the south aisle, which sat 67. Before 1839 the Meynell Pew was a gallery at the West end of the North aisle. Also note two lists of Rectors from the year 1340; two fur-ther names discovered in old documents since are: 1383 Henry Aleyn, and 14~9 Henry Bradfield. 

Other features include:
The Registers which date back to the year 1654, and are mostly now deposited at the County Record Office, Matlock. 
The Bells are inscribed and made as follows:--
1.  (Treble). "God save His Church, Tho Doulfin Ric Parber Wardens 1693", by George Oldfield II of Nottingham".
2.  "God save the Church, 1629", by George Oldfield I of Nottingham.
3.  (Tenor). "Hec campana fiat Trinitate beata. R.H., T.T., C.Wardens 1679. T.M.Minister", also by George Oldfield I of
The electric clock by John Smith of Derby, 1947. In 1639 a spinster bequeathed £3 for 'a clock to be put on the steeple of the Church' (Steeple could have meant Tower). There is other evidence that there was indeed a previous clock, but it had disappeared before the early 19th century.