Photographed by Colin Lamb, this springtime picture of Holy Trinity Church entrance with porch was voted the Villager’s Favourite from the 66 pictures submitted in the Photographic Competition to select the pictures for inclusion in the 2023 Village Calendar. Thanks are due to Opus Property Services Ltd – a village business who kindly sponsored the first three months of the Village Calendar.
The original church did not have the porch as we can see in the original architect’s drawing. A plaque, set into the internal wall in the porch records that it was erected in memory of Miss Elizabeth Dix who died in 1897. However, there is no record of her being buried in Holy Trinity Church graveyard. Elizabeth, known as Bessie or Betsy by her four sisters regularly worshipped at Holy Trinity Church and ran the Boys Sunday School with her sister Sarah. The Dix’s were a prominent local family living in Swalcliffe and Epwell as well as Sibford. Elizabeth and her sisters frequently visited their relatives in the locality travelling in a horse driven cart.
The picture also features the two wrought iron entrance gates and the magnificent cherry tree that flowers so beautifully in the springtime. I have discovered that the recently refurbished gates replaced some wooden ones which had fallen into disrepair. Whether they, and the cherry tree are memorial features I have not been able to establish – any further information would be most welcome.