Parish of Great Missenden with Ballinger and Little Hampden

Verse of the Week

" Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour

( Matthew 25:13 )

Service times

19th Nov. 2nd Sunday before Advent

St Peter & St Paul

8am - Holy Communion

10am Parish Communion

6pm Taizé Service: Prayer & Music

(Details of the Music)

St Mary's Ballinger

No service

Little Hampden

No service

Friends of Great Missenden Parish Church

Registered Charity No. 1067435

"Helping to maintain Great Missenden’s ancient church for the community to which it belongs"

The Friends are an important component of Parish life. The charity was founded in 1997 with the aim of raising funds to support the maintenance of the church's fabric, its fittings and its churchyard. We do not support the day-to day running of the church or the provision of worship facilities - that is solely the responsibility of the congregation.

Membership is actively encouraged for those for whom the church is a special place. It belongs to the whole Parish and not just those who worship within its walls. It belongs to any one who passes by or who had experienced a special moment involving the church. It is open during daylight hours for the benefit of all those who want to visit.

In addition to the comprehensive round of worship, the church hosts other social/community events, such as concerts, making it a truly community resource.

Since the charity's formation, the Friends have provided over £116,000. In 2016, grants totalling £46,570 were made towards the Organ Restoration (three-quarters of the final £61,663 cost). Other restoration and repair projects include the repair of two 14th century windows in the Chancel (£3,000), a contribution towards the repair of the tower, a buttress, West door arch 'label' and replacing the windowsill above (£7,000).

Incredibly, grants of almost £115,000 have been made since 2000. We know that they are much appreciated by the Vicar and PCC and we are very grateful for all the wonderful support from people and local businesses.
During Summer 2002, £6000 was contributed towards urgent gutter repairs and a new boiler. A large grant of £15,000 was made in 2006 towards the restoration of the organ, £30,000 in 2010 towards the repair of the stonework in ten clerestory windows and £2382 in 2012 to re-plaster the wall near the main church door. The latest grants have funded a new boiler pump and the repair and maintenance of gutters and downpipes to prevent structural damage.
A complete listing of the grants made can be found here

Forthcoming events and dates for your diaries for 2017 / 2018

For each of those events held in the Oldham Hall, free parking will be available on the adjacent school playground.
Each of these events starts at 2:30pm



  • “Great Missenden in 1917 - How WWI hit the village”
    A talk by Jill Pateman, with another showing of the film “The Home Front in Buckinghamshire 1914 – 1918”, followed by Afternoon tea, on Armistice Day - Saturday 11th of November 2017
    Tickets (including Tea) £8 - Please note that due to popular demand, space is now limited!
    Tickets are available fron Samways, the Parish Office and at the Door.
    Free parking available on the adjacent school playground
    Saturday November 11th
Buckinghamshire recruiting posterGeorge Foot - Killed November 20th 1917
Buckinghamshire recruiting poster George Foot - Killed November 20th 1917
Stanley Rance - Killed July 23 1917Harold and Alice Patman's Wedding
Harold was killed August 22nd 1917
Stanley Rance - was Killed July 23 1917 Harold and Alice Patman's Wedding - Harold was killed August 22nd 1917
George Brown (behind child, at brickworks)
was killed May 12th 1917
Herbert Sprake - was Killed May 6th 1917
George Brown (standing behind  child, at brickworks) - was killed May 12th 1917 Herbert Sprake - was Killed May 6th 1917

  • At the Parish Church (with free parking near the Church)
    The Christmas Tree Festival and Market
    This charity will decorate a Christmas Tree, with the theme of Animals this year, and will sell Preserves and Home Produce, Tea Towels of St Peter & St Paul Parish Church, and
    “The Home Front in Buckinghamshire 1914 - 1918” DVD.
    Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd December


  • “Bugs. Bluebells & Badgers: Natural History of Great Missenden”
    Tony Marshall, Founder of Prestwood Nature

    Hatches Lane

    In the Missenden area can be found a huge variety of wildlife, shaped both by the geology of the Chiltern Hills and by the action of man for millennia, but we are increasingly losing much of that variety. What survives and how can we best protect it?"

    Saturday March 3rd
    Tickets £10 with Tea

  • “Inside the World of a Film & TV Extra”
    Peter Hague

    Peter Hague as drummer Peter Hague

    Peter Hague is a National Trust guide at West Wycombe Park. He is also an active film 'extra' and free-lance drummer.
    His talk will be about being an 'extra' and it will be illustrated with images and give an insight into this type of work with a few anecdotes for good measure. The presentation is geared to being entertaining & informative.
    Saturday July 14th
    Tickets £10 with Tea

  • “Buckinghamshire in the Great War”
    Professor Ian Beckett;
    “Great Missenden in WW1” by Jill Pateman;
    AfternoonTea, Raffle and sales of preserves and tea towels
    Saturday October 20th 2018
    Tickets £10 with Tea 

Do come along wih your family and friends - Everyone is welcome!

See the events page for fuller details of these events

Available from the AGM (2.30pm on Saturday, 29th April in the Oldham Hall) are

Newsletter 19

and a copy of the

Accounts for 2016.

Trustees of the charity:

Hon ChairmanMrs Vivienne Davis
Hon SecretaryMrs Jennifer Moss
Hon TreasurerMr Nevil Coulson
 The Revd. Canon Rosie Harper
 Mrs Ann Biscoe-Taylor
 Miss Di Denney
 Mrs Norma Gardner
 Mrs Jill Pateman

Previous events:


“Art and Design in the Chilterns in the 20th Century”

On Saturday, 23rd September, the Friends of Great Missenden Parish Church held another happy, well-attended and successful fundraising event.

We welcomed Dr Graham Twemlow, a retired University academic and Decorative Arts Historian, who gave a most interesting illustrated talk about some of the 20th century artists and designers living in our lovely Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Dr Twemlow discussed works by Paul Nash, his brother John Nash, Eric Gill, John Piper, Clare Leighton, Marion Dorn and E McKnight Kauffer. It was fascinating to see the comparisons between the painted scenes and photographs of the present day landscape.

Many questions followed the talk and a delicious tea was then served to the tables. A very big “Thank You” to Dr Twemlow and to everyone who helped to make it such a wonderful afternoon - it was a real community gathering.

We were delighted that the entrance fee, raffle, sale of the charity tea towels, preserves and the “The Home Front in Buckinghamshire 1914-1918” DVD raised over £840 for future grants to repair and restore of our lovely historic Parish Church. It is a vital local community hub and this small local charity aims to ensure that it continues to be so!

The Cornfield
John Nash
Wood on the Downs
Paul Nash
John Nash, The Cornfield, 1918Paul Nash, Wood on the Downs, 1930



“Buckinghamshire in the Civil War” — Talk and Tea

Roundheads and Cavaliers fighting

Oldham Hall Tea 2Oldham Hall Tea 1

On Saturday, 22nd July, the Friends held another very happy and successful event in the Oldham Hall. Professor Ian Beckett, the retired Professor of Military History at the University of Kent, gave such a fascinating illustrated talk about the history of the three Civil Wars, the schisms within families and the effect on the big houses in the county. It was a most interesting insight into life in Buckinghamshire at that time.

Buckinghamshire’s location on the main routes between the King’s base at Oxford and Parliament’s base in London made its resources key to both sides. The impact of the Civil Wars on the county between 1642 and 1660, therefore, was considerable. The talk illustrated the political, social and economic impact for both the ‘county community’ of the gentry and the ‘local community” of ordinary people in the towns and villages as well as touching on county figures who played a national wartime role such as John Hampden of Great Hampden, George Fleetwood of Great Missenden, and Sir Edmund Verney of Claydon House.

Many questions followed the talk and then a delicious Afternoon Tea was served to everyone at their tables (Tea at the Ritz!). A raffle followed with prizes so kindly donated by local shops and preserves and the new charity tea towels of St Peter & St Paul Church were available to buy. It was a real community event and a joy to see so many happy faces.

The Committee is so very grateful for Professor Beckett’s support of our charity’s fundraising efforts. A huge “Thank you” to all the wonderful people who helped in so many ways to make it such a memorable afternoon. The Oldham Hall was packed out and the Committee is astonished that £1324 was raised for restoration and repairs to our much-loved and historic church of St Peter & St Paul. Since 2000 this charity has now made many grants totalling over £115,500 to the PCC. Many thanks for all the wonderful support!

Professor Beckett has very kindly agreed to give another talk on Saturday, 20th October next year, just before the Centenary of Armistice Day in 1918: “Buckinghamshire in the Great War”. (please see the Events page for further details of this and other future fundraising events).

Professor Ian Beckett is the author of “Wanton Troopers: Buckinghamshire in the Civil Wars, 1640-1660” (2015).

On 4th March, another most enjoyable event was held in the Oldham Hall. We were delighted to welcome Margaret Watson, a renowned harpist who studied under Sidonie Goossens OBE and Helen Arnold. Margaret played a wide variety of harp music, demonstrating its versability as a solo instrument. She explained the workings of the harp, and the secret mechanism that you never see, in a lively and informative way.
A good tea, provided by Committee members was then enjoyed by everyone. This fundraising event rasied a total of £614. A huge "Thank you" to Margaret and all the team for such a successful afternoon event!

Two young harpists, Chlöe and Esther were thrilled when Margaret Watson invited them each to play a small piece of music before she started playing. They seemed to be inspired by having the opportunity to meet such an accomplished harpist and to be photographed with her. (click on images for larger versions)

On November 12th the Friends of Great Missenden Parish Church held what was probably their most successful event ever, an afternoon, at the Oldham Hall, devoted to World War 1.

This arose out of the work Jill Robertson has done, investigating the backgrounds and descendants of the men whose names appear on the War Memorials at the Church and in the High Street. She contributed some of her material to the group who put together a film to show the impact of the war throughout Buckinghamshire, at the behest of the Lord Lieutenant. This film was previewed at Pinewood Studios, and Jill had the idea that local people would also like to see it – it is available on DVD.

Presiley introduced the film and described something of its production. After the showing of the film Jill then gave a short talk on World War 1 as it affected Great Missenden, with accounts of the lives of some of the war dead, and some wonderful photographs of the period.

The hall was packed out. Jamie Gairdner – accompanied by Yvonne Pinion – entertained us with two songs and the afternoon then concluded with an excellent tea. The Friends are most grateful to all those who contributed to the food served, and those who poured the tea or took plates of food around. There were so many people in the hall that it was not possible to ask them to come up and help themselves! Since then many people have told us what an excellent afternoon it was.

The whole event provided a splendid opportunity for the local community, church-goers and non-church-goers alike, to come together and, in addition, it raised just over £900 for the Friends' funds. This sum included donations made for copies of the DVD and also from sales of tea towels showing the Church, the Friends' latest fund-raising venture.

Very many thanks to all who played a part in the success of this event!

Friends' activities

In addition to members' generous contributions, the Friends actively seek ways of raising funds and, by doing so, add value to local life. Activities have included:

  • Talents and Hobbies Exhibition
  • Lectures and presentations on a range of topics
  • Lectures and presentations on a range of topics
  • Sales of Valerie Eaton Griffith's excellent books, "One Hundred Years of Great Missenden, 1900-2000" and "Great Missenden has a story to tell… and so do the villages"
  • Sales
  • Bridge evenings
  • Gala Celebration of music and verse

More events are always being planned, details of which are published in the Events section.




For an annual outlay of £15, or more if you wish, you can be enrolled as a Friend of Great Missenden Parish Church. In return for your gift to the church you will receive:

  • The gratitude of all those who value the church
  • An annual newsletter giving details of what the Friends have achieved
  • The right to take part in general meetings and attend Friends' functions
  • An opportunity to influence the future development of the Friends


Is this church a special place for you ? Does it matter to you ?

This Church belongs to everyone who lives in the parish of Great Missenden and also to all who have been baptised, confirmed or married here!

Do you live here ? Have you been to Services, Concerts, Cream Teas, School events, Children's Holiday Clubs or Christmas Tree Festivals in the Church?

Church buildings are just like our homes - they need regular repairs and maintenance to keep them in good condition. Otherwise they can deteriorate and, ultimately, become unusable. So the care of this ancient, lovely and evocative building is important. Would you like to help ?

Since the charity's formation in December 1997, the Friends have donated over £116,000 to help maintain the fabric and fittings of this much-loved church.

Please download or print out a leaflet to find out more about us, then become a member of THE FRIENDS OF GREAT MISSENDEN PARISH CHURCH For further details please ring: 01494 868667 or 891312


A leaflet giving more information and a membership application form is available in printed form in the church, or here to download.

'100 Years of Great Missenden'
by Valerie Eaton Griffith

40 pages, A5-size with 36 illustrations and street map. Covers the span of village life from 1900 to 2000, with references to the more ancient past. Subjects include: changes in occupations, trade patterns, life-styles and expectations, War, 'bodgers' and many others.

For a copy, send £4.50 + 60p for postage to FGMPC, Rose Cottage, Great Missenden, HP16 9AA.

Cheques payable to 'Friends of Great Missenden Parish Church'.

Also obtainable from Samways in Station Approach, Great Missenden.


How do I enrol?

For further information, please contact the Secretary, Jennifer Moss ( 01494 868667).

You may join now by filling out the membership form: Click here to download and print out the membership form (Adobe Acrobat document)

(If you cannot print out the form, please contact Jennifer Moss by e-mail and a form will be sent to you by post)

Please send the form to the following address:

The Secretary, Friends of Great Missenden Parish Church,
Rose Cottage,
Great Missenden,
HP16 9AA

'Great Missenden has a story to tell… and so do the villages'
by Valerie Eaton Griffith

42 pages, A5-size with 61 illustrations and a simple map. Covers the history of the life of Great Missenden up to the present.
Subjects include: Missenden Abbey, St Peter & St Paul Parish Church, Church Street, the High Street and area inc. the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, the River Misbourne and Potter Row, South Heath and Ballinger villages.

For a copy, send £4 + 60p for postage to:
FGMPC, Rose Cottage, Great Missenden, HP16 9AA.

Cheques payable to 'Friends of Great Missenden Parish Church'.

Also obtainable from Samways in Station Approach, Great Missenden.


Friends Logo

£46,570 given towards the £61,600 repair and conversion of the Organ action, replacing the mechanisms linking the keyboards to the the pipes.

£2,386 was granted for the replastering to the North wall, near the main door

£30,000 was granted towards repairs to the ten clerestory windows of the Nave

£15,000 was granted towards the restoration of the organ


£3,000 was granted by the Friends to finance repairs to two 14th century windows

£7,000 has been raised by the Friends towards repair costs to tower, which has now been completed.

£7,000 was granted towards the repairs to the tower

Rebuilding of part of a failing tower buttress
Rebuilding of
part of a failing tower buttress

New 'label' around West door arch. Also new window sill above

New 'label' around West door arch. Also new window sill above