History of St George's Cam

The first written record of Cam is in the Domesday Book 1086. The first mention of a church in Cam comes from 1131 when Roger Berkeley built and endowed an Augustinian Priory at Leonard Stanley. He gave it the advowsons of Cam and other local churches (the right to receive tithes and appoint Vicars). In 1156, the Priory became a "cell" of the Benedictine Abbey at Gloucester and the Abbots became the patrons of the living. All that remains of this twelfth century church is the bowl of the font, ornamented with Norman nail-head carving.

In 1340 Thomas, Lord Berkeley, rebuilt Cam church in the decorated style - the nave, north aisle and tower of that church still stand (the original chancel was rebuilt in 1842). The dating of this building can be seen outside, above the west door. In the angles of the tower are the carved heads of Edward III, then King, and Jonathan Thoresby, Bishop of Worcester, in which diocese Cam was until the Reformation. In the spandrills above the door are two small shields, one bearing the Berkeley arms, the other the cross of St. George.

About the year 1360, Thomas Horton, Abbot of Gloucester, is recorded as having enlarged the church - probably adding the south aisle and altering two windows in the north aisle which are in the perpendicular style rather than decorated.

At the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII the diocese of Gloucester was created and the advowsons then passed to the Bishop. Early in the 17th Century the Jacobean style oak pulpit and altar table were placed in the church.

Little is recorded about the church during the next 200 years and then in succession came two vicars with a passion for building, the Rev. Charles Holder and Rev. George Madan. In 1842 Rev. Madan set about drastic rebuilding of the church.The chancel, south aisle, and south porch were completely rebuilt - dated by the carved heads of the young Queen Victoria and Henry Monk, then Bishop of Gloucester, on the outside of the east window. It was at this time that the south door came into general use. This necessitated the making of a new entrance from Church Road, and the removal of the table tombs of the Phillimore family to the bank on the right of the drive.

Between 1991 and 1999 a major programme of restoration and modernisation work was undertaken in order to preserve the building for future generations and to make it suitable for modern use. Additionally, in 2004 work was done to re-order the church, including removal of the pews and the installation of a portable nave altar, providing a more flexible space. The church now also benefits from a toilet and a kitchenette and is used for a number of events and activities as well as for worship.  Most recently, in 2012 a successful appeal was made to raise funds for repairs to the 14th century tower.  This work was completed in 2015.





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