Bourton on the Water
with St James', Clapton on the Hill
and St John the Baptist: Great Rissington, St Peter's: Little Rissington & St Laurence's: Wyck Rissington
Great Rissington is a village approximately 3 miles from Bourton on the Water and a similar distance from Little and Wyck Rissington, a little closer to Upper Rissington. It has a population of some 370. The church of St John the Baptist is an attractive building with a fine square tower situated at the southern end of the village. Circa 12th century in origin (although extensively rebuilt in 1873) it has a churchyard adjacent to the Manor House.
We have an active PCC, 29 on the electoral roll and a regular congregation of about a dozen worshippers. Our services take a different format each week of the month: 9.30am Holy Communion (BCP), 11.00am Informal service, 11.00am Family Communion (in rotation with Little and Wyck Rissington) and a 6pm Sung Evensong (BCP). Although only a small regular congregation, many villagers support the church by undertaking church locking, cleaning and flower arranging, for example.
Festival services are of particular note and are very well attended, supported by an ad hoc choir of village members. We have an active and accomplished team of bell ringers and regularly hold musical concerts in the church to raise funds. We welcome a steady stream of visitors, increased by national publicity because 5 sons of a village family were killed in WW1.
The older part of the village is made up of mainly Cotswold stone cottages, originally built for farm workers but now mostly modernized whilst the former 18th century old rectory is now a private house. Although many of the villagers are retired, there is a small estate of more modern properties occupied largely by families, many with school aged children. Once primarily a farming community, residents mainly travel out of the village to work.
The village is fortunate to have a primary school (OFSTED Outstanding) now operating in Great Rissington and Upper Rissington. The Rissington School was opened in 2015. We welcome a new head teacher in September 2017, and although not a church school, we have always worked closely with the staff and pupils and hope to further this relationship with the new head. Secondary age pupils mainly attend The Cotswold School in Bourton or Burford School.
A flourishing and well-presented bi-monthly village magazine acts as an important focus point for advertising village activities. Currently the village supports two reading groups, a gardening club, ‘The Rissingtons’ Local History Society’, fat fighters, table tennis, pilates, film suppers, and a monthly village market. The village is fortunate in having a pub ‘The Lamb’ which serves meals and attracts holiday makers, and The Great Rissington Club (with a membership of around 180), having a modern building with bar, meeting rooms, sports changing facilities and an excellent cricket pitch (hosting 2 senior and 3 junior teams), plus archery.