Approached through an imposing lychgate, steep flight of steps and avenue of limes, the church stands high above both village and valley below. In the south churchyard lie Thomas Clarkson (d. 1846), slavery abolitionist of Playford Hall and George Biddell Airy (d.1892), 7th Astronomer Royal. An obelisk stands to Clarksons memory near the south tower-porch which was built by Sir George Felbrigge (d.1400), a descendant of the Bigods - the Norman family who became Earls of Norfolk in the C12th.
Although recorded in Doomsday Book, no visible evidence of the original structure remains. The nave, of random flint rubble construction, dates from c.1300 with fine later-C14th south and west windows though the chancel was entirely rebuilt in 1873-4 in Early English style. The interior is light and airy with a tall and elegant chancel arch of c.1370 but drastic re-ordering during the Victorian period removed all earlier fittings with even the whitewashed barrel ceiling being replaced with the present open trussed roof at the time of Victorias Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
In the nave is a marble plaque with bust of George Biddell Airy and in the chancel, where the Felbrigge brass is set in the north wall, is a medallion and profile of Thomas Clarkson. There are also ledger slabs of the Felton family, resident lords of the manor here from 1512 to 1719, after which time the estate passed by marriage to the Bristols of Ickworth. The plate, kept in a bank safe, includes a pair of fine Charles I pewter flagons and a beautiful standing cup of 1619, bequeathed by Lady Elizabeth Felton, a photograph of which appears in Munro Cautleys Suffolk Churches.
Playford Church is one of four churches (with Great & Little Bealings and Culpho) who worship and work together as a group in the Fynn valley.
Our Sunday services rotate around the churches, so it's best to check in the Benefice magazine or on the noticeboard for dates and times. We generally have one 8am and up to two 10am services each month.
There is a family service at 10am on the 3rd Sunday of every month, either in Playford or the Bealings and we warmly welcome all ages.
We are delighted to help with any requests for blessings, christenings, weddings or funerals. We have an open door policy.
If you have any pastoral needs or prayer requests, do please get in touch. Also let us know if you are able to help us with any aspect of our church life. Whether it is flower arranging, gardening, cleaning, refreshments or help with local needs or with our services, we would love to share the load!
When locked a key can be obtained from Lanterns, Church Lane near the lychgate.
To make arrangements for Baptisms or Weddings, to request a visit or for general inquiries please contact the Revd Celia Cook (priest in charge) The Rectory, 5 Brook Lane 01473 878104 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colin Hedgley (churchwarden) The Coach House, Playford Mount 01473 738468