The tower of the church was constructed in three distinct stages which can be identified by the type of sandstone used. The lower part of the tower is constructed of roughly dressed blocks which is topped by smaller rubble stones, both sections were assembled during the Anglo-Saxon (c 870-1066) period. During the 15th century the tower was topped with the present belfry.
The entrance to the church is through a porch which was constructed during 1877, the church door was restored during the same year, its ironwork reflects 13th century design. The door is framed by an archway which was assembled during the period 1220-40 and incorporates a Norman zig-zag moulding.
The vestry contains a block upon which a scratched drawing of a hunting scene can be observed, its origin is unknown however one figure is portrayed wearing Scandinavian headgear.
The first extension to the Saxon church is thought to have taken place during the late 12th Century, followed by many further modifications over time. The church contains numerous items of architectural interest such as arches and piers that reflected the growth and importance of the church through time. Memorials both inside and outside the church illustrate the church has been a place of worship for the community for over 1000 years. The Eastern Church wall is topped by medieval grave-slabs; one is marked with a sword and shield, and a Celtic type of cross.
(Source: A guide to St. Helen's Church, St Helen's Parochial Church Council)
The regular pattern of Sunday services for St. Helen's is:
|1st Sunday of the month:||10.30am Holy Communion - Common Worship|
|2nd Sunday of the month:||Summer - 6.30pm Evensong or Winter - 10.30am Morning Prayer|
|3rd Sunday of the month:||6.30pm Holy Communion - 1662 BCP|
|4th Sunday of the month:||10.30am All Age Worship alternating between St Helen's Church and the Methodist Chapel|
On the fifth Sunday of the month there is a service of Holy Communion at 10:30am in one of the churches within the Benefice i.e. All Saints' in Bubwith, All Saints' in Aughton or St. Helen's in Skipwith. These services are usually taken in rotation. Occasionally these services are held in one of the Methodist Churches in the area.
For enquiries about baptisms, weddings and funerals, please contact the Priest-in-Charge, the Revd. Richard Kirkman on 01904 728496 or, in his absence, one of the churchwardens.
Anyone wishing to join the choir, junior choir or the band please contact John Ellwood on 01757 288761.
If you need any further information about the church please contact the churchwardens:
Mrs. Mary Ellwood - 01757 288761
Mr. Chris Cooper - 01757 289819
For further information please visit our page on Rural South York Churches
Construction of the church was completed during 1868, a memorial tablet bearing the name Mr. C. Storr and dated 13th October forms part of the construction. Mr. Storr's connection with the chapel has been lost as the years have passed.
The chapel remains the only primitive chapel still in use in the Selby Methodist circuit. It has, through its brief history, undergone a number of changes to its structure as it has sought to accommodate the expectations of its congregation over time. The most recent changes being a ramp for wheelchair access and a refurbishment of the service area to include disabled facilities.
Chapel Services are held weekly, on Sundays at 10:30am.