The interior of St Andrew's has altered over the years and what we see here today represents craftsmanship of several periods. When David Elisha Davy visited the church in 1817, the nave and chancel were of equal width. At the east end, the simple Communion Table was railed off but was not raised on a step. Flanking the east window were boards printed with the Ten Commandments, similar boards, with the Creed and Lord's Prayer, faced each other in the nave. The remains of the base of the mediaeval screen then stood in the division of nave and chancel - these have sadly now disappeared, as has the rood-loft staircase which ascended from the north-east nave window.
At the west end we can detect the simple TOWER ARCH, which has been completely blocked. A door beneath it leads to the VESTRY at the base of the tower, which is not usually open to the public. It contains a BIER, which was used to carry coffins to funerals, also a BENEFACTORS BOARD, made in 1828. This records 40 acres of Town Land in Redlingfield, Denham and Hoxne, yielding an annual rent of £45, to be used for repairing the church and churchyard gates and fences, and the residue to be used for the benefit of the poor. In this vestry were stored, for many years, the STOCKS, which may now be seen in the porch.
In 1873 the church was closed for three months for a thorough restoration and many of the furnishings that we see today date from that time. New tiled FLOORS were laid and the old box-pews replaced by the current BENCHES and CHOIR-STALLS. The church also received a new carved PULPIT and LECTERN. The work was carried out by Daniel Day, a builder from Eye. The plans, which were signed by him, were approved by the Bishop of Norwich in March 1873 and the reopening service took place on Thursday, November 2, 1873 - the Archdeacon was the preacher. Special services were also held the following Sunday. The preacher in the morning was the Rev'd William Notley, the rector's son, and in the evening the Vicar of Eye preached. The Rev'd Charles Notley, who instigated the restoration, had been Rector in Redlingfield since 1842 and was to remain until his death in 1878.
St Andrew's contains several features which are a great deal older than this restoration. The arch-braced ROOF of the nave is probably 15th century and has 12 original carved wooden heads (six each side). The chancel has a simple 19th century PLASTER CEILING.
On the north wall of the nave hangs the ROYAL ARMS, which are inscribed for King George IIII, but the arms themselves are those in use from 1714 to 1801 and were probably made during the reign of George III with the number simply being adjusted when George IV came to the throne.
The pieces of hard-board on the walls were placed here to cover some mediaeval WALL PAINTINGS which were discovered beneath the plaster during recent years and are awaiting restoration.
The FONT is a fine piece of 15th century stone carving and is of the type found in many East Anglian churches. Around the stem are four lions and four wild and hairy men known as the wodewoses. Above them is a band of flowers. Angel faces with outstretched wings support the bowl, the eight panels of which are beautifully carved. Here we see the emblems of the Four Evangelists (the angel of St Matthew, the winged lion of St Mark, the winged Ox of St Luke and the Eagle of St John). These alternate with angels bearing shields which were once also carved with emblems. Two have worn away or been defaced but on the remaining two we see the Instruments of the Passion and the Crown and Arrows of St Edmund. The font is crowned by an attractive 17th century wooden COVER.
Some small fragments of MEDIAEVAL GLASS remain in the south nave windows (the brightly-coloured glass is 19th century). The south-west window contains a few small pieces but in the south-east window look for the little 15th century sheep.
Nearby in the south wall of the nave is a 14th century trefoil-headed PISCINA showing that there was an altar there in mediaeval times - possibly this was one of two altars that stood either side of the nave in front of the screen. The seat nearby, which fills two sides of the space occupied by the little American organ, incorporates three surviving 15th century poppyhead BENCH ENDS.
Most of what we see in the chancel is 19th century including the sturdy CHEST in the sanctuary. The ALTAR TABLE however dates from the 17th century and it is interesting to remember that the Holy Eucharist has been celebrated on it for more than 300 years.
Several LEDGER SLABS remain in the sanctuary floor commemorating people who were part of the church and parish. Unfortunately other burial slabs once here are now missing, including a large slab in the chancel which Tom Martin noted in the 18th century as containing the brasses of a knight and two ladies and five coats of arms. David Elisha Davy saw this slab in 1817 but its brasses were gone. Another slab had a brass inscription asking prayers for the soul of Clemence Lampet (maybe related to Alice Lampet who was the Prioress from 1427 to 1459). This was in place when Davy visited in 1817 but he noted it had gone when he returned ten years later.
The ledger slabs which remain today commemorate: John and Margaret Lomax both of whom died in March 1725. Susannah Everard, 1670. Francis Bedingfield (Lord of the manor), 1697. John Willis (Lord of the Manor), 1761.
St Andrew's possessed three BELLS in 1553 and in the 18th century. Canon J J Raven, in 1890, noted there was only one bell with no inscription to identify or date it. This bell still hangs in the tower but it has been joined during recent years by the bell from the redundant church at Debach near Woodbridge.
This information was taken from a guide compiled by Roy Tricker, who thanked Rev David Streeter, James Risk, Cynthia Brown and George Pipe for information and advice, also the staff of Suffolk Record Office for the use of their facilities.