St. John the Evangelist is the parish church of Waterbeach, which is situated about 7 miles north of Cambridge, east of the A10 to Ely.
It is an ancient foundation, with records of incumbents back to the 12th century. Parts of the church are Norman, and the church is adjacent to the site of a Priory which was the home of nuns of the order of St. Clare.
Denny Abbey is within the parish, and is open to the public. Begun by an order of Benedictine monks in 1159, Denny Abbey was later taken over by the Knights Templars. After the suppression of the Templars, Denny Abbey was taken over by the nuns of Waterbeach, who were living there by 1324.
To see a map of Waterbeach with the location of St John’s, click here.
The Priest in Charge of Waterbeach is also Priest in Charge of All Saints’ Landbeach, the adjoining parish to the west of the A10.
Landbeach was already established in Roman times and the Roman Road from Cambridge to Ely (Akerman Street) passed close to the West of the present village. Landbeach featured in the Domesday Book.
All Saints’ has a plaque above the pulpit commemorating its most famous Rector, Matthew Parker who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1559. Parker (infamously known as ‘Nosey Parker’) was an alumnus of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge which now houses the Parker Library named after him. Parker donated over 400 manuscripts to the college in 1574, including the sixth-century Gospels of St Augustine and the oldest manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.