THERE is a tiny iron church standing alone in the woods at Bramdean Common, near Alresford.

Reputed to have been built in just five weeks in 1883, by and for the gypsy communities and charcoal makers who lived on the common, the small green building, trimmed in white and with a bell tower, stands as a virtually unknown gem in the Upper Itchen benefice, part of the Winchester Diocese.

But on Sunday, May 8, it will once again open its doors for Hymns in the Wood, accompanied by a Salvation Army band.

The event is championed by James Stanley, a member of the Bramdean Society and chairman of trustees, who explained that while the little church was used for a gypsy baptism as recently as 2014, it also stands at the opposite end of the village to the parish church and close to most of the labourers cottages.

It would have taken churchgoers around three hours to attend a Sunday morning service at he parish church, when taking into account the walk there and back, so instead they used the church in the wood.

When the first service was held there on October 21, 1883, some 90 people crowded into the little building, which could accommodate only 50 worshippers.

On May 8, the service will start at 4pm.

To find your way, according to Mr Stanley, "stand on Bramdean Common from 3.30pm onward and listen for the bell....".