History

This is the second church building to have served our community. The first, in Domesday times, was at Patton, three miles away and the centre of the Saxon Hundred of that name. By the thirteenth century the population had moved southwards to the present site of the village and a new church was built.

The main entrance door is an important feature, dating from c. 1200 it has attractive iron scrollwork, a closing ring and hooks for a noticeboard. The doorway is plain, late Norman, the pointed arch indicating that it is Transitional. The entrance porch has good ancient timberwork but the walls are Victorian.

The church building itself is simple, just a nave and chancel, both heavily restored in Victorian times and a vestry. A special feature in the chancel is an Early Decorated tomb recess. It dates from the thirteenth or early fourteenth century and has a depressed two-centred arch joining the uprights in a continuous roll moulding. The sill is of a more recent date but a stone from the original may be seen in the splay of the window by the lectern.

This small window - called a low-side window because it is the lowest in the church - would originally have been provided with a grille and shutters. At one time low-side windows were believed to have been leper windows through which lepers could follow the service and receive communion. It is now thought that their purpose was to provide ventilation for the chancel when accumulated smoke from candles and incense became overpowering.

Also in the south side of the chancel is a blocked priest's door with the doorstep still in-situ. On the opposite wall is the vestry built in 1871. It is likely that the vestry doorway was originally an external north entrance. This would explain the small niche behind the door which was discovered during the 1869-70 restoration and is in the usual position of a holy water stoup. North doorways were common in churches of the period though they were usually in the nave. Alternatively the niche could have been an aumbry and this would account for the rebated stone surround.

There were two restoration schemes in the nineteenth century - 1842 and 1869-70. The church was closed for a year during the second scheme and this is when the present chancel arch was inserted. The east wall and window were rebuilt at the same time.

The stained glass was given by the sons of Evan and Ann Davies of Patton, in memory of their parents and sister. The window on the left depicts St Paul while the window above the altar shows the crucifiction and the Sermon on the Mount. The window above the tomb recess depicts the baptism of Christ and Christ carrying the cross. This work was carried out by the firm of Done and Davies of Shrewsbury.

The reredos behind the altar was carved by Robert Clarke of Hereford and donated by the Cock family in 1888. The communion rails and the chancel floor tiles also date from this time.

The brass lectern was given to the church in 1915 in memory of the Bishop family of Oxenbold. The design of the eagle and the ball was a popular one at the time. It symbolises the scriptures being carried around the world.

The niche in the wall of the nave near the lectern marks the site of an earlier altar and it seems probable that the window above it was inserted to light it. Further proof of the existence of this altar is provided by the stone cross, positioned externally on the apex of the roof above the chancel arch. Subsidiary altars were common in the Middle Ages. They stood in front of the Rood Screen, many of which were destroyed during the intolerant period between the Reformation and the Restoration 1540 - 1660.

The roof is also a notable feature of the church. It dates from the later Middle Ages and has wind braces forming quatrefoils. The collar beams in the chancel have small carved bosses in the centre of the arches.

The large framed print on the west wall of the nave is of the Mappa Mundi which is housed at Hereford Cathedral. The font has a plain bowl and an octagonal stem thought to date from the restoration of 1842.

The weather boarded belfry has a pyramid roof and contains three bells which were recast in 1893 and a clock given by the Wadlow family in 1927.

The earlier parish registers, dating from 1546 to around 1976, have been deposited in the 
Hereford Records Office  with transcripts available at Shropshire Archives  in Shrewsbury. Enquiries regarding registers since then should be made to the Team Rector  at Much Wenlock.