History

History

A brief history based on the work of the late Barry Ebdon  
The Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Chester in June 1820. Building had started in 1819 and is on land given by the Marquess of Anglesey and Sir Robert Peel. (Sir Robert Peel was member of Parliament for Tamworth and twice Prime Minister). (Originally the area of Pipe, Edial, Woodhouses and. Burntwood was part of the Parish of St Michael on Greenhill, Lichfield)
 
Visitors will firstly note the magnificent west doors, believed to be original. The huge nails which have been used are indicative of Burntwood having been a nail making area due to the plentiful supply of charcoal and iron ore. (Nail making was very much a cottage industry, and should the visitor wish to, enter the churchyard, will find there several nail stones of different sizes). Please take care in the churchyard as the ground is very uneven.  The inner West Doors are in memory of local soldier- Rifleman David Walker of the Royal Green Jackets, killed in Belfast on July 12th 1971. 
 
Entering the porch, see above the vestry doors is a commemorative plaque stating that the clock in the Church Tower was placed there in May 1921 in loving memory of A.O.Worthington and. S.E.Worthington of Maple Hayes (part of the brewing family), by their five children. On the west wall, immediately as you enter the body of the Church, a board gives details of !he origin of the Chapel and was erected by public subscription, work starting in 1819 with the Consecration being carried out In June 1820 by the Bishop of Chester. Above the inner west doors note tile painting on canvas which appears to be a coat of arms.
 
 This is in fact correctly termed a 'Funerary Hatchment', and belongs to a member of the Worthington family of Maple Hayes. The right hand (or ‘dexter’ ) side of this is dark, whilst the left hand (or 'sinister') side is light indicating that the female has survived. (To the observer, these sides will be reversed).The hatchment was for William Worthington of Newton Park Esq.Justice of the Peace for this and the adjoining county of Stafford.Born February 16th 1799 and died October 17th 1871 and lived his last 33 years in the parish.
 
We continue to the North Aisle which was not part of the original construction and was added in 1869. Situated here the visitor will notice the War Memorial, commemorating, on the central large tablet those members of the Parish 'who fell during 'The Great War' of 1914 to 1919. The tablets each side - that on the left commemorating those who died during World War Il, and that on the right commemorating those who have died in conflicts since World War II - were installed in 2003 and were generously provided by Burntwood Town Council. The new standards were provided by the Royal British Legion.
 
Sincere thanks are due to both organisations for their generous support, particularly as the War Memorial in Christ Church is the only complete Memorial in the Parish of Christ Church in Burntwood, Continuing towards the Children's Altar (made by Reader Emeritus ~ Derek Sutton), the visitor will see its red sandstone font on which is inscribed the date 1715 - 1O5 years before Christ Church was consecrated. The font actually belonged to St. John the Baptist, Hammerwich and was removed on the demolition of the original structure, it is now cemented to the floor and they will have difficulty getting it back! Turning now to the High Altar, the stained glass window was installed in 1956 and is a. 'Victory Window'., Notice Churchill's words - "We shall go on to the end, we shall never surrender".
 
The window symbolises the triumph of good over evil when the Allies defeated the Axis Forces during World War 11. In the left panel is a depiction of the Archangel Michael (St. Michael) and in the right, a depiction of St George slaying the dragon – again symbolic of tile power of good over evil. Several members of the armed forces and civilians are also depicted as a tribute to those who fought either overseas or on the home front. In the bottom right hand corner is a portrayal of St.Hubert, represented as a hunter, the son of the Duke of Ouienne, a French nobleman. Hubert is kneeling in a forest clearing around 700 AD, gazing at a stag. Within the horns of the stag is an image of Christ crucified, with radiant beams of light emanating from the image.. Upon seeing this vision, Hubert became a Christian and by 708 AD had become Bishop of Liege. Hubert was eventually adopted as the Patron Saint of the Mentally Ill. When consideration is given to the fact that St. Matthew's Psychiatric Hospital stood approximately half a mile to the east of Christ Church and was one of several psychiatric hospitals in this area, it is extremely fitting that St, Hubert's image was included in this window, as The Vicar of Christ Church was also Chaplain at St. Matthew's.
 
One particular memorial plaque to mention, situated to the right of the pulpit, is in memory of Charles Bennett Spence who was a Lieutenant .in the Royal Field Artillery and also a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, He was born at SI. Matthew's Hospital “(then the County Mental Asylum)" June 30th, 1888 where his father, Dr. James Beveridge Spence was Medical Superintendent (A ward at St, Mathew's was named after Dr. Spence some years later). Charles Spence was killed in action, May 9th 1915 near Bethame and is buried close to Chateau L' Abbaye,•Choques, Northern France. His parents are buried in the churchyard where he is also commemorated.
 
A drum and fife band was formed at Christ Church, Burntwood, in 1886 with 24 members and also a mothers' union was formed in the same year .
 
Christ Church has had thirteen incumbents starting, with The Revd. Edward Simeon Remington in 1820, Charles Dawes in 1820, there followed the: Reverends Thomas Bradbourne in 1826; Thomas Harwood in 1828; Ralph Errington in 1845.; George Poole in 1852; Richard Weston in 1888; John Thomas Homer in 1925; Joseph Herbert Bowman in 1942; Charles Lewis in 1952; J.(John) E.T. Walters in 1958, leading to David Weaver in 1982 until September 2008. The Revd, Margaret Mattocks became VIcar from 23 rd Aprll 2009.
 
Our Lych gate was errected by subscription in 1931 as a memorial to Richard Weston (d 1929) who was vicar from 1886 to 1922  Worship has continued throughout this time and it always gives a great deal of satisfaction to know that today's congregation is carrying on a tradition started in Burntwood by parishioners who were not happy at having to trowel some four miles to St. Michael on Greenhill, Lichfield. Burntwood continues to grow, and we are charged with preserving this Church as part and parcel of 'our heritage ,to remember those who have gone before and maintain it for those yet to come.
 
To the left of the church is a small traffic island on which is situated the UK's Smallest Park. The inscription is: Prince's Park The UK's Smallest Park created in 1863 to commemorate the marriage of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark
 
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