« PreviousContinue »
contributions. The carpet within the altar rails was presented by Mrs. Elwell, of Wood Green; the linen for the communion table by Mrs. Fletcher, of Dudley; and the books for the minister by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
The living is a perpetual curacy, value £300, the church being endowed by £150 per annum by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, under the Act of the 6th and 7th Victoria, and with the moiety of the great tithes of the whole parish of Wednesbury. The pew rents are paid to the incumbent, (less £6 per annum given by the churchwardens to the clerk), as also Easter offerings, according to ancient custom, the vicar's claim to these having ceased when the church was consecrated. The living is in the patronage of Lady Emily Foley ; E. T. Foley, Esq. dying before the deed conveying his moiety of the great tithes was executed, his widow, the Lady Emily Foley, fulfilled his pious intention on the 6th of August, 1847, in consideration of which the Queen, in Council, August 16th, 1847, granted to the Right Honourable Lady Emily Foley, her heirs and assigns for ever, the right of patronage of the new parish of S. John the Evangelist, and the nomination of the perpetual curate thereof. The present incumbent is the Rev. John Winter, M.A.; curate, the Rev. —-- Devis, B.A., who succeeded the Rev. Alfred Jones, B.A. Church wardens, Messrs. Thomas Walker and Thomas Bill. The hours of Divine service are
-on Sunday half-past ten, three, and half-past six; and on Wednesday evening at seven o'clock. The following inscription is on a tablet inside the church :
Sacred to the memory of John Wood, one of the first wardens of this
parish, who departed this life July 9th, 1847, in the 45th year of his age. His amiable and generous disposition attracted universal
esteem. This monument was erected in affectionate remembrance of one of the best of fathers, by his eldest son, James Wood.
In the midst of life we are in death.
S. John's Parish Schools were built in the years 1848-9, at a cost of £1,158 10s. 2d. (including the fittings and £123 15s. paid for the site), and were opened on the 11th of March, 1849. They are nicely built, and afford accommodation for 300 scholars ; they are used for Sunday as well as daily schools. The Committee of Council on Education granted £321 to the building fund; the National Society, £225; and the Lichfield Diocesan Board, £25. The collections in the church at the opening of the schools were £100 5s. 2d.; and the sum of £487 5s. was raised by other voluntary contributions.
The population of this new parish is about 2,500, and consists principally of respectable householders, shopkeepers, coach smiths, ironworkers, miners, &c.
S. James's Church.
S. James's, the second ecclesiastical district, was formed in the year 1844, from the lowest and most neglected part of the town, and numbers, in population, upwards of 3,000 souls, consisting chiefly of those who are employed in the mines, ironworks, and gas tube manufactories. When the district was constituted there existed no provision, in that portion of the town, for the maintenance of the worship of Almighty God, as prescribed by the Church, neither was there any place of worship at all, except a small Anabaptist meeting house in Dudley Street, the result of which was gross ignorance, spiritual destitution, and semi-barbarism.
The Rev. Joseph Hall, M.A., curate of the parish church, was appointed by the Crown to the perpetual curacy on the 22nd of September, 1844. He immediately commenced his pastoral visits, and although his undertaking was arduous and difficult, yet, in March, 1845, the new schools were opened and used for the celebration of Divine service, under a license from the Bishop, until the church was built.
The Rev. Joseph Hall resigned the incumbency May 21st, 1846; and was succeeded by the Rev. William Graham Cole, B.A., he having been presented to the living by the Bishop of the Diocese, on the 5th of September following.
On the 4th of January, 1847, a committee was formed for the purpose of making the necessary arrangements for building the new church ; and on Wednesday, May 26th,, 1847, the foundation stone was laid, Divine service having been celebrated in the parish church, and a sermon preached by the Rev. W. Dalton, M.A., Incumbent of S. Paul's, Wolverhampton, and Rural Dean. The offerings amounted to £38, and were applied to the building fund. A procession was formed from the parish church to the intended site, and the foundation stone laid by Thomas Bagnall, Esq., of Great Barr, chairman of the building committee, in the presence of a large concourse of people. The church was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese on Wednesday, May 31, 1848. The sermon was preached by his lordship from Luke iv. 18. “To preach the Gospel to the poor.” On the following Sunday, June 4th, the sermons were preached by the Rev. W. Dalton, B.D.; the Rev. J. C. Barrett, M.A., Incumbent of S. Mary's, Birmingham; and the Rev. Henry Bagnall, M.A., Rector of Sheinton, and Rural Dean of Condover, Salop. The sum collected at the offertory, on the day of consecration, and on the Sunday, including the
Bishop's ancient fee of £6 13s. 4d., presented by his lordship, amounted to £194 195. 11d.
The church consists of a nave 70 feet by 48 feet 3 inches, with open roof, filled in with ornamental timber. The chancel is 22 feet by 12 feet, the vestry and porch each being on one side. The tower is 65 feet high, with embattled top, surmounted by four octagonal pinnacles. There is a gallery at the west end of the church, in which is placed the organ. The font stands near the west door, and the eagle lectern on the south side of the chancel arch; on the north side is the pulpit, which formerly belonged to the parish church of Kidderminster. The church is well lighted with gas, the fittings having been presented by Messrs. James Russell and Sons. The altar cloth and linen, used at the administration of the Holy Communion, were given by the ministers and church wardens; also some additional vessels have since been presented for the Holy Table. The service books were the gift of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
The church contains 855 sittings, 566 of which are free and unappropriated for ever; it was erected at a cost (including the site) of £3,305 17s. 3d. To meet this sum grants were made, of £850 by the Lichfield Diocesan Church Extension Society; of £500 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; of £450 by the Incorporated Society for Building Churches and Chapels; of £250 placed at the disposal of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners by the late Sir Robert Peel, Bart.; and the remainder was raised by voluntary contributions.
The church is very plain, indeed it is a matter of surprise that, in these days of revived art, such a building as it is should have been erected at all. One strictly architectural
would have cost no more than this, which can be ranked under no ecclesiastical style whatever.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Crown and the Bishop alternately, and of the yearly value of about £180. The pew rents and Easter offerings are received by the incumbent, less £6 per annum out of the former, which the churchwardens are authorised to pay to the clerk of the church.
There is an excellent parsonage house close to the church and schools, erected in the years 1849-50. The cost of the building (including £105 paid for the site) was £1,043 12s. 10d. This amount was raised by a grant of £200 from the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty; by a loan of £200 from the same; by a further grant of £200 from the Lichfield Diocesan Church Extension Society; and the remainder by voluntary contributions. .
The present incumbent is the Rev. William Graham Cole, B.A.; curates, Rev. Richard Twigg, and the Rev. W. B. Flowers, B.A., who succeeded the Rev. F. P. B. N. Hutton, B.A. Churchwardens, John Nock Bagnall and William Sutton Nayler. Sidesmen, John Smith and Richard Hayes. Hours of Divine service—daily, at half-past seven in the evening. On Sundays, at half-past ten, three, and half-past six.
S. James's Schools were erected, as we have already stated, immediately after the district was constituted, and opened in March, 1845. The cost of the building was £1,126 19s. This sum includes the site, the residence of the master and mistress, and the fittings necessary for the celebration of Divine service. The building fund was provided by grants and voluntary contributions. The grants were-£359 from the Committee of Council on Education, £330 from the