Monday 28 September 2020

Pulverbatch centenary - third church on same site

St Edith’s Church, Pulverbatch, near Shrewsbury, celebrated its centenary on the day after coronation day, and at the centenary service on Sunday evening, the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt. Rev. Tom Longworth reminded the congregation “You are celebrating this great occasion In very great year and at a very great time”.

Although the present building was completed on June 3, 1853, It is the third church on the same site where people have now been worshipping for close on a thousand years, for the first St. Edith’s Church was built about 980 A.D.

The centenary was really of the re-building of the church. The square tower which has six bells which have been re-hung, was added to the former church in 1773 and is notable for its exterior stone stairs leading to its entrance.

The seating capacity is about 250 and there were close on that number attending Sunday’s service, which was conducted by the rector, the Rev. A. Marshall Taylor. Mr. L. H. A. Pilkington read the first lesson and the choir, with Mrs. Lelliott at the organ sang the anthem “O Praise the Lord”.

Bishop’s congratulations
During the past five years the parish has installed electricity, provided a new stove for heating, re-hung the bells, removed the ivy and re-pointed the entire church, restored the tower, re-decorated the interior and exterior of the church, treated woodwork for wood infection, provided extra fuel storage, effected numerous roof and fabric improvements and repairs and given new curtains, new frontal, linen and new vases for the altar table at a cost of about £l,750.

On Sunday evening Dr. Longworth said he wanted to congratulate them on showing the result of the renovations. They had done much to make their Church a worthy house of God, he said, and he was perfectly aware that the large amount of money they had raised for that purpose, had only been accomplished by great sacrificial giving and a great deal of hard work. As the Bishop of their diocese, however, he asked them not to forget the needs of others and he hoped they would be able to help ease the burden of Ludlow parish church, where it was necessary to spend about £45,000. Although £1,750 was great sum, it was comparatively small compared with the £45,000 needed for Ludlow and the work of the diocese as a whole.

Dr. Longworth gave his impressions of the coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey and said he thought that servlce had a message for them too. In the same way as the Queen was called to serve, so were they called to serve, not only God but the community among whom they lived.

At the service, “purses” of “hundred coin offering” were presented and dedicated to celebrate the centenary and the total amount was £40.

Queen accepts brochure
The Queen accepted a brochure of the centenary, including a poem about his parish church by the late Mr. W.H. Sankey, who died while the brochure was in the hands of the printers. The Queen’s secretary wrote to say that that Queen had expressed her appreciation of the kind thoughts of the parish for her coronation.

After the service members of the parish assembled in the village hall where the Bishop of Hereford cut the centenary cake which had been made by Mrs. Marshall Taylor and the ingredients for which had been provided by ladies of the congregation.

Good wishes were received from Mr. John Langford Holt, M.P. for Shrewsbury, and Cllr. J. S. McNamara (Mayor of Shrewsbury).

What better way of finishing a report of the centenary celebrations (wrltes a “Journal” reporter) than by quoting the last verse of Mr. Sankey’s poem:-
‘And when St. Edith’s full story is written, how generations have answered the call, let us hope that the nineteen fifties will make the best reading of all.’