St Mary and St Chad, Brewood 2

Church Road, Brewood, ST19 9BT. https://www.stmarybrewood.org.uk/ 

Vicar: Reverend Phil Moon Email: familyofmoon@aol.com

Every Sunday, services are generally Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8.30 am, Morning Service at 10.00 am and Evening Service at 6.00 pm. There are also services at 7.00 pm on Tuesdays in Church, and at 10.15 am on Wednesdays at Church House. At the 10.00 am morning service, both our Churches (St Mary and St Chad, Brewood and St John’s, Bishops Wood) offer a mixture of communion, all age and non-communion service. For further information, please see the Parish notice-boards or visit the Church’s website:- www.brewoodchurch.org.uk

The church of St Mary, the Virgin and St Chad is by far the oldest building in Brewood Parish, the chancel dating back to the Early English period of seven hundred years ago. The north aisle was added in the 14th century and the remainder of the church was rebuilt in the 15th century Perpendicular style.

Thorough restoration work was carried out by G. E. Street between 1878 and 1880. This included the unusual inside clerestory to the south aisle and the five gables for the aisle windows.

The oldest part of the present building is its chancel which dates from the Early English period of seven hundred years ago. The north aisle was added in the 14th century and the remainder of the church was rebuilt in the 15th century Perpendicular style.

The 2 manual and pedalboard organ was built in 1911 by J. J. Binns, modernised and enhanced in 1952 by W. J. Bird & Son, and substantially restored in 2011 by Alan Goulding, Pipe Organ Services.

The handsome tower, surmounted by a well proportioned spire, carries a peal of eight bells.

The modern reredos depicts Our Lord breaking bread with two of his disciples after his Resurrection, when he met them on the road to Emmaus.

The principal interest of this fine old church is its monuments and memorials, especially the four Giffard tombs which stand in the Chancel. Of alabaster, once richly painted and gilded, the first of these bears the effigy of Sir John Gifford who shot the panther and died at the ripe age of ninety years. He lies in Tudor armour, with his two ladies, both in period costume, surrounded by their eighteen children.

Upon the next tomb lies his son, Sir Thomas Giffard, who died in 1560, only four years after his father. Like him, he is in armour and with a similar pointed beard and black hair. Beside him are his two wives and their seventeen children.

John Giffard, who died in 1613, after a long imprisonment for his Roman Catholic faith, is depicted in splendid armour inlaid with steel, with his wife Jeyse (Joyce) beside him in Jacobean costume. Around the tomb are shown their fourteen children. One of these was Gilbert Giffard who became implicated in the notorious Babington Plot and disgraced his family by acting as a double agent for both Catholics and Protestants.

Also depicted with the characteristic black hair and pointed beard of the family, is the figure of Walter Giffard who died in 1632. He lies in armour and his wife Philippa in period costume. Although they are known to have had at least eight children, none are shown as on the earlier tombs. Other members of this family are commemorated by floor slabs in the chancel.

The oldest memorial in this church is an incised alabaster slab in the south aisle which portrays Richard Lane (1514) with his wife and eleven children. An interesting brass tablet to Jane Leveson (1572), one of whose three husbands was Edward Giffard, was lost from the Church and then found built into the station master’s house at Four Ashes.

Memorials on the wall of the south aisle are to 17th century members of the Moreton family. Delicately executed and coloured, they show the miniature kneeling figure of Edward Moreton and Matthew Moreton with their wives and children.

Unmarked in the churchyard is the grave of Colonel William Carless of Broom Hall, who probably saved the life of Charles II by sharing his hiding place with him in the Boscobel Oak. He was buried in the churchyard when he died in 1689. His burial is recorded in the parish registers: “Corinall William Carelesse, of Broumhall”.