Our History

On this page you will find the history of St. Georges Church from its foundation in the late 1800’s to the present day. Please read through the notes to discover how a Church is raised from the ground and evolves into what it is today. You will find links to an interesting gallery in the sidebar on this page, please take your time to browse its contents.

A NOTE ON GLASCOTE

The Manor of Glascote was held in the 12th century by William, son of Hugh of Hatton, possibly in right of his wife Maud. William’s daughter, Margaret, married Osbert de Clinton and later, on the marriage of Isabel de Clinton to Robert Marmion, the father of Robert, Philip, received a life interest in the Manor. When Philip died in 1291 his interest reverted to Robert; and the Manor together with Nether Whitacre passed to descendants in the family until the middle of the 16th century when one half came to be held by the Longueville family and the other by the Ferrer’s family. In 1897 the Corporation of Tamworth acquired the Ferrer’s property along with Bolehall.  Until it was assigned to Tamworth in 1934 the Parish of Glascote extended West of the River Anker to include part of Tamworth and the district of Perry Crofts between the River and the Ashby Road.

In the earlier years of this century the pottery works of Gibbs and Canning and several collieries in the locality were thriving, but all these have now closed. Much of the land in the area, which was previously farmed, has now been built upon, so making Glascote a residential area comprising what might be called an old mining village together with modern housing estates. The most recent additions have been the erection of two housing estates – Lakeside built in the mid-seventies and Abbotsgate built between the late eighties and 1992.

THE CHURCH’S BEGINNING

In the Parish Magazine of July 1875, the Vicar of Tamworth, the Rev. Brooke Lambert, MA., B.C.L., wrote that ‘there is need of a Church in Glascote’. In response to this need the local Member of Parliament, R.W. Hanbury Esq., gave a site and he and several other persons subscribed to the building fund. By February of the next year an architect, Basil Champneys, was asked to produce plans and subsequently building commenced. However, two difficulties arose: first, the Diocesan Bishop refused to assent to consecrate the churches at Glascote and Hopwas, a refusal which arose ‘entirely out of a desire not to encumber the poor living of Tamworth with extra expenses’ (so Mr. Lambert writing in the Magazine of January 1877); secondly donations were not readily forthcoming to the building fund.

It is clear from the records available that both these difficulties were overcome almost entirely by the efforts of Mr. Lambert who, in the matter of the second difficulty, gave an initial donation of £100, then with his brothers financed the building of the Chancel, and finally, although he was no longer Vicar of Tamworth, Mr. Lambert made himself responsible for raising the remaining deficit. It need hardly be said that the debt of gratitude owed to Mr. Lambert for his mammoth share in the Building of St. George’s Church is immense. The immensity of this debt of gratitude was indicated by the Rev. William McGregor (Mr. Lambert’s successor in the living of Tamworth) when he noted in the Magazine of September 1886 that of the £3000-7s-1ld, which was the total cost of the Church, Mr. Lambert and his family had donated between £400 and £500. A plaque on the North side of the Church Sanctuary refers to this debt of gratitude.

The Church was consecrated by the Right Reverend Bishop Abrahams, D.D., Precentor of Lichfield Cathedral, on Friday, April 30th 1880. The consecration and the week, which followed it, must have been long remembered in Glascote. On the day of consecration the Banqueting Hall of Tamworth Castle was made available for a Public Luncheon. During the week that followed there were special services each day at St. George’s and on the Monday (May 3rd) there was a Public Tea in the Board School at Glascote, a tea which according to Mr. McGregor was ‘a great success’

THE CHURCH’S ARCHITECTURE

For Mr. Lambert the beauty of the design of the Church was its ‘solid proportions’. Indeed as we look at it today we can only agree with this statement. In 14th century style, it comprises a gabled central Tower, walls of red brick ornamented with Bathstone dressings, and a tiled roof.  The interior of the Church has been re-ordered following an extension completed in March 1997. The old Chancel has been screened together with the former Organ loft area. This gives the Church a Chapel/crèche/meeting area together with a long awaited and much needed toilet. The visitor may be struck by the fact that some of this interior work is in terracotta, a baked hard brownish-red pottery. The abundance of this pottery is due to the fact that one of the Church’s benefactors was C. Canning Esq., of the firm Gibbs & Canning which produced terracotta at that time, who gave not only £150 but terracotta pottery to the value of £100. The Choir Vestry on the North Side of the Church was added in 1936 when Rev. C. Pringle was the Church’s minister. As part of the alterations in 1997 this has become the Church’s Office. The main Church now faces North. The Haywood Window has been placed at the centre of the extended North wall and the worship shape i.e. Chairs replacing pews in a semi-circle is conducive to the modern worship style, which has become part of the Church life at the end of the Millennium.