OTHER FEATURES

The font in front of the tower is 16th century and was moved to its place near to the tower in the1860s and brought forward to its present position in 1972. Originally it stood against the third pier between the nave and the south aisle. Unfortunately, the original canopy which according to record displayed traces of painting and gilding has long since disappeared. The old cover was decorated in a pattern of stars of various colours on a dark ground.

By the second pillar near the north door is a beautiful carved Elizabethan poor box dating from 1601 when the Poor Law was passed. This law compelled each parish to raise funds for the support of the aged poor. Very few of these boxes survived. On the third pillar of the north aisle is a carved grotesque face. This is a Green Man – a very popular feature in many churches.

The nave altar and dais were installed in 1969. The Rood Screen, although much restored, is in essence 15th century and occupies its proper place under the chancel arch. The canopy was added in the 1860s when the old painting and gilding were renewed except for one small strip that was intentionally left untouched to show the original faded colouring. The carved oak reredos behind the high altar was erected in 1897 at a cost of £120. It was designed by Dunstan Powell, the grandson of the famous designer and architect Augustus Pugin. The oak altar and panelling were installed at the same time; the former cost £40 and the latter £110.

The organ was made by Nicholson and Lord of Walsall and installed in the 1880s. It is a fine example of a Victorian pipe organ. Although it has been looked after with care over the years, it has recently had a complete overhaul. This is an expensive job on an instrument like this, and we are indebted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for giving us the generous sum of £10 000 to add to that raised by the church.

The fine oak chest near to the altar rail is dated 1629. Until 1992 it contained parish archives dating back to the 15th century and registers from 1538. The earliest of these was a parchment scroll 22ft. long and 6½ins. wide. Apart from a few missing years during the Civil War, the registers are complete from 1538 to the present time. The contents of the chest are now housed with the County Records Office. Among these records is an illuminated Mass Book from the 14th century. It contains prayers for a blessing on the staffs and shields of those about to undertake a duel and for those proposing to go on a pilgrimage. There are also masses for the dead and for marriage. The book would have been lost had not its pages been used to bind the Churchwardens account book for 1559! The pages were rebound by the British Museum.

The east end of the south aisle is known as the War Memorial corner, containing a memorial window as well as marble tablets to the fallen in both world wars. On the window ledge of the south wall is a medieval piscina. This was formerly located in the chancel.

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