Telephone: 01299 272 300
A special place to live, work & play

Local Groups and Societies

Living and enjoying life within Cleobury Country


A frequent enquiry at the Cleobury Country Centre, is ‘What is happening in the community regarding groups and recreational activities?  There is so much happening, whether you want to amble, walk, cycle, ride, play golf or get fit in most sports, opportunities abound for all tastes and ages here.

You can also take part in drama, music, dance, or be creative. Here we have some of the groups and societies operating in the Cleobury Country area.

Friends of St Marys Church

This group was formed to raise funds to help maintain, repair, restore and preserve the church building and its fabric for the benefit of the community and future generations. It is a registered charity (No: EW16294) run by volunteers.

Contact details
Alec Osbaldiston
Telephone: 01584 891351
 
Main details

A brief history of St. Mary’s Church.

To date it has raised over £50,000. Its most recent contribution was to the installation of a new church electrical and lighting system which has substantially improved the internal presentation of the church. We are currently supplying substantial support for the ceiling restoration of the Nave.

Probably this church is best known for its crooked spire which can be dated back to the 13th Century. The twist and lean was caused by the spire being placed on the tower without any tying or flashing. As a result the soft stone crumbled in the wet and the timbers rotted. The twist was partly due to the timbers drying out.
The tower was built in the 12th Century. The nave and south aisle are 13th Century and the North aisle is 14th Century. The side chapel (St Nicholas’s Chapel) was built by the notorious Roger Mortimer, possibly as ‘fire insurance’. He was the partner of Edward II’s wife, and was hanged in 1330. The altar table here is most interesting. In 1553 it was ordered that all stone altars should be destroyed and ‘a decent wooden table’ installed. The legs of this table are probably made from the dismantled rood screen. In the time of Queen Mary five consecration crosses were cut into the top, but in Cromwellian times these were filled in.
In the chancel there is a hagioscope, commonly called a ‘leper’s squint’. The wall was originally an outside wall; the chapel is a later addition. The squint was so that people in the churchyard could see the sacred elements being blessed at the altar, and thus they had officially attended Mass and avoided the fine for absenteeism. Near the squint there is a plaque showing the Last Supper. This was made in the Abraham Darby works in Coalbrookdale, and cost thirty shillings.

The East Window was give by the Vicar to celebrate the end of the Nineteenth Century restoration. It commemorates the fact that William Langland, the author of Piers Plowman, was born near Cleobury, and depicts episodes from the poem. ( A full explanation can be found on one of the ‘paddle guides’ at the back of the church).

In 1793 Thomas Telford, the County surveyor, was building the ‘new bridge’ at the east of the town, and he was called in to suggest a remedy for the walls of the church leaning outwards. He had brick buttresses built. These were changed to stone during the Gilbert Scott restoration in the 1870s.

This church is a national treasure, so we must make every effort to secure its preservation. Any help you can give would be appreciated

Work recently completed:
1987 Repairs to east window
1993 Repairs to church spire.
The C14 spire was found to be just resting on the tower. Wet had got in which caused the list and twist. The spire was tied in, and the roof reshingled. At a cost of ₤250,000. A Betjeman award was granted for this work in recognition of outstanding repairs to a church remaining in use.
2005 Repairs to Nave roof, North aisle arch and masonry stabilisation
Storm damage in 2004 called for immediate repair. The whole of the Nave roof had to be retiled and rotting timbers replaced. The arch in the North aisle was sagging and needed to be reinforced by inserting stainless steel rods. A very large part of the cost was due to the hire of scaffolding.. The total cost was just under £200,000
2006 Repairs to South Porch and suspended timber floors in the Nave and North Chapel
The porch roof was stripped, rotting timbers replaced and retiled , together with the restoration of the stonework. The new floors had improved under floor ventilation,, improved drainage, together with a new storm water drainage system.
The cost of this work was ₤185,000
The church clock also had to be repaired at a cost of £3000
Most recently (2012) church electrics and lighting were completely updated at a cost of £32,000 (£20,000 raised by the Friends of St. Mary’s) resulting in the stunning illumination, in many cases for the first time, of many aspects (e.g., roof ceiling) of the building.
2012 church electrics and lighting were completely updated at a cost of £32,000 (£20,000 raised by the Friends of St. Mary’s) resulting in the stunning illumination, in many cases for the first time, of many aspects (e.g., roof ceiling) of the building.

2016 New induction loop installed for the hard of hearing at a cost of £1087.

 

As you can see this is an ongoing process and considerable help is needed to preserve this ancient church as a national monument and as a place of worship.

By joining The Friends of Saint Mary’s Cleobury Mortimer, your subscription will help us to maintain, repair, restore and preserve the church building and its fabric for the benefit of the community and future generations.

We know that our Church has undergone major repairs since its construction in the 12th. and 13th. Centuries. But, like painting the Forth Bridge, it seems the task will never be completed.

We have learned from English Heritage architects that keeping this important monument in prime condition will continue to be a challenge.

IFriends of St Mary’s Church, Cleobury Mortimer
Registered Charity Number 1122557
 
APPLICATION FORM
 
Title(s)………………..First Name(s)………………………………………………....
 
Surname(s)……………………………………………………………………………..
 
Address…………………………………………………………………………………
 
…………………………………………………………………………………………..
 
……………………………………………………Post Code………………………….
 
Telephone Number……………………Email……………………………...................
 
Membership Fees
Annual                                                                       £10
Life Member                                                              £100
Life Member (Over 60)                                            £60
Corporate Member (for clubs, businesses, etc.)     £20 per annum
Please note that these are the minimum amounts. If you are able to give more, it would be greatly appreciated.
I/We do not wish to join the Friends but enclose a donation
 
 
I/We wish to become a ……………………………………..Member
 
I/We enclose a cheque for £…………………………………
I/We are Tax Payers and wish our donation to be treated as Gift Aid
 
Signed……………………………………….. ………….. Date………………………
 
Please return this form, together with a cheque for the appropriate amount payable to The Friends of St. Mary’s, to:
 
Mrs Diane Waddington
Membership Secretary – Friends of St Mary’s
Cornerstone Cottage
Lower Bransley
Cleobury Mortimer
Shropshire DY14 0BY
 
Or place the form and cheque in the wall box in the church
 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Forthcoming Events 2018

Afternoon Tea Party.
The tea party held last month at Hopton Court with guest speaker Mrs Christine Holmes, formerly the High Sheriff of Shropshire, who gave an interesting illustrated talk about her work and duties as the High Sheriff outlining its history.
The High Sheriff is the Queen’s representative in the County for all matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order. Much of the High Sheriff’s work was spent encouraging the voluntary and statutory organisations who work in this area.
The office of High Sheriff is apolitical and as such is in a unique position to be able to bring people together within the county and to support the enormous contribution made by the emergency services, the armed forces, local authorities, church and faith groups and the voluntary community. During her year of office she visited many local events including our Open Gardens event in 2016. Her enthusiastic talk made us aware of the many willing volunteers and voluntary organisations there are working in Shropshire.
Our thanks to all those who supported the event which raised £850 for The Friends of Saint Mary’s.

Cleobury Mortimer 100 years ago and WW1 soldier Simon Evans.
 
1918 to 2018. The Friends of Saint Mary’s Church invite you to an illustrated talk by Dr. Mark Baldwin entitled Cleobury Mortimer 100 years ago and WW1 soldier Simon Evans.
Simon Evans having suffered from gas attacks during the war moved to Cleobury and was a local postman, author and broadcaster.
Having previously seen Mark’s excellent presentation of these two topics I can assure you it is most interesting and well worth coming to hear. It will take place in Saint Mary’s Church Cleobury Mortimer on Friday 9th November starting at 7.30pm.
Tickets £10 to include a complementary drink are available from our usual outlets; Cleobury Library, Cleobury Pharmacy, Spire Hairdressing. Members of the committee or ring Alec on 01584 891351
 
Saturday 1st December 4pm to 6pm. Annual Christmas Fayre with a visit of Father Christmas, switching on of the Town’s Lights and many stalls in Church selling Christmas goodies.

Forthcoming events 2019
 
Friday 8th February, The Sea Shanty Singers. 7.30pm Cleobury Sports Club
Sunday 24th March. The Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra. 7.30pm St. Mary's Church, Cleobury Mortimer
Wednesday 24th April. Fashion Show
Friday 14th June. Wine Walk evening
September / October Concert with Bella acapella and Ludlow Male Voice Choir. Date to be finalised.
 


We have almost 100 members and we will offer a bottle of wine to our 100th member. Why not join us? Membership costs from £10 per year. Life membership is also available. Please contact our membership secretary Mrs Diane Waddington Tel. 01299 272820.

 

Friends of St. Mary’s Gifts

All monies from the sale of these gifts will go towards the restoration of St. Mary the Virgin church.

Available from Bill and Wendy Duley at 270562 or whdpathways at btopenworld.com

Badge £2
Pen £1
Bookmark £2
Key tag £2
Church print £3


Friends of Saint Mary’s Church Cleobury Mortimer.
Chairman’s Report for 2016.
.
During the year we had seven fund raising events raising about £5250 towards maintenance of the church fabric.
We have recently financed the new / improved hearing loop for the church.
 
We had a variety of events during the year starting in March with the AGM.
April saw the introduction of a Scrabble afternoon, a new venture for which we received positive feedback.
In June the ever enjoyable and successful Wine Walk, this time minus any rain (another first). This has become an annual fixture along with the AGM and Christmas Fair., otherwise we usually avoid repeating events annually.
More fine weather in July ensured a most successful Open Gardens event, organised jointly with the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust who have, in the past, given us grants towards restoration work.
We are most grateful to the gardeners of Cleobury who work hard preparing their gardens for our visitors, for most of those viewing the gardens have come from outside Cleobury. We received a very complimentary letter from the High Sheriff of Shropshire congratulating us on this event and asking us to provide some photos of the event and Friends activities for a presentation held in September.
Bargains for the fashion conscious ladies were to be found at the fashion show last July provided by Edinburgh Woollen Mill at their shop in Ludlow.
August was time for our bi-annual summer tea party at Hopton Court with music provided by Ian and Janet Ludford, (Ludford Duo) to compliment the afternoon’s event.
Kidderminster Male Choir came in September, dressed in their smart uniform, to entertain us in church with a concert of popular songs.
Finally the Christmas Fayre in December, was held in and around the church with the switching on of the lights attracting a large crowd. There was a change in the format / timing for this event and although a large number of people and children attended the profit was down on previous years.
 
We hope you were able to enjoy some of our events and that you will continue to support us. .
The Committee would also welcome any suggestions you might have for future fund raising events.
           
We have a selection of gifts (badges, pens, bookmarks, and key tags) for sale at reasonable prices. These gifts carry The Friends’ logo and are available from Bill and Wendy Duley, Tel. 01299 270562 or email  whdpathways@btopenworld.com
 
Our web site is part of Cleobury Country; just Google Friends of Saint Mary’s Cleobury Mortimer.
We regularly update the site with news of our events.
 
The Friends now has charity status which means that if you pay income tax your subscription can be gift aided enabling us to claim back the tax.
Not a member? Then please contact our membership secretary, Diane Waddington, Tel 01299 272820 for an application form. We offer priority booking to our members for all our events.
 
FINALLY, Another successful year for the Friends. There were eight events organised involving eight committee meetings and a lot of hard work in preparation for and executing these events.
As chairman I offer my thanks to the excellent committee for all their hard work, support and enthusiasm during the year.
 
A.Osbaldiston.
Chairman.