Telephone: 01299 272 300
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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
Diane Waddington
Telephone: 01299 272820
 
Main details

A brief history of St. Mary’s Church.

To date it has raised over £50,000. Its most recent contribution is the installation of a new church underfloor heating which has substantially improved the  comfort  for those using the church. 

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.

2019. The installation of a new underfloor heating system at a nett cost of £60 000 towards which The Friends of St. Mary's was able to contribute £40 000.

 

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

Our Annual General Meeting should normally take place at the beginning of March but obviously that will not be possible this year. 
It is proposed that the existing committee carries on until such times as we are able to hold a meeting. Details of future dates / events  will be listed as soon as we are able to go ahead.
 With many thanks for your continued support and understanding,

 
We now have almost 100 members and we 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.
Members are given prior notice of our ticket sales and the opportunity to book before the tickets go on general sale.
 
Alec Osbaldiston (Chairman).


Don’t miss out. Members are given prior notice of our ticket sales and the opportunity to book before the tickets go on general sale.
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.
Tickets for all our events can be obtained from Cleobury Library, Cleobury Pharmacy, Spire Hairdressing, members of the Friends Committee or Alec Osbaldiston Tel 01584 891351.
 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 Saint Mary’s Church Cleobury Mortimer.
Chairman’s Report for 2020
 
This year like most societies / voluntary organisations our events were curtailed / cancelled due to the Coronovirus lockdown.
We were fortunate that in March, before lockdown, we were able to hold our (first and last events of the year) the AGM and a successful Quiz evening with a Fish and Chip Supper which raised £293.
A gift aided tax refund of £630.43 and membership subscriptions of £830 together with other incidentals meant we had an income of just over £1800.
The Committee is very reluctant to ask our members to pay their annual subscription for 2021 as so little is going on, but if you did feel able to support the Friends in your usual generous way, we would be very grateful.
If you are willing to support The Friends in your usual way, could you please send a cheque made out to The Friends of St Mary’s Church Cleobury Mortimer and send it to our Membership Secretary, Mrs Dianne Waddington, Cornerstone Cottage, Lower Bransley, DY14 0BY,or pass it to any Committee Member.
Alternatively, you may prefer to use a BAC’s system or set up a standing order. Details of the Friends’ account are as follows:
 
Name:              The Friends of St Mary’s Church Cleobury Mortimer
Sort Code:                   30-12-20
Account No:                00493837
 
Did you know that we offer priority booking to our members for all of our events?
Not yet a member. Then please contact our membership secretary, Diane Waddington, Tel 01299 272820 for an application form. The Friends has charity status which means that if you pay income tax your subscription can be gift aided enabling us to claim back the tax.
We have still not achieved our target of getting 100 members. There is a bottle of wine awaiting our 100th member. It could be you?
 
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.
 
As chairman I offer my thanks to the excellent committee for all their hard work, support and optimism during what has been a difficult year.
 
Alec Osbaldiston. Chairman.

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.

Badge £2

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