St Michael and All Angels' Church

St Michael and All Angels’ Church

The present Church of St Michel and All Angels’ Church was built in 1839, at a cost of approximately £3500. The new Church, designed by architect Harvey Eginton, was built on the site of a Chapel of Ease at “Nether End’ in the village. Broadway’s populations was about 2000 and the accommodation provided by St Eadburgha’s Church on the Snowshill Road was deemed inadequate. The Church Minute Book records:

That the Parish Church of Broadway is in a decayed and dilapidated condition and has become too small for an increasing population and increasingly far from the centre of activity. It be resolved to take down the Chapel of Ease and replace it with a large and more modern Church.

A committee was formed to oversee the building of the church which was financed by subscriptions (£2600 had been raised by March 1839). The members of the committee were:

  • The Rev J. Crawley (Vicar)
  • The Rev H. Grey (Chairman)
  • George Bedford Russell
  • John Rodd Griffiths
  • Michael Russell
  • James Stockford
  • Thomas Rogers Wilson

The area that the new Church occupied was slightly extended by the purchase of land from Mr Rod Griffiths or nearby Austin House. The ceremony of laying the foundation stone took place on 13 August 1839. The stone was laid by Mr Russell, of Pye Corner, with “coins of the realm” placed in the cavity by Lord Sandon. The following inscription was inscribed on the plate of the foundation stone:

This, the first stone of a New Church at Broadway, to be dedicated to St. Michael, was laid on August 13th, 1839, by Michael Russell, Esq. The funds for defraying the cost of the edifice were raised by voluntary subscriptions, aided by grants from the Incorporated Society of the London and the Worcester Diocesan Church Building Society.

Following the Church’s completion in 1840, it was consecrated in October 1840 by the Lord Bishop of Worcester. Rev. Charles Crawley1 was the Incumbent at the time and Mr Skipper, Curate in Charge.

Originally the Church was designed to seat 950. 420 were to be free and unappropriated. The Church was built with north, south and west galleries (the north and south galleries were taken down in 1918-20). It was customary for boys to be seated on one side and the girls on the other.

The church organ was installed on 14 November 1847 in the west gallery, the only gallery which remains today. Mr J. Folkes was appointed the church’s first organist.

In 1874, the Parish Trustees bought the Patronage of the Living and the reredos behind the altar was added.

In 1887 a meeting was held to consider the installation of heating by a hot water system.

To celebrate the jubilee in 1890, new seating was installed; pitch pine with aisles paved with Marley tiles at a cost of £300. The old pews were moved to St Eadburgha’s.

A new organ was installed in 1911 and a complete restoration of the Church was carried out including the fitting of a new boiler to the central heating system.

After the First World War, a memorial screen was erected and the present Jacobean pulpit, which had been stored in St Eadburgha’s, was erected in the memory of Mr Rees-Price.

In 1928, electric lights were installed replacing the gas lights.

The font was moved on to a plinth and memorial windows were put in to create a Baptistry in 1964.

In February 1935, a memorial stained glass window depicting the Nativity was installed in the north aisle in memory of Austin Read Williams and his wife Mary Williams of West End Farm. The window was dedicated on 3rd February by the Ven. James H.F. Peile M.A., Archdeacon of Worcester. and friend of the Williams Family. The service was conducted by the Rural Dean of Evesham, the Rev. W.H. Allsebrook (Vicar of Badsey), who officiated in the absence due to illness of Rev. V.H. Patrick.

The parish registers, now at the County Records Office at The Hive in Worcester date back to 1841 for baptism (in 1840, the parish clerk was John Tustin), 1539 for marriages and 1539 for burials.

Click here for a list of the Vicars of Broadway. The vicarage used to be located along Leamington Road (previously known as Willersey Road) and is now located on Church Street next to the Church.

The Vicarage, Leamington Road

Organists:

  • 1847: J. Folkes
  • 1855: David Brown
  • 1930s: Mr Bailey
  • 1950: Gilbert Mills

Notes:

  1. Charles Crawley came from the wealthy family of Crawley-Boevey in the Forest of Dean who financed the building of 19 churches, all called St Michael and All Angels’ and the restoration of Exeter and Bristol Cathedrals. His brother, Sir Thomas Crawley-Boevey, married Ann Savery of Broadway Court.