somewhat straggling parish of Storridge was originally part of the
large parish of Cradley. In the middle of the 19th century concern
was expressed for the population of the hamlet of Storridge, who had
to walk a considerable distance to attend the church in Cradley.
This concern, coupled with a desire to commemorate the Luxmoore
family in some fitting manner, led to the building, in Cradley
stone, of a church at Storridge and the designation of Storridge as
a separate ecclesiastical parish.
1816 until his death in 1854 the Very Rev. Charles Scott Luxmoore
was rector of Cradley. The son of a bishop, he held numerous
benefices and was also Dean of St. Asaph; since some of his
benefices were sinecures from which he drew a substantial income
without the burden of a heavy work-load, he did not want for
material possessions and enjoyed a comfortable life-style. But he
also experienced misfortune: his only child, John Nicholl Luxmoore,
died as an undergraduate at Cambridge, after falling from his horse.
Plans to erect a suitable memorial to the young man were frustrated
by the rector’s own death, but the rector’s three sisters
provided land and saw through the building of Storridge church and
vicarage so that their brother’s plan might be realised.
the church and the vicarage were designed by the Worcester
architect, Frederick Preedy, who was responsible for much
ecclesiastical design in Worcestershire in the last half of the 19th
century – at Madresfield the church, school and several cottages
still show how Preedy’s work influenced the development of the
village. Storridge Church and parsonage house were built by another
local man, George McCann, whose family business built many houses in
Malvern when the water-cure caused it to expand into a fashionable
Victorian spa town. Eventually, through the marriage of Sarah McCann
and Thomas Broad, McCann’s business became merged with the
well-known local firm of Thomas Broad.
Tuesday 12th August 1856 the Bishop of Hereford and numerous other
clergy assembled at the new vicarage and then processed to the south
porch of the new church for its consecration at 12 noon. Afterwards
everyone went to the old rectory at Cradley and "partook of
luncheon, elegantly laid out in a tent erected near the new
schools." Storridge’s first vicar was the Rev. Richard Davis,
a middle-aged Irishman, who held the living for just over twenty
church, a superb example of the Gothic revival style, was positioned
alongside the old turnpike road from Worcester to Hereford (now the
A4103), close to the eighth milestone. Its small graveyard was
extended in the 1930s and the church itself was re-seated and
repaired in the 1890s, but a description written at the time of its
consecration in 1856 shows how little it has changed. Its stated
seating capacity of 185 was considered large for the parish which
even then was thinly populated: the 1881 census recorded a total
population of 212, rising to 317 by 1901, but subsequently
the windows were, and are, of plain glass, except for the east
window, for which the stained glass
was designed and produced by Preedy himself.
font and pulpit are original, the pulpit’s stone book-stand being
supported by the figure of an angel carrying a scroll inscribed
"In principio erat verbum" (In the beginning was
the Word). One feature which has unfortunately been removed is
the text on the wall space around the chancel arch. Coloured
inscriptions included the ten commandments and, over the arch, the
text "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.".
The wall behind the altar has also lost its deep crimson reredos.
circumstances in the 20th century have meant that the parish of
Storridge is once again in the care of the Rector of Cradley, who
also serves Mathon. The last vicar of Storridge was the Rev. E. C.
Moir, who left in 1956 – exactly one hundred years after the
church was founded – after 17 years as vicar and tutor to numerous
boys in the district. For the next 5 years there were priests in
charge, but since 1961 Storridge has had no resident vicar and the
vicarage is now a private house.