The Parish Church


St John 

the Evangelist


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An introduction to the history of Storridge Church.




St John the Evangelist, Cradley, Herefordshire. This Church which is situated on one of the spurs of the Malvern range, about three miles from Great Malvern, has been built as a memorial of Mr. John Nicholl Luxmoore, son of the late Dean of S. Asaph, the sometime rector of Cradley. It is enough here to observe, that he in whose memory the church has been erected was not unworthy of such a memorial, and the inscription round the chancel-arch, - Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord," bears reference to this.


The church, which is Early Middle-Pointed, consists of chancel, nave, south porch, with engaged tower and broach spire at the west end. It is built of the stone of the neighbourhood, the walls in courses hammer-dressed, and the windows and quoins rubbed.


The building has a good, solid, lasting look, and the colour of the stone is particularly grateful. The proportions are: Chancel, 26 ft by 16ft, nave, 55 ft by 22 ft. and the store rises to the height of 105 ft. 


The east window is of three lights, with geometrical tracery in the head, the centre light being unusually wide. and evidently treated so purposely for the stained glass with which it is filled. The glass was designed and executed by Mr. Preedy, of Worcester the architect of the church. The prominent object in the centre light is is the figure of our Lord upon the Cross of Glory, which also represents the Tree of Life, as described in the Apocalyptic vision. From the stem of this tree issue branches bearing the twelve manner of fruits. Underneath the cross is seated S. John Evangelist, and on either side S, Paul, S. Mary Magdalene, Cornelius, and the Ethiopian eunuch, in exemplification of the text at the foot, - And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me. The side-lights contain the Blessed Virgin and S. John Evangelist, under canopies, and angels playing on harps above. In the head of the window the upper and larger circle contains the Adorable Lamb, and in the two lower circles are angels with golden censers. The window is kept well up above the altar – a great point. The altar itself is of good proportions - oak, with a slab of Painswick stone; it stands on a footpace, the sanctuary being raised three steps from the chancel. and this again two steps from be nave. 


The Chancel is fitted with stalls unreturned, and is lighted with single light windows; that at the south-east being very broadly splayed and depressed, so as to form two sedilia; and east of these is the piscina. The pavement is of Minton's titles.


The roofs of chancel and nave are particularly good, with due constructional difference in the chancel; there is plenty of timber, deal, simply varnished, and it looks as if it could really do its work. It is quite cheering, to see a good roof, as so many of our modern churches have such a thin, scant, consumptive appearance, that one is always expecting to hear the church cough outright. The nave is separated from the chancel by a low stone screen, and the pulpit, which is a development of the north end of this, consists of a slab supported by a full length angel springing from a plinth in the nave; the pulpit itself thus being in the chancel, to the economy of the church.


The windows of the nave are double with trefoiled heads and good splays; the whole of the joints of the masonry are coloured red, with good effect. The benches are of plain design and of course open, affording every temptation to kneel. The font which is of Caen stone, stands on steps, forming a cross, the bowl is square supported on four shafts, with foliage in the caps. It will be seen from this that the sacraments have their due and proper prominence; and, indeed, all the ritual arrangement and general tone and teaching of this church are excellent, forming no small contrast with be miserable, barn-like look of the mother church, with its cast-iron east window and low slated roof without its west gallery, high pews, great ‘three decker’ and poor, unseen, altar. The tower of the new church has single long lights in the lower stage, while the upper stage is of rubbed stone, paneled of five, with three lancets trefoiled and pierced; the middle light double. The broach-spire is bold and good.


© Storridge Parochial Church Council, 2013