The Parish Of Cheadle With Freehay

St Giles the Abbot, Cheadle

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Welcome to Cheadle and to our great parish church dedicated to St. Giles, Patron Saint of cripples, beggars and blacksmiths. For over 1,000 years there has been a Christian presence in Cheadle.

Here the people of Cheadle have prayed and offered their worship to God, finding meaning and inspiration in their lives.

Today, St. Giles is the centre of a lively and outward looking congregation and our worship is enriched by a strong and excellent musical tradition.



We hope that you will enjoy visiting this website and spend a few moments enjoying the beauty and peace of this great House of God and that you will be refreshed in body, mind and spirit.


May God be with you.


Fr. Ian Thurston

Rector of Cheadle with Freehay


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We are all one in Jesus Christ

We belong to him through faith

We seek to respond in worship, care and fellowship




Come, Holy Spirit of God, to inspire our minds, inflame our hearts and strengthen our wills, that we may know more clearly the Gospel of Salvation and show it forth more fully to others, for Jesus Christ's sake.  Amen.


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In 1190 (c) WM Basset, (Lord of the Manor), presented Henry De London to be the first Rector of Cheadle.

In the 1320's the Advowson of Cheadle Church was transferred from the Basset family, to Michael House Cambridge, and it is thought that after this period @ 1350, the medieval church was built.

In 1538 King Henry VIII dissolved the Monasteries, and sold the lands of the church, to the laymen nobility of the church, and the proceeds, began to build Trinity College, Cambridge, and on 24th December 1546, the Advowson (right of Patronage) of St. Giles Cheadle transferred to Trinity College Cambridge. In 1941 Patronage of Cheadle Parish Church was transferred to Lichfield Board of Patronage.


An entry from the burial register for 1678 reads "November 11th 1678" Aaron Barisford Jnr, was buried according to law in Woollen before Mr Jonothon Woodnoth, Justice of the year.

In 1837, it was resolved that by reason of an increase of parishoners and inhabitants of the Parish, that the church is far from sufficient for providing accommodation for them to attend devine service therein, it is therefore expedient to take down the present church and to rebuild the same on a more convenient site on the northside.

The said new church shall not exceed the sum of 3,000.

The new Parish church of St. Giles was consecrated on Saturday 12th January 1839, by The Lord Bishop of Hereford, in the absence of The Lord Bishop of Lichfield, through illness, and was opened on Tuesday 11th June 1839.

In May 1967 it was notified by the Church Commissioners that St. Giles Church had been designated a building of special architectural or historic interest.


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Click on any of the images below to enlarge in a new window, then click 'Back' to return to the tour

To see more images of the Parish of Cheadle with Freehay visit the photo archive (click here)




Welcome to the Parish of Cheadle which was consecrated on 12th January 1839, replacing a Medieval one built in the 1349 period. Amongst the items carried forward into this Church were the clock (1830) and the Communion and Credence tables and the old oak chest.

On entering the Church by the side door, we come into the south porch, on the left is the staircase to the gallery, and bell chamber, which contains 6 bells.

Turning right into the Vestibule, and carry on into the south aisle, where there are three stained glass memorial windows, the subject of the first window is, 'The good samaritan', the second one, depicts 'Scenes from the parable of the vineyard', and the third one, has its subject 'The good shepherd'.

On the wall around the Church are the beautifully carved wooden Stations of the Cross.




If we turn round now and look at the pillars, we see two very interesting stone heads, undoubtedly relics of the Medieval Church, the head of the lady, has been decided by experts, to be almost certainly a representation of Queen Philippa of Hainault, the wife of King Edward III (1327-1377) and it is reasonable to suppose that the head of the King would be that of her Royal husband.



In the Lady Chapel, we have a fine light oak altar, behind which is a really lovely Triptych, and set into the south wall is the Aumbry.



Proceeding to the Chancel we pass the statue of Madonna and Child and the Lecturn, turning into the Chancel we come to the carved oak choir stalls, and the organ. In October 1909 the order for a new organ was given to the firm of 'Norman and Beard' of London, on Easter Monday 1910 the organ was opened at a special service, and a recital was given by Dr. Alan Gray, of Trinity College Cambridge.



As we approach the Sanctuary, I would call your attention to the dark oak Communion rails, which originally belonged to the previous Church. Behind the Altar, is the fine wooden reredos with matching panels on either side, now look up at the beautiful stained glass east window, the window depicts stories from the four Gospels.



As we leave the Chancel, please look to the rear of the balcony to see the lovely stained glass window on which is the badge of the Bishop Rawle School.

We return now to the north aisle, passing the pulpit, we pause to examine the stained glass window, which in the only memorial in the Church to the Great War, looking right we observe an illuminated copy of Murrillo's 'Madonna and Child'. Here we also see the stone Nineteenth Century Font.



Moving down the north aisle, we see two more stained glass memorial windows, one of the panels in the first one commemorated the Cheadle Rural District Council (1894-1974).





  We return to the Nave, and we see in the centre of the pews, the Churchwardens Staves, and looking up 'The Hanging Cross and Crucifix', the Crucifix is made of limewood, from an English forest, and was carved by Me. P.N. Conoley of Cheltenham. The cross is of Japanese Oak, in all it weighs approximately three hundred weight.  


As we return to leave, look up and note on the front of the gallery, The Royal Coat of Arms (William IV) as ordered in the Seventeenth Century.

Walking towards the west door, we see the painting of 'The Annunciation'. On the left is the choir vestry, and on our right, the Parish Room, with photographs of former Rectors etc.

As we now return to the south door, we thank you for your visit to our Church.



WHO comest hither to visit this Church leave it not without a prayer.


To God for all His Blessing; for those who in past ages built this place; and for all who, worshipping here, have gone forth to serve God truly in Church and State.


In the Service of God's will and for the furtherance of His purpose of Righteousness, Truth and Beauty.


To what the Lord God will say concerning thee:

"Thy Lord bless thy going out and thy coming in".


George Short (Parish Archivist)

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