Church History - Stoke

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A descriptive account of The Potteries (illustrated)
1893 advertising and trade journal.

Parish establishment of St. Peter: First among the public buildings, which will attract the attention of the visitor are the churches, at the head of which stands the parish establishment of St. Peter. The old parish church of Stoke was situated in the immediate vicinity of Rykenield Street; and the present church, which was rebuilt in 1826-29, stands on glebe land, formerly attached to the old churchyard. It is a very handsome structure in stone, in the Early English style, built from designs by Messrs. Trubshaw and Johnson, of Haywood. It consists of chancel with vestries, rectangular nave, with quasi aisles, and an embattled western tower of four stages, with crocheted pinnacles, and containing a fine peal of eight bells. There are porches on either side of the tower and the interior is surrounded on three sides by galleries. The east window and four others in the chancel are beautifully stained.

The interior of the church is interesting from its many monuments, many of which were removed from the old church, erected to the memory of notable people connected with district. Chief among these is the monument to the memory of Josiah Wedgwood, F.R.S., F.S.A., with a bust by his friend, and former employee, Flaxman. Others commemorate the Very Rev. John C. Woodhouse, D.D., Dean of Lichfield, seventeen years rector of Stoke, and a great benefactor to the town and the church, d. 1833; John Tomlinson, patron of the living, d. 1838; Josiah Spode, Esq., d. 1827, and his son Josiah, d. 1839, with emblematic sculpture by William Behnes; John Poulson, twenty-two years sacrit, d. 1691, and Joan his wife, d. 1688, and to the family of Fenton, 1782-92, and many others.

In the churchyard are two stones which bear ample testimony to the salubrity of the neighbourhood. They are to the memory of Sibil Clarke, d. 1684, aged 112 years, and Henry Clark, also 112 years old. The registers of the church date back to 1630. Stoke enjoy the honour of having given its first suffragan-bishop to Shrewsbury, the right Rev. Sir Lovelace Tomlinson Stamer, Bart., D.D., of Trinity College, Cambridge, having been rector of Stoke since 1858. There are also in the neighbourhood other handsome churches, which have been made heads of ecclesiastical parishes by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

Stoke Parish Church

The Catholic Church, was erected in 1857, and dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels and St. Peter ad Vincula, with girls' schools attached, controlled by the Sisters on the Third Order of St. Domini, and there is also connected with the convent a hospital for incurables, available for thirty patients. 

Other denominations: The Baptists, Congregationalists, New Connexion and Wesleyan Methodists, and other nonconformist bodies have places of worship in the town, all liberally supported by their respective congregations. The borough cemetery, which was laid out in 1883 at a cost of over 10,000, covers an area of twenty-one acres, and is very beautifully arranged.



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