St Mary’s -  Henry VIII's Reformation

1536 - 1538Henry VIII

By 1536 Carthusian friars from Yorkshire were in charge of Atherstone’s priory. Henry VIII was now head of the new Protestant Church of England. He started closing England’s Catholic monasteries.

Thomas Cromwell was Henry’s minister in charge of closing the monasteries. In 1538 Cromwell was told, “At Atherstone… All the stuff is not worth 40 shillings besides a chalice and a bell.” The silver chalice was sold. The bell was saved.

Monks who stood up to the king were killed. But Atherstone’s friars needed work or they’d starve. In 1538 Cromwell gave them documents so they could leave and find jobs. After nearly 500 years Atherstone’s monks were gone.

                                      The community carried on using the nave as a chapel. Catholic                                                 traditions everyone knew were forbidden. The saints’ statues had                                           been taken away. Even the Bible stories painted on the church
                                       walls had been painted white. 
Read more ... St.Mary's Story Part 3 1500AD to 1800AD