St Mary’s - Victorian Atherstone
When the Poor Law changed in 1834, thousands of poor families in England’s towns and cities were forced into awful workhouses. St Mary’s churchwardens and a group of locals called ‘Guardians’ worked hard to help people stay out of the workhouse.
For centuries Atherstone’s residents had struggled through all weathers to church in Mancetter. By the 1800s Atherstone was bigger than Mancetter. In 1825 St Mary's finally became Atherstone’s parish church. A curate from Mancetter led services.
From 1841 Atherstone’s residents were welcomed to St Mary’s by their first vicar, Reverend Frederick Richings. His name can be seen in the beautiful East Window, added in 1899.
The community used the nave as a chapel until
1848. It was replaced with one big enough to seat 1400 people. The chancel arch
was unblocked in 1884. For the first time in 300 years St Mary’s
became a whole church again.
Read more .... St.Mary's Story Part 4 1800AD to 1900AD