Our Building’s Story
There has been a church on this site for almost 1,000 years and the priest is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The present building was erected in 1789/1790 to replace a medieval building which was damaged both by Oliver Cromwell and King Charles’ men during the Civil War, and which had been in poor condition since at least 1747. The architect responsible for the design was George Steuart (c.1730-1806).
No extensions have been added. However the interior has been altered on a number of occasions beginning in 1866 when the organ was moved from the west gallery and additional seating for children was erected in its place.
In 1898/99 A very ambitious restoration and embellishment scheme was completed when the plain interior was converted with fibrous plasterwork and the cast-iron columns encased in scaglioia. The cast-iron filigreed cast-iron gallery fronts were replaced with more substantial balustrades, giving a fully-fledged Victorian look to a hitherto simple Georgian interior, and provided a suitable setting for the recently developed surpliced male choir, whose reputation was extended and enhanced over a hundred years. The organ was enlarged and brought down to ground floor level. The nave seating was re-arranged and an oak screen installed between the nave and the chancel (removed in 1956).
In 1901 the Reverend James Sinclair Moore began the process by which an Anglo-Catholic All Saints was transformed into an evangelical centre for the preaching of the gospel.
In 1930 a marble and mosaic reredos with side panels was installed and in 1937 electric lighting was introduced.
In 1990 The church bi-centenary was celebrated by carrying out an extensive reordering of the interior, enhancing the Victorian decoration, whilst creating an environment for the full expression of evangelical worship touched by renewal. During this reordering the floor of the chancel was raised and extended to form a more open area, providing space below for a baptistry.
The churchyard pre-dates the current church building and the area and boundary appear to have been constant for several hundred years.
It was laid out as a Garden of Rest in 1953/54, to mark the coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, and is bounded by walls on the north, east and west and by ornamental cast-iron railings in parts of the south. A railway cutting adjoins the churchyard on the south side.
Access to the church is possible by four routes, vehicle access from the main gates at the north-west and via Lychgate Walk at the west, in addition pedestrian access is possible from the Lychgate in the south-east and by a footpath from King Street in the west.
Wellington was the first Shropshire church to introduce an entrance front in the form of a monumental classical temple portico. The tall slim Tuscan pilasters linked by thin horizontal coursings and set against a series of shallow arched recesses in which the windows lay ambiguously just in front or behind the wall surface is handled so subtly that the temple form seems almost to fade into the structure. This pattern is continued blind around the corners, but in the remaining five bays of the side elevations changes to a simpler treatment in which the recesses are stripped of their framing pilasters, thereby making an entablature unnecessary and so lowering the roofline. At the east end is a large elliptically projecting chancel dominated by a slim three-light rectangular window. These delicately differentiated external wall treatments presage the tripartite functions of the interior; the temple-fronted west block as ceremonial access (vestibule flanked by vestry room and gallery stairs), the five bays of tiered windows lighting the congregational spaces (nave, aisles and galleries) and the brighter ellipse of the communion sanctuary.
The architect designed a window treatment in which each pair of openings is linked by a recessed rectangle enriched with carved rosettes and floriated diagonals sandwiched between fluted and panelled lintels, mirroring in both composition and location the filigreed, cast-iron fronts of the original internal galleries. The columns (covered in 1898 by scaglioia) are constructed of cast-iron and represent an early application of the new industrial technology that was being developed a few miles away at Coalbrookdale. Steuart used it advantageously to achieve maximum structural support with the minimum of visual interruption of the pulpit, which at first stood in the central aisle of the nave at the entrance to the chancel.
The building is made of Grinshill stone with a slate roof.
Two lightning conductors are fitted to the tower and descend on both north and south sides of the building.
The building was listed by the District of the Wrekin Council on 5th April 1983 as a Building of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, Grade II*, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.
The lychgate, situated at the south-west corner of the churchyard, is made of oak and was unveiled in 1922 by Major General Charles Townshend. It acts as the town’s memorial to those who died in the two world wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 and contains two brass panels inscribed with the names of those who fell on active service.
Refurbished in 1990, this provides a warm welcoming area together with storage and display facilities. A list of vicars, dating from 1189 to the present , appears in the right hand casement.
To the left is the Quiet Room, and to the right the spiral staircase which leads up to the bell-tower and the balcony.
Straight on through the leaded glass doors is the main body of the church.
This room was formerly the choir vestry, but is now a place for prayer and smaller meetings during the week. It features a wooden altar and back panel removed from the Lady Chapel which was converted to an office during the 1990 reordering. The quiet room is equipped with video and sound relay facilities, so that it can be used during Sunday services as a place for parents to bring restless children without losing out on their own worship.
On the wall hangs a needlework piece featuring the
‘Lord’s Prayer’ with its inspiring story reproduced
beneath. Prayers are said daily in this room; why not
visit and add a few of your own?
On the left you will find display and storage units housing the church’s lending library and appropriate seasonal displays.
Moving on down the north aisle is the memorial window bearing the Shropshire coat of Arms.
At the end of the north aisle are the organ pipes, in front of which are the CYPECS banners
The organ itself is not original and dates from 1879, replacing the previous one which was located in the west gallery. Originally installed upstairs it was brought down to the ground floor in 1898, being further re-built and enlarged in 1903.
The dais is probably the most prominent feature of the 1990 reordering, and within it is housed an under floor baptistry – marked out by the cross shaped floor sections.
A number of original features still remain including the restored rear choir stalls, and in the apse the Vicar and Bishop’s stalls made in Wellington in 1899.
Returning via the south aisle you will find a window bearing the Wellington Coat of Arms bearing the motto ‘Deo Adjuvante’ – with God going before us.