The pews – read by Judi Davies

“Welcome to the area of the pews. What you see today are the Victorian alterations of 1922. Prior to these pews, the originals were 12 inches (30 centimetres) higher, to the height of the panelled pillars, and were boxed pews with numbers on the doors. This is all that remains of these pews, except for some 18th century graffiti situated on the pillar by the entrance. At the time the pews were rented out, the best seats in the church at 4 shillings (approximately 20 pence in today’s money), the next at 3/6, approximately 17.5 pence. The rest at 2/6 approximately, 10.5 pence, and the poor seats for viewing and sound were free. This brought an income of £80 per year for the wages of Walter Hickman.

In 1938 the seating was made free, and an announcement was placed in the local paper. Going back to 1759 people were still standing and, in this year, the north gallery was added at the expense of £540. And at some time, the south gallery – both have bench seating.

Rev Hugh Sherrard vs John Dunn (clerk)

It was decided to discontinue Mr Dunn’s employment as clerk and he was paid £80 to cover his expenses over the Christmas period. Upon entering the church, Mr Dunn continued to take his place at the clerk’s desk and lead the responses. So the pew was locked up and the desk taken away. On the Sunday, seeing the situation, Mr Dunn went and found a box and climbed into the pew containing the desk. Finding the seat top also missing, he sat on the said box which made him taller than the box and the rest of the congregation. It is reported that many more people came to the evening service to see if there was to be a repeat of the morning’s proceedings.

This event was reported in the ‘Worcester Journal’ at the time. Our future is to remove the Victorian restoration of the pews and have chairs, which will be more versatile and give opportunities to give more to the community.”