The loss of the old church
Between 1888 and 1890 the parishioners of Bedworth undertook a colossal task, to rebuild their parish church. The previous building had been completed in 1606, and was now considered unfit for purpose. The Parish Magazine of May 1882 reports how “the heat in the galleries when the gas was burning was intolerable… [and] the seats near the doors were so cold that no one could sit in them in the winter without danger.”1 On the laying of the new church’s foundation stone, the Rev. Canon Bellairs admitted to mixed feelings about the old church being pulled down. His view on the need for a new church however, was couched in strong language. The old church was of a “debased period… when religion was almost barbarism.” Seeing the old church as an anachronism, the Bedworth Guardian reported on how the current trend saw church worshippers demand “something higher, more aesthetic, more spiritual than the old building at Bedworth excited.”2
£7,800 was raised towards the £8,000 cost by the completion of the work, with Runcorn stone being the preferred choice of building material by both the people of Bedworth and subscribers, after much debate. Although the main building of the church was taken down the tower remained, as hoped for in an early 1882 meeting to discuss the rebuilding. . To celebrate the opening, the Rev. F.R. Evans presided over a luncheon, with a toast to Church and Queen.3 Following the luncheon a service in the new church was held.
1 Warwickshire County Record Office reference DR225/400/6.
2 Bedworth Guardian 16th November 1888
3 Nuneaton Chronicle May 30th 1890