The Church


Clive Church in Shropshire

The intriguing history of Clive Church can be dramatically illustrated by a comparison of the two buildings standing approximately forty years apart: the 1851 B.M.Culley watercolour showing the original “old stone building” as described in a contemporary guide [Casey’s Trade Directory.1875. p.122.]; and a view of the transformation by the final addition of tower and spire in 1894 to produce “ One of Shropshire’s beauty spots, its tall spire and stately tower are a landmark for miles.” [The King’s England. Shropshire. Ed: Arthur Mee. 1939. p.68].

Shropshire ChurchFrom earliest beginnings through to the magnificent structure that today proudly dominates the village of Clive, this history of our parish church is recorded as a testament to those individuals from our community, past and present, who have played a vital role in its continuing development.

A Little Wooden Church?

Documentary evidence is notoriously scarce for confirming any facts regarding the establishment of permanent sites of Christian worship in England throughout the Dark Ages, although claims have been made that Clive Church occupies the site of one of the earliest Christian churches in this region.  In 597 AD, Pope Gregory the Great despatched St Augustine, a Roman Benedictine missionary, to Britain to convert the Anglo Saxon people.  Recorded in the official Diocesan History of Lichfield, it is claimed that: “By so good an authority as the late Robert Evans of Cambridge, it was thought probable that St Augustine of Canterbury made a tour up the Severn valley [in 599], only however, to find the district already Christian.  At Cressage he preached under a tree, ‘Christ’s Oak,’ from which some think the village took its name, and which still stands.  At Clive, he found a little wooden church, which survived him to modern times.  [Beresford, William. ‘Diocesan Histories. Lichfield.’ 1880s. S.P.C.K. London. p.9].

Stained Glass Window of St Peter and St AndrewBeresford presents this evidence simply as “two traditional facts,” although several practical considerations do add some credence to these theories.  Travelling up the Severn to Atcham, then along the Shropshire Way towards the Marches Way on his journey to meet the Welsh bishops at their second conference, St Augustine could have passed within feet of the Clive Church site, perhaps even resting overnight before the final 16 mile section of his route towards the Bangor-is-y-Coed monastery.  It is further believed that, following the abandonment of Uriconium (Wroxeter), many Christian romans had dispersed into the local communities “over the Severn into the woods” to continue practising their faith. [ Leland as quoted in: Beresford, William. ‘Diocesan Histories. Lichfield.’ 1880s. S.P.C.K. London. p.9]. The suggestion of roman workings in both the copper mines and the lower sandstone quarries of the village, combined with the discovery of roman tiles at Broughton, could well add support to this intriguing theory.

Stained Glass of St James and St John (Sons of Zebedee)Robert William Evans (1789 – 1866), the champion of these claims, was an eminent Victorian historian who wrote several authoritative works on the birth of early Christianity in England.  He was educated at Shrewsbury School under Dr Butler,  was closely associated with Canon Lloyd the vicar of St Mary’s, Shrewsbury between 1854 – 1888, and he progressed to become a classics tutor at Trinity College, Cambridge.  Significantly his final thirty years from 1836 onwards were spent as Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Lichfield, where he would have been well placed to develop a specialist knowledge of the local diocese and its ancient records.  Should his assertion of the existence of “a little wooden church” ever be confirmed by corroborative documentation, then Clive Church could prove to be a site of major historical importance, particularly when placed within the context that the famous Lindisfarne religious community was not established until 36 years later; whilst the foundation of St Chads in Shrewsbury had to wait a further 200 years.

The Domesday Priest

By Anglo Saxon times the townships of Clive and Sansaw were recorded as belonging to the collegiate Church of St Mary, Shrewsbury; whereas the neighbouring communities of Broughton and Yorton were held quite separately by the Church of St Chads, Shrewsbury.  This clear distinction is confirmed in the Domesday survey of 1086 with the single manor of Burtune referring specifically to Clive and Sansaw as a Chapelry of St Mary: “Ecclesia Sanctae Mariae tenuit et tenant Burtune.” – a close and lengthy association that was to last for the next eight centuries. The Christian faith had clearly survived in this area, as a Priest [Presbyter] appointed by St Mary’s had half a team of oxen here: “Unus Presbyter habet ibi dimidiam carrucam.”  A further “seven villans with two teams and a half; and there might yet be there three teams more,” in addition to “five geldable hides” of land and plenty of woodland sufficient “for fattening 24 hogs” – all point to a growing community.  In the reign of the Saxon King Edward, the estate was worth 10 shillings whereas by 1086 it had increased to 15 shillings. Given this relative prosperity and the clear association with Saint Mary’s, Eyton concluded that “it is probable that a Church, served by the Domesday Priest, existed in Clive when the Record was written.” [Eyton. Antiquities of Shropshire. Vol 10. p.160].

Norman Doorway at Clive Church in ShropshireBoth entrance doorways, North and South, have been dated by Cranage at around 1190, at which time a simple stone church comprising a basic nave with no separate chancel or transepts would have been constructed of local Grinshill stone.  The southern door with its round arch and simpler design is now blocked, but can still be clearly viewed in situ within its original red sandstone wall.

By contrast the northern doorway sited directly opposite displays both Norman and Early English features with a “semi-hexagonal dripstone, two rows of zig-zag, and a plain inner order.”

Nail Studded Door at Clive Church in Shropshire Each entrance is surmounted by a carved head, both thought to be coeval with each door.  Evidence of a water hollow or stoup, used for containing holy water for use by worshippers entering the church, was identified in Cranage’s study of 1912 as being located in the eastern base of the doorway, although this simple moulding is no longer visible. As a religious feature associated with the Catholic faith, this facility would have gradually fallen into disuse following the Reformation of 1539.

Collegiate Church of St Mary's

Clive Chapel remained firmly under the jurisdiction of the collegiate church, and the 1255 Pimhill Hundred Roll confirmed their ownership: “The Dean and Canons of St Mary, Salop, hold 4 geldable hides in Clive, and it is in the King’s almoign to his Chapel of

Salop.It does suit to County and Hundred and pays 2s for stretward and motfee” (tenancy fees). Eyton. Antiquities of Shropshire. Vol 10. p. 160]. Additionally the Abbot of Haughmond, the monastery owning Grinshill quarries and substantial property in the area, became involved in various legal disputes at the Assizes with Clive inhabitants – a 1256 case arguing over “erecting a fence in Clyve to his injury” and a later argument with Matthew de Hulle of Clyve over “a right of common in 20 acres at Clyve.”  Subsequent litigation highlighted the increasing role of Haughmond within the parish until by 1279 the Pimhill Tenure Roll recorded an agreement between the Abbot and William Grey to confirm that: “the Dean and Canons of St Mary, Salop, hold the vills of Clive and Sansall [Sansaw] in Frank-almoign of the King; and the men of Clive and Sansall hold in free socage [tenancy] under the said Canons.”  This arrangement, confirmed in a later deed with Robert de Acton, proves that St Mary’s was granted this land and rental in return [Frank-almoign] for performing their religious duties.

St Timothy, St Luke and Saint Titus on Stained GlassThe importance of St Mary’s as the mother church was further illustrated by two occurences in the 12th Century.  Thomas de la Clyve succeeded in rising to the office of Town Clerk of Shrewsbury, and as befits his station, decreed in his 1336 Will that “his body be buried in St Mary’s church, directing the whole choir of the said church to be present at his funeral obsequies, as also two Chaplains, one Deacon and two Clerks of every parish church in Shrewsbury.”  As a successful man, he made generous donations of 20s for the poor, 6s to Lichfield and 2s to St Mary’s to preserve his eternal soul, whilst his home parish of Clive only received a single taper from his funeral service and “12 pence to the use of the said chapel.” [T Phillips. History and Antiquities of Shropshire. 1779. p. 91.]

However there were also benefits from being tenants of an influential collegiate church as demonstrated when John le Strange, a Whitchurch baron “seized upon certain assarts [cleared lands], woods and common land in the vills of Astley, Sonsawe and Clive” in 1344.  Perhaps he assumed that such an isolated community would be unable to mount any meaningful opposition to such an aggressive land grab, but the Dean of St Mary’s appealed directly to Edward III who “commanded the offending peer to restore the same to the Dean and Canons, and to bind himself under the penalty of £40 not to disturb them in the same for the time to come.”  [S.A.+ N.H. Society. 2nd Series. Vol II. 1890. p.333. Rev. J.B.Blakeway. History of Shrewsbury Liberties.]

'We fynd the pryst our selffs'

The Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1539 largely bypassed the small chapel of Clive, although many entrepreneurs  were quick to profit from the new opportunities created when collegiate colleges like St Mary’s became more vulnerable.  Arthur Kenton, described as a gentleman and a poet, had penned a “book of poetry in praise of Welshmen” and whilst many readers remained unimpressed: “his imagination has not been any impediment to his accuracy,” it was claimed that his patriotic verses encouraged the king to support his acquisition of the college tithes.  By 1543 Arthur, and his son Thomas, had been granted “all their tythe, corne, hay, grass, hemp and flax belonging …to the said deanery or collegiate churche” under a 30 year lease and for an annual rent of £22.11s.4d.  A comparison of the rents set for each parish revealed that Clive at £4 and Sansaw 15s were productive investments.  Therefore upon Arthur’s demise in 1549, his son Thomas surrendered this earlier lease, and secured a new term of 21 years for collecting these tithes.

St Thomas and St Matthew

A significant development occurred on 10th February 1553 when the previous recipient of the tithe rental from Clive and Sansaw – the College of the Blessed Mary  at Oxford – was suddenly dissolved, and the income transferred by Edward VI to the bailiffs and burgesses of Shrewsbury in order to support the foundation of the Free Grammar School in Shrewsbury.  This funding was further enhanced when, through an indenture granted by Elizabeth I on 23rd May 1571, the sale of Thomas Kenton’s lands in Clive and Sansaw raised a yearly sum of 8s to support the Grammar School, but a significant annual payment of £5 was earmarked“towards the maintenance of divine service in the Chapel of Clive.”  At this transfer of responsibility, the patronage of the Clive and Sansaw curacy now rested with the Mayor and Corporation rather than St Mary’s Church.

Clive Chapel had long complained in the past of being the impoverished relation of its mother church in Shrewsbury.  An inventory of church goods, conducted on 24th August 1554, would seem to underline this poor status when it itemised:  one chalice [still in use today], a pate, a single bell, one vestment and other clothes as the total of items possessed.   Signed by Thomas Downe, Curate, Rychard Russell, and Wyllya’ Welle – Church Wardens, they protested that they had gained little from this partnership:  “We be five myle from our paresh church and fynd the pryst our selffs.”  {S.A.T.  Vol 12. 2nd Series. 1890. p.108].  Relations reached a low point in 1580 when the inhabitants of Clive and Astley were expected to contribute to the cost of repairing the Trinity window in St Mary’s Church despite receiving so little funding for their own chapels. The dispute was even referred to the Council of the Marches who rejected the arguments of the two rural Chapels of Ease.  [Owen and Blakeway.History of Shrewsbury. Vol II.   p.329]. This judgement must have proved particularly irksome and untimely because, having just been awarded “the five poundes given by the queen’s majestie” through the sale of the Kenton land, the villagers had agreed in 1578 to contribute the sum of £6.13s.3d for the urgent repair of their own place of worship.

Deed of 10th August, 1578

Reparation of the Clive Chapel.

Between Thomas Newans of Myddle and the curate of the Clyve on the one partie, and Humprey Onslowe, William Wicherley, Richard Russell, Roger Russell and the rest of the inhabitants of Clyve and Sansaw on the other partie, witneseth that the said inhabitants in consider[ation] that their chappell ys so farre out of reparations are contented towards the repariage thereof to give unto the said Thomas Newans and unto his assigns, the summe of sixe poundes, thirteen shillings and three pence of good and lawfull money of England towards the reparinge of the said chappell.  And further…that they will convey all thinges needful for the reparations as ofte as neede shall require as tymber, shingles, stones, lyme, sande, water, clay, leade and iron and whatsoever shall be necesserie to set the said chappell in repracion and from tyme to tyme to mayntayne the same……  And the said Thomas and his assignes to maintayne divine service in the same chappell during his natural life…. [S.A.T.  Vol 7.  3rd Series. 1907. Miscellania.  ix – xii].

Stained Glass of St Phillip and St BartholomewMoreover the church had now acquired a more permanent curate in Thomas Newans, even though he was classified as having ‘no degree’ and as being ‘no preacher.’ [An Elizabethan Clergy List of the Dioceses of Lichfield. Rev. J.Charles Cox. 2nd Series. Vol V.1893. p255.] The 1578 Deed was significant for further outlining his job description in being expected to carry out: “…all other duties that do belong to a minister as weddings, churchings and burials, for and during the natural life of the said Thomas Newans.”  Clive parishioners were clearly intent on getting value for the little money that they could afford with the extra stipulation that Thomas was also responsible for: “finding the bread and wine at Easter.. ” appearing to have been added to the deed as an afterthought.  Given that an Elizabethan injunction of 1599 implied that a licensed minister should preach on four occasions a year, the job did not appear to be an onerous undertaking.

 As Thomas Newans was also recorded as the curate for Broughton Church, he actually held the distinction of working for the Diocese of Hereford alongside his duties within the Diocese of Lichfield.

A Table of the Seates and forms, 1614.

Alongside the 1578 Deed is ‘A Table of the Seates and forms in the Chappell of Clive’ which conveniently recorded those villagers entitled to claim a reserved place at the church services. Such privileges were closely linked to specific properties in the village, hence the repetition of many names of those who could rightly claim additional seats for their family, servants or tenants.

This plan had been wrongly assumed to be coeval with the Deed, whereas a close analysis of the individuals reveals the more accurate date of 1614. It is, nevertheless, a remarkably early record, pre-dating the famous Myddle seating plan recorded by Gough by over eighty years.  In fact Richard Gough [born 1635] does refer to several of these individuals in his History of Myddle, no doubt remembering many from his childhood.  Thomas Spendlove, the Churchwarden, was: “…a crafty and connieving old fellow, a great surveyor and measurer of land….My old schoolemaster, William Sugar, did usually call him ‘Longo limite mensor’ – the measurer with the long boundary.”  Michael Baugh, on the other hand, was noted as: “... as person of ancient family there, and of good estate. He was an understanding man of a smooth and ingenious discourse and never blamed, as I know of, for any vicious living…yet his estate was allwaies in a decaying condition.”  [The History of Myddle. Richard Gough. Ed: David Hey.Penguin. 1981. p.162.].  The William Sugar who was mentioned served as the minister at Clive, Grinshill and Broughton from 1636 onwards besides his schoolmaster duties of instructing the local youth. William Russell, recorded as occupying two prestigious seats, was the owner of Sansaw Hall. Many of the individuals named also appear regularly in the Churchwarden records detailing the improvements carried out in the 1630s.

Seats and Forms at Clive Church in ShropshireThe Wycherley seat, the first pew on the North side and occupied in 1614 by the Widdow Wicherly, illustrates the importance that was attached to this seating order, a fact highlighted when Daniel Wycherley returned in 1657 to reclaim the family pew.  His father, also named Daniel, had fallen into debt and temporarily left the village in the 1630s to live at Acton Reynald – with his property and consequently his front pew being transferred to Mr Thomas Gardner, the present owner of Sansaw Hall.

Daniel the younger, father of the playwright William Wycherley, was described by Gough as: “ ..    a passionate, cholerick man and his actions proved him so; for he was always at strife with his neighbours and always in debt.” [The History of Myddle. Richard Gough. Ed: David Hey.Penguin. 1981. p.140].  His insistence upon the restoration of his family’s seat resulted in the rather dramatic step of moving the pulpit to create a space for Daniel on the South side next to the Minister.  The 1614 diagram also reveals the very basic layout of the chapel  at this time: a simple nave with a small separate chancel and no transepts or aisles. The pulpit and desk would have been placed in the South section of the church, although the fact that a Minister was not specifically named would suggest on-going problems in recruitment.

Restoration of Clive Chapel. 1629 – 1654

According to the Churchwarden’s accounts, Clive parishioners were now able to embark upon a self-help programme for the “repairing of the said chappel” between 1629 – 1654. The first priority was clearly the replacement of the roof, constructing a bell-cote to house the two bells, and the glazing of the windows to provide some degree of weatherproofing. Commencing in 1630 the bell ropes were replaced, and the business of felling, squaring and sawing two trees was undertaken.  In 1631 another seven trees were procured from Sir Andrew Corbet, and it is interesting to note that much ale was consumed during the carriage of timber, and  paid for by the churchwardens.  Three sawpits were constructed and the work of squaring and sawing continued enabling Thomas Lockley, the village carpenter, to frame the roof. Meanwhile the local smith made the nails and iron cramps for which he was paid the sum of £1.11s.10d.during the year 1632. In the same year extra ale was consumed during the carriage of stone to allow Wright, the mason, to dress the stone. The cost of this building material was £2.12s.9d and the mason was paid £10 for his labours.  Re-roofing the chapel required over 20,000 new slates which cost the wardens £17.5s.8d. However more timber was soon needed, and consequently more ale consumed on the carting from Moreton Corbet. Carpenter Lockley was paid 3s for squaring the wood, and sawyer Palmer received 19s.2d for cutting it into the required lengths.  One of the most challenging jobs was the rearing of the wooden bell-cote which must have required the help of many hands for the sum of £1 was paid for meat and ale at the rearing. Other associated expenses included payment for ropes, and the carriage of ladders – for which yet more ale was expected.  Various sums were paid for lime and its carriage, as well as the lodging of the slate with Michael Baugh and Margaret Newnes, the latter also being paid for carrying the water when needed.

Although reconstruction was far from complete, the year 1632 witnessed an increase in activity to improve the internal condition of the church, and it would appear that services were finally resumed. The sum of 18s was paid for glazing the windows, and subsequently Felton received 6d for ridding the chancel of vermin, bats and birds, an indication of how far conditions had been allowed to deteriorate.  Other positive signs included 18s spent on paper and parchment – possibly for a new register, a new cushion was made and filled, and the annual sum of 6d was itemised for the regular washing of the surplice.  Attention was now paid to the congregation with Lockley the carpenter and Wright tasked with repairing the existing forms, whilst a further £13.10s was provided for the pewing of the chapel to complete the seating accommodation. Wright the mason was engaged to replace the stonework at the pulpit, 1s.6d was spent for replacement bell ropes and Felton had to return to deal with another infestation of vermin.Stained Glass of St Paul, St Mathias, St Simon and The Good Shepherd

After a quiet period between 1634 – 36, new problems occurred with the bells in the following year  as the ‘bell wheel’ needed repair, yet more bell ropes were ordered and more timber required for ‘ye steeple’. The pulpit window was repaired once the smith had produced the lead and nails and Thomas Rodness could be paid 6d for ‘seilling ye church windows.’   During 1639 flagstones were purchased to repair the chapel floor, a task made more pressing by the regular practice of burials taking place within the chapel. A new lock was fitted in 1639 at a cost of 1s.6d, and an entry of 1s. paid for ‘mending a Quicksand’ possibly refers to the hourglass used by the minister for timing his sermons.

Apart from further pewing and additional glazing work in 1654, no further work was required, and the church was even able to afford to spare 1shilling for ‘paid maim soldiers money’ – presumably a parish charity for disabled servicemen. In total the church wardens had paid out a total of £84.4s.over the past 25 years, and at the conclusion of these improvements were only in debt to the modest sum of 6s.5d.

Following this restoration, and as part of a 1655 review undertaken by thirteen Commonwealth commissioners, it was recommended that Clive should be united with the two neighbouring churches to form a single parish. “There is a Chappell of Ease in the Deanery of St Mary’s of Shrewsbury. There is £5 p.ann. maytenance belonging to ye Minister. It is five miles distant from the Parish of St Mary’s afore’d.  We do conceive it fit to be made a Parish, and Grinshill, Broughton and Yoarton to bee united too.”  [ ‘The Liberties of Shrewsbury. S.A.T.  5th Series.  XLVII. 1933/4. p.30]. Were it not for the restoration of the monarchy five years later in 1660, it was highly likely that a single parish would have been serving the area.  As it turned out, Clive had to wait a further 200 years until it was finally awarded parish status on October 20th, 1860.

'A passionate, cholerick man'


Daniel Wycherley Grave

Therefore both Clive and Astley Chapels of Ease continued to be dependent upon the £5 annual salary for a Minister awarded by the trustees of Shrewsbury School; but although the school began to expand to four schoolmasters and was able to increase their salaries, there was no matching improvement in funding for the two chapels.

 Despite his earlier disagreements with his fellow worshippers, Daniel Wycherley had been supposedly supplementing the minister’s stipend out of his own pocket since 1674.  As an accomplished lawyer, he took their cause to the House of Lords in 1690 where the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London agreed to double the annual payment to £10. Not content with this increase, Daniel petitioned King William III and the Privy Council, and successfully secured a £31 yearly salary, although his dogged determination to be awarded the patronage of the chapel proved his undoing and the case was unfortunately dismissed on appeal by Shrewsbury School.   [The History of Myddle. Richard Gough. Ed: David Hey. Penguin. 1981. p.142-43]. This was to prove one of the last legal cases that Daniel fought as he died aged 82 in 1697, and was buried near the altar.  His gravestone was removed during the Victorian restoration work and placed in the churchyard wall where it can still be viewed.

Image reads "Here lyeth the body of DANIEL WYCHERLEY who deceased the Fifth day of May   Anno. Dom. 1697  In the 81st Yeare Of his Age."

Incumbenets of Clive Church 1544-1783

1544 Thomas Downe Signed 1544 Inventory
1578 Thomas Newans Also incumbent of Broughton
1594 Sir Thomas Yvans  

William Sugar

Also incumbent of Broughton and Grinshill. Buried at Broughton
1676 John Williams Resigned 1679
1679 Thomas Tither  
1682 Samuel Opre Also signs as Curate in 1679
1691 Thomas Ankers  
1692 William Griffyth  
169- William Joban Resigned 1694
1709 Francis Price Until 1724
1724 Samuel Betton Until 1746
1746 William Bagley Also incumbent of Preston Gobald [Gubbals] where he lies buried in the porch.  Died February 22nd, 1793 aged 80

Pew Allocations, 1773

Pew Allocation 1773A later plan of the pew allocations gives a simple picture of the church layout that was to be maintained for the next two centuries.  This record also serves as a warning never to accept any initial dating displayed on a document as the displayed date of the 23rd August, 1659 had been added to this diagram at some later stage and in a different handwriting. Detailed research by C.A. Harley revealed that the majority of those named appear in the much later 1783 Inclosure Award record, whilst further study of the Parish Registers narrows down this window to the early 1770s. Compared to the previous seating plan, there are significantly fewer individual names mentioned and several clearly own multiple pews to indicate their ownership of a substantial amount of property. Mr John Gardner of Sansaw Hall, Mr Robert Emery of Clive Hall estate, and Miss Emma Vernon who had recently inherited several Clive properties from her father, were the principal landowners.  Each seat would remain in the gift of the property holder to allocate to whichever of their tenants occupied the house and land associated with that specific pew.  A gallery has however now been installed at the western end of the church to accommodate any unfortunates in the congregation who had been unable to acquire a treasured place in the nave.

Clive Church in Clive, ShropshireOf particular interest is the precise layout of the church displayed on the ground plan when compared to the Williams watercolour of 1778 as the two images create a perfect match.  The two doors on this south aspect are clearly shown: the small Priest’s door allowing the Minister to access the chancel; and the main south entrance appear to be still in use with the doorways as yet remaining unblocked. The random design of the three 14th century windows reveals the rather piecemeal approach to restoration imposed upon the villagers through the previous lack of funding. Despite an Eastern window positioned over the Communion Table, and a smaller West window standing above the Gallery, there were, strangely no windows installed on the North side of the church creating what must have been a poorly-lit church.  It is therefore no surprise that the pulpit had been placed directly under one of the south-facing windows.

The wooden bell-cote, appearing rather weather-beaten, now housed two bells; and being hung immediately above the western Gallery, they would have been rung from the position indicated on the floor plan.  In the sparsely occupied graveyard, the pathway can be seen to fork in two directions: one leading alongside the edge of the church to the northern entrance whilst the second path headed directly into the village.  Travelling from Grinshill, this would have provided the principal underhill route as the churchyard at this stage lay completely open; and was even rented out for 2s per year – a fact that probably explains the close-cropped condition of the grounds.


St Mary's Church, Astley

St Mary's Church, Astley

If St Mary’s, Shrewsbury was considered the mother church of Clive, then St Mary’s Church at Astley could be rightly regarded as the sister church as they shared a common history for several centuries whist being subject to the control of the collegiate church and of Shrewsbury School.  These two Chapels of Ease were even built to remarkably similar designs; and the present day Astley Church has retained many of the features of the layout of the original Clive chapel.



St Mary's on the Cliff

The governing body of Shrewsbury School alongside the Mayor and Burgesses of Shrewsbury retained the patronage of the church for over three hundred years, and an Act of Parliament in 1798 in the reign of George III confirmed that they had the power to determine the salary paid to the curates of Clive and Astley.  An additional control was established that, in the appointment of a new priest in either parish, preference would be given to any candidate who had been educated at the school, was a university graduate and / or  the son of a Burgess of Shrewsbury. [History of the Liberties of Shrewsbury. Blakeway.  S.A.+N.H.  2nd Series.  Vol II. 1890. p.354 ]. 

Stained Glass of Mary Clopas and Mary Magdalene 

In 1783 the incumbency had been awarded to John Rowland of Jesus College, Oxford and Rector of Llangeitho who also served as a schoolmaster at Shrewsbury School for fifty five years. The Churchwarden accounts of 1784 carefully recorded the salary paid: “There is due to the Minister a stipend from the Free School of Shrewsbury  of Eighteen Pounds, Six Shillings and Eight Pence.” [Churchwarden accounts. Clive Registers Transcription.]  This salary was supplemented by the annual rent from several properties previously bequeathed to Clive Church comprising a 29 acre farm ‘Lang’s Lands’ in Guilsfield, Montgomery (£7.10s p.a), three fields totalling 6 acres at Barker’s Green, Wem (£8 p.a.) and ‘The Etches’ fields in Clive farmed by the Pulestons (£1.6s.8d p.a.).

Additional charges or ‘Surplice fees’ could also be collected as follows:  Burial in Chapel – 2s.6d.  Burial in Chapel Yard – 1s.6d.  Churching: 1s. Clive Chapel  was not licensed for the solemnisation of marriages since the Marriage Act of 1754.  It was also during this period that the chapelry which had previously known as ‘St Mary’s on the Cliff’ up until 1801 was for the first time in 1804 referred to as ‘All Saints on the Clive.” [Transcripts of Baptisms and Funerals. 1799 – 1804. John Rowland.]

Gardner Family of Sansaw

A significant family in the parish were the Gardners who had purchased Sansaw Hall from Richard Russell in 1622, and had subsequently spent the next 260 years running the estate. John (1595 – 1628) was a Draper of Shrewsbury with strong connections with St Mary’s Church as many members of the family were laid to rest in the Gardner Vault underneath this church.  When the final John Gardner died without issue in 1800, the estate passed to his cousin the Rev. Laurence Panting (1767 – 1844) who, as a condition of the inheritance, changed his name to Gardner – an act repeated in 1844 when it became his cousin Robert’s turn to inherit Sansaw Hall.

Gardner VaultDr Laurence Gardner subsequently took on the ministry of Clive from 1811 – 1844, and upon his death was interred in the Gardner Vault under Clive Church.  Lying directly under the present pulpit and choir stalls on the north side of the church, this vault is an 11 foot by 16 foot chamber carved out of the rock, and accessed from the churchyard by descending a set of steps to enter a 15 foot passage that is arched with brickwork and which leads in turn to a stone entrance arch. No specific construction date has been discovered, but it is believed to have been excavated during Laurence’s incumbency as he was the first of the family to rest here.  The final interment was in 1880 after which the entrance point was filled in and marked with a small stone tablet bearing the initials G.V. for ‘Gardner Vault’.  This location was only recently re-discovered during the digging of the final burial plot in the churchyard in 1990.

First Rebuilding Programme, 1849

The appointment of William Jeudwine in 1846 triggered the first re-building programme of the Victorian period.  A graduate of St Johns, Cambridge (like his predecessor Laurence Gardner, and the later minister John Cooper Wood), William also had connections to Shrewsbury School where a John Jeudwine had experienced a rather turbulent career as Second master under Dr Butler from 1798 – 1835. During his brief tenure of eight years, significant improvements were made to the church as illustrated by the Smith drawing of 1850 and the ground plan drawn in 1885.

Clive Church in Shropshire, 1849The three 14th Century windows were transformed with matching mullioned lights each containing two trefoils, although surprisingly the opportunity to add windows to the north side were not taken.  A substantial enlargement of the West window however would have created a lighter nave, and the chancel and East window were also enlarged.  The roof was heightened and supported upon groined timber arches; and the old wooden bell-cote was finally replaced by a stone turret containing two bells. Both the south entrance door and the Priest’s door leading to the chancel had now been sealed.

Internally the old fashioned high-backed pews were replaced to give an increased capacity of 149 places by utilising the extra space created through the removal of the Gallery at the western end.  A new Font was placed inside the North doorway with the old version, in keeping with tradition, being buried beneath its successor.  An attempt appears to have been made to create a simple internal porch to improve insulation, not surprising considering that the only heating was provided by a single stove sited opposite the main entrance.  The new pulpit “of white free stone exquisitely carved”  [Bagshaws Trade Directory. 1851. p. 140] remained on the south side with the original panels of the old pulpit now preserved in the porch.  Sadly no evidence of this new carving still survives.  Finally a small vestry was constructed on the north eastern corner of the extended chancel and over the entry passage to the Gardner Vault as indicated on the ground plan.

Plan of Existing Church, 1885An 1851 Census of church attendance recorded that Clive Church served a population of 295, and possessed 126 ‘appropriated’ seats [assigned to property holders] with only 36 free places.  A congregation of 30 adults and 26 children at Matins had increased to a healthy 80 adults and 26 children  by the afternoon service. [Church and Chapel in Early Victorian Shropshire. 1851 Returns. Vol 8. Ed: Clive Field. 2004].  A Trade Directory of the same year describes “The living is a perpetual curacy returned at £66 in the patronage of the corporation of Shrewsbury. Incumbent: Rev. William Jeudwine. M.A.”    [Bagshaws Trade Directory. 1851. p. 141].

Incumbents of Clive Church, 1783-1873

1783 John Rowland Of Jesus College, Oxford. Rector of Llangeitho, and Master at Shrewsbury School for 55 years. Died 1816
1578     Dr Laurence Gardner .D.D Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. Rector of St Philip’s, Birmingham. Succeeded to Sansaw Estate in 1804. Died 27th July, 1844
1594 William Jeudwine. M.A. St John’s College, Cambridge. 1st re-building programme. Resigned in 1854

William John James. M.A. Cambridge

Died 14th December, 1862
1676 Henry Foster Welch Also Vicar of Pattishall, Towcester. Resigned in 1873

Victorian Philanthropy

Despite these improvements, All Saints was still by the mid-Victorian era “a small and unimportant building” in terms of architectural significance. [ Cranage. Architectural Account of Churches in Shropshire. Vol II. Part 10. 1912. p 854]. Its remarkable transformation into the present magnificent edifice was the result of the timely intervention of three key villagers: John Jenkinson Bibby, Rev. John Cooper Wood and Thomas Meares.  Each individual had enjoyed a distinguished career before arriving in Clive in the 1870s: collectively they were to combine their wealth and vision to create a timeless legacy.


James Jenkinson BibbyJames Jenkinson Bibby had purchased Hardwicke Grange in 1868 and Sansaw Hall by 1879 to become a major figure in the local community and economy.  As the youngest son of the founder of John Bibby & Co, a highly successful Liverpool-based shipping company, he had succeeded to the business in 1847 following the tragic death of his father as the result of a violent robbery.  A Chairman of the Liverpool Steamship Owners Association, and operating at the height of the expansion of the British Empire, J.J.Bibby developed the business into a global concern before retiring to rural Shropshire. Besides creating three model farms and an extensive breeding stable, he continued his charitable work by making substantial contributions to the foundation of Clive School and the renovation of Hadnall Church.  However it is the magnificent All Saints Church that stands as a fitting memorial to his generous philanthropy.

John Cooper WOOD

Parsonage House, ShropshireJohn Cooper WoodInitially the vicar of Grinshill for one year (1872 – 73), John Cooper Wood was born in Shropshire at Dawley, and had married Sarah Ellisa Susannah Bibby in 1861. A graduate of St John’s College, Cambridge, he combined the roles of Headmaster of Halesowen Grammar School and Rector of the nearby St Kenelm-in-Romsley until returning to Shropshire.  He was appointed as Vicar of Clive in 1874, and was the first clergyman to move into the Parsonage House newly built on Gardner land.  In recognition of his major leadership in the re-building programme, John Cooper Wood was commemorated in 

the construction of both the Lych Gate and Clive Village Hall.  His  wedding ring has also 

been embedded into the stem of the ancient 16th century chalice cup that is still used in present communion services .

Thomas Meares

Thomas Meares

The son of a local farmer, he had been baptised in Clive Church in 1826 and was brought up in the village before his father’s financial difficulties had forced Thomas to begin his career working as a farm labourer for 1s.6d per week.  After being refused financial help from his wealthy Harding relatives of Clive Hall, he left the village penniless in 1844, and walked to Manchester where he was employed as a grocer’s assistant.  His business acumen led to his rapid rise in the tea trade, eventually founding several retail companies and purchasing tea estates in Ceylon.  Using his substantial fortune, he purchased Clive Hall from the Harding family in 1873, completely modernising the house and gardens over the next ten years before moving back to the village in 1884 upon his retirement.

The catalyst for change occurred in 1883 when J.J.Bibby, having bought Sansaw Hall, subsequently purchased the patronage of Clive Church from the governors of Shrewsbury School for £700.

Charles John Ferguson

Two images of the North and South aspects, prior to the re-building , are most revealing in illustrating the enormous task that was faced.

Charles Johnson FergusonThe north-facing side pictures the small vestry, the chancel extension, the window-less wall and the original Norman doorway bordered on the left by an original 14th century buttress.  The two pathways are also very different from the present day: the main roadway running under the old West window having completely disappeared; whilst the church path itself appears to be substantially higher than its present position. The figure of the Rev. Cooper Wood is the bearded gentleman just visible sitting behind the tombstone.

Likewise he appears in the South wall picture in the black frock coat. The alterations of 1850 are clearly visible in this image: the three improved windows, sealed doorways and the extended eastern chancel section, whilst the tall chimney vent bears testament to the solitary source of heating.

Rather tellingly, the church at this time was described as little more than “a stone barn” in a contemporary autobiography. [‘On The Heels of the Almighty.’ John Willoughby Meares. Autobiography].

The Carlisle architect, Charles John Ferguson, was immediately engaged to design a complete modernisation of the building.  Although most of his ecclesiastical work was confined to Cumbria, he had taken on other commissions and specialised in the Gothic and Norman revival style. As a protege of the illustrious George Gilbert Scott, Ferguson was characterised as  “a resourceful as well as a sensitive architect” particularly in the demanding restoration of older churches. [The Buildings of England.  Cumbria. Hyde and Pevsner. 2010. p.126.] 

Alterations of Clive ChurchHis initial design, outlined on the 1885 ground plan, was a bold and innovative solution, proposing to add four new windows, an organ chamber and new vestry to the north aspect, with a doubling up of the south-facing windows to six lights. The inclusion of a Tower to house the new Font anticipates this eventual addition to the church, and also reveals his initial solution after blocking off the North doorway, and subsequently creating a new entrance and stairs in the base of the Tower, thus increasing the seating capacity.

 The pulpit is now moved into the position that it currently occupies.  On a more practical note, great attention was given by Ferguson to the improvement of the heating arrangements throughout the church with the inclusion of cellars at the eastern end to house the boilers.

South View of Clive ChurchThe masonry and the roofing work were both overseen by the building firm of Treasure & Sons of Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury.  The appearance of the building was immediately transformed by using red and grey dressed ashlar, from the nearby quarries on Bibby land, to completely encase the existing stonework, inside and out, within this smooth and hardwearing freestone.  Local stonemasons were undoubtedly employed with a track way laid from the quarries to transport the ashlar blocks directly to the building site.  Only a small section of the south wall incorporating the Norman doorway was left exposed to reveal the original stonework; but Cranage admires the workmanship as “..most of the ancient walls was cleverly incorporated in the new church.” [ Cranage. Architectural Account of Churches in Shropshire.  Vol II.  Part 10. 1912. p. 856].

Angel Inside Clive ChurchInternal Restoration of Clive ChurchThe creation of the sweeping chancel arch: “..of excellent character and proportions”  [ Chronicle.  April 15th,1887 p. 8] became a major design feature in heightening the oak roof now supported on hammer beams with an angel, each representing a female saint, carved at the end of every collar truss.  Two further arches framed the organ chamber and the vestry added in the north wall of the chancel.

The retention of the old Norman doorway occasioned the design of a new porch, and this was constructed  “under the direction of Mr  Edwin Moorhouse, Clerk of the Works, by workmen of the parish.” [ Chronicle April 15th,1887 p. 8 ].

 The original nail-studded door from this entrance is now preserved in the Village Hall.  Thankfully the ancient 14th century two-stage buttress adjoining the porch was also retained.Design of Church Front

The Best English Carvers

Whilst the structure and outward appearance of the church was completely transformed, it was the outstanding quality of the internal fittings that earned the highest plaudits, with Cranage observing:  “Few churches in Shropshire, or in any other county, are so elaborately fitted up.  The carving of the font, pews, lectern, pulpit, screens is as fine as can be seen almost anywhere in a modern building” [Cranage. . Architectural Account of Churches in Shropshire.  Vol II.  Part 10. 1912. p. 857].

How this level of artistic quality was achieved bears witness to the generosity of J.J.Bibby and Thomas Meares, as several of the finest Victorian carvers in England were commissioned to create the interior fittings.

Church in Clive ShropshireThe end result, as Cranage rightly observed, is that few other modern churches in the country can boast such a wealth of elaborate carving.  “It contains some exquisite modern woodwork by the best English carvers.” [Shropshire. The Little Guides. J.E. Auden. 1912. p.103].

The firm of George Black from Carlisle had collaborated with C.J.Ferguson over many years, particularly on Bamburgh Castle, and consequently had become his wood-working firm of choice for major projects.  They exercised an oversight over the team of individual craftsmen employed, and were ultimately responsible for the final fitting of each section.

Arthur Simpson of Kendal, an expert wood carver in the ecclesiastical Gothic reform style, and Mr William Aumonier[Senior] of Tottenham Court Road, the founder of a renowned family of architectural sculptors, completed the two screens in front of the Organ Chamber and Vestry.  James Erskine Knox of Lambeth, whose carving had featured in Westminster  Cathedral , crafted the pulpit and sedilia, besides contributing to the reredos surround. 

John Roddis from Birmingham, a worker in both wood and stone, for Durham Cathedral and St Mary’s Church, Bath, fashioned the choir stalls to include the noted poppy head decorations.  The lectern and the pews, all of which display a unique end panel, were produced by Thomas Chambers who was an architectural wood carver living in Carlisle.


The altar also featured a fine marble top surrounded by a carved wooden frame of exceptional quality and executed by James E. Ewell of Beverly, and also by James Erskine Knox.  Identified as a special gift from J.J.Bibby’s two children, Frank and Sarah, the reredos consisted of an alabaster representation of da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’. [Hadnall  Parish magazine. Easter Tuesday. May 1887].

he renowned London firm of Farmer and Brindley, sculptors and wood carvers who also completed the reredos for St Paul’s Cathedral, were commissioned to create this “ornament of richness.”  [‘The King’s England. Shropshire.’  Arthur Mee. Editor. 1939. p.68]. It forms a fitting centre piece to reflect the craftsmanship of the very best English carvers of this period.

A Thanksgiving

A two-year building programme between 1885 – 87 had cost £5,000, and had transformed a small village church into a modern showpiece.

 The opening services took place on Easter Tuesday, 12th April, 1887 when the Bishop of Lichfield consecrated the newly-created chancel, organ chamber and vestry; and preached to a mixed congregation of clergy and laity.  A Confirmation at 3 o’clock involving 80 candidates from Clive and the adjoining parishes attracted a large crowd of parents and friends who soon exceeded the seating capacity of the new church.  The final service at 6.30 contained a sermon delivered by the Rural Dean.

North Aspect of Clive Church

That many of the congregation, particularly from neighbouring churches, were both impressed and perhaps slightly envious of the scale and quality of the restoration is perhaps best captured by the rather mixed response in the Hadnall Parish Magazine“We heartily congratulate our Clive neighbours; their Ancient church has been most beautifully restored.  We trust they will make full use of it!” [Hadnall  Parish magazine. Easter  Tuesday. May 1887].

In the weeks immediately following the grand opening, a splendid Willis Organ was installed in the Organ Chamber on Witsun Sunday [29th May], the generous gift of John Hall, a local farmer of Holbrook in Clive parish. A brass plaque fixed to the frame marks this charitable act.  A two-manual version containing two separate keyboards and an additional pedal board, the organ is a compact version of the larger models found in many of the grand cathedrals, and its exceptional quality has been noted by several visiting organists. “This organ is superb for what it is, and was identical to the Willis on wheels at St Pauls before the rebuild.” [Manders website].  The Headmaster of Clive School, Meredith Vaughan Archer, is recorded as fulfilling the role of church organist for the next sixty years until 1946.

Tower and Spire

Had matters rested there, then Clive would have possessed a remarkable parish church, but the death of John Jenkinson Bibby’s beloved wife Sarah on the 19th May, 1892 prompted a new building programme in which the Spire and Tower were erected in her memory. C.J. Ferguson was again commissioned to design the structure, and the full cost was met by the Bibby estate.  The design is in the late-Decorated style and was untypical of other Shropshire churches, sharing a closer affinity to those constructed by his mentor George Gilbert Scott, besides bearing a significant resemblance to the spire of Sarah Bibby’s home parish of Thornhill Lees in Dewsbury.

An application was also made to construct a vault under the Tower with an entrance at the western base to allow for the future interment of members of the Bibby family. The faculty of 7th July, 1892 outlines that: “The said Crypt or Vault will be cut out of the rock and will be roofed with a double floor of concrete with an air space between them, and there will be no entrance or connection with the church itself, and that it will be equal in area to the base of the interior of the said Tower with an external access to it.”  [ Sansaw Estate Papers. Shrewsbury Archives. Ref: 6241/1/56d/1].

Construction of Clive Church Tower in 1892

Construction of the three-stage Tower commenced in September 1892 with Smith & Son of Kidderminster named as the builders but local craftsmen were employed working under H Rollason the Foreman Mason and W Laidlaw the Clerk of the Works. As before, a miniature rail system helped transport the freestone from the nearby quarries to the boundary wall of the churchyard where it would be dressed and shaped at the mason’s station before the finished ashlar blocks were sent down the wooden ramp to the storage area at the base of the tower.

Wooden scaffolding and narrow ladders between the levels appear alarmingly precarious to the modern eye, but an octagonal stair turret installed within the south-west corner would have aided access.  A new South entrance was now added with a Tudor Arch doorway that merited particular praise from Cranage as “original and striking” architecture [Cranage.  Architectural Account of Churches in Shropshire.  Vol II.  Part 10. 1912. p. 857].
A spacious ringing chamber, and a belfry with paired louvre windows on each side,  were constructed to provide the housing for a set of six bells.  Above the belfry a viewing walkway with balustrading allowed a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.  The more observant visitor may notice the inscription ‘J.S.B. 15th Oct 1894’ carved into the south facing parapet, a reference to James Stanley Bibby, the two year old grandson of J.J. Bibby. Poignantly, the boy died at 9 years of age in 1902, and is commemorated by a plaque near the altar.

Finally the broach spire, featuring double lucarne window openings at the base with smaller lucarnes on the upper faces, was built. A crowning finial cross was placed in position by Sarah Bibby, daughter of the benefactor, who agreed to be hauled up to the pinnacle of the spire in a wicker basket.

Spire Completion, 1894The official finishing date was recorded in the Parish Register: “This twentieth day of August in the year of our Lord 1894, we have fixed the topstone and set the cross upon the spire of Clive Church with thanksgiving to the Almighty who has kept us through the work of building it from September 1892..” It is signed by: Sarah Bibby and Frances Battye [daughters of J.J.Bibby], George Thorniley and Charles Massey [Churchwardens]. Rev. J. Cooper Wood [Vicar]. W. Laidlaw [Clerk of Works] and H Rollason [Foreman Mason].

BaptistryFor the intricate carving in stone and wood, J.J.Bibby returned to the London firm of Farmer and Brindley to match the fine detail of the Baptistry to the high standard of work in the nave and chancel.

The Baptistry roof is particularly outstanding: “… the groining work itself being indicative of great architectural beauty”   [News  Article. August  1894] being designed as a stone lierne vault, all of which is supported by four carved angels (Pietas. Charitas. Spes. Fides) positioned in each corner and with carved bosses and a central circular panel.
The large alabaster carving of an angel bearing a child heavenwards commemorated the loss in childhood of J.J.Bibby’s two youngest sons: James (1852 – 57) and Thomas Cook (1854 – 55), both also mentioned in the inscription that lies underneath.
 The full dedication, carved out of stone, reads: “Keep innocency and take heed unto the thing that is right, for this shall bring man to peace at last” and is followed by the words: “To the glory of God and in memory of Sarah Bibby – born 28th December 1817: died 19th May 1892 – this Tower and Spire are dedicated by her husband, James Jenkinson Bibby.”

The octagonal Font, carved out of Caen stone, is a copy of the one in the church of the childhood  parish of Sarah Bibby in Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury , and has been noted  for the detailed ornamental work contained in the wrought iron canopy suspended over the font. 

Carved Angel at Clive ChurchA Lombardic frieze and wood surround framing the southern doorway, and the window seats placed around the baptistry are also highlighted as examples of the elaborate and decorative wood carving.  Several gifts were also received at this time from relatives of J.J.Bibby: an altar table cloth from Frances Battye [eldest daughter]; a baptismal book, altar service books and two prayer books by the Battye children; the Bible for the lectern from Agnes Babcock and family [third daughter].

Octagonal Font at Clive ChurchThe dedication Service took place on 20th August, 1894 when the following Prayer of Thanksgiving was delivered:

Almighty Lord God  our Heavenly Father, we give Thee humble and earnest thanks that Thou hast brought us so far that we have set this Topstone to our work: we pray that Thy Hand may still be over us and all who labour here, that we may complete this without thought but of Thy Goodness to us. 
And when in the years to come this Spire shall mark as far as the eye can reach the place of The Clive Church, grant that there may ever dwell around it a people united in the knowledge and love of Thee, in love and sympathy for each other, and in one common desire to labour together each for the good of all.  O Lord, accept our thanksgiving this day and teach us in all things to glorify Thy Holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN.

All Saints

At first Clive Church only possessed a single stained glass window which was positioned at the West end in 1876, and contained a depiction of the Ascension of Christ.

West Adoration WindowIt was installed by John Davies of Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, a well-known specialist in church glass whose work can be viewed in many Shropshire churches, including Wem. The dedication reads: “To the glory of God, and in memory of Charles and Elizabeth Harding of Clive Hall. Their youngest daughter Catherine erected this window. AD 1876.”  Most probably funded from the recent sale of Clive Hall to Thomas Meares, it therefore proved ironic that Thomas had it moved from its prime location to the hidden wall of the vestry during the 1885 building programme.   

Following these renovations, a bequest in the 1890 Will of Elias Puleston added a further two stained glass windows that are located below the lectern, and depict the Saints Thomas & Matthew, and Philip & Bartholomew.

With the death of James Jenkinson Bibby in February 1897, his son Frank commissioned the firm of Clayton and Bell of Regent Street, London to install a further twelve windows in his father’s memory.  Renowned for the brightness and clarity of their work, John Richard Clayton and Alfred Bell had worked extensively for George Gilbert Scott since the 1840s, and specialised in the Gothic style.  Their large East and West windows in numerous churches were famed for the quality of their biblical narratives in retelling the life of Christ in pictorial form as a ‘Poor Man’s Bible.’ 

East Teaching WindowIn the Baptistry, the West window pictures the Baptism of our Lord with the shepherds and the Magi at either side offering their gifts.

Alongside the North door, the Good Shepherd window commemorates the two young sons of J.J.Bibby: “To the honour of God, and in loving memory of James and Thomas Cook Bibby.”  Moving down the nave, St Peter & St Andrew are followed by St James & St John, the sons of Zebedee before the single Pulpit window showing St Matthias.  The Vestry screen features the Four Marys, mentioned in the Bible as being present at the Crucifixion or at Christ’s tomb: Mary Salome; Mary, Mother of Jesus; Mary of Cleopas; Mary Magdalene.

The large East window, above the altar and containing three lights, is sometimes referred to as the Teaching Window because it depicts many figures central to the Christian story. The middle light displays the King of Glory as the central figure, with St Michael directly beneath.  In the left hand section are St James, St Peter and St John with Moses, the two prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah, and King David below them.  The right hand light depicts a bishop [probably St Augustine] with St Gregory the Great and St Jerome.  In the lower pane are gathered John the Baptist, St Catherine, St Stephen and St Agnes.

To the right of the altar, the three lights feature St Timothy, St Luke and St Titus – often known as ‘The Missionary Saints’ – with the single window showing St Paul. Beyond the two Puleston windows are James the Less & St Jude, and a final single light of St Simon.  When combined with the additional female saints represented by the carved angels supporting the church roof, Clive Church admirably lives up to its title of ‘All Saints.’

Lest We Forget 

In addition to the many villagers recorded on the headstones, a series of memorials commemorate the role or sacrifice of particular individuals.

The War Memorial, sited directly opposite the entrance door, was designed by Thomas Geldart to honour those who had fallen in both of the World Wars.

World War One


Lest We Forget

Captain Cecil Stanley Meares: the youngest son of Thomas and Agnes Meares of Clive Hall, Stanley was born in Clive in 1882, and attended Uppingham School where he proved to be an expert marksman regularly competing at Bisley.  He established a firm of accountants in London, but joined the Public Schools and University Corps at 31 years  before being assigned to the 19th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) where he was soon promoted from 2ndLieutenant.  Stanley was reported as being killed on the wire whilst leading his men on an assault on Longueval at Delville Wood on 30th July, 1916.  He was buried on the Somme in Grave VII. M5 in Delville Wood Cemetery, and is also commemorated on a wall plaque near the lectern.

Private George Albert Dytor: [Service No 22359]. ‘Bert’ followed his older brother William and signed up in Shrewsbury in 1915 aged 20 years. Born in Clive in 1895, he lived at Flemley Park with his father George – a coal merchant and haulier - and mother Edith, and attended Clive School.  A member of the 6th Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, Bert died of his wounds at Flanders, in Picardy, on 16th September 1916 and was buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte.

Captain Percy Arthur H. Thorniley:  Although born in Dawlish, Devon, in 1896, the son of Percy and Annie Rebecca Thorniley, his family lived at Shooters Hill, and he is commemorated on a separate memorial by the North door.  At 20 years old he was already serving as a Captain with the 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment, and after leading his company in a successful attack on the Munich Trench, he was shot on 11th January 1917 by a German sniper whilst speaking to German prisoners. He was posthumously awarded the honour of the Military Cross.

Private George H Newnes: [Service No 200665]. George lived with his parents, Henry and Elizabeth Newnes at 8, New Street, Clive and was born in 1897 and brought up in the village.  He enlisted at Wem in 1915 whilst still only 17 years old, and was assigned to the 1/4th Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry.  He was killed in action on 30th October 1917 aged 20 years, and was buried in the Zonnebeke Cemetery in West Flanders.  His name is also recorded in Panel 112 – 113 of the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

Private John Joseph Williams: [Service No 67676]. Born in 1899 at Clive, John lived at No 1, Hill Top ‘Laburnum Cottage’ with parents Thomas and Harriet Williams.  Enlisting in March 1917, he joined the 9th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment and was posted to France in June.  A year later, aged 19 years, he died of wounds received on May 31st 1918 and was buried in Grave VB9 at Chambrecy Cemetery in Marne.  He is also commemorated on his parents’ grave in Broughton churchyard.

The following two soldiers were killed in action after the November 1918 armistice:

Private John Richmond Pugh: [Service No 203345].  His parents, William and Mary Ann lived at 10, Wem Road and John was born in 1893, being recorded as a gardener in the 1911 Census.  He joined the 6th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, and was killed in Germany on 5th December 1918.  John was buried at Cologne in Grave VII. E20.

Driver Fred Walker: [Service No 215344]. The son of William and Mary France of 51, Sherwood Bank, Fred was born in 1895 at Moreton Corbet.  He joined the 102 Battalion Royal Field Artillery, and died on 22nd October 1918 in Quetta, Delhi, India. Fred is remembered on the Delhi Memorial, and on his parents’ grave in Clive churchyard. Grave 87.

In addition, several casualties of World War One are commemorated in Clive graveyard without appearing on the official War memorial:

Second Lieutenant Philip Haldane Shaw of the 8th Battalion, Black Watch has a tablet just inside the entrance door, and he was killed in action aged 23 years on 25th September 1915 at Loos where his name is included on the memorial. The second son of Henry and Edith Shaw of Grinshill, his inscription contains the motto of his school, Charterhouse: Deo Dante Dedi  [God having given, I give].

Corporal William K McKay: [Service No 153109]. A Canadian born in Manitoba in 1880, William fought for the 4th Canadian Regiment and died of his wounds on 5th February 1917. He had married a Wem girl, and is buried in Grave 162  in Clive graveyard.

Captain Drury Frank Percy Wormald:  The only son of Gertrude Bibby (4th daughter of J.J.Bibby) and her husband Percy Wormald, he enjoyed a high military profile as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards and the 2nd Life Guards before joining the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Captain.  Tragically he was killed a week before the Armistice, and he is commemorated on the Wormald memorial at Grave 208.

World War Two

Major John Ronald Campbell: [Service No 33632]. Son of Brigadier General John Campbell V.C. and husband of Edith Mildred(Bibby), he was a member of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. Killed during the evacuation of Dunkirk on 30thMay 1940, he was buried in Belgium at Veurne Communal Cemetery Extension . Grave A.2.

Private William John Tudor: [Service No 14241701]. The son of John and Emma Tudor of Clive, he served with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and was killed at Anzio, Italy on 6th March 1944. He is buried at Beach Head Cemetery, Anzio in Grave VII. C.4.

Fusilier Francis George France: [Service No 14236142].  A member of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, he died on 17th April 1944 at Cassino, Italy and was buried at the Cassino War Cemetery. Grave III. J.6.  He was the son of William and Edith France of Clive.

Sapper Frederick Charles Clorley: [Service No 14673173]. The son of Joseph and Mary Ann Clorely, and husband of Mary Jane Clorley of Wem,  Frederick served with the 905 Stevedore Company of Royal Engineers.  He died aged 37 years on 10th June 1944 and is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial, England on Panel 5. Column 3.

Fusilier John Nunnerley Dudleston: [Service No 4035158]. Attached to 4th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, John was killed in action in Germany on 14th April 1945 and was buried in Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 5. G.4.  He was the son of Thomas and Annie Duddleston, and husband of Dorothy Elizabeth Duddleston of Clive.

Incumbents of Clive Church, 1873-2014

1873 The Rev. John Cooper Wood M.A St John's College, Cambridge Previously Headmaster of Halesowen Grammar School and Rector of St Kenelm-in-Romsley. Vicar of Grinshill 1872-73. Died in 1903 and buried at Clive in Grave 325.
1903 The Rev. Edward Alexander Godson. M.A Oxford University. Author of 'Country Children and their Games' containing many photographs of local children.
1932 The Rev. Charles Aryoton Burgoyne Paris. Lichfield Thelogical College.  
1935 The Rev. Charles Legard. New College, Oxford.  
1938 The Rev. Charles Sharpley Scott. St Chads College, Durham.  
1946 The Rev. Frederick Franklin. St Chad's College, Regina, Canada. Buried at Clive in Rememberance Garden. C.12.
1967 The Rev. George Joseph Stubbs-Bromley. St Augistine College, Canterbury. A Brigadier. First Minister to occupy New Vicarage in Back Lane in 1968. Buried at Clive in Remembrance Garden. B.6 
1975 The Rev. Gerorge Henry Yorke Fletcher. Wycliffe Hall, Oxford  
1982 The Rev. William Edward Ward. FSA. SCOT. AKC 1. Minister now occupies Hadnall Vicarage.
1992 The Rev. Stuart Deane. Sarum and Wells Theological College.  
1999 The Rev. Paul Gregory Firmin. B.A. Trinity College, Bristol. ACIB  
2002 The Rev. Robert Russell Haarhoff. D.Th. St Paul's College. Grahamstown, South Africa