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This website is the responsibility of Sandy Marchant. The information has been collected from many people over many years, if you are one of them, thank you. My interpretation of the events and happenings is purely my own and I take full responsibility for that. Please be aware that there will be mistakes and misunderstandings; hopefully others will tell me about them, so I can put this record right. Where I can I have acknowledged the sources of the information I have recorded but as I did not set out to write a book or even create a website, some historians may find this frustrating - sorry!
I have had the privilege of living in Stoulton, in the historic home of the vicars of Stoulton for over 30 years. Stoulton Vicarage has been a 'peculiar' in the Church of England since the Reformation and until 1821 its clergy were been 'curates', not 'rectors' or even 'vicars'. Its place within the Parish of Kempsey goes back to Saxon times and to the Church of Rome. St Edmund's was built in the early 12th century as a Chapel of Ease for local people for whom the five mile journey to their Mother Church in Kempsey was difficult and time consuming. Today in 2022 it stands testament to 1200 years of Christianity in this place.
I have often wondered why three small, isolated farming settlements, Mucknell, Stoulton and Wolverton, situated at the eastern edge of a great estate were of such significance that their return to the Bishop of Worcester warranted a King's Charter. In the 'Stories' section of this site I have made some suggestions as to why that might be. I put them forward for others to consider and maybe verify. Discovering story and story telling has been part of my life for a long time, although I don't think I recognised it as such until relatively recently when, together with many others in the Diocese of Worcester, we started to discover and tell 'Stories from the Stones' of some of its many ancient church buildings. If the walls could speak what stories they would tell!
There are many people I have to thank for this, like me they have freely given their time and talents to discover and share stories important to them. In our society today there is much talk about the importance of 'volunteering' and 'giving back'. Over time I have been helped by literally hundreds of volunteers - participants in "Through the Church Door", "Rural Rides", the "Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group", and "Go West" with its activities in the Teme Valley, and later the Pershore area. None of this would have been possible without the friendship, generosity and help of Rev. Canon John Willis, Rev. Canon Jeremy Martineau, Robin Sharples, (now Reverend Robin) and all my colleagues in the Chaplaincy for Agriculture and Rural Life in the Diocese of Worcester and the various project Steering Groups. I owe a debt of gratitude to Kevin Crossley-Holland, author of the the 'Arthur' trilogy for giving me, and many children, access to the medieval world into which many of our historic churches buildings were built. Kevin is a master storyteller, through him and his magical retelling of the world of King Arthur I have entered the world of story, its magic and its transformative power.
Before coming to Worcester there was Lichfield, another world and one where all this began. To think that when the Dean, the very Reverend Dr. John Lang, asked me to join his team I though it might be boring! It was in Lichfield that I discovered myself and for that there can never be thanks enough. This website is dedicated to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield Cathedral c.1988.
Sandy Marchant . MSc Heritage Management