Hope Bagot Village
Hope Bagot Church
St John the Baptist's Church
In the church, there is an inscription on the wall behind the pulpit which reads: "This Church was adorned anno domini 1681".
It seems probable that a considerable amount of work was done at this time including the restoration of the roof of the Nave and the installation of the altar rails. The Patron was Sir William Jones who was Attorney General to Charles II and a very rich man.
In 1986, the Shropshire Family History Society gave the church a copy of the "Monumental Inscriptions of St. John the Baptist (excluding the interior of the church)" This was transcribed by Knowbury Women’s Institute which lists 95 inscriptions between 1707 and 1982 and updated in 1999.
The local community are very proud of their picturesque little Norman church and its pretty churchyard. The churchgoers and visitors alike are made welcome. The church door is unlocked each morning and locked up again at dusk.
NB This description is drawn entirely from a longer document prepared by Mr. Darlington, the original of which is in the Hope Bagot Millennium Time Capsule to be opened in the year 2100.
There is a very ancient Yew tree in the churchyard itself (or is the churchyard built around the yew?) This may have survived its youth because it was considered to be a sacred tree – its position possibly relating to the well beneath the tree whose waters are believed to have healing properties for eyes and may well have been used for Baptism in the early years, hence the dedication of the church to St. John the Baptist.
There is a certificate hanging in the Vestry authenticating the tree as at least 1600 years old and signed by four people well known in their respective fields: David Bellamy, naturalist; Allen Meredith, Arboriculturist; Robert Hardy, Longbow enthusiast; and Robert Runcie, the then Archbishop of Canterbury. They appended a note on the back stating that "This is a minimum age, the tree is probably much older". Both the yew and "Holy Well' are strong indicators that the site was originally a pre-Christian place of worship and people still come to visit and venerate this ancient tree.
The churchyard is a rich ground of wildflowers with over 65 species having been identified. See Friends of Hope Bagot Church for more details on this and how you could get involved.
1st Sunday Communion (BCP) 8.30am
3rd Sunday Evensong 6.30pm
Further details click here.