St Giles’ church was probably founded in the Norman period. It must have been altered many times over the centuries and a major rebuilding in 1870 largely created the gothic church we see now. The earliest part of the present building is probably the tower which dates from either the early or middle of the 16th century. The tower is built of locally-sourced red sandstone ashlar and is of two stages.
Off the Chancel is the Vestry, which contains an important memorial to the Jennens Family. Charles Jennens, (1700-1773) was the man who provided the texts for five of Handel's great oratorios including Messiah The vestry was formerly the Jennens’ family chapel. This was a family who had made their fortune as iron founders in Birmingham. They had a foundry at nearby Furnace End, hence its name, and one of their residences was Whitacre Hall. Many of the Jennens family are buried in the churchyard.
If you are planning on joining us for a service, you'll be made very welcome. We have a service at St Giles' every Sunday at 11am (apart from the 5th Sunday of the month when we join together here as a parish at 10.30am). There is plenty of parking in the carpark off the Tamworth Road - just by the postbox.
We are a very friendly, inclusive and relaxed congregation - there are usually around 20- 25 of us at a service. When you come in, enter through the main door, the South door. Someone will be inside to welcome you before a service. However, if they're not, they soon will be. You can sit anywhere in the main pews - you won't be taking anyone's seat!
Some of our services are Holy Communion while others are a service of Morning Prayer, our orders of service explain everything you need to know but people around you will help you if needed. There is no way to get anything wrong in a church service. We have an order of service which guides you through what is said and we will sing hymns, all the words are printed in a hymn book. You will also hear readings from the Bible and the Priest or a Reader will talk about the readings we hear. The sermon is usually around 7-10 minutes long. There will also be a time of prayer, when we pray for our world, our churches, our community and all those who are struggling or who have died.
We currently don't offer any children's groups but children are very welcome. The service usually lasts around 45-50 minutes and we often have tea and coffee afterwards. The congregation at St Giles' is made up of people of all ages, we are one big family.
We have an active bell ringing team at St Giles'. Do have a look at their website www.whitacrebells.co.uk. New ringers are always welcome!
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