St Andrew, Moreton-on-Lugg

Norman Window
St Andrew

There has been a church on this site since at least Norman times. The only evidence of this is the Norman chancel south west window. The roof of the nave is thought to date from C15. There had been a C15 screen which was later moved to the west end of the church and put around the organ.

When Sir Stephen Glynne visited the church in 1856 he describes it in his book ‘Herefordshire Churches through Victorian Eyes’, as – a poor church having a nave, small south aisle and chancel, a north porch of wood and plaster and a mean low steeple. There was no division of the chancel from the nave, but a screen encloses the east end of the aisle.

In 1864 Moreton estate was sold by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to Thomas Evans, a Hereford attorney. He realised the church was in such a bad state that it was necessary to virtually rebuild it.

In 1876 the church was restored by a Cheltenham architect – William Hill Knight. The rebuilding consisted of a chancel, nave, south aisle, north porch, south tower and a spire with a peal of six bells. The chancel was reconstructed and lengthened by 9 feet and the floor was raised. A spacious chancel arch of moulded stone was erected and the floor was paved with Goodwin’s encaustic tiles. A vestry was added and the church spire was raised.

The interior of the church has many fine Victorian fittings given by the Evans family. The font dates from 1867 with a later wrought iron cover by Hart and Co. The pulpit is of Bath stone. There is a carved alabaster and marble reredos flanked by Goodwin’s tiles. the chancel has a sedila and credence table. The brass chancel screen was made by Hodgkinson and Co. in 1874. This was erected by Mrs. Evans in memory of her husband.

In 1887 the chancel was lined with Salviati and Co. mosaics representing the Heavenly Jerusalem. These were in memory of Thomas Evans Jnr. who died in 1885 aged 21 years. Other examples of Salviati’s work can be found in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Albert Memorial.

Choir of Angels

The mosaics in the nave are later (1899) and less impressive. They were given by the Evans daughters in memory of their mother.

The stained glass in the east window was also by Salviati (1887). the nave west window is by Morris and Co. (1920) from an excellent reuse of Burne Jones cartoons.

In 2000, John Leonard in his book ‘Churches of Herefordshire and their Treasures’ wrote – ‘I entered the church expecting little of interest – inside I found a Victorian gem.’

Between 1998 and 2000 major repairs and restoration took place. The church was re-roofed and the spire was repaired. A kitchen and toilet were added. Pews behind the font were removed and the space carpeted to be used for meetings and an activity area.

Thomas Evans paid for the churchyard to be levelled and enlarged at the west end. He also paid for it to be enclosed by a wall.

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