For more than eight centuries St Chad’s Church has occupied its prime position on Stafford’s high street. Behind what appears as a largely Victorian exterior lies a rich heritage of twelfth-century architecture and sculpture that place St Chad’s amongst the finest examples of Norman architecture in the Midlands. The stone carvings include fantastic animal and human figures that dance around the chancel arch; abstract patterns; and the ubiquitous ‘Green Man’, who has both Christian and Pagan associations.
Early twentieth-century furnishings of exceptional quality, such as the painted and gilded altarpiece by Sir Walter Tapper (1861-1935), well known for his work at York Minster; and the towering font-cover by Sir Charles Nicholson (1867-1949), one of the most inventive architects of the early 1900s complement the Medieval architecture and sculptures.
St Chad’s continues as an active church, offering traditional worship in a distinctive style. The principal Sunday service is a Mass at 11.15am. We also offer a short Mass at 1.05pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, ideal if you work in town as you can visit during your lunch break. On Wednesdays and Thursdays the 1.05pm Mass is help at St Mary’s Church (about a 2 minute walk away). On the last Thursday of the month, we also offer a 1.05pm ‘Music for Prayer’ service, a short service accompanied by music where you are welcome to come and sit peacefully (and even bring your sandwiches)! We hold other special services, Baptisms, Marriage ceremonies and Funerals during the year by prior arrangement. We also support the community with local events such as Open Days throughout the year, Craft fairs, book and bake sales, Heritage open days, charity events and our regular free Coffee Concerts on the third Saturday of the month. For further details of services and activities visit www.stchadsstafford.co.uk or our Facebook page St Chad’s Church Stafford.
St Chad’s is also part of the Stafford Heritage scene; our Heritage Project, launched in 2006, was designed to promote the heritage and spiritual tradition of the Church by presenting the history of the building in new and exciting ways and forges closer links with the wider community. A substantial grant from the heritage lottery fund enabled the installation of the ‘TIMEWALK’ – the first computer generated sound and light show to be installed in an English Parish Church. Using dramatic lighting and sound effects, narrative and drama, the programme presents an 850 year history of the church and its links with the community. The Timewalk is still available on request by prior arrangement for visiting groups.
We are excited to be embarking on some new projects at the Church, we are in the process of having 2 new stained glass windows installed on the West of the Church (you can see them from the High Street). These are based on designs by local artists based on 2 ancient images ‘The Tree of life’ and ‘The River of life’. These compliment the middle window a picture of St Chad. We are also fundraising to have a ramp installed to the front of the Church to make access easier for all of our visitors – more details can be found on our website.
A new full colour guidebook – Stafford’s Hidden Gem – was launched in March 2010 and is available at a price of £2.50 from the Church, as this Church is so full of history it’s impossible to fit it all into one visit!
We look forward to welcoming you to St Chad’s and we are normally open to visitors:
Tuesday 10.30am – 2pm – Mass is at 1.05pm.
Friday 11am – 2.30pm – Mass is at 1.05pm
Saturday 10.30am – 2.30pm
Sunday 10.30am – 12.15pm – Mass is at 11.15am
If you are travelling far to visit us, please call the Parish office on 01785 223600 to check we are open, as occasionally we have to close dependant on other events the Church may be holding or the availability of our stewards.
Guided tours are usually available during our normal opening hours but private guided tours for visiting groups (such as WI or history groups) at other times can be arranged by prior appointment.