Grid Ref: SJ 719 840
Date 17 April 2016


Church of St. John the Evangelist


Church spacer Reg Harris
Caption for Picture   The Grave of Reg Harris (1920-1992)

St. John the Evangelist at Chelford is not easy to photograph because of the proximity of trees on the south side, which prevent the photographer standing back far enough to frame the shot. The picture at the top is a panorama created from several images in portrait format.

The church is designated Grade II* in the National Heritage List for England. It is an Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Knutsford. Its benefice is combined with that of St Peter, Lower Withington. It is believed that there was a medieaval church on the site but the current one was built between 1774 and 1776 with the tower added in 1840. Pevsner guessed that the windows were more in keeping with the 1840 date than the late 18th century but he places the west gallery as 1770s. The chancel was extended in 1902. Raymond Richard's does not cover the church but Arthur Mee mentions that in his day (1968) it had painted wooden memorials to Dorothy Baskerville and (1654) and Dorothy Jodrell (1721).

The Wikipedia article notes that the church has 18th-century box pews and the gallery has been boxed in and converted into a meeting room. Pevsner described the pulpit as being in the Arts and Crafts style. However, the Wikipedia article, drawing on information from Historic England, is more detailed and has the pulpit, the altar rails and the choir stalls as Art Nouveau designed by Percy Worthington and dating from 1903. There are windows commemorating the Great War from 1920 and 1921 made by Morris and Co. The church has six bells from 1885, cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

In the churchyard is the grave of Reg Harris, OBE, who lived from 1920 to 1992. He was World Champion five times, won two Olympic Gold Medals, was twice Britain's Sportsman of the Year and a World Record Holder.

Bradshaw's Railway Guide of 1863 informs us that nearby are Tatton Park (Lord Egerton), Tabley House (Lord de Tabley) and Peover Hall (Sir Harry Mainwaring). It overlooked some nearer landed gentry such as the Bromley Davenports of Capesthorne, the Dixons of Astle Hall and the Stanleys of Nether Alderley. The population of the village was then 256 and the hotel was the Dixon Arms, which was demolished in 2003 and the site used for housing.



The Buildings of England, Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, Yale University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-300-09588-0
Old Cheshire Churches
, with a supplementary survey relating to the lesser Old Chapels of Cheshire, completely revised and enlarged by Raymond Richards, published by E.J. Morten of Didsbury, 1973.
The King's England, Cheshire, by Arthur Mee, 1st edition 1938, fully revised and edited by E. T. Long, Hodder and Stoughton, 1968.


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