Bolas Magna S.John the Baptist, Great Bolas

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Great Bolas is a parish and small rural village in Shropshire seven miles west by north of the town of Wellington.

It is known that there was a church in Great Bolas as early as the 13th century when, form the early registry transcribed by Rev W.G. D. Fletcher, the incumbent was *1305, Nov 10th, Alander Newton, custodian. Today, no part of the mediaeval building remains, except possibly two stones in the arch of the east window, behind the altar.

 The present church consists of chancel, nave and western tower with two bells. The chancel is about forty years earlier in date than the nave. It is of stone, and is a mixture of classic and debased gothic style. It was built in 1690 by Mr John Tourneor, who was rector of Bolas for 32 years, and who died on 18th January 1693.

This is recorded in the Register, which states that he was buried under the Communion Table in ‘This Chancell which hee unconstrainedly and generously erected on his sole charges about three years before his death.’

The then nave was taken down in 1726/27. The register states ‘The Old church demolished on ye 10th April 1727. The new nave and tower are built of brick, with stone quoins and dressings. The cost was £331, which was raised mostly by briefs’  (subscriptions and donations).

The design was the work of John Willdigg, who is described as ‘one of the trustees and manager’. The new church was opened on 23rd June 1728.

 There is a gallery at the west end with some massive oak pews of the pre-Reformation date.

 The Squires pew below the pulpit had a row of balusters around the top. Today these are no longer there. 

The font dates from 1843.

There is a brass in the chancel, to John Tourneor 1693.

There are mural tablets to Thomas Griffiths 1745 and to John Ogle 1840.

 The Royal Arms placed over the chancel arch are of the usual early Georgian type i.e. in the first quarter England and Scotland impaled; in the second quarter France modern, in the third quarter, Ireland; in the fourth quarter the King’s German domains.

 The ‘stone flower pots’ were placed on the four corners of the tower on the 21st February 1729. The original ‘stone flower pots’, eroded by weather over the years, have been replace by exact replicas made form polyurethane during the incumbency of the Rev. Peter Eldred Evans about 1966/67, at a cost of £90 and were donated by Mr Alan Smith, resident in Great Bolas at the time.

The Great Bolas parish register dates from 1590. It contains the record of the marriage service of John Jones and Sarah Hoggins on 13th April 1790. This seems commonplace enough, but the John Jones who espoused the village peasant bride was really Henry Cecil, shortly to become the tenth Earl and the first Marquis of Exeter.

The PCC is currently (at August 2015) in the process of looking for grants to fund repairs to the roof which are estimated at approximately £70k. Once these repairs are complete, we are looking at ways in which we can make the building more of a community building as it is the last remaining community site in Great Bolas, having lost the school, village hall, post office and pub.

Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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Ray Hughes
Grange Bungalow
21 Meeson
(01952) 541659 (PCC Secretary) or 07795 673142

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Holy Communion (1662 Prayer Book)
Every first third and fourth Sunday at 10:30 AM for ¾ hour
Book of Common Prayer
Mattins (1662 Prayer Book)
Every second Sunday at 10:30 AM for ¾ hour
Book of Common Prayer
United service
5th Sunday service may be in any of the churches in the group - check noticeboards or contact us for details
Every fifth Sunday at 10:30 AM for 1 hour and 10 minutes.


(Hymn Books / Orders of Service etc.)
Other information
Clergy: The Revd Preb William Edward WARD (Edward)
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 4542
Diocesan ID: 20/469
Built: 1690
Architect: John Tourneor
Style of worship: Central
Our Patron: Rector of Edgmond, A B Davies and Martyrs Memorial and Church of England Trust (joint)
Archdeaconry: SALOP (203)
Deanery: EDGMOND & SHIFNAL (20301)
Parish Legal Name: Bolas Magna (200469 20/469)
CofE Church Info: (620469 20/469)
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The current editor is: Ray Hughes

This page was last updated on Tuesday 18th August 2015
Bolas Magna S.John the Baptist , Great Bolas, Shropshire, TF6 6PQ

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