The present grade 1 listed church was built in the 12th century as some of the doors and windows indicate, but it may have been built on an earlier religious site as the semi-circular shape of the wall on the west side of the churchyard suggests. It was extended in the later Norman period, and its tower has undergone various repairs. There was much restoration in the Victorian era. It has an excellent organ in good condition. The six bells which date from 1620 to 1887 were restored and rehung in 2009, and are often used by the Bellringers group, and visiting ringers.
The building and the churchyard are generally in good condition, and a project to provide much needed toilet and kitchen facilities is almost at the building stage. We are fortunate to have much support in the community for regular and less common tasks that need to be done, everything from churchyard mowing, flower arranging, cleaning, hoisting of flags and winding of clocks are done with care and commitment, and we have an active and enthusiastic group of bellringers.
Caring for God's Acre are now fostering a wild flower meadow in the churchyard.
Currently the pattern of services has been disrupted by Covid 19 but we would hope to restore weekly services held in either St Swithin’s or St Mary’s, Clunton to include Communion, Matins and Evensong, or service of morning worship.
Regular congregations are small and mostly older people but the great festivals of the Church year are well attended- the provision of mulled wine/hot cross buns as appropriate, adds to the sense of the Church’s place at the heart of our community.
On Good Friday a Cross is carried up and fixed on Clunbury Hill by children and adults from this and neighbouring parishes, with prayers being said en route. The cross stands out on top of the hill, a prominent marker of the Easter season.
A Remembrance service is held in the church, and this is followed by an Act of Remembrance at Purslow War Memorial.
The school uses the church throughout the year, at Christmas, Easter and Harvest services as well as a Leavers Service in the summer when the PCC give a bible to each leaver, and the children have provided art work for each festival. These services are well supported by families and other members of the church community. Several of the families now come from outside the village and the provision of refreshments before the services has fostered good relationships, and a little fundraising towards a space for prams and wheelchairs, by the removal of a few pews.
There are 9 members of the PCC with experience of business, journalism and farming. There are 79 people on the Clunbury Electoral Roll and 22 for Clunton.
The school has brought several young families to the parish. However the majority are retired, with many, particularly the farming families, living in the area more than one generation. There are few jobs for young people and most have to travel for work. Public transport is not frequent and costs of travel and house prices are high.
The main source of income in the area is agriculture - farms of every size and type are proud of the food they produce and the landscape they sustain. That landscape also sustains the second thread of income in the Parish - tourism, with holiday lets and B and B.
This is a supportive, lively, hospitable and caring community.
There is an excellent local newsletter, the Parish Post, which is distributed throughout the Parish and keeps us all in touch with local events and news. Clunbury Parish is a supportive and caring community.
Members of the Church take their Christian values into many roles in our community. We are Parish Councillors, Friends of Clunbury School, members of British Legion, Clun Forest NFU branch Chairman, South Shropshire Healthcare Governor, members of the Marches Choir, on the committee of the Village Hall. Magistrate ??
The church is lucky enough to be well endowed and there is enough money to pay our Parish Offer. Fundraising has up to now included a most successful Promises Auction in the local pub at Purslow, a barbeque and concerts when most of the village attend or take part, but all this has been disrupted by Covid 19, so we are also looking at ways of raising money which do not involve events, such as donations through shopping on line and a ‘Friends’ group.