The three Parishes of the United Benefice :
S. Michael, Horton, S. Chad, Longsdon and S. Lawrence, Rushton Spencer nestle in the breath-taking beauty of the Staffordshire Moorlands. They border on the ancient (1214) silk-mill market-town of Leek on the River Churnet and famous for its Wednesday market and abundance of antique shops and warehouses.
Nearby, (approx. 3 miles) is Britain’s favourite theme park - Alton Towers. By contrast, if you prefer a more leisurely and reflective experience there is Biddulph Grange (approx. 2 miles – National trust restored Victorian Gardens. Here you will find a plant collection from all over the world - a global journey from an Italian Terrace to an Egyptian pyramid via a Himalayan glen and Chinese inspired garden.
At the heart of our three Parishes is the famous Rudyard Lake.
The lake is two and half miles long and was created more than two centuries ago for the then expanding canal system of the West Midlands. This is where two newly-weds spent their honeymoon in 1865 and after which they named their son who became that very “English” poet - Rudyard Kipling. Today, Rudyard Lake offers an opportunity for walking, boating, sailing and fishing and also a ride on a miniature steam train. Lying in a fold of thickly wooded hillsides, Rudyard Lake - known as the “Hidden Gem of the Staffordshire Moorlands” - is a haven of peace and tranquility.
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