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Supporter Messages

St Johns Church Preservation Group Supporter Comments:

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From well known author and pop star Michael Taylor
"Thanks very much for contacting me with regard to the campaign to save St. John's church. The church holds some wonderful memories for me, having attended it most of my younger life (except when, as a boy, I defected to St. Thomas's - Top Church - to sing in the choir there with my father). I was christened there, President of the St. John's Youth Club in the 1950s - early 60s, which was run by the then Curate Peter? Jennings. I was married there in 1962. Many of my forebears are buried there. So it has had some relevance in my life.
 Yesterday I attended the funeral of Edith Stopford who was a stalwart helper at the church and with the Mothers' Union, and who was an esteemed neighbour of ours when we lived on Kates Hill. Edith was 84 when she died on 18th August.
 Several of my novels feature St. John's church in the stories, particularly strongly in Eve's Daughter, but also in The Love Match, Love Songs, and Clover, all of which are set largely on Kates Hill. Current and future members of the Campaign might be interested in this, and wish to read the novels if they have not already done so. Might I suggest a link to my web site at if you see fit.
If there is some way I can be of help in preserving this lovely and relevant old church, I shall be more than happy to do so. If I can represent the campaign in any way, or help to promote it do let me know."
 Best wishes,
 (Michael has created a link from his website to the St John's Church Preservation Group website to view his comments go to


On behalf of the Black Country Society I would like to join your cause. Anything we can do to assist we will do. This is an important local building with much historical significance and must not be lost for future generations.
All the best
Mick Pearson
(Editor, BlackCountryman magazine)

 It will be a crime if this church is not saved. It is one of the town's most striking landmarks, and played a significant part in the first twenty years of my life until I moved away from the area. I was christened there and I attended St John's Primary School and Sunday School. At various stages I was a choirboy, altar server, bellringer, Sunday School teacher and a member of the youth club. My parents were
closely involved with the church in a number of capacities for almost the whole of their lives.

Mike Banks

(you may use my name if you wish)

NB Mike is the artist who drew the picture of the church used on the St John's Church parish magazine


We were married on August 2nd 1968 at St Johns Church on a cold and  blustery day, not unusual for the Oakham area, we had both lived in  Oakham Road before the wedding. We wish you well in your efforts to  reopen  the Church
 Best regards
Barbara and John  Davies

St John's Church must be saved, it's a beautiful church.  Its a disgrace that it has got into this state.  I was christened there in 1963 and married there in 1985.  I used to walk past it everyday to school in the seventies.  Please don't let it be demolished.
Mrs Anne Pemberton
You can use my name.

I was christened at St John’s on 9th October 1955 and attended both Kate’s Hill Primary and Junior Schools. I wish you every success in your endeavours – Kate’s Hill wouldn’t be the same without St John’s.
Best regards, Dave, Colwyn Bay 

 Many of my Owen family ancestors are buried in the churchyard. Of the several children of Edward Owen and mary Ann Owen nee Jackson..3 came to Canada..Abel.Mary Ann and Jane..while many others remained in Dudley. Surely the church can be preserved!!

B Jackson Canada
"I feel it would be very sad for St Johns not to be saved ,it has been a part of the community for a long time and an area such as Kates Hill needs its links with the past and also the church can be a valuable asset to the area as a multi purpose building as well as a focal point for the area . The area also needs to keep its Christian symbol for all to see and have access to .We wish the campaign every success and our thoughts and prayers are with you all for a successful outcome"
Regards Chris

"You might not believe it to look at me now but I used to sing in the choir there and I was confirmed there. Get it open again, now"  

 "I am 60 years-old and have lived in London for the last 40 years. But I was  christened in St. Johns Church and sang in the choir. My mother, who is  still alive, was married in the church. I wish you all the very best of luck  in trying to save and preserve the church."

 " Just a quick message to wish everyone good luck with all you do in saving  the church. we will do all we can to help from all the parents and squad members of pedmore panthers cheerleaders." Adam Pugh


Very interested in your Save St Johns Church efforts. I wish you all the very best with this.
You have my full support, & would like to sign the petition.
Bye, Alexa Davies.


·         “The church has helped me personally and it is a place I would like to take my son regular if it was open.”  

·         “My Daughter used to be in the church choir”,  

·         “I went to Sunday School, was confirmed and married, all at St Johns Church”


·         “We were married at this church in 1948 and my son used to go to the church school”  

·         “A church should be a place of worship that also functions as a welcoming space for the community is an invaluable asset to any area, it should not be lost” 


   “My whole family is connected to this church, many generations of people who have worshiped, married and are now buried at St Johns, this church must be saved for future generations, my son has never seen the church open but regularly visits the graveyard with my mum and his great nanna”  

  “All three of us brothers have been christened at St Johns, it would be good to see something positive happen in the area”


   “St Johns is a God Blessed place, my family go to church, please bring the church back again”

  Although I am a member of a different church and do not want to join the preservation group I am still very fond of St Johns Church as it is on my doorstep and as an historic building and place of worship I believe the building should be saved”  



·         “We got wed at St Johns and so did our two daughters, mom and dad are buried there”  

         “It should be used again for births, deaths and weddings and to preserve our heritage and memories of the deceased”  

·         “I have family connections with the church, the family ‘Knock’”


·         “My neighbour is buried there and the church has been there all my life and I would hate to see it go”, Keshel Mason, Age 11



 “No church should ever be demolished”


"My parents were married there and I have relations buried in there. It's a beautiful church and should be kept open and used"



 > I would just like to say that you are all doing wonderful work and if I lived nearer I would work with you. I grew up at ST. John's Church, Sunday school and Day School. I feel quite sad to hear about the church for which I do have a great affection. However, I feel sure that God will show you his Grace for the effort you are making I am sure He will reward you.. I now attend another St. John's Church, here in Walton, Chesterfield and I have mentioned the plight you have to a number of people here and they have promised to be with you in prayer, as I am also...
> Heather Silvers


  It’s too precious to let go. J. Detheridge 


I was in St John Scouts 1964- 1968. D. Jennings 


My wife is buried there. Harry Yardley


 I used to love it there at Christmas. Hurry up and save it! Mrs Irene Jones








I was Christened there. S. King 


It’ s a beautiful church, I have known it since I was a child. A. Robinson


 We want it back to normal so that when people visit they can walk round safely. Mrs Gibbons  



We have three generations of family living and working  etc etc on Kates Hill, keeping shops and worshipping at St John’s. M. Hawker 


I was christened there and my parents married there too. S. Gidden 


I got married there. G. Jones 


I used to sing carols there. J. Griffiths 


Our school used to use St John’s for Carol Services. S. Griffiths 


I was christened there. C. Gardner 


I used to live in the area. E.A. Gill 


I was christened there. Mrs B. Johnson 


I want to save St John’s for the nature. J. Adams (8 years)   


I am an ex choir boy see picture attached, 1960. J. Crocker 


I used to help organise and run annual trips for children in the community to Malvern and linked with Holy Trinity Church. M. Stevens 


My Grandmother was baptised at St John’s in 1942, Grandparents married there 1960, and Great Grandparents married there in 1940. C. Glasgow (Young supporter)

 My Grandparents, great Grandparents, great  great grandparents and other family members are buried in the graveyard. K. Glasgow  and C. Glasgow (Young supporters) 



I was a Sunday School teacher there. K. Wood 


I was baptised, confirmed and married at St John’s. Attended Day School and Sunday School. My parents were both involved with the church up to their deaths. H. Silvers (nee Banks)

 I was married at St John’s. T.J. Silvers



 My daughters attended Sunday School there. R. Ruston







I used to worship there as a child and our children were members of Brownies and Guides . St John’s Church is the central place of the Parish and should be made available to its congregation. The expulsion of the congregation is a disgrace. The Church Commissioners and the local clergy have lost their way and must be opposed. J.H. Ruston 


Went to St John’s, lived in Brewery Street  all my life, Mother still lives there. R. Baker 


Former family members were churchwardens. P. Devall 


My Grandparents are buried there and also a lot of my friends. Mr and Mrs A. J. Richards  


A lot of friends are buried there. K. Bunchell 


A lot of friends are buried there. J. Sutton 


My sisters husband was a server there. My sister and brother in law are buried there. Most of my family lived in Kates Hill and we used to go dancing in the Parish Hall years ago. J. Rose 


I represent the residents of St Thomas’s, a large contingent of whom wish to save the church. Councillor Steve Waltho  


I used to worship there and was in the Scouts. M.Beeston 


It’s local heritage. M. Black 


It’s wrong to knock down a building  like this, aye right at all. B. Campbell 


It is important to those people who have always worshipped there. To keep it going as a tower of strength for people praying and worshipping there. N. Collier 


Please don’t let this church die. Clean it up and also get the people out that put the genuine people off. It is a very beautiful church that the people of the community want to enjoy. Mr and Mrs R. Cox

 I have lived here 18 years and I think it is a beautiful church. J.E. Danks



It is a historic building and a place of worship. E.Dawson 


My daughter was in the choir. E. Detheridge 


I was a regular worshipper there. W. Griffiths 


It’s been there all my life and I would hate to see it go K. Handley (young supporter) 


Don’t let it end up as another banal development. A. Hipkiss. 


I was married there in 1948, my son went to the church school. J. Hommer


I was confirmed there, married there and went to Sunday School there. B. Johnson 


 Our heritage, history and roots are fading fast. J. Joiner 


All kids christened there, Grandad in cemetery and it’s a local landmark. P. Jones 


Used to go there with school sometimes. C. Leach 


I’d like to worship there. P. Lee, new to area 


A friend used to be a pastor there, Mr Nickelford, but he died. I’ve know the place for a long time. B. Lewis

 Too many beautiful and historic buildings are left to rot or pulled down. It was part of my childhood. D. Maskell 



I went to church there. M. Massey 


Save the church. M. Morgan 


The church belongs to God and the people should have the freedom to go and worship the one living God in this church. S. Mutseyeka

 It’s a listed building and should be protected. Mrs Payne 



My family connections are over 100 years old, to much to let close. R. Portman 


Family ties are too strong to just let it close. J. Potter 


It’s the only landmark left from the period. G. Portman 


Used to go to Midnight Mass there, and at Easter and Lent. Friends buried there. A. Read 


My late husband, myself and my son and daughter have long time connections with St John’s Church. I. Rollinson

 All three brothers christened there. S. Round 



It is part of Kates Hill history. Mrs Scott

 It was the first place I took my son, very helpful to me personally. R. Sheldon 



I was married there. M. Slimm 


Family history research and have burials there. Have written to Carl Chinn. M. Smart 


Have worshipped there, a God blessed place. Most of family go to church.  Make it come back again! L. Stuart 


My children attended the church. G. Watkins 


We were wed there, so were our two daughters. Mom and Dad buried there. Mr and Mrs Welsh 


I would like to see the cleaning up of the churchyard. J.H. Williams


  “All my kids were christened here, my granddad is in the cemetery and it’s a local landmark, it cannot be knocked down.”  


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