The Parish Church of St Laurence, Alvechurch

History

St Laurence altar
St Laurence font

The Organ

Fifteen years after the church had been rebuilt, an organ was installed in the north aisle. In 1971 the organ was rebuilt by Thomas Sheffield of Solihull and placed on a free standing gallery in the north aisle. This instrument replaced an earlier one built by the Hill Organ Company at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The present organ has 1,348 pipes of which 180 came from the old instrument.

The Specification of the organ is:-

St laurence organ

The organ was dedicated on 28 February 1971 and an inaugural recital was given that day by Christopher Robinson, MA, B.Mus, FRCO, Organist of Worcester Cathedral.

The Stained Glass Windows

Monuments

Medieval monuments in the church include a tomb slab in the chancel with a floriated cross and arms of Bishop Carpenter 1443-1476, who is buried at Westbury, Bristol.
In the north aisle is a recess containing an effigy of a cross-legged knight, probably Sir John Blanchfront. The armour dates the figure to the mid 14th century.

St laurence knight

Reset in the northwest corner of the north aisle is the brass of Philip Chatwyn, 1524, Gentleman Usher to Henry VIII and a leading tenant in Alvechurch at that time.
Also in the north aisle is a handsome mural monument to Edward Moore, who died in 1746.

Bells
The tower houses a complete peal of eight bells. Originally there was a peal of six, of unknown date, but they were recast in 1711. The inscription on one these bells reads
"If you would know when we ware run It was March 22 1711" and another "Joseph Smith of Edgbaston made me 1711". The remaining two bells, to complete the peal, were added in 1891.

Rectors
A complete list of Rectors from 1290 to the present day is recorded on a board near the south porch door.
Both before and after the Reformation the living - a valuable one - was often held by absentees and at times in plurality, so that, until the 19th century the church was often served by a curate.
Many of the rectors have been men of importance in their time, including a Chancellor of England, the notable antiquary Charles Lyttleton later Bishop of Carlisle, and the nonconformist divine Richard Moore who held the living during the Protectorate. Less reputable characters were Robert de Wych (1290) who was deprived of the living for public concubinage, amongst other faults, and William Hollington, who was chaplain to Charles I, and whose Puritan enemies accused him of being a frequenter of alehouses, and of incontinency with neighbours' wives.

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