St Romwald's is a fine example of a Gothic building, much of which dates to the 12th Century, although there is Saxon brickwork in the lowest levels of the apse. The tower is 14th Century, and was raised with the addition of an octagonal spire in the Perpendicular Flemish style by "Upright Hans", the Perpendicular Fleming We aren't sure why he got this name, although from the popularity of the name Hans among children of the village in the 15th Century, we can guess.
The church porch has a number of fine gurgoyles. The font was moved from St Gerard's in the 19th century, and is Norman.
The side chapel was built in the early 16th Century and has a Hagioscope and a fine collection of misericords.
|A representative church, not necessarily St Romwald's|
During the 19th Century "Oxford Movement", the West Gallery was removed and a harmonium installed. The current organ is the fourth since that date. Although Agnes is only the third organist.
The Choir is in a Rococo style. The place where they sit is neo-Gothic.
Actually, the church is a small but lively bunch of people. We're not saying we always agree on everything - how boring would that be? But we mostly get on. And we want to live lives in the way Jesus wants us to, in the place where we live. Apart from the Sunday services, we have a good social life, we sing carols in the pub at Christmas, the men (and the husbands of women who come) regularly go our for curries and snooker evenings. The Baby Club we originally set up for children in the church, is now an important source of company and support for mothers from all over this side of town.
We do struggle, what with our running expenses, to act charitably in money terms. But with some other groups in town we started the Food Bank, and support it with our time and the tins and boxes that are donated - through the year, but with a big push at Harvest, Christmas and Easter. Three of us go out with the Street Pastors and try to help people staggering around town drunk - or just wandering, lonely or lost - late on Fridays and Saturdays.
The services are interesting and often very moving, and the music is a combination of good traditional hymns and the occasional lively modern one. Not "Be Still for the Presence of the Lord". We're bored with that. But we're all very friendly, and we love the minister.
Contrary to popular belief about the clergy, she's quite young, firmly believes in the Resurrection and Virgin Birth, but wants to relate the Bible to today's world in a meaningful way. Oh yeah, and she has a degree in Physics.
If you come to St Romwald events - whether on a Sunday or to anything else - we'll make you welcome, and we will not asking searching questions about your beliefs and/or personal life.
But you haven't read any of this, have you?
Because, unless you are the sort of architectural geek who collects church buildings like stamps - you didnt get past the word "Gothic".