History of St Thomas'

If you want to find out more about the History of St Thomas' Church, you will find various material here, and through links on other websites.

Timeline of the history of St Thomas ChurchTimeline of the history of St Thomas Church

Timeline page here on this website gives significant dates since the church was designed in 1842.

Frederick Charles Archer was the first Headteacher of Keresley Newlands School (1926 to 1939) and he spent some time researching the history of the parish. His original notebooks were passed to the then vicar, but their whereabouts is now unkown. However, in 1965 some typed copies were prepared for presentation to the retiring churchwarden of the Mission Church, other copies were intended to be placed in various libraries and two copies have been kept in the church records and have been made available here. (Eventually it is hoped to have both volumes available, this link is to volume one.)

These notes give more information about the early history than any other document in the church's possession.

In 1947, as part of the Centenary Celebrations, an old parishioner called Miss Caroline Hands wrote a pamphlet describing life in Keresley parish in the 19th Century. Extracts from that pamphlet were typed out and preserved in the Church Records, they are now reproduced here.
Timeline of the history of St Thomas ChurchOld Photographs Photographs from the 20th Century showing the building, the churchyard and the people of yesteryear.

Centenary Booklet (opens in new window)

Scanned pages from the Parish Centenary Booklet published in 1947.
Our Parish Magazine page here on this website contains examples spanning more than 100 years.
A list of papers relating to St Thomas' Church, these are now held in Warwickshire County Record Office for safe keeping. Contact the Record Office to view these records.
Plans were drawn by Benjamin Ferrey in 1842 for a new church in Keresley. A copy of these plans is now kept in the Lambeth Palace Library, you may view the plans online by clicking on this link.

Note Thickens / Thickins: For many years it has been common to refer to the first Vicar of Keresley with Coundon as the Rev William Thickens, this is the spelling of his name which appears in the memorial stained glass East window, it is also the spelling carved into the stone tablet which now rests beside the main door (the stone which also bears the names of those killed in WWII as well as a brief history of the parish). However his gravestone in the churchyard bears the spelling "Thickins", as does his own entry in the burial register, as does his own signature in those registers. It would seem best in future therefore, to spell his name as Rev William Thickins.

St Thomas' Church is part of the Diocese of Coventry within the Church of England | 2004-2012  St Thomas PCC. With thanks to Rev P Walker