st thomas' | timeline
This history of St Thomas’ Church is based in large part on notes prepared, in 1972, by the sixth vicar, Mr Bastin. These notes have been edited and brought up to date for this website by the current vicar, Mr Norris.
Plans drawn by Benjamin Ferrey for a new church in Keresley. A copy of these plans is now kept in the Lambeth Palace Library, you may view the plans by clicking on this thumbnail.
Parish formed from St Michael's Coventry and Holy Trinity without. Church and Churchyard consecrated 10th September 1847; bells and clock added later. First vicar, Rev W. H. Thickens, lived at Keresley House (his brother was vicar of Exhall).
Church school built: of stone with a tower; a house below and 2 classrooms above.
First vicarage built on Brownshill Green Road, the land was a gift of Maria Wilmot. There were 14 rooms, 2 cellars, a coach house, 3/4 acre grounds and no mains services.
Second vicar, Rev G. T. P. Deere
Church school enlarged: one class room added and school manager's room below
First extension to churchyard with surrounding wall, given by Mrs Troughton.
Chancel and Sanctuary floor laid with tiles representing implements of the crucifixion, the money raised by a "Sale of Work".
First monthly leaflets, forerunner of the present church magazine.
An organ is installed in the gallery for the first time and the choir moved back there. (At first the choir had sat in the gallery, where string and wind instruments provided the music, but then they had moved to the chancel where they were accompanied by a harmonium.)
Mr H. P. Loasby appointed School Headmaster and Church Organist
Third vicar, Rev W. C. Kerr. Approximate date of improvements to church, organ and heating
Local Authority (Warwicks) built Infants School - removed infants from Church School
Boring started for coal in North East part of parish
Change of Diocese from Worcester to Coventry
Colliery Village begun astride N.E. boundary with Exhall
Enabling Act creates P.C.C.s etc. Capt and Mrs Miller helped to build Women's Institute in New Road. This continued here until 1970
Fourth vicar, Rev T. H. Perry. Stipendiary Reader Mr A. B. Barnes
Hut in Fivefield Lane for services and social events. Churchwarden Mr S. Glover
Mission Church opened in Bennetts Road
Housing estate in East of Parish: astride St Lukes and Exhall
Keresley Hall (former home of Hillman family) became Alcock Hospital, vicar becomes honoury chaplain. Conventional District is created of St George with Hall/Church in Coundon
Housing Estates developed in S.W. and S. of parish
Work on Church Bells; Miss Rotherham leaves Keresley Grange. Fifth vicar, Rev G. N. Roper
Death of Mrs Hands, born 1837, the last surviving person who remembered the church being built
Parish of St George (Coundon) formed from parts of Keresley with Coundon, St Nicholas Radford, and St John the Baptist Coventry. Church School became Juniors only. Mr D. K. Daniels became Lay Reader.
Sixth vicar Rev E. J. Bastin
Capt A. G. Walker (Church Army) took on work in Colliery area Keresley Grange became headquarters squadron RAFVR
Second extension to Churchyard and fence given by Mr E. Turrall. Mr H.P. Loasby retires after 40 years as Church Organist.
Work on Church Tower & Spire. Full time Verger/Sexton appointed.
Casualties in Air Raids; St Nicholas and St Francis destroyed
National Service Hostels built
First Assistant Curate appointed; Rev D. R. McKinnon ; restarted children's work ; Keresley Hospital enlarged
Rev W. H. Oliver succeeded Rev D. R. McKinnon; Church School closed.
Rev W. H. Oliver left; the Birches became part of Keresley Hosplital; The Manor becomes a children's home; a house called "Dovedale" and 4.4 acres purchased for church use to mark the first centenary.
First Centenary celebrated. Captain Walker died suddenly. During the last 50 years various alterations took place in the church. The pulpit and reading desk were moved, opening up the chancel and sancturary, while prayer desks and a brass lectern took the place of the square reading desk. Keresley Grange became a Children's Care reception centre; Mr L. Green becomes Reader.
Coundon Hall became a hotel. Church organ rebuilt.
Development of Colliery estates. Vicar ceased to be chaplain at hospital; Newlands House became Old People's Home
Coundon Court becomes Girl's Comprehensive School
Adjustments to parish boundaries; Church repaired and redecorated
Negotiations begun for site of new vicarage.
Assistant curate Rev W. H. Bates; curae's house bought; Old school sold, later realised over Â£6,000 which went to the diocese for Blue Coat School.
Mr H.S. Pettitt becomes Reader
Rev W. H. Bates leaves
Rev R Hawtin assistant curate
New Vicarage built on Tamworth Road. "Dovedale" converted to Church Room with flat above.
Church Walk and Church path given to church by Coventry Boy Foundation Trust, full time Verger/Sexton ceased to be employed.
Repairs to South side of church, 2 acres of land exchanged with Coventry Corporation. Rev R Hawtin leaves
New heating system installed in church, Keresley Hospital closed.
Mission Church altered and repaired/re-decorated. Church Hall built in Wickham Close. Churchyard extended. Parish Magazine ceases
Seventh vicar Rev J. H. Tyers
Repairs to North wall of Church. Sanctuary re-worked again. Mr L. Green completes 25 years as Reader ; Rev M. Clarke becomes Assistant Curate
Eighth vicar Rev J. Panting
Captain Martin Hathaway appointed to serve Keresley Village and the Mission Church. At St Thomas the five bells were re-cast as a peel of six
Mission Church became Church of the Ascension
The Galilee Room is built on the North side of the church, giving a meeting room with kitchenette, and toilets.
Rev A. Donaldson appointed to Keresley Village as full-time minister for Church of the Ascension.
Colliery closes for the first time.
Ninth vicar Rev K. Mobberley
Church of Ascension building declared unsafe in May, demolished in December.
Colliery closes finally.
Parish celebrates 150 years. Two shops bought in Keresley Village for new church.
Keresley Community Church opens, an ecumenical church shared by Anglicans and Methodists. Tenth vicar Rev P. A. Walker appointed together with his wife Rev R. E. Walker to job-share Keresley Village and St Thomas'.
New Church Heating System installed
Extension and re-roofing of Keresley Village Community Church.