Churches and Chapels of Stoke-on-Trent

St. Jude's (Shelton) - Hanley

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In 1879  the Rector of Stoke built a Mission Church at the corner of Beresford Street and Victoria Road, anticipating the spiritual needs of the growing population, although there had been a Mission Chapel at St Anthony's Row, Newlands Street for some years earlier. The Rector of Stoke, John Herbert Crump appointed Rev. Edmund Spink as Curate of the new Mission Church of St Simon and St Jude in the centre of the new suburb.

Mission Church of St Simon and St Jude
at the corner of Beresford Street and Victoria Road

The mission became the hall for the new St. Judes's Church - then later on was home to
the Stoke Repertory Theatre. 
After the Rep moved on to a new building in Leek Road the mission
became the neighbourhood mosque- al Makki Masjid.

foundation stone
28th Oct 1879


On 11th of May 1895,  Queen Victoria in Council at Windsor decreed "... a separate district for spiritual purposes in that particular part of Stoke-on-Trent..." Here the Order in Council went on to define precisely to the last linear foot, the bounds of the new parish of St Simon and St Jude,

"...all that part of the Parish of Stoke-on-Trent in the County of Stafford in the Diocese of Lichfield, bounded in the west by the New Parish of Holy Trinity, Hartshill, in the north by the New Parish of Etruria, and the Parish of Shelton, and the New Parish of Wellington, the Parish of  Bucknall and   Bagnall, in  the  east by the  Parish of Caverswall, in the  south-east by   the  Parish of St  John  the  Baptist,  Lane  End and the  Parish of  Christchurch, Fenton and in the south west by......"

here the description resorts to roads, railways, natural and man-made features with precise distances in chains and feet.

The new church was to be built on land set aside from the housing development in Seaford Street, Cauldon Road and Beresford Street, and a further plot was reserved on adjacent land in Seaford Street, for a new parsonage at a cost of 135. The Shelton architects, Scrivenors were retained to design and build the new church with 800 seats, at a cost of 10,000.

Photo of the Church and Rev R. A. Lord
from St. Jude's Parish magazine of April 1958

1956 saw the arrival of Rev. Archibald Royston Lord - a flamboyant, larger-than-life character who swept into the Parish like a mischievous whirlwind. Rev. Edge had introduced priestly vestments for Eucharist (older people preferred  Holy  Communion)  which  raised  eyebrows, but "The Lord",  as the new man was irreverently called, introduced Mass, brighter and more ornate vestments, incense, bells, confession and all manner of very high church innovations. He was single, an ex-RAF chaplain, with   Alfredo an  Italian cook,  Anna   an   Austrian housekeeper, and Geoff a companion also an ex-RAF type, who acted as his Personal Assistant, He also had several lodgers of varying degrees of eccentricity, and Karl a large black Labrador who slept on the Chancel steps during Divine Service.


Interior of St. Jude's


St Jude's was consecrated in 1901, the living being in the gift of the Rector of Stoke. The capable and loyal curate Edmund Spink was appointed to the living and in 1902 became rector in his own right.
St Jude's Church was demolished in the early 1980's to give place to sheltered accommodation

see a "walk" from Stoke Fields to Winton's Wood,
- the parish of St. Simon and St. Jude



questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks