St John’s the Baptist Church

St John’s the Baptist church was built in the late 12th century and is of Norman design. The Rev John Wesley, the great Methodist preacher preached twice in the church in 1749.
In the church graveyard is the of the Wayne family who owned the Gadlys Iron works and coal pit. An ancestor of the Wayne family was General “Mad Anthony”, so called for his daring acts of courage; he fought on the side of George Washington in the American War of Independence in 1776.
There are gates inside the church which were made in Abernant Foundry in the 19th Century. The inlays of the gates are shaped in the number three, which stand for the Holy Trinity the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
There is a plaque inside the church to Major General Edward Edwards of the Honorable East India Company, who fought and died in the battle of the Alamo.We are not sure what side he was on the East India Company supplied General De Santa Anna with materials.
On the inside church wall to the left of the church door is a tablet to David William Watkins. Over the years folklore has grown up regarding this unusual burial. It is said that he was buried in the wall of the church so he could look down on his servant who is buried in the floor beneath him. The reason was that his servant was much taller than himself.
The reason behind St John’s Day
In the sixth century, Catholic missionaries were sent through the northern part of Europe to gather pagans into the Roman fold. They found that June 24th was a very popular day among these people. They sought to “Christianise” this day, but how? By this time, December 25th had been adopted as the birthday of Christ. Since June 24th was approximately six months before December 25th, why not call this the birthday of John the Baptist! John was born, we recall, six months before Jesus (Luke 1:26.36). Thus June 24th is known on the papal calendar as St John’s Day!