The History of Saint John’s Church, Heath Hayes
A Staffordshire Church built 108 years ago has finally received official recognition from the Lichfield Diocese.
In May St John Church in Heath Hayes, was consecrated as the Parish Church of Heath Hayes by the Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Rt Revd Clive GREGORY, and the Revd Leah VASEY-SAUNDERS was inducted as the church’s first vicar.
Originally built in 1902 s a mission church for the mining village of Heath Hayes, St John’s was originally part of the parish of Cannock– first as a daughter church then as a church within the Cannock Team Ministry. But the Lichfield Diocese has redrawn the boundaries in Cannock, abolishing the team ministry to create a number of individual parishes, including the parish of Heath Hayes.
Speaking at the consecration, Bishop GREGORY said: “For over 100 years the people in this vicinity have considered this as their church and its minister as their vicar. They may be flabbergasted to know their vicar wasn’t a vicar and their church wasn’t a parish church. And many might think only the Church of England could make such a big fuss about something which doesn’t appear to change much”.
He went on to say that the consecration provided the congregation with an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for what God is doing in Heath Hayes, and as an opportunity to redefine the mission and purpose of the church and its relationships with other parishes.
“My prayer is that the changes that may gradually happen as a result of this consecration and induction will bring blessings to this church and enable it to fulfil its calling as a spiritual house and a vibrant centre of God’s mission in this parish”, concluded Bishop GREGORY.
(Taken from an article in the Cannock Chase Post 2010)