St. John's Church in Wolverley
This church has been in the deanery of Kidderminster since the 13th Century. Tradition claims a Saxon church here. A priest of Wolverley is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086). A replacement church, then consisting of a new chancel and nave attached to the east side of a stone built tower of the earlier church, was consecrated on 20th September 1772.
Funds came from a Churchwardens’ levy to which were added donations from the local gentry. Edward Knight was the chief benefactor. The water-powered charcoal iron industry was the source of much of their affluence.
Our church has served as school chapel for the former Wolverley Grammar School (later Sebright School), founded by William Sebright (1540-1620). At the present time, special services are held here for pupils attending the various schools within this parish. Each Remembrance Day, a service is held around the War Memorial, attended by members of the Wolverley & Cookley branch of the Royal British Legion.
A group of “Friends of Wolverley Church” supports the church financially. Their musical evenings have established a high reputation hereabouts.
The original church served an ancient parish of 5542 acres. In the mid-19th century, as the population rose especially around the industrial hamlet of Cookley, a separate ecclesiastical district was formed (later to become Cookley Parish). The church of Cookley, St. Peter, was consecrated in 1849 with its own Vicar. Since 1981 both parishes have enjoyed the pastoral care of a shared Vicar.
Wolverley and Cookley are “twinned” with Neuenhofe in the diocese of Magdeburg in former East Germany. There is an annual exchange of visits. The pastor of Neuenhofe and his parishioners came to Worcestershire in 1999 and again in 2001.