1086 - Domesday Book rough translation: Lopitone held by Edric the Wild, 5 hides that pay tax, In Lordship 2 ploughs, 4 slaves, 15 villagers have 6 ploughs, 2 extra ploughs would be possible. It is noted that Lopitone was worth £3 in 1066 and £6 in 1086. Lopitone was in the Baschurch Hundred.
1190 - Alexander de Lopitone granted Loppington Church and its tithes to Wombridge Abbey in return for prayers at the Priory for his deceased family members. It was at this time that the original stone church would have been built as there is evidence of Norman stone work in the building. Loppington now in the Pim Hill Hundred. 1300 - The North doorway (now covered by the St Michael Tapestry) and South Chancel doorway date from the 14th Century. 1400 - West and South walls were removed and the tower and south aisle were added. 1643 - Battle of Loppington. During the Civil War Loppington remained loyal to the Crown as did most of Shropshire but Wem was for Parliament. The Parliamentary forces sited a gun on Ditches Hill outside Wem and fired on Loppington damaging the north wall of the church. The church roof was then set alight to force the occupants out and the roof and arcade were destroyed. 1700 - The damage was repaired in the 17th and 18th centuries. The north wall was rebuilt in stone recovered from the remains with some additional stone and the arcade rebuilt in wood. Victorian - The church was again partially rebuilt and the wooden arcade replaced Period with stone. The false ceiling was taken down to reveal the beautiful roof beams and the chancel was rebuilt and extended to provide a larger sanctuary. The restoration cost £1700, and the work on the chancel cost the Dickin family of Loppington and the Vaughan family of Burlton £157 10s 3d. 1900 - Repairs continued to be made throughout the century.
The organ was installed in the tower in 1949 being removed from a chapel in Liverpool and installed in memory of those who gave their lives in the war. Previously there had been an organ in what is now the Lady Chapel presumably installed by the Victorians when they restored the church. The Tower was renovated and made safe later in the century. The tapestry kneelers and St Michael tapestry were designed and made by local people at this time.
The New Millennium
2000 - The Tapestry showing the Light of Christ was produced to mark the Millennium. Project 2008 was initiated at the beginning of the new Millennium which involves the installation of a new heating system, toilet and kitchen, repairs to the ceiling between the beams and a new lighting scheme. The Church of St Michael and All Angels is an historic building, Grade One Listed, and will always demand a high standard of repairs and maintenance. The people of the church are committed to continue to maintain the building as well as doing the Lord's work in the parish.
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A Tour of St Michael and All Angels Church, Loppington
As you enter the church by the south door, you see in front of you, at the back of the church, the FONT. 1. The font is used regularly for the Baptism of babies. Baptism is a Sacrament whereby we are, through Gods grace, washed clean of all sin and made children of God and members of the world wide Church. Adults may be Baptised if they were not been Baptised as children.
2. The ORGAN is reached from the stairs behind the font. Unfortunately we have to lock the gate at the bottom of the stairs for safety reasons, but if you stand back from the font, and look up, you can see the organ. It is a Father Willis Organ, which makes it rather special as the Willis Company made very high quality instruments. The parishioners installed the organ after the Second World War, in memory of those who lost there lives in the conflict. The organ came from a Chapel in Liverpool. We have completed the renovation of the Organ, which is used at most services. Music is an important element in all our worship and we have a good Choir that leads the congregation and contributes various anthems to the worship.
Tapestry, Pew seats and kneelers and stained glass windows
3. At the bottom of the stairs you cannot fail to notice the large wall TAPESTRY depicting St. Michael slaying the dragon. This was Designed and worked on by five Ladies of this Church in memory of Revd. Roy Sorfleet, who was Vicar of this Parish.
4. From here walk down the main Aisle towards the Altar and note the tapestry on the PEW SEATS AND KNEELERS. All the kneelers and seat cushions are individual; no two patterns are the same. They were all designed and worked by Ladies of this church. Do take time to look closely at some of them.
5. Please notice some of the STAINED GLASS WINDOWS as you walk round.
Lectern, pulpit and chancel
6. In front of the front pew on your left is the LECTERN. It is from here that the members of the congregation read the lessons at our services. We have quite a number of readers who take turns on a rota basis. We use service sheets containing readings, Psalm and Prayers for the day so this makes it easier for the readers , and the congregation can follow the readings on the sheet and take it home with them if they wish.
7. If you look round the back of the lectern, you will see steps leading to the PULPIT. Sermons are preached from the pulpit as a rule but for some services, such as the family service which is very informal, the talk is given from the body of the church.
8. Continuing up into the CHANCEL, note the tapestries again. The Revd. Sorfleet designed the Choir stall kneelers using Biblical texts set to musical chant. One is supposed to read one side on the way to the Altar, and the other side on the way back to the pews.
Sanctuary, tapestry and Lady Chapel
9. Moving onto the SANCTUARY, the Altar rail cushions depict a panoramic view of the village and two side cushions with scenes of spring, summer, autumn and winter. We have two altar ‘fronts’; a very beautiful multicoloured ‘all seasons’ one, and a lovely white ‘festival’ one.
10. Our most recent TAPESTRY is on your right. This was worked for the Millennium. It shows Jesus as the light of the world. A full description is in the frame by the tapestry. (Please note that this Tapestry has now been moved to the Lady Chapel).
11. Retracing your steps down the chancel and turning sharp left at the end of the choir stalls, you enter the LADY CHAPEL. A space has been made here for work with children, Choir practice, Prayer groups, PCC meetings etc.
St Michael's Troopers
12. The Sunday school at one time made a wonderful reredos behind the altar. Do open the curtain that protects it from dirt and dust to take a look. The picture is of the village and the names of all the children are round the edges. Our children’s work continues under the name of ST. MICHAELS TROOPERS and you can see some of there work on the notice board.
13. Do take time to pause and pray, take a seat and drink in the atmosphere of this lovely old building that has been used for prayer for more than 800 years, before returning down the aisle to the exit.
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