- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
St Matthew’s Church held an open day on Saturday 21 September 2019 to celebrate this wonderful church and the local community it serves.
There were a number of activities that went on throughout the day. There were history exhibitions , afternoon tea, tours of the tower and crypt, a presentation to launch the legacy project, local community stalls, children’s craft activities and a discovery trail to learn about the key features of the church.
I went on the tour of the crypt (pictured below). There has been a place of worship on this site for 800 years. In the crypt, there are a set of stairs that lead directly up to the chancel; it is possible that the clergy used this route. There are a few churches that have this set-up. Embedded in the stone walls is a niche in which it is thought that precious objects were placed and locked away. I said a few words and mentioned how this church on a hill, which can be seen from all parts, is an iconic image of Walsall. The fact that it has been around for so long is another reason why we have to protect its heritage and I was delighted to be there to support the legacy project launch.
Having been down to the crypt, I compared it to the crypt in Parliament where we have services. I mentioned that we start our day’s proceedings in Parliament with prayers which are led by the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who will soon become the Bishop of Dover.
I said that it was very important for people to continue to sing hymns. Recently, I came across the following inspirational words in a hymn:
“In Christ all races meet,
Their ancient feuds forgetting,
The whole round world complete,
From sunrise to its setting:
When Christ is throned as Lord,
Men shall forsake their fear,
To ploughshare beat the sword,
To pruning-hook the spear. ”
I would encourage everyone to visit the church and support the legacy project in any way the can, such as by signing up to the newsletter.
You can view the church’s website by clicking here.