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Rectors of Forton

The parish of Forton, if we may judge from the records, has always been one where life has progressed upon a tranquil path, no matter what disturbances troubled the nation. This is reflected in the careers of the Rectors who held their livings, come what may, and in whose church man and maid came to marry, to name their children and were finally laid to rest, no matter who reigned the land.

William Branthwaite (1529-1554) was Rector under Henry VIII and Queen Mary. He must have introduced the Book of Common Prayer with its services in English and gone back to the Latin Mass when Mary came to the throne. Thomas Martin, Rector for 53 years, began when Shakespeare was writing his early plays and continued as Rector through the troubles between Charles and the Roundheads. He was reputed to be illiterate and quarrelsome with a large family. His successor, Edward Holbrook (1635-1653) survived the Commonwealth during which 7,000 clergy lost their livings and is known for having rebuilt the Rectory. His successor, Richard Leeves, appointed during the Commonwealth, survived the Restoration of the monarchy and the introduction of the 1662 Prayer Book and died peacefully in Forton in 1673.

Other Rectors besides Thomas Martin have enjoyed long ministries in the parish. William Oakley (1749-1803) held the reins for 54 years and more recently Sir George Boughey, 5th. Baronet, was Rector for 45 years before succeeding to the title.

In 1984 the church joined the United Benefice of Newport, Chetwynd and Forton until 2011 when it split from the United Benefice and became the Benefice and Parish of Forton under the temporary ministry of Rev. Preb. Martin Walker.

After the death of Martin Walker in 2013 services have been conducted by our Reader, Miss Hilary Phillips, with some services being conducted by retired minister, Rev. Jeremy Stagg and other clergy from the Diocese. A lay ministry team has been trained to conduct services such as Evensong and Morning Prayer. The church continues to flourish and attract an enthusiastic congregation that welcomes all who wish to attend worship at our small, attractive, country parish church.

Rectors of Forton
  • 1190 Herbert
  • (No records for 100 years)
  • 1301 William de Clebury
  • 1305 William de Tamia
  • 1338 Robert Alwewy (resigned)
  • 1338 Philip de Strongeshull
  • 1371 William de York
  • 1371 Richard de Scapetoft
  • 1380 Thomas -
  • (No record for 135 years)
  • 1515-1528 Roger Braggs
  • 1528-1529 Richard Kynge
  • !529-1554 William Branthwaite
  • 1555-1570 Humphrey Lye
  • 1570-1582 Robert Sutton D.C.L
  • 1582-1635 Thomas Martin
  • 1535-1653 Edward Holbrooke
  • 1654-1673 Richard Leeves M.A.
  • 1673-1697 Samuel Du Card M.A. Canon of Lichfield
  • 1697-1727 Francis Skrymsher M.A.
  • 1727-1741 Edward Rogers M.A.
  • 1741-1749 Thomas Hotchkiss M.A.
  • 1749-1803 William Oakley M.A.
  • 1804-1838 Thomas Stonehewer Bright Prebendary of St. David's
  • 1838-1853 John Fletcher Fenton Boughey M.A.
  • 1853-1863 Francis Cradick Twemlow M.A.
  • 1853-1908 Sir George Boughey M.A.
  • 1908-1909 George C. Woodhouse Canon of Jerusalem
  • 1910-1922 William Manning Salt Prebendary of Lichfield
  • 1922-1947 Edward Sculthorpe Lewis M.A.
  • 1947-1952 Joseph Cowen Canon of Grahamstown, South Africa
  • 1952-1956 William Mills M.A.
  • 1956-1965 William Sargeant
  • 1966-1970 Percy Gray Hardy B.A. Hon. C.E.
  • 1971-1979 Ian Matheson Calvert M.A. Prebendary of Lichfield
  • 1980-1983 Michael Sydney Tyler-Whittle M.A., F.R.S.L., F.L.S.
  • 1984-1997 Roy T. Hibbert A.K.C., R.D. Prebendary of Lichfield
  • 1997-2005 Rodney Biddle
  • 2005-2011 Steven Mitchell
  • 2011-2014 Martin Walker, associate minister in charge Prebendary of Lichfield

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