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Karen Bradley MP Column 11.09.23

We have so many beautiful churches here in the Moorlands, which I really enjoy visiting when I get the chance. That’s why, week 15’s Reason to Visit the Moorlands is our wonderful places of worship. I have spent time in two of them recently – St Edward’s Church in Leek and St Lawrence Church in Rushton Spencer.

St Edward’s Church in Leek is so central to life in the town. It hosts the services on days of remembrance and many civic occasions. There has been a place of worship on the site since medieval times and there is so much of Leek’s history in the church, including stained glass made by Morris & Co, with designs by George Frederick Bodley, Edward Burne-Jones and John Henry Dearle.

St Edward’s is holding its annual Heritage Open Weekend this weekend (16 and 17 September) and will have embroideries created by the Leek school of Embroidery on display as well as organising history tours inside and outside the Church.

St Lawrence Church, a Grade 2 star listed building, is located just on the edgeof Rushton Spencer, and can be reached by either a narrow lane or by the footpath opposite the Royal Oak up the hill on the other side of the old railway line.

Due to its remote situation, it has been called ‘The Chapel in The Wilderness’.  It is a beautiful place, incredibly peaceful and with spectacular views over the village, the Peak District and Rudyard Lake. There are fascinating stories about the ancient gravestones – including the only tombstone that faces east, rather than west. Parts of the church date from the 14th century and it is well worth spending time exploring both inside and out.

Both churches - and so many others – are great Reasons to Visit the Moorlands!

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