St Chad's History

A Short History

 The Parish of Boningale

Boningale is a small Parish in the diocese of Lichfield with an area of 1,003 acres. It formerly belonged to the De Bolynghales, a family of good, though not of Knightly rank. In the 12th century, the name of Henry de Bolynghale is found as its Lord. Hugh de Bolynghale was the owner from 1203 to 1228 and another Hugh from 1250 to 1275. In 1277, however, either this Hugh or his son, also Hugh de Bolynghale, gave all his lands to Lilleshall Abbey, whose monks retained an interest in the property till the Dissolution of Religious Houses in 1538. The advowson, however, being of small value, became attached to the Parish of Stockton, though entirely separated from it by two intervening parishes and some five miles away. In Pope Nicholas' taxation of 1291, Boningale is mentioned as a chapelry of Stockton and in Henry VIII's Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1534, the Chapel of Bonynghal in the Deanery of Newport is included in the return made by the Rector of Stockton.

Jonathan Wild, the notorious highwayman, who was executed at Tyburn on 24th May 1726, was said to be born at Boningale in 1682, possibly at Parkside or Church Farm in Church Lane. Lea Hall is said to have been garrisoned during the Civil War in order to guard the road between Shrewsbury and Birmingham. There are some fine half-timbered houses close to the church and the meadow between it and the highway is called the Lady's Close. 

St Chad's Church

The church, which is Grade II* listed, is dedicated to St Chad and is said to have been founded in the 11th Century. In its shingled spire are three bells, concerning one of which there is a local legend: - "Formerly there were no bells at Boningale, but the inhabitants, hearing that three new ones were on their way from Birmingham to Donington, intercepted one of them on its way through the village and hung it in their own steeple, where it has remained ever since." 

The church was restored and the south aisle added in 1861 at a cost of £1,000. Further improvements took place in 1890, when the nave was re-tiled and the inside old carved roof repaired and re-backed with new oak panelling in 1891 the treble bell was recast and the three bells re-fixed. Finally, in 1894, a new porch was added. In the vestry there is an old oak parish chest. There is a Norman window in the nave and the remains of another on the north wall of the chancel.

In the churchyard is a very old yew tree and a sun dial with the motto "Sine Sole Sileo" (Without the sun I am dead)

Burial Register

The Burial Register, still in use at the church, began in the year 1814. The curate in charge at the time was the Rev. William Tindall, M.A. who was the Head Master of Wolverhampton Grammar School. In the register   Mr. Tindall recorded the death of King George III on 29th January 1820

“May this grave be for us a place for remembering and giving thanks.

as we return here in the months and years ahead, let us feel the warmth of your love and your strength in our hearts”


During early 2015 after consultation with church members and the local community, the church was extensively re- ordered to provide a more uniform and flexible space for worship and our new mission of providing quiet days for spiritual refreshment & reflection.

The latest re-ordering in 2015 included the following:

Laying an oak block parquet floor in the nave

Renovating and cleaning the chancel tiles and laying new ones where necessary

Reducing the height of the pulpit

Re-positioning the font in front of the first north side window

Replacing the chairs and pews either side of the main aisle with oak moveable pews

Replacing the pews by the South Aisle with oak matching chairs

On December 6th 2015 Bishop Mark led a wonderful service of Thanksgiving and Re-Dedication attended by a packed congregation.

Through the enthusiasm, effort and team work of our church members and the professionals we have worked with, we have achieved a restored church interior which is sympathetic to its past history whilst at the same time providing greater flexibility for future use. This has had a knock on effect and kindled a renewed optimism for the future. A programme of Quiet Days has been drawn up with 4 being held in 2016 and another 4 planned for 2017. These have been very successful and well attended with very positive feedback. With God’s help we are looking forward to building on this and growing His church in Boningale.  

Ministers of Boningale

The following names of officiating ministers occur in the registers: -

Thomas Littleford, Buried at Boningale, July 21st 1714

1742  -  1765       Richard Stanley, B.A. Pembroke College, Oxon. Buried at Boningale  April 16th         1765 aged 54

1765                       Thomas Cockayne

1767  -  1802       John J’Anson Bromwich, B.A., B.N.C. Oxon; Vicar at  Patshull. Died 1803 aged 65

1803  -  1804       Richard Thursfield, M.A. Ch. Oxon; Vicar Patshull 1803

1804  -  1830       William Tindall, M.A. Uni. Coll, Oxon; Master of Wolverhampton Grammar                School 1785 – 1830. Died May 8th 1830 aged 70 Buried at Boningale

1830  -  1833       James Lee M.A. St Peter’s Coll. Cambridge; resided at Tong; Vicar of Market              Drayton 1833

1833 -  1851        Charles Blaney Cavendish Whitmore M.A. Rector of Stockton 1811 – 1855. Died        Oct 30 1856 aged 69

1852  -  1853       Joseph Giffard B.A. Christ Coll. Cambridge; Vicar of Newport Barnstaple 1853

1853  -  1857       Francis Ossian Durant B.A. Worcester Coll. Oxon; resided at Shifnal. Died July            26th 1869 aged 65. Buried at Tong

1857  -  1911       Charles Powys Isaac M.A. Balliol Coll. Oxon. First Vicar of Boningale. Buried at          Boningale.

1912  -  1929       J. E. Pyke

1929  -  1950       Alfred Speechly White. Buried at Boningale

1950  -  1970       John W. M. Finney, Vicar of Shifnal. (Rev. W.S. Jones, Curate)

1957 -  1969        Douglas Sands Williams Retd. Priest – in - charge

1970  -  1975       Vivian Clarke, Vicar of Shifnal

1975  -  1983       Walter John Turner B.A., F.R.S.A. Vicar of Shifnal

1983  -  1996       Charles William Woods Rector of Donington

1996  -  1997       Period of Interregnum

1997  -  2010       Roger Balkwill Vicar of Albrighton, Priest in charge of Boningale, then Vicar of        United Benefice

2010  -  2014       Jill Warren, Vicar United Benefice Albrighton (St Mary’s Albrighton, St                        Cuthbert’s Donington & St Chad Boningale)

2015      -----        Mary Thomas (Nee Brodie), Vicar United Benefice Albrighton