The Present Building
Our church, which was completed in 1848 according to Nicholas Pevsner, was built as the village school by William Butterfield, who was a prominent architect of the High Victorian era. He was also responsible for New School, Rugby (1867) and the chapel at Rugby School (1872) as well as for the principal parish church in Rugby – St. Andrew’s (1877- 1885).
The cost of the building, which was built on a site donated by the local landowner, Lord John Scott, was £1000. This was obtained by subscription and a grant from central funds. When originally built, the building was used as a church only on Sundays, and otherwise as a school, with accommodation for a schoolmaster being formed in the tower. It is believed that this tower was originally taller than seen now but the brick shaft was reduced and the present roof with bell turret added later. The stair shaft was re-roofed at the same time. The original building featured prominent ventilators on the roof of the nave, but these have now been removed.
The schoolmaster’s flat is still used as private accommodation and it is interesting to note that the rope to the bell turret passes through one of the rooms.
The building was licensed for public worship and became a Chapel of Ease to St Peter’s, Dunchurch in 1905, when Rev. Bernard McNulty was vicar of St Peter’s. In 1925 the building was fully furnished as a church and was dedicated in honour of St Edmund, King and Martyr, as was the original monk’s chapel in the 14th century. The ceremony of dedication was performed by Archdeacon Blagden, Rector of Rugby, who later became Bishop of Peterborough. The stained glass window, installed in 1997, depicts Our Lord as the Good Shepherd, St. Edmund with his legendary wolf and St. Peter with his keys. It is the work of the Leicester artist, Melanie Pope. Externally, on the east wall, a Millenium Cross and small memorial garden was put in place by the generosity of the church and village communities to celebrate AD 2000.