16th December at 11:00
Interested in learning to ring the bells? Come along to St Editha's to see a demonstration of ringing and chat to some of the band.
Church Eaton is a small pleasant village in central Staffordshire with a population of about 500. It consists of a main street with a few cul-de-sacs and some houses on the five roads that lead into the village. The main public buildings are the 12th century St Editha's Church, the Village Institute, the School, and the Royal Oak Pub. There is also a cricket and tennis club. Details of these and their associated activities can be found on this website.
The Church Eaton Parish extends further, including Apeton to the north and Marston to the South.
The houses vary greatly in size, style and age, from the large 18th century 'Old Rectory' and the 15th century 'Smithy Cottage', to the modern houses of St Editha's Court and the Council houses of the Oaklands. There are two main public open spaces. The Playground at the west end of the village, which offers equipment and exercise space for small children, teenagers and adults; and the Glebelands Sports field where Cricket, Tennis and informal games are played.
The village has done well in the Calor Community Villages competition, which is based on the local activities and support for the residents rather than the physical appearance of the place. One aspect is the annual Village Festival, which is done by and for Church Eaton. It offers many attractions such as Open gardens, Entertainments, Artists Fair, Refreshments, Children's events and the ever popular Scarecrows. There is an annual "Oakfest" weekend of live music, and a Harvest auction, both held at the pub. These bring in crowds and raise money to support local charities and the Church.
Church Eaton usually does well in the 'Best Kept Village' competitions and most residents take pride in the appearance of their properties and are prepared to assist in keeping the public spaces neat and tidy. This is one reason why estate agents refer to us as a 'popular location'.
The Shop and Post office, as well as most of the old pubs, are now closed, which means there are no sales outlets locally. However, we are well served by deliveries of Milk, Newspapers, Groceries, (ordered on line, or by phone), Oil, Gas and Coal. Window Cleaners, Gardeners, catalogue salespeople and a variety of tradesmen who operate locally. There is a daily postal delivery and two collections from the post box. The bus service has recently been restored. It is limited, but it is supplemented by the 'Rural Link' minibus, which connects local villages to the main routes.
Facilities such as small shops, post offices, doctors, dentists, vets, opticians, pharmacies, petrol, chip shops, and Indian or Chinese Takeaways are available in Gnosall, Haughton, and Wheaton Aston; all under three miles away. The major towns of Stafford, Newport, and Penkridge are within 10 miles and they offer wider shopping choices, markets, entertainment and links to the rail network. Telford, Shrewsbury, Cannock and Birmingham are all readily accessible.
There are groups in the village for Toddlers, Dog training, Tennis, Cricket, Local History, Gardening, Natural History, Church youth groups, and Coffee mornings. Social events are held at the Institute and the Pub, as well as many occasional events, like children's parties and concerts. If you feel like eating out, the Royal Oak have visiting street food providers such as "fish and chips" and "stone baked pizza" on one day a week. Newcomers are encouraged to participate and assist with any or all of these activities as the people are what makes a Village.
Overall, Church Eaton offers both a local community with lots going on and the countryside two minutes away for walking, cycling, horse riding or even boating on the nearby Shropshire Union Canal. It is only half an hour by car from the major conurbations with Stafford Railway station also offering trains to London within 90 mins, but the feeling is very rural and we can see the stars at night. As long as you can cope with: narrow lanes that sometimes flood, noisy farm animals, a Peacock that wanders around the village, limited mobile phone signal (although promised to soon improve), a church clock that chimes every 15 minutes and cockerels that make alarm clocks unnecessary; it's a great place to be.