St Laurence Church
The church is dedicated to St Laurence, although in wills dating back to the 16th century a reference is made to St Michael. Double dedications were common, in the days when the chancel belonged to the priest and the nave was the responsibility of the parishioners. The first mention of Wichenford Church appears circa 1100 AD in the list of the churches and chapels that comprised the parish churches of St Helen’s, Worcester.
This is an intriguing start, as being tied to St Helen’s probably takes Wichenford’s own history back past the Norman and Anglo-Saxon eras to Romano-Celtic times, when St Helen’s appears to have been the mother church of large parish extending over both sides of the Severn. Wichenford and Kenswick appear among the five listed on the west bank; the others were (Lower) Wick, Little Witley and Holt. The tie to St Helen’s continued over the years, even once the mother church had been handed to the Priory.
For some unknown reason the Bishop kept for himself the appointment of the vicars of both (Lower) Wick and Wichenford. Nothing remains to prove the existence of a pre-conquest building. The few sculptured stones that can be seen on display in the window recesses of the church have been dated to the early 12th century and would indicate an early Norman church, but unfortunately nothing is known of their origins.
For more information see also Worcestershire West Rural Team.