St Modwen’s Church

Find us

St Modwen’s Church
Market Place
Burton on Trent
DE14 1HA


Worship Services

Our normal pattern of worship is…

Sundays at 11.00am

Morning Prayer (1st Sunday of the month)

Holy Communion (2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays)

BCP Mattins (3rd Sunday)

Wednesdays at 10.45 am

Holy Communion (BCP)

Thanks for wearing a face covering



About St Modwen’s Church

Since 1 November 2005, Saint Modwen’s has been part of a single benefice with nearby Saint Aidan’s and St. Paul’s. The position of Vicar has been vacant since September 2019, but continuity of ministry is provided by the curate, Revd Dr Robin Trotter and two associate priests, Prebendary Phillip Jefferies and Revd Hamish Ferguson-Stuart.

The congregation at St Modwen’s, as part of The Burton Three churches are committed to working toward realising the Vision Statement of our Diocese.

“As we follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad, we pray that the two million people in our diocese encounter a church that is confident in the gospel, knows and loves its communities, and is excited to find God already at work in the world. We pray for a church that reflects the richness and variety of those communities. We pray for a church that partners with others in seeking the common good, working for justice as a people of hope.”

We endeavour through our worship, teaching and shared life to foster a direction of travel which builds up the Body of Christ by…

  • Developing Discipleship
  • Encouraging Vocation
  • Inspiring Evangelism

Christenings (Baptisms)

A Christening gives parents, godparents, the wider family and friends an opportunity to thank God for his gift of life; as the child will be baptised during the Christening it also marks your decision to start the child on an important journey of faith.

If you live within the parishes covered by The Burton Three churches or have some other meaningful connection with one of them, we will be pleased to discover how best we can help you embark on this journey of a lifetime. It would be wonderful if you came along to a Sunday service (you can find the regular service times elsewhere on this website) and talk things over with us. The date for the Christening can be usually be established and an application form completed when you come to see us.

You can download an application form by clicking here…  Baptism Application Form. We look forward to seeing you soon!

In the meantime, the Church of England has a really good website all about Christenings. Why not take a look by following this link?…


Whether you’re just dreaming of a church wedding, or already planning one, the clergy and people here at The Burton Three churches want to help and support you as best they can. Thanks to a fairly recent change in the law, there are now many more ways you might qualify to marry in one of our churches.

Please contact us by phone or email to discover how we can help you in planning your church wedding. Alternatively, why not come along to one of our services, meet us, see the church and have a preliminary chat. We’d love to meet you!

In the meantime, the Church of England has a really helpful website about weddings. Why not take a look by following this link?

The Building

The current church building, which dominates Burton’s market square, was begun in 1719, first used for services in 1723, and finally completed by 1728. It is built in red sandstone and comprises an aisled five-bay nave with galleries on the north, west, and south, an apse, and a western narthex with central tower, north and south gallery stairs, and internal porch.

Designed in a Classical style by the brothers Richard and William Smith of Tettenhall, it is similar to St Alkmund’s Church at Whitchurch, Shropshire, built by William to the designs of John Barker.

William died in 1724 and Richard in 1726, and the church was completed by their younger brother Francis Smith of Warwick. In the 1730s Richard Wilkes, a Staffordshire antiquary, described the church as ‘elegant and beautiful’, giving ‘pleasure to all that behold or enter it’.

The west tower is of three stages and has a balustrade with urns and round windows with radial glazing bars. The apse has wide Doric pilasters at the opening and between the windows. The nave arcades have tall Doric piers without an entablature, the flat ceiling has a deep cove, and the nave galleries cut across the high, arched windows of the aisles.

The Organ

Snetzler built an organ for St Modwen’s in 1774. Part of its case (the three centre panels), designed by the famous James Wyatt  still remain; the case was extended in the nineteenth century.  In 1899, following his success at St. Paul’s, Hope Jones built a 4 manual organ. This was replaced in 1972, parts now at the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust’s museum in Manchester.


Great: Rohr Gedact 16, Open Diapason 8, Hohl Flute 8, Muted Viol 8, Octave 4, Diaphonic Horn 16, Tuba Profunda 16, Diaphonic Horn 8, Tuba 8, Clarion 4

Swell: Diapason Phonon 8, Stopped Diapason 8, String Gamba 8, Quintadena 4, Cornopean 8

Choir: Violin Diapason 8, Lieblich Gedact 8, Viola d’Orchestre 8, Violes Celeste 8, Phoneuma 4, Corno di Bassetto 8, Orchestral Oboe 8

Solo: Diaphonic Horn (Gt) 16, Tuba Profunda (Gt) 16, Diaphonic Horn (Gt) 8, Tuba Profunda (Gt) 8, Clarion (Gt) 4

Pedal: Harmonic Bass (Gt) 32, Open Diapason 16, Bourdon (Gt) 16, Flute (Gt) 8, Diaphonic Horn (Gt) 16, Tuba Profunda (Gt) 16, Diaphonic Horn (Gt) 8, Tuba (Gt) 8, Clarion (Gt) 4

The Present Organ


In 1972 Hill, Norman and Beard used the organ from Holy Trinity Church to replace the Hope-Jones. The size of the departments leads one to think that the Hope-Jones soundboards were reused. In Holy Trinity it was in a chancel chamber and voiced accordingly. In St Modwen’s it is on the west gallery, its sound unhindered. It is very loud, especially as heard from the east end of the church.


Great: Open Diapason 8, Stopped Diapason 8, Octave 4, Fifteenth 2, Mixture III, Posaune 8

Swell: Spitz Flute 8, Salicional 8, Principal 4, Principal 2, Mixture III, Shalmey 16, Trumpet 8, Tremulant

Choir: Gedeckt 8, Chimney Flute 4, Flute 2, Larigot, Sesquialtera II, Cymbal II, Cremona 8, Tremulant, Posaune (Great) 8

Pedal: Contra Bass 16, Bourdon 16, Octave 8, Gedeckt 8, Super Octave 4, Mixture II, Trombone 16 (ext Great)

St Modwen's Organ Case

The Bells and Clock


The tower houses eight bells, which were installed by Abraham Ruddall of Gloucester in 1726.  The heaviest (the 8th or Tenor) weighs 18 3/4 cwt (963kg) and is tuned to E.  The bells were re-tuned by Taylors of Loughborough in 1903 and rehung on a new steel frame.  In 1950 they were refitted on ball bearings.


Installed by John Whitehurst of Derby in 1785, the clock has three external dials, facing North, South and West out over the market place.  Unusually the clock’s pendulum, hanging down into the ringing chamber and visible through the west window, swings with a 2 second period.  The clock is wound weekly by the bellringers, and serves as a timepiece for visitors, shoppers and residents of the town.

Daily Tunes

A tune-playing mechanism is triggered regularly during the day and plays a different traditional melody for each day of the week.

  • Sun –104th Psalm (O Worship the King)
  • Mon –Highland Laddie
  • Tue –Seeny Simon
  • Wed –Lass of the Mill
  • Thu –Pretty Polly
  • Fri –66th Psalm
  • Sat –One evening, having lost my way