History of the Parish
In this part of Stafford much of the land was owned by the Aston Family from the 12th Century. During Penal times, the Aston household in Tixall became a safe haven for priests and many catholics were drawn to these estates where they would find a sympathetic employer and opportunity to practise the religion of their fathers.
The Cliffords continued the tradition when they took over the land in the 18th Century. Thomas Clifford built a fine and impressive private chapel at Tixall in 1827. By 1835 the Cliffords had moved to their estates in Yorkshire and left an acre of land in Great Haywood to the Catholic People of the area. They also gave the people the private chapel which in 1845 was moved stone by stone to Great Haywood.
Some of the stones inside the church still show the identification marks made by the masons. The resulting Parish Church of St John the Baptist, somewhat modified from the original chapel, is a joy to visit and provides a beautiful setting for the worship of God. The Church was consecrated on 23rd June 1983 by the Archbishop of Birmingham, The Most Reverend Maurice Couve de Murville.