Saturday, 3 December 2016

2013 Roundup

For the last few years I have been doing a yearly round up of my favourite blogs of the year and for the first few I never thought about it. Earlier this year I did the first few blogs which is when I started in 2012 I will now do 2013 which was the first full year of this blog. Some of the blogs from this year I republished in later years for Inspired Sunday and if you follow my blog  from there you will find many on here you will not have seen before

January started with some short blogs the first was the Lost Boys which is a bit of a heartbreaking story. The next was called Tommy Sopwith about the person who was behind the famous WW1 biplane

As I was still in the doldrums about where to go with the blog I ran one of called Famous People
followed by Newtown Road cemetery which I still need to go back and visit properly.
 The month ended with A ruined Chapel which I might add is almost lost to view now.

February was  Killed By Enemy Action which was about my looking into a bombing raid on Reading which killed 40 odd people the saddest part was fining tow little girls were caught up in it
The next Month March was   Blewbury  & Angel Headstones .

April Began with and Cholsey churchyard followed by another about various Churchyards I had visited 

May saw me going to Clifton Hampden for a blog called the Dambuster   with another called Memorial Day

June started with a blog on War Memorials something I may well cover again. the next blog was a single photo of some headstones at Newbury I visited Aston Rowant  around that time to see a church for some one looking for a relative

July I travelled to  a place called Albury to a beautiful old church there

The next church was one I happen to pop into while going to Worcester Cathedral and was called,
St John in Bedwardine I never did get to see round the cathedral and hope to return again.

I Started into August with Two Churches which I stopped off at when I did a walk round of the area  
the next church to be written about was St Botoph a church not that far from where I live but a little off the beaten track 

My next offering was called a Few Churches which were ones I had visited but only took a few photos of. I have every intention of visiting them when I can and in fact you will find I visited one this year. The month ended with a blog on Wallingford Cemetery 
September saw me start off with Lewknor Church  which has a very nice memorial chapel in well worth stopping off to see if your nearby. 
The next blog saw me start off the Welsh churches I visit with St Marys Llanfredd
which I spotted when we drove past, since then I revisited to get photos of the inside

 October started with Glastonbury Cemetery a Victorian cemetery with looking at and still in use today. I followed that with a blog on another local church, St Mary Ipsden which is a beautiful little church worth going out of your way to see.

For some reason November seems to have more blogs than any other month starting with St Blaise 
which is beside Milton Manor in Oxfordshire

  My next church was West Challow Parish Church which was one of those gems you come across now and then  and I happen to see it when I went checking out an old disused canal nearby

As it was Remembrance day coming up I did a blog on Village War Memorials something you see in most English Villages & churches
North stoke was the next village I visited with St Mary the Virgin an old village church with medieval  wall paintings

The next church St Augustine East Hendred 
Is a church I stopped off at while looking around the village, at some time I will return for better photos
I ended the month with a visit to  Aston Upthorpe
 a village church sitting at the base of the old Berkshire Downs that may well date back to the times of King Alfred it was worth visiting

December was another church from the Astons called St Michaels
I was in Oxford for the next church and St Nicholas
which brought back memories because I attended a work mates funeral there many years ago
I visited Steventon and  St Michael & All Angels next another old church worth the effort of visiting
My last church or the year was St Thomas in Goring and I felt a fitting final church for the year

Well that was the review of 2013, I hope you enjoyed looking at them. Some I will try to revisit as I was not happy with the photos I took.
Please note that I will be changing the blog address from
to the Churchexporer blogspot after the next blog. If you follow me you may want to re-follow
Have a wonderful weekend

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Greyfriars Reading

Greyfriars Church sits on the site of a Franciscan Friary which was built on the site in 1287 and became a church in 1311. The friars were expelled in 1538 during the dissolution of monasteries. It then became a town hall for a while followed by a hospital for the poor in 1578 and a house of correction for vagrants 1590. In the 18th century it became the towns jail and by the 19th century only the outer wall survived in a dangerous state. It was rebuilt at the present church by Reading Borough Surveyor, W H Woodman to how you see in now. I used to pass the church in the bus when I went to school in Reading during the 1960's and then it looked more like the picture you see in the Wiki link above.

When the church was rebuilt it had a garden rather than churchyard which has gone and now a car park and centre have been constructed. The part you seen here on the right was added in the 1970's

Above the three bells you can see on the east end of the church and on the left the carpark & extension

Greyfriars  church from over Friar Street

and looking down towards the centre that was built in the 1980's on the site of part of the garden

The view you get now of Greyfriars from across Friar Street in the area that was redeveloped for the Inner Distribution Road in the 1970's

I must admit I was disappointed to see the church had been reordered so much reminding me of a hall. The tables were for a women's lunch that was happening the next day

One thing I can say is the church was full of light

In place of the altar is what reminds me of a stage. The church had a table that was used in services

The North aisle

View along the nave to the altar area

Looking back towards the rear of the church at the West end

On the left is the north aisle and font
and right the memorial you can see along there

Over in the South Transept are a few memorials, the most notable and hidden is this one to Martin Hope Sutton who was one of the family who started Suttons Seeds in Reading

The other two brass memorials can be seen nearby

If you remember seeing the curtain and cross on the east end wall in the photo of the nave well this is what it hides and would have made a grand back for an altar

In the North transept you can see this beautiful old organ

which is now operated by this consul and can be moved any where in the church to operate the organ

In the south aisle you can see these memorials

and if you look over by this door

these wonderful old floor tiles which were most likely from the original Friary

Look up in the nave to see the roof joists and these candelabras hanging from some serious wrought iron work

The pulpit now at the back of the church  and houses some electronics to work the visual displays you see round the church

The view of the nave from the pulpit

The font is Victorian and is stood where it is thought the old medieval one would have been

Around the base of the font are winged angels and the font cover with white tulips decorating it

A panoramic view of the church from the staged altar area

I will leave you with this panoramic view of the nave and aisles from the back of the church
Have a peaceful weekend