Saturday, 16 January 2021

2020 Review Pt2


The second part of my review of 2020. Even with the restrictions we had with Covid19 I managed to visit around 28 churches and went inside most of them which were open. At  the moment I have no chance of visiting any more for a while, at least until the we are taken out of lockdown and I get a vaccination so we will see what I can come up with. I have had one suggestion which I will look into writing up.  I ended Part1 when I reached the end of June so now  I'll start in July.

 The first church was St Laurence South Hinksey one church I have wanted to visit for a while, unfortunately the place was locked but I hope to return sometime.
My visit to St Peter & Paul Stokenchurch was literally a last minute visit. My son had to go there, so while he was  doing what he went for I popped down the road to the local church, I even got the chance to look inside which was a bonus. I will go back when I get a chance as I want to get a photo of a war grave I missed

St Faith Shellingford was my next visit and I did not regret going there as I chatted to an old fellow who was cutting the grass and had lived in the village all his life. The church was also open and one I did like looking around
August saw me at St Denny Stanford in the Vale a beautiful looking church which unfortunately was locked a return visit is needed here
St Mary Longworth has been on my list for a while and I finally got to visit this superb church 
In September I published  St Andrew Bradfield which was now redundant Bradfield collage were in the process of purchasing the building. I visited back in January and I had hopes of seeing inside and would have if it were not for some obnoxious churchwarden who was unhelpful even though the Church Commission had asked him to. They then offered me the chance of coming along with them for a final visit but the covid virus put pay to that and I never had a chance to see inside. It is a nice looking church just a shame it was sold, the church that looks after the parish now is not one I will be visiting
St Peter Charney Basset took two weeks to publish with the first visit on a wet day and fining the church was locked. The second week I visited on the day it was open and was pleased to see a wonderful little church
St Mary Great Milton ended the month and covered two weeks because I found when the church was open and came back to take photos of the inside 
The second week of October I published St Peter Great Hasley  which took two weeks to take photos of as well, lucky is is not far from Great Milton so It was taken in at the same time
St James Little Milton was on the way home from the last two churches, I found out it was open so took the opportunity to see that as well.
St James the Great Denchworth ended October and is a beautiful looking church just a shame it was shut. Another church which will need a return visit
As the first Sunday in November was Rememberer day I thought it would be good to feature some of the many Rolls of Honour that I have seen in the Churches I have visited 
All Saints Goosy  I visited after going to Denchworth. It is a small Church with a churchyard that is large but has few headstones. The church was locked but I do intend to revisit when I can 
It was back into West Berkshire for the next two churches starting with St Mary Shaw a Victorian church built where an older one used to be. Sad to say it was locked because of the pandemic
St Mark Cold Ash ended November, another new looking Victorian church though this one did not have ant previous history at all. I was not disappointed when I found it locked.

I went in to December showing a church that I had bloged little bits about but never really featured.      St Marys Cholsey.  I have also started a second blog on the interior but it will have to wait till I go inside for some more photos 

I managed to visit two more near Oxford in December the first was St Mary Garsington. A really nice looking church I would love to have gone inside but for the fact the roof was being repaired due to the lead flashing being stolen. Hopefully after lockdown.

All Saints Cuddeston Was the last church to be featured in 2020 and what a beautiful church it was, what's more it was open so I was able to finish the year with some internal views.  I had hoped to get out for a couple more but with what was going on with the pandemic I felt it better not to, that all went out the window when the government locked the country down after Christmas. It was an interesting year during which I did manage to visit around 30 churches. What this year will bring I cannot see but hopefully I will get visit some more and at least take photos of the outside.

Till next time stay take care and stay safe

Thursday, 7 January 2021

2020 Review


Normally this review would have been published last week has it not for the situation we are in at the moment, in fact it became worse a few days later as the country went into a nationwide lockdown. This left me with a bit of a problem in that I have not been out to visit any churches even to get photos of the church and churchyard leaving me with nothing to blog. I have decided to spit the review into two parts and then start republishing some of the older blogs again as a last resort I will just have close the Church Explorer for a while till things pick up.

After publishing the review of 2019 the first church I posted was St John Kidmore End it was one of the last churches I visited in 2019 going there just before Christmas and one that was locked at the time, I'm not sure I will be going back to it but we will see.

St Marks Engelfield was the first visited in 2020 and one that was worth going to that day because I was treated to an organist playing the magnificent organ there 

St Denny Stratford Dingly  followed one I was pleased to see dated back to before 1066 
By the time I published St Mary Bucklebury we were in February one church I had longed to visit
and found it well worth going to. There is another church at Lower Bucklebury which is more modern that I doubt I will visit.

St Laurence Tidmash  was a revisit for me on the off chance it would be open because when I visited many year prior there was a church service going on and I thought it would be rude to go in while it was going on. The church was open this time and I found it a very pleasing one to go around

Pishill Church was a spur of the moment visit after I noticed how close the church was, a struggle to find but worth the visit

The next tree churches were planed as I noticed they were in the same benefice and all within easy reach of each other. The first St Swithun Kennington was built in the late 1950's and was more interesting than I thought it would be for such a new church. The church it replaced stood next door and used as the church hall.

St James the Great Radley was next on the list, I found it a superb church to look around well worth visiting

 March came around and worrying news but I featured St Leonard Sunningwell which was the last church on the list and another that I found worth searching out.

 St Helen Dry Sandford turned out a disappointment dues to it being closed for repairs, the building was in a dangerous state and was being repaired at the time

Not long after publishing the last blog I hurt my back and could not go out to visit any churches though I did have a few I had yet to publish. A few days after the last blog the UK entered a pandemic caused by the Covid19 Virus the following week we were in Lockdown and not allowed to go out other than exercise going shopping or the doctors. I decided to republish some of the older blogs I had written starting with the First one Joe   I might add I am going to have to do the same this year as we have now entered a third lockdown

The next post was on Agatha Christie the well know author who lived locally and is buried in Cholsey Church


While I have been writing the Church Explorer I have been finishing my blogs with a gif that I found on Google search and had modified the colours for the blog. I was shocked to find it belonged to a website called Explore Churches so I asked if the minded me using it a while later the came back to me and said no but would I mind writing something about them and adding a link which I have done with a few other on the right hand column. I also wrote a blog on Explore Churches

 As we came into April Lockdown did not seem to be ending any time soon I came across a place I had not blogged about St Margaret's Chapel at Glastonbury Almshouses. Glastonbury is a place I love going even though you do see some odd people there. The Almshouse is a must for you to visit

The following week I wrote about the Church Conservation Trust who look after redundant churches, I'm lucky to have three very near to where I live and they are always worth visiting if you come across them


The Fair mile Chapel is a place I never posted on here so this week I changed that and wrote a blog 


Thinking for blogs to write in May I thought of a trail I had come across in Wales Called the Clerics Trail, I had visited many of the churches so featured them in it

I was on a roll by the next week thinking of items to write for the church explorer and came up with the Church Benifice which is one of the bigger ones in my area comprising of around 7 churches all of them worth visiting

Graves of the Famous was more of a rewrite of an older blog, the photos were on Flickr and as I did not have an account any more it seemed a good time to write a new blog

Tomb Effigies seems like a good blog to feature and I published that in June

I visited St Peter Wooton for next it was one of the last two churches I visited before lockdown and felt lucky it was open, normaly it is locked 

St Mary Shippon was the fist church I got to visit since March but was locked on the occasion I visited, I hope to get a chance to return

The month finished with a church I quickly visited a number of years before to see the grave of an airman who was killed in WWII saving a nearby town I only had a quick look at St Michael & All Angels Kerry 

I will close the Review here and publish the remaining part next week.

Till Next time Stay safe and have a good weekend

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Hope is Born


First of all Happy New year to you all, lets hope that 2021 is better that 2020 was.

 Change of plan this week, I have not really felt like writing this week post after being almost locked down again and not really being able to get out to take photos of churches. I have been taking walls around the village where you can see various posters showing trails to follow which just for fun I did  couple. This one I thought should be on Inspired Sunday was called St Mary's Church Christmas Trail.

This main poster you will spot all around the village

This was number one which was at one end of the village. A donkey which carried Jesus and to prove it has a cross on it's back. Nativity plays seem to use real ones now and the village has a procession around the village with Joseph and Mary leading a Donkey
Second stop was this a lamb, one of two you have to find
Number three was one of the thee kings bearing a gift
Number four the star that lead the kings to where Jesus was born
Five another little happy lamb
Six you will find Joseph
Number seven another King
You have to go to the other end of the village for the last three you will find one after the other depending of which route you took the first one I came across was one of the shepherds
Along the road from there you will find Mary who had been blown flat though I did get a photo
The last one to see was the Angel who brought the tidings of great joy
Right back down the village to the Laurence Hall where you find the last one to visit 
The Nativity scene which I do feel they could have painted like the figures you had to find.
A bit of a fun activity for kids, mind you this is not the only trail to follow, there are at least two more to do. I think my only criticism is that you have to zigzag around the village to find everything.
Till next time I hope you have a great new year
Take Care