Thursday 30 September 2021

St Birinus Pilgrimage


This was a short pilgrimage  that I came across on the British Pilgrimage Trust where it shows a map and the churches and places to visit on the route. Thing is I had been to all the churches that were mentioned and nearly all the places apart from the start which was odd as I had been all around it.

I could not tell you how long the pilgrimage has been going but I do remember it from when I was a youngster along with one to Walsingham  that I heard about while in church.  I have show photos of the churches in this blog along with links that take you to my blog of the church showing you what to expect if you visit them.


This is a screen shot of the route along with churches and places to visit. I thought it might be a good idea to write a blog to go with the pilgrimage showing the churches you will visit. In reality the route is of no problem and it is one that is followed every year on the pilgrimage. If you are going to do the pilgrimage I would suggest you get an Ordnance Survey Map of the are which shows all the footpaths, google maps is not but not my preferred map the link at the end should take you to a couple of  OS map I printed that you can download

This is an Ordnance survey map I marked up with a route you can take

 This is the start Churn Knob which is traditionally believed to have been the site of a sermon by
St Birinus, first Bishop of Dorchester-on-Thames, in the 7th century and is
still the focus of an annual pilgrimage and service. It was taken by Andriew Smith on Geograph in 2006 so you will no longer see Didcot power station and the cross I remember the council complained it had no planning permission and was taken down, I did see a photo of it laid nearby.
From Churn Know you make your way downhill towards Blewbury.

Where you will come to St Michael & All Angels church where you can spend a few moments to pray or meditate. After your stop head out north from the church and follow the route towards Blewburton Hill. As you near the hill you should take a footpath left around the base of the hill or if you want to check the view out go up. You could even take another short detour where you can see All Saints Aston Upthorpe but you would need to retrace your steps to get back on route. After leaving Blewburton Hill head north along the footpath to the road  where you should meet up with a footpath that takes you to South Moreton

 This will bring you out by St John the Baptist Church which is a nice church in need of some TLC. It may not be open because on some of the occasions I visited it was locked. Hopefully some one can arrange for it to be open.
Carry on walking north along the rod to a road junction where you turn right and follow the footpath past the Baptist Chapel which I might add is looked after superbly. At the Crown turn up along the side and follow the footpath you need to veer right towards the railway where you will find a bridge to go under, on the other side follow the footpath which runs to the right. This will take you along past ditches and Mill Brook where you will find the footpath turns left along a ditch which will turn right towards a bridge over Kibble Ditch and heads on towards  Mackney. There you need to find the footpath near Macknety Court which will take you to Brightwell-Cum-Sotwell.

The path will bring you out near St Agatha's Church which is a very pleasant church to look around, in the churchyard you can see Cob walls.
From St Agatha turn left and take the road till you  come to Little Martins where to the left is a footpath taking you to Highlands Farm. At the end of the path you will come to the A4130 which is quite busy, cross the road and find the old rod going left to Highlands Farm. To the left of the entrance is a footpath taking you across field past Brightwell Barrow which will be on the right. The path will take you towards Castle Hill the left towards Little Wittenham Wood where you walk through to come out opposite your next church.
Which is St Peter's Little Wittenham a beautiful little church with a past linked to Oliver Cromwell 
Coming out of the church turn let towards Days Lock which you need to cross to get to the opposite side of the River Thames. Walk along the river meadows till you see a pillbox where you can find a footpath taking you along Devils Dyke know locally as the Dyke Hills 

 Which is a couple of mounds making a ditch running towards Dorchester. Follow the footpath till tou see it turn left with brings you out on Little Wittenham Lane which you walk along till you come to Watling Lane, turn right here and walk till you reach Bridge End where you turn left and walk toward your next Church 

St Berinus which is a beautiful little Catholic church well worth saying a prayer in. After you have finished in there walk back out the gate and turn right going along Bridge end toll you reach the junction.

Across the road past the Toll house you will see your final destination Dorchester Abbey which amazed me when I visited and made me want to return again
Below are a couple of maps you can download and print, the first is a marked up map of the route I talked you though in the blog, the second is the same map with out the markings.
I will most likely update this blog with more information in the future. I hope you found this blog of use and enjoy the Pilgrimage


Saturday 25 September 2021

St Giles Noke


After driving past  the turn off to the village and going on to Oddington I sopped off at Noke on the way back unsure if the church would be open, I was really glad to find it was saving me chasing up a churchwarden 

The side entrance we go through to the church

Another look along the south side from the west end

Then we go in the door

Which from the look has been in use for a while

 Now I did not expect the church to look like this
Looking into the cancel I admit I thought it would be a little more modern
The altar covering looked impressive

The stained glass window in the east end

 Turning around looking along the nave to the west end
To one side of the chancel arch the pulpit

Which give a good view of the nave

On either side of the chancel arch are niche's this one has a statue of the Madonna & child in it

I doubt it was the original statue in it but what is interesting is the remnants of of paint in the niche, the right hand side of the niche looks to have been restored at some time. The niche on the other side as a few paint remains as well

In  the chancel on the north side is a large niche you can find these memorials

This one is quite interesting, it belongs to Joan Bradshawe who died in 1598

She looks to have had eight children, four girls & four boys

Nearby you can find the mutilated effigy of her grandson Benedict Winchcombe who died in 1623

This look to have been the plaque belonging to him even though it is in Latin

Memorial to Rev John Carlvle

In the west end of the church you can see this stained glass window I noticed in the last blog of the outside of the church

As I thought it may be a window depicting poppies

Under the window the names of two men who gave their lives in the two wars, the window makes a worthy memorial for them

Nearby the church font which is lead lined and may be Norman

Picture showing the crucifixion

The organ was impressive with the coloured pipes

They looked like coloured pencils

The peddles looked well worn

Not sure is they still use candles 

There are more candles in the candelabras hanging form the roof

They are in the chancel as well

There was a very nice floral display on the altar

An old church chest

Photos of the old church one showing a bellcote and some history on the church

I will leave you with this view of the church with the cross on the top of the font cover in the foreground. 

Till next time take care and have a peaceful weekend

Tuesday 14 September 2021

St Andrew Oddington Pt2



 I have been looking forward to returning to visit St Andrews Oddington  again because of it's age and the history which surrounds it. The key was obtained from a very nice lady who lives near the church and she was quite forth coming with what I should look for.

Be advised there is a lot of detail this week so get a coffee and cake while you look

Before going in I went off to get a photo of a grave I missed the first time though in my last blog I did manage to crop a shot of it out for you to see 

This was the one I was looking for a simple wooden cross which I did notice the first time but failed to get a photo of

The lady's name Margaret Staples Brown or Maggie Papakura as she was also known

The bronze plaque below is written in English and Maori. It was a long way from where she was born to be buried here in the Oxfordshire countryside.

Going to the back and looking down the nave

Zooming in and the chancel arch

 Inside the chancel

The altar

 behind a tabernacle and candles

Altar cross

 Looking back through the chancel arch

From beside the pulpit 

 The pulpit

looking down at the nave from the pulpit
and back into the chancel

 Off to the side of the chancel this was most likely a chapel at one time 
Madonna and child with a chair beneath

Seems also where the nativity figures are stored

The cross looks quite old and has lost part of the cross bar

The chapel has a screen separating it from the chancel

Remnants of the old stonework on display

When you walk in the entrance right opposite you will see this beautiful statue of the Madonna and Child stood on a plinth

I found it quite something to look at

One of the stained glass windows has a display of a modern day pilgrim with their certificates

The stained glass window above the display

Another stained glass window on the north side of the church

The parish Roll of Honour

Memorial near the altar which is a little hard to read

Tombs in front of the altar

This one is Jane, she died in 1733

An older one with brass showing the purifying body of the person in a shroud

I presume this is St Frances

St Andrew

The donkey from the nativity on an old church chest

Font with very elaborate cover, the font looks Saxon or Norman

The counterbalance above

Christ falling with the cross

It is really quite detailed 

The organ at the back of the church

This very elaborate memorial is to Margaret Staples Brown or Maggie Papakura

The figure of Christ and the Virgin Mary are quite stunning

A Maori cloak hangs nearby

This is carved on on side of the memorial

You can see Maori on the base

The stained glass window beside the memorial

This one is behind the memorial

This one is hidden behind the organ

One of the beautiful candelabras hanging in the church

More looking towards the chancel

Looking down the nave

More than one old light in the church

I will leave you with this view of the church
Till next time I wish you all a pleasant weekend
Take Care