Sunday 31 December 2023

2023 Review


Happy New year to you all. Things never turn out how you expect them to go, I never thought after getting to March I would get Covid and end up in ICU at the Royal Berkshire Hospital for 9 days then taking 8 weeks to recuperate. Even with that little set back I managed to visit over 45 churches this year completing a personal challenge to visit all the churches on a website called Churches of the Builth Wells Area, (mind you it took a few years). Now I intend to visit the church in  book called Oxordshire's Best Churches, so far I have been to over 70 (there are a little over 100)  I know there are more than 500 in Oxfordshire of which I reckon I have nearly been to half of them. I hope to bring you more interesting churches next year.


After publishing the two reviews of 2022
St Giles Blechingdon was the first church I published in 2023, It was shown in two parts as I  visited the church twice, the first time it was shut so I arraigned for it to be open the second time


St Mary the Virgin Kirklington was another of the churches I had visited towards the end of 2022 and one I managed after the first failed visit to Bletchingdon 

St Leonard Eynsham was a church I used to see often as I used to work not far away for many years, it was one I thought would be closed but I was pleased to find it open and witha very welcoming group of villagers there making the most of the warms space

The first church I visited in January was in the 2nd and only came about because my wife had some business to attend nearby, after driving down there for 2 hours I managed to  take  few moments to get some photos of St Peter and St Paul Ringwood
St Nicholas Fyfield was a church I visited many years ago and did publish a blog on it but it was not one I was happy with as though I did go inside I took no photos. This time I did and the visit was well worth it

March started with St Mary Wootton or Wootton by Woodstock as it is also known. 

I thought it was time I visited some Berkshire churches I has my eye on, one which I spotted driving past while going to Swindon due to a detour was Woodland St Mary this was a redundant church looked after by the Church Conservation trust. It was well worth visiting dues to the magnificent display of snowdrops in the churchyard

Wickham was along the road from the last church so I went along to visit St Swithin. There was no churchyard to look around but the inside made up for this. It's not often you  have Elephants looking down on you and not angles.

The following week I visited St  Michael Begbroke which was a really nice church with a roofed bell tower and a nun's cemetery 


This is where I nearly came unstuck and I managed to contract Covid and that ended me up at the ICU unit in the Royal Berkshire Hospital for 9 days so apart from not being able to post I could not go out visiting churches for a few weeks.

I did manage to write a blog on St John's Mongewell after visiting with my son back in March. I have been here a few times and it's another church looked after by the Conservation Trust

 I had already visited St Mary Purley on Thames in March so was able to do another post. This was a second visit for me and I was very pleased to go inside, the pulpit mad it well worthwhile

Rose Hill Cemetery came next, this was an update with some new photos I added due to a grave I found out about and wanted to see.

I republished St Thomas Goring updating it a little as I still was not able to get out at the time.


By the time May came around I managed to get out to visit some churches again accompanied by my son in case I needed support. I visited St Bartholomew Holton which I had already been to many years ago but found locked. This time borrowed the key from the local vicar and after looking around returned  the key 


St Mary Waterperry was along the road from the last church so we went to visit for the next blog. In the grounds of Waterperry house it made a very interesting church to look around

I went along to St Mary Ewelme fro my next visit a church that I have been to before but felt I really needed to cover the church better and this time. I covered the church in two parts with the second part showing the inside the following week


This started off with a visit to Crowell and The Nativity of the Virgin Mary which was a very nice little church near Chinnor

St Andrews Chinnor came next this was a beautiful church with a huge churchyard 

I followed up with St Mary Sydenham which I ended up visiting twice 

As I had been visiting Wales I felt  it was time I got started on finishing the churches on the website called Churches of the Builth Wells Area. St Davids Llanddewi Fach. took me a while to find on the map so when I did I wasted no time in visiting.

That concludes the first part of my review of the churches I visited for the Church Explorer Part two will conclude them next week

Saturday 23 December 2023

St Peter & St Paul Worminghall


This will probably be the last of my trips out fro the JR in Oxford not that it will stop me heading our from home. This week I took a short trip down the A40 before coming off and hearing out of Oxfordshire to the next county Buckinghamshire and visiting St Peter & St Paul Worminghall. The external views of the church and churchyard were taken in misty conditions with frost on the ground

"The Church of England parish church of Saints Peter and Paul is Norman, and the north and south doorways survive from this time. The chancel was built or rebuilt in the 14th century and the bell tower was added in the 15th century. In 1847 the north wall was rebuilt and the present stained glass was inserted in the 15th century east window. The church is a Grade II* listed building

The tower has a ring of three bells and there is also a Sanctus bell. John Taylor & Co recast all four bells in 1847 at the foundry they had at the time in Oxford.

Saints Peter and Paul's is now part of the Benefice of Worminghall with Ickford, Oakley and Shabbington".

 Looking from the north east of the churchyard

North view from inside the gate

North east view

East end of the church with vestry to the right

South west view

Church bell tower

From the south showing the tower with sundial

Priest door in chancel

Headstops on the porch

Headstones in the long grass

This is the south side of the church it is quite a narrow churchyard here

Ivy growing over some of the headstones

Most of the headstones at the south west end are covered in ivy

Old headstones near the church

Tomb chest listing and covered in ivy

Various views of the churchyard

The Commonwealth War Grave of C.I.Joiner in the family plot

Fenced family plot in the corner of the chancel and vestry

The porch and inside

Entrance view of the nave

From the back of the church looking down the nave

Nearer to the chancel arch

Chancel arch which I suspect is the original narrow Norman one

Across the arch the rood cross

Inside the chancel

Looking towards the altar and wast window

The altar and east window. The altar looks quite narrow compared to others I have seen

I did like the east window

The cross is in an old Stoup I could not say what the other recess is


I'm presuming this memorial is to the Roote family who from the look had ten children

These stained glass windows in the chancel are quite beautiful

Looking back trough the chancel

The pews and poppy heads

From the chancel arch though the nave

To the right of the chancel arch was an opening which now takes you to the pulpit

Pulpit and lectern

Nave from the pulpit

The church organ

The village Roll of Honor

The screen at the back another memorial

This plaque over the north door is dated 1622 (James I)


Various old photos you can see in the church

Touch of antiquity going on 

Christmas tree

The font which I suspect is original

Font with advent candles 

I will leave you with a view of the advent candles and with the nave in the background. I will betaking a break this week and hopefully be back in the new year with my two part review of 2023.
Till next time may I wish you all a Merry Christmas
and happy new year