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Wokingham & Henley

July 13, 2013

All Saints, Wokingham

All Saints Wokingham

All Saints Wokingham

All Saints Church are holding a flower festival – ‘Worship the Lord’ this weekend (12th – 14th July)

Flower Festivals are a popular Summer activity for churches. In this case it is built around the commissioning of a complete new set of vestments – made by Croft Design. These were the result of a legacy from Eric Rands who was a worshipper here and who loved art. They are lovely as were the flower displays. The church was busy with visitors despite my visit being on the first day – Friday. This is the first flower festival they have done here since 1990.

There was a good welcome with some very friendly and helpful stewards and an excellent programme. Entrance is free and the programme £2.50. It contains much of interest.

Churchyard trail for younger children

Churchyard trail for younger children

Children were not forgotten as there are some treasure trails laid out in both the church and churchyard – a very good idea and I hope that they will be well used.

A clear welcome

A clear welcome

All Saint’s is open  every day and advertises this with a good sign board

Inside, apart from the vestments and flowers, I noticed a prominent ‘Prayer Cross’. The visit can add prayer requests and this is well used – some 30 were on it. Again, an idea well worth copying! This was accompanied by a clear description of how to use this and a good welcome notice.

Prayer Cross

Prayer Cross

Here is a church who obviously takes their visitors seriously.

There is a children’s corner and even that rarest of things, a children’s guide! This is a home produced item and is very well done giving a plan of the building which is annotated with photos and descriptions of things of interest. Adults have a similar one. There didn’t appear to be a history of the church available. The Oxford Diocesan leaflets are used also.

Flower and Vestment display at All Saints

Flower and Vestment display at All Saints

There were some 20 names in the visitors book over the last month – but I expect that this church gets many more than that.

The Lady Chapel is normally set aside for prayer but this was in use to display flowers and the folder of prayers and  prayer  books had been tidied up. Personally, I would have left them out as an indication that this is a place that is regulary prayed in. Tidiness is not always a good idea in church!

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On my visit there were some handbell ringers which added a lovely atmosphere to the church. Visitors seemed to be appreciating this.

I enjoyed my visit here and rate All Saints as very good for the purposes of this study. I woudl think that this woudl apply whenever a visitor came here and not just for the Flower Festival.

Website at http://www.allsaintswokingham.org.uk – a good website but doesn’t have any specific visitor information on it.

 

 

 

St. Mary’s, Henley upon Thames

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This church stands in a prominent postion beside the river. There had just been a wedding when I visited.

This is a n interesting church to visit. Outside there is an A board which says simply, ‘Open for silence, peace, prayer’ – says it all really. Several people wandered in to look around whilst I was there. There is no visitors book that I couls see. Postcards are on sale adn a few of the Oxford diocesan leaflets were available. Some paddle boards – in several different languages – are available for visitors to use.

Interior of St. Mary's, Henley

Interior of St. Mary’s, Henley

This church has a cool and peaceful interior.

Children's area

Children’s area

Behind an etched glass screen is a very good children’s area.

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Prayer request cards are available as well as a votive stand.

A set of Stations of the Cross caught my eaye. These are modern ones – photos of some stone carvings. They are very good. A leaflet of explanation would be good here to explain their significance and use.

The Sacrament is reserved here. There is a website at http://www.stmaryshenley.org.uk but it is just a list of headings. It would be good to finish it!

St. Mary’s is well worth visiting and I rate it as good for this study.

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