Built by John Morlidge of London for the Astley family in 1813 in the Gothic style, St Peter’s was one of the first churches to be constructed with an iron frame. The short chancel and narrow nave, the elegant west gallery and hammerbeam roof all emphasise its loftiness. The church retains many of its original fittings and has monuments to the Astley family, including an enormous tablet to Francis Dugdale Astley, founder of the church, who died in 1818. There is also a ring of six bells.

Below: The parish church at Trowbridge was unfortunately locked…

…so I continued on to Bradford Upon Avon with its pretty narrowboats.

The Catholic Church of St Thomas More  in Bradford Upon Avon.

The building was designed as the town hall and incorporated a police station and several other municipal services. It became a Catholic Church on the 1950s.

St Lawrence church.

Below: Bradford Upon Avon parish church with its 13th C. painting of St Anne teaching Our Lady to “read the Englosh Missal.”

Finally a short drive led me to Bath and the Catholic church of St John with its impressive spire.

As I arrived a Mass was about to begin. The website reads ‘The foundation stone of St John the Evangelist Church was laid in October 1861. The church was completed and consecrated in October 1863. We celebrated our Sesquicentennial Celebrations, in October 2013, 150 years of ministry in the heart of the city of Bath.

The architect Charles Hansom, designer of fifty Catholic churches in the country and brother of Joseph Aloysius Hansom, the designer of the Hansom cab, regarded St John’s as his best and most rewarding work. The church, on the site of an earlier priory was built by the Benedictines of Downside Abbey who handed it over to the Diocese of Clifton in 1932. St John’s prospered from its consecration until the Second World War when, on 27th April 1942, during the second night of a German air attack on Bath, the presbytery received a direct hit and was destroyed. Fr Sheridan, one of the curates, the housekeeper and three members of the Sweet Family were killed. The church was severely damaged, the south aisle being completely demolished.

The Church is built in the Decorated Gothic style with Bath stone used throughout the entire building. The stone tower and spire stand 202′ – the highest in Bath!

The spire also plays host to a pair of nesting peregrine falcons. We are dedicated to St John the Evangelist one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and writer of St John’s Gospel. St John’s is an oasis of peace in our vibrant city.’


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