Worship

A place of worship, such as a church, temple, mosque or other sacred site.

Test your lungs on Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill from the south east

Pendle Hill looms over East Lancashire between the towns of Clitheroe and Nelson.  With its distinctive humpback shape, visible for miles around from all directions, it is a local landmark, rising from an area of green beauty.  The district is dotted with tiny hamlets and farms, divided by ancient drystone walls and full of folklore …

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St Martin’s and Rupert Bear

St Martin's, Canterbury

The Venerable Bede tells us that, in 597 AD (1425 years ago in 2022), St Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet, in Kent, with some forty companions.  Their purpose was to spread the news of eternal joy in heaven and an everlasting kingdom with the living and true God.  In those days, the most …

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Crowland or Croyland

Crowland, Lincolnshire

Crowland, Lincolnshire, is one of those little towns that Britain does so well. It is appealing, has a couple of fascinating historic attractions (a splendid half-ruined abbey church and a unique three-way medieval bridge), at least one decent tea and bun shop and was once home to a famous hermit, Guthlac.  Well, really, what more …

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Is this Britain’s finest Baroque church?

Great Witley Church, Baroque ceilings

It may come as a surprise that what might be the finest Baroque church in Britain will be found, not in some great city, but in rural Worcestershire. This is Great Witley Church.  It dates from 1735, when it replaced an earlier medieval parish church that had stood nearby. The new church was built by …

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Touching the lost past of Ninekirks

Ninekirks, St Ninian's, near Penrith

It’s hard to beat soaking up the atmosphere of an elegant historic house, or imagining life being restored to the grim ruins of a once-mighty castle. But there’s also a special kind of magic getting off the well-beaten tourist track to explore some less obvious aspect of our past, an attraction that isn’t widely advertised, …

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An introduction to Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral has such publicly ancient roots that I was surprised to learn it only got promoted to cathedral as recently as 1836.  As a matter of fact, Ripon is a physical link with the earliest days of Christianity in Britain, and particularly associated with Wilfred – bishop, saint and builder of the 7th century …

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A pilgrimage to Lindisfarne, the Holy Island

Lindisfarne

To visit Lindisfarne, a tidal island at the tip of north-east England, is to enter a different world.  It is a world of saltwater, seabirds and saints, a world of mudflats, mead and mystery that is still revealing its secrets. Our story begins in the shadow times before places like England, Scotland and Wales had …

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St Leonard’s, Chapel-le-Dale

St Leonard's, Chapel-le-Dale

We stepped down the lane in the dappled sunlight of a still frosty winter afternoon.  It has an ancient, lived-in, feel to it, does the hamlet of Chapel-le-Dale.  Sitting astride a Roman road, evidence of long-vanished communities are shown on the Ordnance Survey map with the word ‘settlement’ printed over various places close-by, in old …

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St Cyriac and the tour party

Lacock church, St Cyriac, Wiltshire

Had I led a better life, perhaps spending more time with saints than sinners, maybe I would have heard of St Cyriac before stumbling ignorantly into his church in Lacock.  For the benefit of anyone else who has somehow managed to cope thus far without this knowledge – and I’m sure there’s at least one …

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Kings and carols

King's College, Cambridge

Every Christmas Eve, millions of people all round the world tune in to their TVs or radios to listen to carols from King’s – or ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ – from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. The broadcasts are an essential part of Christmas for many; for some, they mark the beginning of the Christmas celebrations, …

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The A-Z of Christmas in Britain

A-Z of Christmas

A version of this feature is included in the book, ‘A Bit about Britain’s High Days and Holidays’. Of course, Christmas is Christmas and the basics are ubiquitous in any country with a Christian tradition.  That said, everybody celebrates it, if they celebrate it at all, in their own way.  Each family seems to have …

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Dunstan in the East

Dunstan in the East, churches destroyed in the Blitz

Constantly keep your eyes open when wandering round the old City of London.  Behind the steel and glass and beneath your feet are about two thousand years of history.  Reminders of the past are everywhere – some obvious, others not; and some are real hidden gems.  One of the finest of those hidden gems is …

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