Welcome to the website of the Greater Churches Network. On it you will be able to learn more about these glorious buildings which are a precious jewel in the crown of our nation’s built heritage. You will also be able to find out about the work of the Network.
|St Marylebone Parish Church is a place of active and engaged Christian witness, set at the very heart of central London.
With history stretching back nearly 900 years we seek to offer God worship that has long been renowned for its musical and liturgical excellence.
For more than 30 years, St Marylebone, just a few metres from Harley Street, has pioneered the work of Christian healing and, as well as being home to the internationally respected Healing and Counselling Centre, which offers low-cost psychotherapy and spiritual direction, the Crypt at St Marylebone also houses an innovative NHS doctor’s surgery. Our work is enhanced by close links with some of medicine’s Royal Colleges and chaplaincy at The London Clinic and King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes.
St Peter’s Collegiate Church is located on the highest and the oldest developed site in central Wolverhampton,England. For many centuries it was a chapel royal, and from 1480 a royal peculiar, independent of the Diocese of Lichfield and even the Province of Canterbury. The collegiate church was central to the development of the town of Wolverhampton, much of which belonged to its dean. Until the 18th century, it was the only church in Wolverhampton and the control of the college extended far into the surrounding area, with dependent chapels in several towns and villages of southern Staffordshire
Welcome to St Peter’s Church in the heart of Harrogate.
Our doors are open from 8.00am till 5.15pm, Monday to Saturday, and until immediately after the 6.30pm service on Sunday. St Mary’s chapel is almost always available for quiet prayer and as a place of peace in the centre of our busy town.
Life at St Peter’s is lively and varied and there is something for all ages. We offer new ways to worship God alongside our traditional services – from cafe to cathedral style. Our strong musical tradition includes an excellent robed choir and a flourishing music group.
Six days a week we provide a daily hot breakfast for the homeless and every evening we give away food parcels to the hungry. St Peter’s is also a centre for community activities, concerts, exhibitions and civic events. We try to build strong links with local businesses, the voluntary sector and public services, whilst providing a welcome to visitors from throughout the UK and further afield.
Why not come along and see for yourself?
or over one thousand years we have served the people of Abergavenny and the surrounding area – after the model of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The website shows how we currently serve the community, and a little about our history. It is not intended as a replacement for actually visiting us, which we hope you will want to do after exploring our website. At the heart of our mission and witness is the worship of God. In fulfilling the commandments of Jesus Christ we seek to be a Eucharist-centred community where people of all ages are able to participate fully in the Body of Christ. Whether you are visiting our site as a fellow Christian, an historian, or for commercial reasons I, on behalf of the people of St Mary’s, say welcome. Canon Mark Soady
The Parish Church, which is first and foremost a house of prayer and a place of Christian worship and witness, stands to the glory of God, who has been made known to us by Jesus Christ and in whose Name the community has worshipped on this site for well over 1000 years. Chesterfield Parish Church is the largest Parish Church in the Diocese of Derby
Welcome to St Martin-in-the-Fields, a vibrant, open and inclusive church at the heart of London.With thriving English and Chinese speaking congregations, St Martin’s is a diverse community, with a rich life of worship and prayer, including our regular services, a stimulating education programme serving the wider Church, a commitment to social justice and international links around the world.
Music and the arts are celebrated here and are at the heart of our worship and welcome.
St. James’ is the historic parish and civic church of Louth. It is the probable burial place Saint Herefrith – of one of the Saxon bishops of what became the Diocese of Lincoln. Until his remains were removed to a rival church, his shrine in Louth was a popular place of pilgrimage.
In the mediaeval period its current dedication to Saint James became dominant, possibly linked to the pilgrimage routes to Compostella in Spain.
Today St. James remains a popular place for visitors and we pray that those who visit us are touched by the spirit of this special place and become not just visitors but pilgrims as well.
In this place, made holy by the prayers of so many generations, the people of Wrexham come to celebrate the joys of life, and also to seek strength in times of trouble, fear and sorrow.
There is much of the past here, but the church is not a museum. This building is a place for the present and the future; a constant reminder of the presence of God in our world and in our lives, and an encouragement to pray to him, and to worship him.
We, who worship and pray here regularly, hope that you will find something of the power and peace of God.
There has been a place of worship on this site since Anglo-Saxon times. The Abbey was founded as a Benedictine Monastery by Roger de Montgomery in 1083 on the site of an existing Saxon church. After the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of King Henry VIII the part of the Abbey building which survived continued as a Parish Church – as it is to this day.
In December 2011, The Bishop of Norwich dedicated The Priory and Parish Church of St Margaret as King’s Lynn Minster.
The Minster is situated in the historic surroundings of the Saturday Market Place in the heart of King’s Lynn. Founded by the first Bishop of Norwich, Herbert de Losinga, in 1101, the Minster has offered a welcome to pilgrims and visitors for over 900 years.
The Minster is open all day, every day.
Visitors are welcome to join us for any service or just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere of this Historic and Holy Church
Established in 2010, Grimsby Minster was founded upon the ancient parish church of St James Great Grimsby. We are one of the new breed of Urban Minsters and as such we are committed to serving the needs of our borough. As our Minster identity continues to develop we are proud to build on our relationships with all aspects of our borough: civic, educational, business, voluntary, social need and the arts.
All Saints', Fulham
We are situated on the north bank of London’s River Thames at Putney Bridge. Please do join us for worship, or any of the other activities that appeal to you.
Founded by Aldwyn, a Benedictine Monk in 1085 and saved by parishioners following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538 For the princely sum of £20, the church now boasts some of the finest medieval glass in the country, second only to York Minster. A major restoration was undertaken in 1860 under the direction of Sir George Gilbert Scott. Also of particular note are the misericords which depict an almost complete set of the Labours of the Month.
Visit the church http://www.greatmalvernpriory.org.uk
The origins of the church are shrouded in mystery and probably arose on a hill by the market place at the same time as the Tower of St Benedict’s Church. It was destroyed by fire in 1291 and rebuilt in stages. See the attractive roof bosses, noted stained glass in the Te Deum Clerestory Window and carved wooden pew ends. As its title suggests, it has close links with Cambridge University’s famous colleges.
Visit the church http://www.gsm.cam.ac.uk/
Queen Elizabeth I is reputed to have declared it to be the ‘fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England’. The building goes back to the 12th century although it is the work of 15th century stonemasons that provides the grandeur seen by visitors today. The Victorian stained glass was created by some of the finest studios of that period. The church has strong seafaring connections with Cabot and Admiral William Penn.
Visit the church http://www.stmaryredcliffe.co.uk
St Martin’s stands at the centre of Birmingham’s historic Bull Ring, newly restored to the heart of the city. It is a place of great vibrancy, a kaleidoscope of human community. The current church dates from 1873 and contains a Burn Jones window made by the pre-Raphaelite craftsmen Edward Burn Jones and William Morris in 1875. The church believe that what Jesus called ‘life in all its fullness’ can be discovered right here in the market place.
Visit the church http://www.bullring.org/
Sometimes described as ‘the Cathedral of the Marches’, the building of today has evolved over more than eight hundred years. St Laurence’s is architecturally distinguished, and has many artistic treasures: in stone, glass and wood. In 1540 the King’s agent John Leland described St Laurence’s as ‘Very fayre and large and richly adorned and taken for the fairest in all these quarters.’ In 1999, St Laurence’s was one of only 18 churches given a FIVE STAR rating by Simon Jenkins in England’s Thousand Best Churches. Though mostly rebuilt in the 15th century, parts of the present church date from an earlier rebuilding in 1199-1200. This replaces a Norman church, but the site had been a revered place since the Bronze Age when a burial mound was erected, later giving the prefix ‘lud’ to the place name Ludlow. The church has a cruciform plan, with a nave and chancel of equal length. Between them are two transepts and a huge bell tower, rising from the crossing. The church stands at the heart of the medieval town, with a large churchyard on the north side. St Laurence’s, one of England’s finest churches, was largely rebuilt in the fifteenth century in the soaring perpendicular style of the day, the church has features of the Norman, Early English and Decorated periods, including the delightful hexagonal south porch. It protects a remarkable collection of artistic treasures, including one of England’s largest collections of late medieval glass, 28 beautifully carved fifteenth century misericords and bench-ends, over 100 fine memorials and a world famous Snetzler organ.
Visit the church http://www.stlaurences.org.uk
The church is internationally known for the grave of William Shakespeare but there are many other treasurers. The inner door to the north porch contains the Sanctuary Knocker and the church has a ‘weeping chancel’ with a fine Victorian stained glass window depicting the ‘Adoration of the Crucified’. The church also possesses the first edition of the King James Authorised Version of the Bible and some fine misericords reflecting life in the fifteenth century.
Visit the church http://www.stratford-upon-avon.org
Beverley Minster is often described as the best non-cathedral church in England. Visitors are surprised to find such a splendid building in a small flourishing market town. In the Middle Ages the whole of Beverley was a sanctuary. There is a Saxon chair or Frith stool associated with this custom. A large Norman font is regularly used and medieval glass can be seen in the east window. Georgian restorers were responsible for a classical reredos and organ screen, the former restored in the 19th century and a new wooden organ screen carved by local craftsman.
Visit the church http://www.beverleyminster.com
Norwich is reputed to have more medieval churches than any other city north of the Alps and of these St Peter Mancroft is incomparably one of the finest. Restored when badly out of repair in the 15th century from gifts and legacies from wealthy citizens, merchants and craft guilds, it was consecrated in 1455. Although the church went through a troubled period during the Reformation this in the end provided its strength as power was placed in the parish churches and its parishioners. Both Pevsner and John Wesley were greatly impressed by the magnificence of the church.
Visit the church http://http://www.stpetermancroft.org.uk/
Sitting in the Trent Valley the church dates from 1230 although the crypt now the Treasury is thought to date from the previous century. The focal point seen through the 16th century rood screen is the golden altar reredos which in 1937 replaced a stone one depicting scenes from the life of St Mary Magdalene. Outside the Markham Chantry Chapel there is a Dance of Death painted panel depicting a dancing skeleton flourishing a carnation and pointing to the grave. The church also possesses a library with books bequeathed by Thomas White with the main topicTheology.
Visit the church http://www.stmarysnewark.org/
The church in Doncaster started as a basilica which was burned down by pagans who killed King Edwin in 627. The Normans created a Deanery of Doncaster centered on the church of St Mary Magdalene which stood in the market place but it was not until the twelth century that a new church of St George was begun incorporating over the years various architectural styles. The church of St Mary Magdelene was thus superceded becoming a chapel-of-ease to St Georges Church.
Visit the church http://www.doncasterminster.org
When nuns were ejected at the Reformation four Guardians of Romsey on behalf of the townsfolk petitioned King Henry V111 successfully to purchase the church for £100. For 300 years after the Dissolution the church was neglected with an apple tree growing in its roof. It was not until the mid 19th century that restoration took place. The Palmerston family who purchased Broadlands are commemorated with memorials and the large east window. Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten of Burma is buried in the south transept.
Visit the church http://www.romseyabbey.org.uk
The Guinness Book of Records notes the church as England’s largest in area as an architectural jem. Founded in 1285 the Civil War led to a wall being built across the transepts and the army stabling their horses in the east end. The evangelical revival early in the 19th century saw the building of a gallery at the west end to accommodate the large congregations. Wiliam Wilberforce MP for Hull was baptized in the church and Robert Thompson the famous furniture maker with a mouse trademark has work in the church.
Visit the church http://http://www.holy-trinity.org.uk/
The cupola of St Chad’s defines part of the skyline of Shrewsbury. The church was rebuilt during the reign of Henry III having been founded in the 8th Century. In 1788 however following an alarming report by the famous engineer Thomas Telford it collapsed despite an attempt at remedial work. After much debate a new church was built in a more classical style on the site of a quarry. A three level central pulpit was a distinctive feature since replaced by one placed to the side. Shrewsbury’s most famous son Charles Darwin was baptized here in 1809.
Visit the church http://www.stchadschurchshrewsbury.com/
The West Front depicts Oliver King’s dream on his visit to Bath in 1499. In his dream he saw the Heavenly Host on high with angels ascending and descending by ladder near the foot of which was a fair olive tree. Early traces of churches on the site go back to AD 350. The fan-vaulted ceiling made from Bath stone is the Abbey’s chief architectural glory and the Abbey was the last major building in the perpendicular style to be built in this country.
Visit the church http://www.bathabbey.org/
Entering the slype, a passage which led from the cloister to the monks’ cemetery, the unusually long lancet windows in the north transept immediately set the atmosphere and style of the church. The night stair in the south transept makes a lasting impression. Unlike many churches significant redevelopment did not take place until the 20th Century. The Abbey contains the Dance of Death depicting the fact that Death may visit at any time. It is the most important visible survival of this medieval allegory remaining in England.
Visit the church http://www.hexhamabbey.org.uk
Spared by the floods in 2008 the Abbey stands on one of the highest points near the confluence of the rivers Avon and Severn. A former Benedictine monastery its nave is marked by very large Norman columns with a noble tower which dominates the town and surrounding countryside. Only a shallow step now remains of the original screen which separated the people from the rest of the church. The de Clares and Despencer’s were significant benefactors in the Middle Ages. Saved by the townsfolk who purchased the Abbey at the reformation for £453 a modern Denney window marks 900th anniversary.
Visit the church http://www.tewkesburyabbey.org.uk
An Augustinian foundation, the Abbey eventually became part of the Devonshire Estate after the Dissolution when through the efforts of Prior Moone the Nave was secured as a church for the local people. The Gothic revival led to the Priory recovering some of its former glory helped by Pugin who designed the new stained glass and George Street whose efforts are reflected in the pews, font and sanctuary. Another major restoration took place in the 1980’s when a new spiritual vitality was inspired with an authentic style of worship.
Visit the church http://www.prioryfriends.org.uk
Reputed to be the finest perpendicular church in Yorkshire it is the third church to stand on the site. The flat tie-beam roof in the nave is richly decorated with individually carved bosses and there are over thirty ‘Green Men’ amongst carved foliage at the top of the nave pillars. Other fine items include a wine glass pulpit, an eagle lecturn, a canpied font in addition to the Norman one in the Chapel of Jesus and an organ built by Johann Sneltzler. Close to All Saints is one of only four remaining bridge chapels fully restored in 1924 and is now used for regular services.
Visit the church http://www.rotherhamminster.org/
Standing prominently on Castle Hill above the River Lune and the City of Lancaster the Priory was granted its founding charter in 1094. One of its greatest treasures are the fourteen carved oak choir stalls which stand in the chancel. As with most churches significant renovations took place in the mid 19th Century with the replacement of box pews(which used to bring in rental income!) and galleries. The church also contains the Kings Own Memorial Chapel from which hang probably the largest collection of surviving regimental colours.
Visit the church http://www.lancasterpriory.org
There are only two churches in England dedicated to St Wulfram the other in Sussex. He was born in France rising to archbishop of Sens in 693AD. One of the great treasures is the Trigge Library. This chained library was the first to be endowed under a civic authority. Whilst the church contains virtually no medieval glass it does boast four modern windows including The Hall Window regarded by John Hayward as one of his finest. The millennium porch complements this modern glass and reflects current needs and taste of the current age.
Visit the church http://www.stwulframs.org.uk/
In October 1906 a fire destroyed the chancel and nave roofs and bought the bells crashing down from the central tower which arguably did more damage than both the Reformation and Civil War in the century that followed. The rebuilding started within a year under the architect John Oldrid Scott restored the building and also the south transept that had lain in ruins since 1690. The final piece of work did not take place until 1935 when the pinnacles on the west front towers were raised providing a building that reflected that intended by the Norman builders.
Visit the church http://www.selbyabbey.org.uk/
The Chapel of our Lady better known as the Beauchamp Chapel is arguably the finest chantrey chapel in the country. It houses the tomb of Richard Beauchamp along with those of the Robert Dudley family. The church was based on a collegiate foundation modelled on the secular cathedrals a position that changed at the Reformation from when it has been primarily a parish church. The south aisle contains Bread Shelves instituted in 1713. Each week 32 loaves were distributed to the poor, a custom which continued until early in the last century.
Visit the church http://www.stmaryswarwick.org.uk/
Affectionately known as ‘Boston Stump’ because of it’s large tower, built at a time when the town was a large port developed on the back of the wool trade and second only to London. Internally the finest part of the church is the base of the tower where panelled walls rise to the vault 137ft above the floor. Behind the high alter there is a rather ornate series of canopies containing figures of the apostles and the crucified Christ above a carving of the Last Supper and other scenes and saints. Photograph courtesy of Dave Hitchborne
Visit the church http://www.parish-of-boston.org.uk/
Despite a rich history going back to the 7th Century the current church was built at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign through the drive of the then vicar Dr Walter Hook. The alter screen and panels at the east end is made of mosaics the latter by the Venetian glassworker Salviati. The church still possesses galleries some of which were originally rented. The rebuilding of the church led to the re-founding of the Choir attracting to it the foremost musician of his day Samuel Sebastian Wesley as organist.
Visit the church http://www.leedsparishchurch.org.uk
Formerly Bishopwearmouth Parish Church was created a Minster in 1998 with a Canon Provost. The first church was built around 900AD and served an area south of the River Wear. Unusually there are three fonts in the ‘narthex’ or main porch the oldest of which was dug up in the churchyard during alteration works in 1935. Records and drawings for the works by the architect Caroe are contained in the Choir Vestry The Vestry also contains two portraits of Henry Egerton and John Wesley.
Visit the church http://www.sunderlandminster.org
The church is surrounded by the legacy of the Industrial Revolution built largely on the woollen trade, inside the ceiling panels are adorned with coats of arms of the first 30 vicars of the church, prominent local families and the twelve apostles of Israel. Fragments of medieval glass survive in the Clerestory windows but is the east window which illuminates the church, its design that took first prize in the Great Exhibition of 1851. Hidden throughout the church are mason’s marks etc and the trademark of ‘Mousey’ Thompson on chairs in the Duke’s Chapel.
Visit the church http://www.halifaxminster.org.uk/
In the grounds of the Minster an unusual three sided sundial increases the range of the clock beyond twelve hours to cover all daylight hours. This supplements the two clock bells with a Quarter Jack. During the Napoleonic War the original monk was replaced by a Grenadier. The Minster was declared a Royal Peculiar in 1318 which remained until 1846 when it was abolished. The central tower once had a spire but the Minster still boasts a chained library and a crypt part of which contains the burial vault of the Bankes family of Kingston Lacy.
Visit the church http://wimborneminster.org.uk/
The ancient Saxon church was either demolished or enlarged in 1201 using some red sandstone from the former Roman Fort at Waterbrook. A north aisle was added in the 16th Century creating an exceptionally wide church with a ‘forest of pillars’. Items of interest include an ornate font cover and a helmet and sword hung high on the north wall probably belonging to Sir Roger Bellingham or as legend has to ‘Robin the Devil’ The Bellingham Chapel contains a corona entitled the ‘Crown of Thorns’ with a tapestry by Theo Moorman behind the alter. The Romney Chapel commemorates one of this country’s foremost portrait painters.
Visit the church http://www.kendalparishchurch.co.uk
The history of the Abbey can be divided into three. A period until the conquest when the building was the cathedral seat of St Aldhelm and other bishops of Sherborne, a period up to the Reformation when it served as a Benedictine monastery and since as a parish church. The tracery in the vaulting throughout the church is spectacular as is the carving behind the high alter. Its retention is due in no small measure to the restoration undertaken in the 19th Century by R C Carpenter and William Slater. Major repairs over one hundred years later consolidated this work.
Visit the church http://www.sherborneabbey.com/
A church built to establish a community of Augustinian Canons Regular was saved during the Reformation by John Draper the last Prior successfully petitioning the King to grant the church and churchyard in perpetuity to the Churchwardens and parishioners. Projecting from the triforium in the Lady Chapel is the ‘Miraculous Beam’, placed there to prevent the attentions of pilgrims. The beam was cut and placed in position during one night by a mysterious carpenter who was never seen again. It was thereafter believed to have been Christ the carpenter hence the name Christchurch given to both the church and the town.
Visit the church http://www.christchurchpriory.org/
Lack of maintenance and poorly planned structural alterations took place from time to time following the Reformation. Much was improved in the mid 19th Century when the west end was replaced in the perpendicular style and a brick wall removed separating the chancel from the crossing. Sadly medieval choir stalls were thrown out but fortunately the lily crucifixion (one of only five known examples carved in stone or alabaster) on the front of the tomb of John de Tannersley was preserved. St Mary’s pioneered Sunday school education for children unable to attend day school which included academic studies.
Visit the church http://www.stmarysnottingham.org/
We are a Church of England church situated in the heart of Hertford and part of the Hertford Team of Churches. Visitors and newcomers are always welcome at All Saints. Whether you’re just passing through, new to the area or have lived here for many years, we’d love to meet you!
Visit the church http://allsaintshertford.org
All Saints is the ancient church of Kingston parish that, at one time, stretched from Molesey to Richmond. It is set between the ancient Market Place and the busy shopping centre and has strong relationships with the residents, businesses, schools and University in Kingston but draws its congregation from a wide area. The church is open every day, and visitors are very welcome. The Church has a long-standing, strong musical tradition. It has a choir of forty men, boys and girls, with sung Eucharist and Evensong every Sunday and occasional weekday choral services. The Frobenius organ enhances the worship of the Church and has been used for recordings and recitals by some of the world’s finest organists. The church has a fascinating history: Egbert, King of Wessex, held his great council here in 838 and Athelstan and Ethelred the Unready were two more of the seven Saxon kings of England crowned here in the 10th century. Construction of the present church began in 1120. There is a 14th century wall-painting of St Blaise, the impressive 16th century tomb of Sir Anthony Benn, a 17th century marble font attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, twelve bells and an 18th century Carillon, the great west window of the 19th century, and the magnificent Frobenius organ installed in 1988. There is a Memorial Chapel of the East Surrey Regiment. For those who live or work in the Royal Borough, this church touches their lives in many ways: as a place of worship, as a location for community events, as a major arts venue and concert hall, as the civic church and, beyond all these, as a place to rest and reflect in a busy town centre.
Visit the church http://www.allsaintskingston.co.uk/
Together… at Christ Church we believe the bible to be the inspired word of God. We believe God’s Spirit to be at work among us today. We believe the Christian faith as it is set out in the Nicene Creed. And we believe the local church: Jesus centred, bible based and Spirit led, is the hope of the world. Christ Church is part of the Church of England, in the Stepney Area of the Diocese of London. We embrace the Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith. And we believe that seeking God’s kingdom, and living renewed lives together, is vital to growing the life God intends in Spitalfields and beyond.
Visit the church http://www.ccspitalfields.org