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Maria Thomas Aitor
· August 11, 2016
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Our Church of the Week is Nicholas Hawksmoor's stunning St Alfege Church, Greenwich, which is marking 300 years since its dedication in 1718.

In February 1711, the church wardens of Greenwich Parish Church petitioned Parliament to rebuild the medieval church after a storm. This historical event was re-enactmented this month to launch the Tercentenary celebrations.

St Alfege Church is the first of Hawksmoor’s London churches, a Grade I listed landmark in the Maritime Greenwich... World Heritage Site. The main pilasters at the east end and the apse were originally painted by Sir James Thornhill, better known for his work in the Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College.

The design and carving of the pulpit and the Corinthian capitals on the pillars are attributed to Grinling Gibbons, who worked with Wren on St Paul’s Cathedral and is regarded as the finest English wood carver.

St Alfege has also received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Heart of Greenwich, Place and People project, to reinforce the church as a heritage asset at the heart of Greenwich.

Find out how to visit:

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We're delighted to announce funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Great Interpretations: our project celebrating Lincolnshire's fantastic churches!

We'll be helping them share their rich heritage with their local communities and tourists - a treasure in the heart of every town and village.

We're hugely excited - find out more:

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Did you know the National Churches Trust runs church tours?

Join us to discover four of Christopher Wren's stunning London churches on 21 March, including the elegant St Bride's, Fleet Street, and historic Temple Church.

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Our Church of the Week is St Giles, in Shipbourne, in Kent, a grand 19th century estate church rebuilt by the Cazalets of Fairlawne in 1881.

There was a medieval chapel on the site, of which a few architectural fragments remain inside the vestry. It's built of local ragstone with Bath stone dressings. The Cazalets were said to have spent £20000 on the building, and wanted to make an impression.

The interior has remarkable sgraffito decoration in the nave, made by scratching... a surface to reveal colours underneath. The alabaster reredos, pulpit, font, pews, baptismal pew and fine organ by TC Lewis are all original.

There are beautiful views from the churchyard to the west across fields and woodland. The Greensand Way long distance footpath passes through the churchyard.

Discover it for yourself:

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Discover the most romantic churches and chapels across Britain on Valentine's Day, from the inspiration behind our tiered wedding cakes to the church at Gretna Green.

Check out our list on ExploreChurches:

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Our Church of the Week is St Mary the Virgin in Warbleton, Sussex. It's on our list of the churches from the lives of the women who fought for their right to vote.

The church of St Mary the Virgin is built on a Neolithic mound and the chancel and nave date from the 13th century. The porch and north aisle were added in the 14th century, the tower following in the 15th century.

The church hosted the funeral of Elsie Bowerman, a suffragette who in 1914 toured the nation with W...SPU leaders Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst. In 1918, the first step to universal suffrage won, she became one of the first female Election Agents.

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100 years ago today, the first women in Britain won the right to vote.

Including Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Emily Wilding Davison, discover the stories of those who fought for their rights, and the churches that shaped their lives.

Find out more on our list on ExploreChurches:

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Our Church of the Week is one of the fascinating churches with European links from our list on ExploreChurches.

St James' Catholic Church, Spanish Place, near Marylebone is a Grade II* listed building, constructed in the English Gothic style. Its height and detailing make the church a local landmark.

The church here grew out of the chapel attached to the Spanish embassy. By 1880 the chapel had become too small and the present church was commissioned. Edward Goldie's ambitious... design was influenced by French Gothic models and Westminster Abbey.

Built entirely of stone it has a purity of line that confers a true sense of majesty upon the whole building. The arches of the nave are supported by pillars enriched with marble colonettes.

Find out more:

The British Spanish Society Future for Religious Heritage

(Picture: Wikimedia Commons)

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2018 is the year of European Cultural Heritage. Many European communities have built or use churches in and around London, and their histories tell the story of Europe and of Great Britain.

Our list on ExploreChurches includes the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Bayswater, with a stunning polychromatic marble interior; and St James' Catholic Church in Spanish Place, built entirely of stone with a purity of line that confers a true sense of majesty.

Find out more about the churc...hes and chapels with European connections on ExploreChurches:

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Our Church of the Week, for Burns Night yesterday, is St Michael's church, Dumfries, where Robert Burns is buried.

Initially buried in an unmarked grave in the churchyard in 1796, Burns was moved to the Italianate Burns Mausoleum in 1817.

The Category A listed church of St Michael was built between 1741 and 1746 from local sandstone. It is the third church on this site, dating back to the 11th century.


The ten stone pillars supporting the gallery in the present church were part of the second church, so are at least 500 years old.

In 2009 two new windows, of Robert Burns and his wife, were installed to commemorate the 250th anniversary of his birth.

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It's St Dwynwen's Day, the most romantic day in Wales.

Dwynwen was a fifth century saint who retreated to Llanddwyn Island, off Anglesey after an unhappy love affair. She had fallen in love with a youth named Maelon against her father's wishes. According to legend, an angel visited her and gave her a potion that healed her loss and turned Maelon into ice.

Dwynwen was granted three wishes: that Maelon would be thawed; that true lovers would have their dreams fulfilled; and she would never marry. She then devoted her life to God and lived on the island until her death in AD465.

Dwynwen became known as the patron saint of lovers and pilgrimages were made to her holy well on the island. The ruins of her shrine still stand.

Find out how to visit this calm and beautiful place with ExploreChurches:

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Did you see our list of fascinating churches to visit along Hadrian's Wall?

Many were built from the stones of the wall and forts, and Hexham Abbey has a sandstone memorial to a Roman standard bearer called Flavinus, dating from the 1st century.

Have you walked the Hadrian's Wall path? We'd love to see your pictures of these historic churches!

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Our Church of the Week is one of the ancient churches that line the path of Hadrian's Wall.

St Mary's church sits within the former nave of Lanercost Priory, an Augustinian monastery founded in 1169. It's set in a tranquil rural landscape, surrounded by fields and overlooked by Hadrian's Wall.

An inscribed Roman centurial stone in the priory's fabric shows that stone to build the original structure came from Hadrian's Wall. This stone is clearly visible, but it was incorpora...ted into the stonework upside down!

With the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the priory church began to fall into disrepair. The dramatic ruins at the east end of the church are a silent witness to this story of destruction. Worship continued in the north aisle, which was walled off and reroofed in about 1740 and became the parish church.

Find out more and visit:

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The churches around Hadrian's Wall are part of a diverse and historic landscape. Many of them are built from the stones of the wall or forts left by the Romans.

Hexham Abbey contains a memorial to a Roman standard bearer; St Giles church in Chollerton has a Roman altar; and Lanercost Priory has a Roman centurial stone built into the walls.

A gorgeous part of the country, great views, fascinating churches - what's stopping you? Go see for yourself:

(Picture copyright Newcastle University)

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