Cambridge, Cambridgeshire – All Saints’

All Saints’ is in the middle of Cambridge, just across the road from Jesus College – TL 452587 – but, despite living in Cambridge for the first 20 odd years of my life, I can’t recall having visited (though I’m sure mum and dad must have taken me in). It is a Churches’ Conservation Trust church, and was opened and staffed – though they had run out of guidebooks – good website.

The church was built in the 1860s to the plans of the famous nineteenth-century architect G.F. Bodley, and, as the website says  “is a triumph of Victorian art and design. The simple wooden door opens into a dramatic blast of colour and pattern. Light gleams through stained-glass windows, designed by leading Arts and Crafts artists, including William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown.” There wasn’t a lot of light gleaming anywhere today.

The first window is one commemorating Women – and there is a commentary which tells you about it. They could do with some more up to date (smaller) technology, but it works. Edith Cavell was a WW1 nurse who was shot by the Germans, there is a good website. She was born in Swardeston in Norfolk, and died by firing squad in Belgium on 12 October 1915. She is buried at Norwich Cathedral.

Josephine Butler was also commemorated – I have told her story when I visited Kirknewton in Northumberland. I don’t know why I didn’t photo her, and the other women.

There is another window that commemorates Cambridge clergy – George Herbert and his church at Bemerton included (I must visit there sometime).

The others are rather nice too – and probably nicer on a better day.

To quote the website “What’s more, almost every surface has painted, stencilled or gilded decoration. Pomegranates burst with seeds; flowers run riot over the walls. There is a glorious painting of Christ, Mary and St John, with throngs of angels.”

Fittings designed by Bodley include the alabaster font, the pulpit and the oak aisle screen.” says the wesbite. I did a bit more research and found this article from Country Life – website – and this page on the Victorian web. Apparently Bodley was involved in the Cathedral at Nagpur. If it is the same Nagpur that the Diocese of Derby is linked with in the Church of North India, I need to find out more before Sunday’s Harvest Festival.

There are some good interpretation panels and display material as well.

Outside a proper Victorian post box.


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