Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire – St Peter and St Paul

After Pershore we went on to Upton upon Severn, and found it was a bigger village than we expected. We parked in the centre and found most of the shops were inaccessible if you have a Julie in a wheelchair. We went round by the old church, the bridge and Severn, then found we could get into the Old Butchers Shop – and they did a good pizza. They didn’t have a disabled loo – fortunately there is a public one in the village (another reason why Councils should not be allowed to close loos).

We continued down to the church – and found we could put the ramp down to get in. It’s at SO 852402, and has two websites – http://www.upton.uk.net/townmatters/stpandpchurch/stpeters.html and http://www.hopechurchfamily.org/. It is the sort of church where the history of the building gets five short paragraphs. I’m not sure whether I’m ready for a bouncy castle on a Sunday morning – must recommend it to my lot!

The old church is by the river – just the tower remains. By 1879 it was in a bad state of repair and not big enough to accommodate the town’s population. The plans were drawn up by Sir Arthur Blomfield and built by Mr T. Collins of Tewkesbury for £12,000. Unfortunately they only raised £11,000 – so it was all a bit tight. The church was consecrated on 3 September 1879 and dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. The first Rector of the new church was Robert Lawson. He was incumbent for 31 years from 1864 to 1895. He also donated the Font. A few things remained from the old church; the bells, organ and some monuments, including a crusader knight. He was William Boteler, a local man, who, with his brother, built the 14th century church. William’s brother’s effigy has never been found.

Sarah and Robert Baines have a rather lovely memorial. He was born in 1747, the son of John Baines of Layham, Suffolk. He was educated at Tonbridge, Charterhouse, Christ Church Oxford and then Christ’s College Cambridge. He was ordained as a priest in 1771 and married the same year. He held two curacies in East Anglia, was Chaplain to the Bishop of Chester, then went to Upton in 1772 (which makes me wonder how he managed all that in one year). Mr Lawson, wife of the first Rector, recorded in her writings that the family knew a lot of tragedy. They had 13 children – one son was drowned while bathing in the Severn, a daughter died in a fire, and another was lost in the shipwreck of The Earl of Abergavenny off the Isle of Portland. Have a look at https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/110519.html

Elizabeth Kendal (died 1799) was probably the sister of Ann Ross, the mother of baby Elizabeth – she was baptised on 14 January 1793 and buried on 9 September. Her father, Ann’s husband, was a maltster and publican. 

The booklet about the Memorials doesn’t seem to mention the War Memorial. The other ones I’ve photoed are to George and Maria Martin. He was educated at Eton and Merton College Oxford, then was a banker in Worcester. They were major fund raisers for the church. The writing is by Eric Gill – these were installed in 1906 and 1923, both moved from the chancel in 1966.

The East Window is Victorian stained glass – it is a Te Deum window, and I like the figures. The reredos was in memory of Robert Lawson. The light was not very good. It is one of the most colourful Churches Together banner I have ever seen. Enjoy more Victorian glass.

The West Window is a memorial to Mr Martin, and is by Christopher Whall, leader of the Arts and Craft movement in the field of stained glass – the Lady Chapel in Gloucester is by him. The Works of the Lord and the Servants of the Lord – Air, Earth, Man and Angel; George, Edward the Confessor, Martin, and the Makers of the Song ‘O all ye works of the Lord’, the Three Holy Children, Ananias, Azarias and Misael in the fiery furnace, and the fourth ‘Like unto the Son of God’ who rebukes the flame, and upon whose face and kingly robe it presumes not even to glow.

Over the Nave altar is The Corona (Latin for crown), a 1987 installation which is made up of a circle of eight winged ‘Spirit Figures’ and puts a strong focus on the altar. It was designed and made by Anthony Robinson, as were the candlesticks on the altar. It was a dull, grey afternoon – be lovely to see it when the sun is shining.

We found a bakers we could get into, so that’s cake for tea sorted.

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