You will be looking at the church from the outside thinking it doesn’t look much in a not very impressive looking part of Reading. However do not be put off by this for it has one of the most unique interiors anywhere with a beautiful collection of art.
The first thing you should notice is outside on the far right of the gardens a large wooden Crucifix. This is a war memorial and thought to be one of the oldest in Reading. Then as you enter through the main doors you come into a lobby like area and to the right of the inner doors before going into the main body of the church is a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, People often stop there first to offer their prayers to Our Lady knowing she always will intercede for us. It also has a parish notice board there so you can find out what is going on.
As you come through the doors and into church itself the first thing you are hit by is the light interior and the first thing to draw your attention is the Pugin rood screen rescued by Fr Brindly form St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham, and you will see in front of it the sanctuary and the large nave altar that stands in front of it which underneath the altar frontal is made of marble, the sanctuary area was built in 1969, but the church dates back to 1826.
You will notice the statues and smell of incense in the air reminding us of all the prayers that are offered up (after all this is still a working parish church) and the sculptured stations of the cross and paintings that line the walls this church is very firmly rooted in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England.
As you get to the front turn around and look up and notice the organ it’s a large organ that again former Vicar Fr Brindly rescued from All Saints, Oxford when they were getting rid of it. You will also notice to the far right of the Sanctuary the beautiful and very tall Queen Anne Pulpit this was also rescued from Oxford and both Wesley brothers have preached from it. Do go and look at the Lady Chapel on the far left of the sanctuary it has a very fine Altar, Tabernacle and candlesticks which were rescued from an Abbey that was closing down, as you enter you will feel like you are being transported to a chapel in Italy.
And then do not miss a trip to the crypt for there is as much below ground as above and it is a very fine crypt indeed.