Saturday, 23 January 2021

"We do not claim to have reached perfection...

COGOP  Slough Branch

Luckily for us the Church of God of Prophecy has a church in Slough, in Britwell one of the town’s most exciting parts, affordable housing and parkland etc.  Aside from Slough the Church has  has congregations and missions in over 130 countries.

At the Eleventh Annual Assembly in 1915, the General Overseer stated, in his annual address, "We do not claim to have reached perfection; we are only searching for it.”

Committed to the sanctity of the marriage bond and the importance of strong, loving Christian families the Church of God of Prophecy enjoys a membership of over 1,500,000.

In America alone there are nearly 85,000 members in 1,871 Churches.

The church’s particular interpretation of the teachings (primarily from the New Testament) were originally introduced in a series of 29 sermons delivered on the Voice of Salvation radio program by M. A. Tomlinson, several doctrinal beliefs of the church became summarised by the 29 Prominent Teachings.  

Well worth a watch is their Television Ministry, also called the Voice of Salvation. It is an excellent outreach and ministry with Pastor Billy Wilson ENJOY IT HERE…

For locals we can go to COGOP, a natty acronym, here to enjoy their services.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

PETER MARY AND LAURENCE: Three Treasures in Slough Pt 2


Peter Mary and Laurence  - three gems in the modern parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey, all in a row and it is five minutes on a bike between each. Which is what we did, entering Slough on the south side from the Jubilee River.


St Mary: The church of St Laurence had by1830 fallen into such disrepair. 

Hey we need a new church the people cried

Found was four acres of land on the edge of the ancient village of Upton, between Church Street and Windsor Road. Just south of Slough’s High Street.

Inside and out this was to be testament to Slough’s growing status as a flourishing industrial town.

Planned by John Oldrid Scott, a son of Sir Gilbert Scott, 1811 – 1878, (Dad had designed or altered over 800 buildings).

Oldrid worked from 1875 through to 1913 to finish St Mary’s. The final touch was the spire in 1913. This was bash and build as most of it was constructed around a Georgian confection. 

Unique stained glass …

St Mary’s West Window (1915), commissioned by Mary Ellen Elliman, sister of the church’s benefactor James Elliman.  The window was created by the Jewish artist Alfred Wolmark, and considered ground breaking and daring for its time, it inspired John Piper’s design for the windows of Coventry Cathedral*. 

There’s more! East window dates back to 1889 and depicts Christ in glory with the twelve apostles. Each panel has a traditional medieval canopy, and each apostle is shown with two guardian angels with Kempe’s distinctive peacock feathered wings. Inside this church is a ‘must see’!

All three churches were closed, no surprises there then, meaning repeat visits post-Covid, are necessary. Included with this are links to the full history of each church. I say a BIG thank-you to each web site.

All three churches are another great reason to spend time in Slough.

*Coventry is City of Culture 2021 and Piper’s windows in the Cathedral are breath taking and have to be seen.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

PETER MARY AND LAURENCE: Three Treasures in Slough Pt 1

St. Peter's Church Chalvey, 

Saint Laurence's Church

Peter Mary and Laurence  - three gems in the modern parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey, all in a row and it is five minutes on a bike between each. Which is what we did entering Slough on the south side from the Jubilee River.

St. Peter's Church Chalvey, because we are getting tight on space:

It’s the 1850s, space in St. Mary and St. Laurence's was insufficient to meet the needs of the expanding population of Slough; services in Chalvey were held in a schoolroom. 

CROWD FUNDED:  The congregations’ modest weekly subscriptions were helped by an appeal to which Queen Victoria gave £100. 

Plans for the church were drawn up by G.E. Street, an uber-church architect, and the contract was given to G. Harley of Slough. Many of the windows were the work of C.E. Kempe. (A stained glass top banana)  The first stone was laid in July 1860 and the church was consecrated on 7th September 1861. 

Job done!

More on St Peter’s

Saint Laurence's Church is the oldest building in Slough. 

In the twelfth century the wooden parish church of Upton was replaced with a flint building. Tower and outside walls of the Norman building form part of the present church. 

INSIDE THERE IS two other Norman features survive: the ancient baptismal font, and a Piscina. During the reformation, many of the ancient decorations were mutilated. A thirteenth century Italian allegorical image of the Trinity survived and was reassembled during the restoration of the church.


Dereliction and Restoration: By the early nineteenth century the church had fallen into such disrepair that it was decided to build a new church, Saint Mary’s, in the town centre. A local farmer who secured the outside walls and tower saved the Norman building from demolition. Saint Laurence’s was restored 1850-1851 and rededicated on 2 December 1851.

More on St Laurence


Monday, 11 January 2021


St Thomas' Beaconsfield with highly trained baristas....

Having recently covered the Holy Trinity Hazlemere's development of a café and meeting rooms, several £m’s it seems, closer to home, St Thomas’ church Beaconsfield is forging similar plans.

In Spring 2021 The Dove Café is to be opened, if £70,000 is raised via one-off donations, regular giving or loans are secured. 

        Discover more about this right here https://thedovecafe/

The new God promotes ‘coffee and kindness being the perfect blend in a place for all, at the heart of the community’.

This all part of a scheme that includes a new attractive entrance to the church, glass panels to open the place up, more parking, a patio garden. There are numerous other aspects to the scheme!  The cafe is inside the church itself and the promotional leaflet promises ‘highly trained baristas!

Let us hope that A N Wilson’s piece* in The Times ‘Church shepherds have lost their flocks - The Archbishop of Wokeness Welby and the equally inept Nichols are not leaders that the faithful deserve’ does not come to pass otherwise the new cafe might not be too busy.

Link to A N Wilson article

            * Friday December 25 2020

Saturday, 2 January 2021


A marvellous view south from atop Kennedy Park

Wonderful! And another good reason to love Slough. Kennedy Park boasts an outdoor gym, play logs and a lookout.  We enjoyed looking out from the lookout. To the south one could almost see Windsor Castle. Certainly it's possible to enjoy a great view of Slough Power Station and the menacing flat roofs of the data warehouses on the Slough Trading Estate.

This is part of Britwell, a residential area immediately north of the Slough Trading Estate.  In 2013-14 there was a deal of controversy about the development of this area. Slough Borough Council were gung ho for more houses and Countryside Properties sniffing and opening said game on. 

Although currently the new Community Centre (part of the deal) is closed (Covid) the park is open.  Careful though, Sam’s Store Drinks*, is close to one entrance and does attract drivers with a cavalier disposition to other road users, pedestrians and cyclists.  

*(Take advantage of special promotions, competitive prices, and convenient opening hours at Sam’s Store Drinks, Unit 5 Kennedy Parade).

I continue to promote, extol, praise and borrow from -  the late Gary Flint’s compendium of facts and inspiration about Slough and around and about.

Monday, 28 December 2020

CAKE AND STEEL Discovering London


Richard Roger's inside out
James Stirling's cake mix

Another trip into London (pre T4 lockdown) in furtherance of my autodidact approach to modern architecture; two buildings were on the menu.


First was No1 Poultry, across from the Royal Exchange and looking like a nice slice of Battenberg cake, then onto Lloyds of LondonThis second stop looked like something from Asimov’s Caves of Steel, published in Galaxy Magazine thirty three years before the building was completed in 1986.


No 1Poultry, this was a triumph of tenancy; Peter Palumbo tried for twenty-five years to develop this site. He finally got the go ahead for architects Stirling and Wilford to build an obsessively decorated post-modern confection. Sadly James Stirling (Tate Britain, Clore Galleries extension and the Neue Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart) died before No.1 Poultry was completed five years later.


Lloyds of London, the inside out building, was the triumph of Richard Rogers. It took eight years to build which is quite a long time by standards of the day. One architect friend commented, “They were probably making it up as they went along”.


Standing across the street and looking up at the Lloyds Building is an exciting prospect.  It has been the location for sixteen films including Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).



Architecture fiends and building crawlers should download the an app called London Architecture Guide from it is simple to use and reaches out to outskirts of the city. Great for planning a tour of if you find yourself with a little time to mooch around just tap current location!

Monday, 21 December 2020


'It has been described as looking like a Generating Station'*

An interior that makes the heart stop

With a year of being encouraged to travel less the Curious Coast team have journeyed closer to home, still in the spirit of being ‘curious’. 


We went to a remarkable church, All Saints Hanworth. Consecrated in 1957, All Saints is a box of delights most of which was created by Nugent Cachemaille-Day, an architect widely recognised as designing some of the most revolutionary 20th-century churches in the UK.  


And what a joy for we were lucky to be welcomed by Fr. Sergiy Diduk who took great pains to ensure our visit was special.  Its West Door on the busy Uxbridge Road welcomes you into a treasure house of stained glass, sculpture, carvings and woodwork. In the main body of All Saints huge concrete spans support a roof and lantern of stained glass and give the place huge space and presence, a concrete apse decorated in gold with seraphim images.  


And there is countless detail to discover for example Cashemaille-Day fashioned a remarkable font through his rummaging in junk shops. The result is a 19c copy of a 14c North German image of The Virgin.


Discover more about the Architect here a remarkable resource of Modernist buildings and places.


And the delights of All Saints here

All Saints Church, Uxbridge Road, Hanworth TW13 5EE 

 From the church's guide produced in 2017