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.

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim