ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Carey Baptist Church, Reading, Berkshire, England: High Victorian Gothic dating from 1871

Updated on February 3, 2015
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
 Carey Baptist Church, Reading
Carey Baptist Church, Reading | Source
William Carey
William Carey | Source

A seemingly two-dimensional frontage with multi-coloured brickwork

This building is a good example of the Victorian flair for exploiting the Gothic theme in architecture. Although its Carey Street elevation is preponderantly Gothic — even forcefully so, with its many pointed arches — there is also evidence of other design influence in the form of Syrian arches at the building's frontage, the rounded character of which stand in contrast to other pointed arches. High Victorian Gothic indeed; but there are also elements of the Romanesque.

The crowning Gothic feature of the building is a large, central triple arched window. Similar, smaller triple arching may be seen at the adjacent church hall.

Another feature of the building demonstrates the evident penchant among Victorians for the use of multi-coloured brickwork (1). Thus also, the apexes of the pointed Gothic arching as well as the Syrian arches are emphasized by the profusion of colour. The Syrian arches themselves contain an element of window tracery, even if they are not fully to be described as rose windows.

Doctrinally the congregation is Protestant and evangelical; indeed, with its identification with William Carey, its identifiable roots are also strongly Nonconformist. Architecturally, however, the profusion of Medieval-themed features would not be unfamiliar to traditionalists.

The building's Carey Street elevation seems to have a fairly strong two dimensional feel to it, reinforcing the building's strong sense of solidity, although this apparent two dimensional appearance is mitigated somewhat by the slight protrusion of the two Gothic doorways. These doorways are made more ornate by the presence of pillars, or strictly speaking, pilasters, which give the appearance of supporting the doorway arching, although this is probably not the case from a structural perspective.

The congregation which meets at Carey Baptist Church dates from 1867; the building itself was opened in 1871. Its name refers to William Carey (1761-1834), the 18th century Baptist preacher often known as 'the Father of modern missions', whose many years in Serampore, India saw his translation, and sponsorship of translation work, of the Bible into Sanskrit, Bengali and several other languages. Many educational establishments have been named for William Carey, including schools in India, a theological college in Vancouver, British Columbia and William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Carey Baptist Church, Reading also sponsors activities at other sites in the town. These include centres at Anstey Road and Baker Street, plus a venue in the Tilehurst suburb of Reading known as Carey Westwood Farm.

Noted individuals associated with the ministry of the church have included Jonathan Stephen, Principal of Wales Evangelical School of Theology, and the late Theodore Bendor-Samuel, long-serving director of Messianic Testimony.

The street on which the building is erected was originally known as Tappenden Street. This, however, was subsequently changed to Carey Street, being re-named for the church building.

I myself became aware of Carey Baptist Church many years ago while a student at Reading University because a neighbour of mine attended the congregation based in this striking building.

February 3, 2015

Note

(1) Indeed, John Ruskin, whose influence in the Gothic Revival was great, developed a whole theory of the use of polychrome materials. In Reading itself, Reading University's Foxhill House and Whiteknights House, by Alfred Waterhouse, dating from 1868, also makes significant use of polychrome brickwork.

Map location of Berkshire, United Kingdom
Map location of Berkshire, United Kingdom | Source

In Reading itself, visitor attractions include many other church buildings of note, including Reading Minster, Greyfriars Church, St Mary's Episcopal Chapel, the former Broad Street Independent Chapel; the church of St Lawrence-in-Reading, the Hospitium of the former Reading Abbey in which what became the University of Reading partly originated in 1892; Providence Chapel (situated fairly close to Carey Baptist Church); and many others. Much of Reading's church achitecture may be viewed by exploration on foot; and this building in Carey Street lies only a few minutes' walk from Reading's Downtown area.

...

How to get there

United Airlines flies from New York Newark Airport to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Distance from Heathrow Airport to Reading is 49 kilometres. A regular bus link exists between Heathrow Airport and Reading. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, you are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)