The Pews

The nave pews hold 100 - if everyone squeezes up! The pews you see were fitted in 1855-6 replacing dark oak pews said to installed in the time of Elizabeth I. Together with the pulpit the cost was £470. An old picture shows that they originally went right up to the chancel arch, and, with those in the south aisle, provided seating for 338 people.
The pews with doors were rented for £1 p.a., some others for 12/6 or 7/6. When all pews became free in 1904 it was decided to remove all doors, but opposition to this left some in place.


From here the Bible is read at Services, offering a choice of four versions, as the desk rotates. It dates from c.l700. Hanging from it are two hand-wrought chains originally one for the Bible, the other, Foxe's Book of Martyrs. The lectern was removed to the Vicarage in the mid-19th century and, unfortunately, sold with the vicar's effects when he died. The purchaser presented it to Reading Museum, from where it was returned in 1909.



Coat of arms and Texts
Over the arch near the lectern is the Royal Coat of Arms of Charles 11 (1662) which was displayed in many churches on his Restoration. It has been painted over part of a text which, with the others in the nave are now indecipherable. These were put there by an Order of James 1, issued in 1604, that "Godly texts from scriptures should supersede Popish ornaments and ordinances." For an idea of what these may have looked like, see the restored text on the west wall of the south aisle.