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Top Religious Buildings Walking Tour (Self Guided), Bath

Discover the wonderful places of worship in Bath. Most of them are beautiful examples of Gothic architecture. One of the most popular churches in Bath, founded in the 7th century, is Bath Abbey. Other than being places of worship and spectacular buildings, most of these churches are actively involved in the community life, helping the needy, and teaching the Bible. Be sure to visit these spiritual places and feel their energy.
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Top Religious Buildings Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Top Religious Buildings Walking Tour
Guide Location: England » Bath (See other walking tours in Bath)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Christ Church
  • Hay Hill Baptist Church
  • Elim Pentecostal Church
  • Holy Trinity Church
  • St. Michael's Church
  • Bath Abbey
  • St John the Evangelist Catholic Church
  • Manvers Street Baptist Church
  • Widcombe Baptist Church
  • St. Mary the Virgin Church
Christ Church

1) Christ Church

Christ Church is a proprietary chapel on Julian Road. The building was designed by John Palmer, one of the principal architects working in Georgian Bath, and was built in 1798. It has a neo-Gothic style, but classically proportioned, with north and south aisles and a gallery on three sides. Stained glass on the south side of the gallery is by A. O. Hemming and depicts Jesus, as the Good Shepherd, and the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The two windows to the west end are by James Powell and Sons and show Christ in Majesty and the raising of the daughter of Jairus. There are nine lancet windows in the apse, and the windows in the main body of the church feature individual saints, angels and biblical characters, themed around the Te Deum Laudamus. Among other notable parts of the interior is an unusual wooden altarpiece. The apse was added in 1865-6 by John Elkington Gill. The church tower contains a peal of bells, although these are not regularly rung.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hay Hill Baptist Church

2) Hay Hill Baptist Church

Hay Hill Baptist Church is a small church in the centre of Bath. People of all ages are welcome here. It is a friendly and family-oriented church with programs for children and young people. After each Sunday morning service, usually held at 10:30 AM, they offer tea and coffee.
Elim Pentecostal Church

3) Elim Pentecostal Church

Elim Pentecostal Church is one of many wonderful places of worship dotted around the city of Bath. Located on Charlotte Street, the church lies at the western end of the city centre, close to one of the city centre’s main car parks. Flanked by modest Georgian two storey houses, the church, completed in 1854, is immediately eye catching. Several ornate window panels mark the entrance to the church, housed beneath a wide, gently sloping roof, with a stone tower on each side of the entrance. The church has a European feel in its design, and is Grade II listed for its unusual and well maintained external features.

The church belongs to the Elim branch of Pentecostal Christianity, founded by Welsh preacher George Jeffreys in the early 20th century. The church welcomes visitors to attend services, which are held on Sunday mornings and evenings. The church also runs the Oasis youth group on Sundays, and offers theology courses throughout the year. Elim Pentecostal Church is currently undergoing a rebuilding plan, and will modernize much of the interior, whilst retaining the church’s unusual architectural features. The church was substantially restored as part of a city wide initiative in the 1980s, which saw many historic stone buildings cleaned and restored to combat the effects of traffic pollution.
Holy Trinity Church

4) Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church is one of many examples of Bath’s strong ecclesiastical heritage. Centrally located on Chapel Row, just off Queen Square to the west of the city centre, the Holy Trinity Church can be viewed as part of a short walking tour of the city’s finest churches. Founded in 1822, the Holy Trinity Church has been a cornerstone of the local community for almost two centuries. Sadly, the church was forced to close its doors in March 2011 as it was unable to sustain the running costs of such a large building.

The building currently stands empty, but in a city with a proud tradition of restoring and revitalizing its finest buildings, there is hope that it can be put to use soon and not fall into disrepair. One of three Anglo-Catholic churches in a city where religion has often played a major role, the Holy Trinity’s closure has caused much local consternation. For now, the congregation has moved to St. Michael’s, a fellow Anglo-Catholic church on Broad Street. As the building is currently closed, tours and viewings are not possible, but the striking architecture of the exterior can still be appreciated as you walk to and from Queen Square.
St. Michael's Church

5) St. Michael's Church

St. Michael’s Church is located at the junction of Broad Street and Walcot Street, in the bustling eastern end of the city centre. Approaching along Northgate Street, which once marked the northern gate into the walled medieval city, the church dominates the view ahead. One of a few pre-Georgian buildings still standing outside the old city walls, the church once gave its name to this new area of development north of the city centre. A perfectly quirky design for the more bohemian end of town, the high, narrow bell tower fits with the steep side streets and mazy flea markets of the surrounding streets.

First constructed in medieval times, the church was rebuilt in the Georgian era, and was completed to its present design in Victorian times. Designed by local architect George Phillips Manners, the church broke with convention in order to fit into this narrow strip of land. The altar, usually to the east of the bell tower, is tucked directly behind it, and faces north – making this church a unique find for architectural enthusiasts. St. Michael’s is an Anglo-Catholic church and runs Sunday services. Arrive early to secure a seat – this small city church serves two local congregations, following the closure of sister church, the Holy Trinity on Chapel Row.
Bath Abbey

6) Bath Abbey (must see)

Bath Abbey forms the centerpiece of Bath’s many historic attractions. In the center of town between the River Avon and the Roman Baths, the Abbey’s historic spire is visible throughout the town. Formally known as the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the abbey was founded in the 7th century and extensively rebuilt in both the 12th and 16th centuries. Restored to its current glory in the 19th century by Sir Gilbert Scott, and now constructed almost entirely from the city’s famous beige Bath stone, Bath Abbey is a grand Gothic church rich in history. The first king of England, Edgar was crowned here in the 8th century.

Still an active place of worship, the Abbey is free to visit, and tourists are welcome to attend the Abbey’s services. Guided tours of the Abbey are available at a cost of £3, whilst a guided walk up the iconic bell tower is available for £6 adults, £3 for children (aged 5-15). Adjacent to the abbey lies a square which houses the Roman Baths, and is also a great spot to admire the abbey’s architecture. In the abbey vaults, the Heritage Vaults Museum houses priceless artifacts from throughout the abbey’s history.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St John the Evangelist Catholic Church

7) St John the Evangelist Catholic Church (must see)

St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church is located on the South Parade in the southeast section of Bath City Centre, in the Old Ham District. The decorative Gothic-style spire dominates the city's skyline, which has irked some people such as noted architectural critic Nikolaus Pevsner who stated the church was "a demonstrative proof of how intensely the Gothicists hated the Georgians of Bath."

The structure was designed and built between 1861-3 by Charles Francis Hansom, who was the brother of J. A. Hansom, the creator of the Hansom cab. The brothers also prepared designs for Woodchester Mansion in Nympsfield, Gloucestershire, after A. W. N. Pugin had resigned from the project. For this reason, they are often quoted as being the second best Roman Catholic architects of their day, for their success in picking up commissions Pugin had passed over. The church's 222 feet (68 metre) spire was added in 1867 by Hansom.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Manvers Street Baptist Church

8) Manvers Street Baptist Church

Manvers Street Baptist Church can be found just off Pierrepont Street, amongst the shops, bars and hotels of the modern, southern end of town. An imposing building with a high, steeply sloping roof and an ornate bell tower, the church has been a hub within the local community for centuries. Close to local car parking facilities and Bath Spa train station, this welcoming church makes an ideal start or finish to a walking tour of the city, or can be enjoyed as part of a tour of Bath’s many stunning places of worship.

There has been a Baptist congregation in Bath since the 16th century. Manvers Street Baptist church was completed in 1872, and like many other churches in the UK, grew extensively during the Victorian era. After significant restoration and expansion work at the start of the 21st century, the church opened the Open House Centre, a popular community space which hosts over fifty different community groups, including a student social gathering, mother and baby evenings and volunteer events. The church holds services at 10.30am and 6.30pm each Sunday. All services are free to attend. The church, coffee ship and Open House Centre are all accessible to wheelchair users.
Widcombe Baptist Church

9) Widcombe Baptist Church

Widcombe Baptist Church is a popular and dynamic church in Bath. Worship and sermons are important activities of the church. It is popular among the young people of Bath, who come here to pray regularly. It is a friendly church with a lot of energetic singing.
St. Mary the Virgin Church

10) St. Mary the Virgin Church (must see)

The Church of St. Mary the Blessed Virgin, to give the church its full name, is located at the foot of Bathwick Hill, east of the River Avon. The Church dates to the Georgian era, and was designed by architect John Pinch, who also landscaped the nearby Sydney Pleasure Gardens. A Gothic church typical of 19th century ecclesiastical designs, the church continues to house a strong Catholic congregation. One of the more active churches in the city, St. Mary the Virgin Church holds Eucharist mass on Sunday at 10.30am, with morning and evening mass held on each weekday.

The church is known nationally for its adult choir, which has featured on television and radio, and has performed around the UK and across Europe. The church has a strong musical tradition, with a successful boys’ choir in residence until the 1980s, and still has a functioning church organ, installed by Father Henry Willis. This tradition was brought into the modern age five years ago, when West Country rock band Muse used the church organ for songs on their second album. The church is wheelchair accessible, offers Fairtrade drinks and snacks after services, and runs a twice weekly baby and toddler group.

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