Penistone Church

Church Interior
Here are some strikingly good interior pictures, mostly from a cold day in March 2005. Some were taken from the pulpit, giving a vicar's eye view of the church (by kind permission). The church has since been been fitted with toilets (2007) and other details, as described in the previous page. The pews towards the rear of the church have been removed to provide an area for a wider range of activities but chairs can be still put in their place for large occasions. The bottom row pictures in this block are from a post-refurb open day in 2007. The proud mayor is Councillor Unsworth.

View from the pulpitceilingDown the side
AltarWindow close-uplecturn
OrganOpen DayMayor

The church tower is about 500 years old but the church is much older. A Saxon stone built into a wall suggests that this location was used for Christian worship in ancient times. Certainly much more than a millennium ago. This stone can be found (on its side) behind the arch nearest the pulpit (see below).

PGS 1392 - 1992
A new window was commissioned and installed to mark the 600-year anniversary of Penistone Grammar School, celebrated in 1992. Proudly on display is the Clarel coat of arms with its six footless 'martlet' birds. Below that is the school motto: 'Disce aut Discede' - which roughly translates as 'get some work done or clear off'.

Aisle and organ 1992 window Side chapel Stained glass

Music and Secrets
There are stories of secret hiding places and passages, such as a secret tunnel leading to a distant hillside but a church official told me that it is all a myth. The floor is solid and there is no crypt to creep in and out of. The acoustics are very good for music and the church pipe organ sounds very good. Here are the St. John's Singers on an Advent evening in 2001, looking pleased to be photographed. They specialise in difficult eighteenth-century music.

St.John's Singers Saxon Stone underneath the arches

A Long History
Think of all the happy and sad occasions in this place; christenings, weddings and funerals beyond count. Gallons of tears of joy and grief. Hymns and fine speeches that were lost to history as soon as the words echoed away or perhaps only half-remembered in the moment of grief. How many blushing brides thought - 'Aisle altar hymn' and, I wonder, did anyone ever say: "I object to this wedding"? But think also of all the true and abiding happinesses consecrated here, with tons of confetti and miles of film. What was it like the first time a photograph was taken in the church in the nineteenth century. Was it sacrilegious?


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