On Thursday 3rd Magdalen Walks member, Stuart McLaren, led an exploration of St Augustine's Church with the other volunteers. One of the (many!) things that I learned is that the church is associated with folk bearing some remarkable names. For instance, the brothers who founded the church and who were also priests were called, Herbertus & Wlfrac (pron 'Wolf Rack'). Fast forward to the 1870s and the Diocesan Surveyor was one, Richard Makilwaine Phipson. Brilliant!
Although Stuart knows lorry loads about the church he let us do some of the work and gave us a short quiz challenging us to locate various things of interest. These ranged from a man associated with the American War of Independence to a young soldier from the parish who was tragically executed for desertion. In addition, Stuart also highlighted the memorials to two local women who gave selflessly to their community. It was really interesting to actively investigate the church for ourselves and I had the feeling that we were only scratching the surface.
We will certainly be returning to St Augustines in the future as we continue to discover the rich seams of history that remain within our community.