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THE CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
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Agapemonite Church, 1892-5, by Joseph Morris and Sons of Reading. Sculpture by AG Walker. Stained glass by Walter Crane. Minor later alterations. Strong contrasts of materials with rough coursed rubble and plentiful Portland stone dressings; stone spire. Aisleless nave with apse, west tower and south west vestry. Most striking of all are the superb windows by the Arts and Crafts painter and illustrator Walter Crane, which present Old Testament imagery, allegorical scenes and symbolic flora using thick, semi-opaque glass. Joseph Morris and Sons were selected as architects for their connections with the sect. Although a Quaker, Joseph Morris contributed to the purchase of the site on Rookwood Road and two of his daughters, Violet (also an architect) and Olive (a wood-carver and engineer) were residents at the Spaxton Agapemone. It is very likely that Violet was involved in the design of the Ark of the Covenant; she had assisted her father and brothers in commissions in the Berkshire area and was the sole designer of a number of houses in Spaxton including East Gate House at the Agapemone (surviving, unlisted). Olive is believed to have carved the pulpit, and possibly also the lectern, in the church. The church closed in 1926 and was reopened in 1956 as a `The Primatial See of the Antient Catholic Church'.

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