The beautiful façade of Broad Street Congregational Chapel, one of the jewels of Reading’s town centre, conceals a fascinating past. Here local author Geoff Sawers chronicles the life of the building and its origins: from the Lollards of the 1500s, through puritanism and persecution in the 1600s, respectability in the 1800s, and final decline in the 1960s.
Now, restored to its former glory and housing a bookshop, few shoppers appreciate the religious significance of the building or know about the people whose livelihoods have centred on it. In this comprehensive and detailed account, the story of the building is told in its entirety, right up to the present day.
Illustrated with 12 line drawings.
Geoff Sawers is a poet and artist from Reading. His previous Two Rivers Press books are A Ladder for Mr Oscar Wilde (2008), A Thames Bestiary (2007) and Charms Against Jackals with Adam Stout (2004). His translations of Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry, The Drunken Boat, was published by Two Rivers in 1999. His illustrations appear in the Two Rivers books The Island of Anarchy by Elizabeth Waterhouse (1997) and The Reading Quiz Book by Adam Sowan (2011).