Looking back on the first three articles that I wrote, Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates, I am now looking further than just the paper records, and looking at where these events in a person’s
life would take place……a church or other religious estab-lishment. What information does a church provide for a family historian?
Let’s take it back to the beginning and to understand what the word church means. The word derives from the Greek word, Kyriakos, meaning
‘of the Lord’.
surrounding areas have a total of 118 churches either
open or sometimes sadly closed and used for other purposes. This figure is broken down by area, which include Swansea (24),
Blackpill (1), Brynmill (6), Cockett (3), Cwmbwrla (6), Dunvant (3), Gower (29), Killay (3), Mount Pleasant (3), Mumbles (9), Sandfields (1), Sketty (10), Townhill (4), Tycoch (2), Uplands (11) and
West Cross (3). For some light relief if anyone would like to name all those churches, they can
email me with the names, and I will mention them in a future article. Good luck!
With this number of churches in and
around Swansea, this article
covers churches, and the
secrets they hold. To begin with, on entering the grounds, does the church have a lych-gate – this is a roofed gateway to a churchyard, formerly used at burials for sheltering a coffin until the
clergyman’s arrival. Examples of a lych gate can be found at St. Paul’s, Sketty and St. Mary’s, Swansea.
Stand by the church building and look at the construction. Churches have
been built in stone, as it is durable, abundant and comes in a variety of colours. Stones can be used in with rusticated blocks, which are blocks that have been intentionally carved to emphasise
their depth. Some churches have
been constructed in brick. The brick can be cut, moulded, glazed, such as is seen in the City Temple, Swansea. Some of the
newer churches will
have been made of concrete, St. Benedict’s, in Sketty, is a good example. The construction of the church will determine the style and age. One common style that was used locally was the gothic style.
Gothic architecture represents an ecstatic classicism composed of columns, arches and motifs, St. James, Uplands and St. David’s Priory, Swansea, follow this