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The doors may be closed on our glorious churches, but one intrepid man has photograph the lot

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Every weekend and holiday, Cameron Newham is out from dawn to dusk, in rain, sun, hail and biting winds, fulfilling his quest to photograph all 12,000 of England’s rural parish churches.

Always working alone — ‘other people tend to get rather bored’ — he takes pictures of, well, pretty much everything. A nice view from the gate and all external elevations.

Then it’s inside for a few dozen snaps of all monuments that pre-date 1900, all brasses from before 1800, the font, altar, royal arms, pulpits, seats and wall paintings.

But not church chests, ‘unless they’re exceptional’.

Cameron Newham (pictured) is on a quest to photograph all 12,000 of England's rural parish churches

Cameron Newham (pictured) is on a quest to photograph all 12,000 of England's rural parish churches

Cameron Newham (pictured) is on a quest to photograph all 12,000 of England’s rural parish churches

Among the churches that Mr Newham has photographed in St.Remigius Church in Long Clawson, Leicestershire (pictured)

Among the churches that Mr Newham has photographed in St.Remigius Church in Long Clawson, Leicestershire (pictured)

Among the churches that Mr Newham has photographed in St.Remigius Church in Long Clawson, Leicestershire (pictured)

Or organs, ‘because I know nothing about them’.

Or bells, ‘because who wants to be scrambling around in the belfry?’

He’ll only ‘do’ Victorian glass if it has been listed in the historian Nikolaus Pevsner’s guides on English buildings.

And strictly no graves. ‘I have to have limits’ he says. ‘I have already taken half a million pictures over nearly a quarter of a century!’

In that time, he has braved angry vicars (‘one nearly punched me, but perhaps I did rather press his buttons’), recalcitrant church wardens and ghostly apparitions. 

At St Mary the Virgin in Bucklebury, Berkshire, where the Duchess of Cambridge grew up, he was once spooked by an elderly couple who entered the church — then disappeared.

In Cornwall, he nearly drowned in quicksand while trying to photograph a 15th-century well. An owl once nearly knocked him out when it flew at him and hit his head in one ruined church.

But, undeterred, Cameron — in his mid-50s — has pressed doggedly towards his goal.

Mr Newham (pictured at Weston Church, Otley, Yorkshire) is out from dawn to dusk, in rain, sun, hail and biting winds, fulfilling his quest

Mr Newham (pictured at Weston Church, Otley, Yorkshire) is out from dawn to dusk, in rain, sun, hail and biting winds, fulfilling his quest

Mr Newham (pictured at Weston Church, Otley, Yorkshire) is out from dawn to dusk, in rain, sun, hail and biting winds, fulfilling his quest 

The photographer (at All Saints' Church in Otley, Yorkshire) has now ticked off more than 9,000 churches

The photographer (at All Saints' Church in Otley, Yorkshire) has now ticked off more than 9,000 churches

The photographer (at All Saints’ Church in Otley, Yorkshire) has now ticked off more than 9,000 churches 

Pictured: The ruins of Old Church at Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire, which was taken by Mr Newham in June 2016

Pictured: The ruins of Old Church at Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire, which was taken by Mr Newham in June 2016

Pictured: The ruins of Old Church at Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire, which was taken by Mr Newham in June 2016

He has now ticked off more than 9,000 churches and developed a smartphone app, Keyholder For Parish Churches, to make churches more accessible, both in person — providing all possible information for visitors — but also online, with thousands of amazing photographs, particularly useful right now, with everyone stuck at home.

After 23 years, he is more committed than ever. ‘This is my gift to the future.

‘I expect these pictures will still be available in 500, maybe 1,000 years,’ he says. ‘I will be the modern Pevsner.’

On paper, Cameron isn’t the obvious candidate to provide single-handedly a photographic record of the Anglican Church’s rural heritage. He hails from Perth, Australia, loathed history at school, isn’t remotely religious — and he isn’t even a professional photographer.

But he is passionate about our parish churches. ‘They’re the best buildings in their communities but they are taken for granted,’ he says.

Inside Holy Trinity Church in Norfolk the photographer took a picture of the wax funeral effigy of Sarah Hare

Inside Holy Trinity Church in Norfolk the photographer took a picture of the wax funeral effigy of Sarah Hare

Pictured: A painted panel inside the chapel of St.Michaels Church in Ashton, Devon

Pictured: A painted panel inside the chapel of St.Michaels Church in Ashton, Devon

While visiting Holy Trinity Church in Norfolk, the photographer took a picture of the wax funeral effigy of Sarah Hare (left) and inside St.Michaels Church in Ashton, Devon, he was able to capture a painted panel (right)

Mr Newham visited Long Compton Parish Church in Warwickshire (pictured) in 1997

Mr Newham visited Long Compton Parish Church in Warwickshire (pictured) in 1997

Mr Newham visited Long Compton Parish Church in Warwickshire (pictured) in 1997

Pictured: The inside of St.Michaels Church in  Littlecotes, Lincolnshire

Pictured: The inside of St.Michaels Church in  Littlecotes, Lincolnshire

Pictured: St Mary, St Katharine & All Saints in Edington, Wiltshire

Pictured: St Mary, St Katharine & All Saints in Edington, Wiltshire

The photographer has also visited St.Michaels Church (left) in Littlecotes, Lincolnshire, and St Mary, St Katharine & All Saints (right) in Edington, Wiltshire

While visiting St.Cuthberts Church in Elsdon, Northumberland, Mr Newham was able to capture the horse skulls kept inside a cabinet

While visiting St.Cuthberts Church in Elsdon, Northumberland, Mr Newham was able to capture the horse skulls kept inside a cabinet

While visiting St.Cuthberts Church in Elsdon, Northumberland, Mr Newham was able to capture the horse skulls kept inside a cabinet

‘People should use them more and remember that they house most of the best sculptures, paintings and monuments in this country.’

It all started in 1996 when Cameron moved to London to work as an IT consultant. Finding weekends in the suburb of Pinner rather dreary, and inspired by Pevsner’s books, he decided to photograph some of the structures featured, but not pictured.

The first church he photographed was St Peter & St Paul in Long Compton, Warwickshire. To start with, it was all nice and simple. He had a compact camera and took just three pictures at each place.

But when he upgraded to a digital camera, the project grew and he decided to focus on parish churches.

Meanwhile in St.Peters Church, Low Toynton, Lincolnshire, the photographer was able to capture the ruins

Meanwhile in St.Peters Church, Low Toynton, Lincolnshire, the photographer was able to capture the ruins

Meanwhile in St.Peters Church, Low Toynton, Lincolnshire, the photographer was able to capture the ruins 

Pictured: A font at St.Mary the Virgin Church in Thorpe Arnold, Leicestershire

Pictured: A font at St.Mary the Virgin Church in Thorpe Arnold, Leicestershire

Pictured: Effigies of Sir Thomas Hewar and his wife inside St.Edmunds church in Emneth, Norfolk

Pictured: Effigies of Sir Thomas Hewar and his wife inside St.Edmunds church in Emneth, Norfolk

Mr Newham has photographed a holy water font (left) at St.Mary the Virgin Church in Thorpe Arnold, Leicstershire, and effigies of Sir Thomas Hewar and his wife inside St.Edmunds church in Emneth, Norfolk (right)

‘It just sort of expanded,’ he says. ‘The first county I ‘did’ was Berkshire — I just knocked it off in bits, one by one. Then things rapidly ramped up. I never really foresaw the scale.’

Or, presumably, the hundreds of thousands of hours it would absorb. His commitment and stamina are extraordinary.

On a summer’s day, and if all key holders are obliging, he can get through up to eight churches in a 12-hour shift, followed by a couple more hours typing up his notes and transferring hundreds of photographs back at his home, now near Bradford, West Yorks.

Often, he doesn’t even take a packed lunch, only pausing for a snack. He has spent pretty much every day off from his job on the project.

A couple of years ago, he took 18 months off work to photograph all 847 of Devon and Cornwall’s rural churches — even moving to Plymouth.

Pictured: All Saints Church in Hessle, East Yorkshire

Pictured: All Saints Church in Hessle, East Yorkshire

Pictured: St.Mary the Virgin Church in Isles Abbotts, Somerset

Pictured: St.Mary the Virgin Church in Isles Abbotts, Somerset

Also in the photographer’s album in All Saints Church in Hessle, East Yorkshire (left), and St.Mary the Virgin Church in Isles Abbotts, Somerset (right)

Mr Newham was able to photograph a holy water font inside Holy Cross Church, Greenford, London, in 2018

Mr Newham was able to photograph a holy water font inside Holy Cross Church, Greenford, London, in 2018

Mr Newham was able to photograph a holy water font inside Holy Cross Church, Greenford, London, in 2018

Together, we visit All Saints church in Weston, Yorkshire. It is a small Grade I listed building built in the 11th century. The interior is relatively simple, with whitewashed walls and box pews.

Cameron strides about with his trusty Canon, admiring the stained glass, coats of arms and hatchments and talks me through various photographic challenges. ‘Clear glass windows and dark pews — my worst photography nightmare,’ he says. 

Church clutter is another bête noire. He still can’t explain the vanishing couple in Bucklebury. 

‘I said ‘hello’ several times and they did not reply, which I thought was very rude,’ he says. So he waited in the chancel for them but they disappeared.

So far, he has only twice woken up and thought, ‘Oh no, not today’. He went anyway.

He still walks into every new church with excitement, never consults Pevsner beforehand for fear of spoiling the surprise and can remember every church he’s visited. ‘They all have very different personalities — some are simple, others are ornate.

‘And sometimes I really like the smell,’ he says. ‘You can’t possibly compare them.’

Surprisingly, Cameron’s least favourite church is one overflowing with architectural treasures. 

While inside St.Michaels Church in Ashton, Devon, Mr Newham photographed its painted panels

While inside St.Michaels Church in Ashton, Devon, Mr Newham photographed its painted panels

While inside St.Michaels Church in Ashton, Devon, Mr Newham photographed its painted panels

His ideal job is a ‘nice Victorian box with nothing in it. That’s a ten-minute job’. 

So far, the Parish Church Photographic Survey project has cost him about £150,000 in fuel and accommodation, nothing compared to the millions it would cost a professional photographer.

‘This is a serious piece of work,’ he explains. ‘It is not some dalliance. For many churches, these will be the best shots possible and it’s also propagating me into the future. I’m not married and I don’t have children so it is my legacy. So it is important to finish it.’

To which end, he is militarily organised. Each year he produces an extremely detailed Annual Report of his progress and any beauties he’s come across in his travels.

He has also appointed a group of trustees to make sure that if, God forbid, something should happen to him, the tens of thousands of hours he has spent are not in vain.

‘There are people to look after it and money to pay for it be finished,’ he says. ‘I can’t risk losing it at this stage.’ While gruelling, the project is not as solitary as it sounds.

He has had to conquer his natural shyness to liaise with countless church wardens and vicars, has met thousands of lovely people and made many friends through church appreciation groups.

And if a church is locked, he does not despair. First, he’ll use the Diocesan Directory, then he’ll try the achurchnearyou.com website and, finally, he’ll pull out his magic trick.

‘Knock on the door of any house near the church with neatly tended flower pots and hanging baskets,’ he explains. 

‘Because chances are, it will belong to a little old lady and if she doesn’t have the key, she will know who does.’ Happily, more and more churches are open today than ever before, but attendance continues to fall and many are in decline.

Now the end is in sight for his epic project, Cameron says friends who once thought him bonkers are some of his strongest supporters.

But progress seems slower than ever. By his calculations, it should take him between two and three years to photograph the last couple of thousand.

‘If I had been really committed, I would probably have been finished years ago’, he says. ‘I’m quite lax about the project actually.’

Lax? Surely not. He is breathtakingly organised and a total perfectionist — already fretting about some of his earlier work.

‘I often find myself popping back to redo a church,’ he says. ‘And I would like to do Warwickshire and Berkshire again, at better resolution.’ Surely that will add on another two years? 

‘Well, perhaps just the churches with interesting things in them,’ he concedes.

I am beginning to suspect he doesn’t want it to end. What will he do when, finally, his 12,000th church is photographed? Will there be a big celebration?

‘Maybe a nice pub lunch with friends, like I did on the 20th anniversary,’ he says. ‘And we’ll probably take some pictures outside a church as well.’

And what will he do with all those spare weekends, all that freedom?

‘Oh but this is only part one,’ he says, looking utterly delighted. ‘This is just the field work. Part two is putting it all together. At a leisurely pace that will take me at least another seven to 10 years.’ 

For more information, download Cameron’s Key Holder For Parish Churches app or visit explorechurches.org

 

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Doctors save baby but mother dies after medics were forced to perform emergency caesarean

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A physiotherapist who was diagnosed with coronavirus when she was 32 weeks pregnant has died from the disease, but doctors managed to save her baby in an emergency cesarean. 

Viviane Albuquerque, 33, was taken to the Unimed Hospital in the city of Recife in the northeastern Brazilian state of Recife on March 28 with symptoms of Covid-19 in her 32nd week of pregnancy.

She was confirmed to have the virus on April 1 and transferred to the intensive care unit due to the fact she was heavily pregnant. Her condition worsened and on April 3 she was intubated before an emergency caesarian was carried out on Saturday, April 4.

Viviane Albuquerque was diagnosed with coronavirus when she was 32 weeks pregnant

Viviane Albuquerque was diagnosed with coronavirus when she was 32 weeks pregnant

Viviane Albuquerque was diagnosed with coronavirus when she was 32 weeks pregnant

Albuquerque, 33, was taken to the Unimed Hospital in the city of Recife in the northeastern Brazilian state of Recife on March 28 with symptoms of Covid-19 in her 32nd week of pregnancy

Albuquerque, 33, was taken to the Unimed Hospital in the city of Recife in the northeastern Brazilian state of Recife on March 28 with symptoms of Covid-19 in her 32nd week of pregnancy

Albuquerque, 33, was taken to the Unimed Hospital in the city of Recife in the northeastern Brazilian state of Recife on March 28 with symptoms of Covid-19 in her 32nd week of pregnancy

Viviane Albuquerque with her twin girls. She was confirmed to have the virus on April 1st and taken directly to the intensive care unit due to her pregnancy. Her condition worsened and on 3rd April she was intubated before an emergency caesarian was carried out on Saturday, April 4

Viviane Albuquerque with her twin girls. She was confirmed to have the virus on April 1st and taken directly to the intensive care unit due to her pregnancy. Her condition worsened and on 3rd April she was intubated before an emergency caesarian was carried out on Saturday, April 4

Viviane Albuquerque with her twin girls. She was confirmed to have the virus on April 1st and taken directly to the intensive care unit due to her pregnancy. Her condition worsened and on 3rd April she was intubated before an emergency caesarian was carried out on Saturday, April 4

The baby was successfully delivered but mother Albuquerque did not recover and died a day later.

Her partner Erik Silva said their baby was in the intensive care unit in a serious but stable condition. Local newspaper Folha de Pernambuco report the baby weighed 2 kilogrammes (4.4 lbs) and had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Silva said: ‘She was a very hardworking person, she was going to be a law graduate in the middle of the year. She was an excellent person, we had been together for four years. Our son is called Erik and he is recovering. He was born after eight months.’

Viviane Albuquerque with her twin girls. The baby was successfully delivered but mother Albuquerque did not recover and died a day later

Viviane Albuquerque with her twin girls. The baby was successfully delivered but mother Albuquerque did not recover and died a day later

Viviane Albuquerque with her twin girls. The baby was successfully delivered but mother Albuquerque did not recover and died a day later

Viviane Albuquerque. Her partner Silva said: 'She was a very hardworking person, she was going to be a law graduate in the middle of the year. She was an excellent person, we had been together for four years. Our son is called Erik and he is recovering. He was born after eight months'

Viviane Albuquerque. Her partner Silva said: 'She was a very hardworking person, she was going to be a law graduate in the middle of the year. She was an excellent person, we had been together for four years. Our son is called Erik and he is recovering. He was born after eight months'

Viviane Albuquerque. Her partner Silva said: ‘She was a very hardworking person, she was going to be a law graduate in the middle of the year. She was an excellent person, we had been together for four years. Our son is called Erik and he is recovering. He was born after eight months’

The hospital said in a statement that the baby is ‘receiving all the necessary from the medical team’.

Local media report this was Albuquerque’s second pregnancy, having previously given birth to twins, five years old, who are now in their father’s house in quarantine. The family do not know how she was infected with the virus.

According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has registered 12,232 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 566 deaths and 127 recoveries.

Viviane Albuquerque. Local media report this was Albuquerque's second pregnancy, having previously given birth to twins, five years old, who are now in their father's house in quarantine. The family do not know how she was infected with the virus

Viviane Albuquerque. Local media report this was Albuquerque's second pregnancy, having previously given birth to twins, five years old, who are now in their father's house in quarantine. The family do not know how she was infected with the virus

Viviane Albuquerque. Local media report this was Albuquerque’s second pregnancy, having previously given birth to twins, five years old, who are now in their father’s house in quarantine. The family do not know how she was infected with the virus

 

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Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts, 36, tweets from hospital as she is tested for coronavirus

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Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts has revealed she has been admitted to hospital where she is being tested for coronavirus

Roberts, who also goes by the name Giuffre, tweeted a picture of herself from a hospital bed after experiencing symptoms of the virus. 

‘I’m so scared right now’, the 36-year-old admitted in the post on Tuesday. 

Prominent Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts has revealed she has been admitted to hospital where she is being tested for coronavirus

Prominent Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts has revealed she has been admitted to hospital where she is being tested for coronavirus

Prominent Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts has revealed she has been admitted to hospital where she is being tested for coronavirus 

Roberts claims she was trafficked to the Duke of York at least three times in 2001, when she was aged 17. 

It is not clear which hospital she has been admitted to, but the mother-of-three now resides in Cairns, far north Queensland.  

She continued to describe her symptoms, saying she had been having trouble with breathing, as well as fever and a cough. 

‘Getting tested for Covid-19 praying it’s not positive,’ she said. 

Ms Roberts claims she had sex with Prince Andrew at the behest of his friend Epstein three times: once at Epstein’s New York apartment, once in the Caribbean, and once at the London home of Ghislane Maxwell, the American financier’s alleged madam, in March 2001. 

A photo that shows Giuffre, Prince Andrew and Maxwell in Ghislaine's apartment has been widely circulated since 2001

A photo that shows Giuffre, Prince Andrew and Maxwell in Ghislaine's apartment has been widely circulated since 2001

A photo that shows Giuffre, Prince Andrew and Maxwell in Ghislaine’s apartment has been widely circulated since 2001

Ms Roberts holds up a picture of herself aged 16 when she says she was being abused by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

Ms Roberts holds up a picture of herself aged 16 when she says she was being abused by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

Ms Roberts holds up a picture of herself aged 16 when she says she was being abused by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein 

Ms Roberts is pictured outside a shopping centre near her home in Cairns, far north Queensland

Ms Roberts is pictured outside a shopping centre near her home in Cairns, far north Queensland

Ms Roberts is pictured outside a shopping centre near her home in Cairns, far north Queensland 

Speaking about her first alleged encounter with Prince Andrew in London, Ms Roberts said she was taken to Tramp Nightclub where she recalls dancing with the ‘sweating’ prince when she was 17.

After leaving the nightclub, Ms Roberts said: ‘In the car Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey.’ A photo that shows Giuffre, Prince Andrew and Maxwell in Ghislaine’s apartment taken in 2001 has been widely circulated.

Prince Andrew has strenuously denied Ms Roberts’ allegations that she was forced to have sex with him three times in 2001. 

The prince says he doesn’t even remember meeting her, despite the existence of a photograph showing him with his arm around the teenager’s bare waist alongside Epstein’s girlfriend and alleged ‘madame’ Ghislaine Maxwell, a friend of his.  

A ‘car crash’ interview on the BBC’s Newsnight programme saw him claim that, on the day Miss Roberts claims he had sex with her he had taken his daughter to Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey, for a party before spending the night at home.

He also dismissed claims he was sweating profusely during their encounter because he had a ‘peculiar medical condition’ meaning he cannot sweat, caused by his experiences in the Falklands War. 

Virginia Roberts pictured on Plan Cover Beach, Cairns, above and below. The 36-year-old now lives in Cairns and is a married mother of three

Virginia Roberts pictured on Plan Cover Beach, Cairns, above and below. The 36-year-old now lives in Cairns and is a married mother of three

Virginia Roberts pictured on Plan Cover Beach, Cairns, above and below. The 36-year-old now lives in Cairns and is a married mother of three

She is protected in her far north Queensland bolthole by an intercom system and a 4 metre-high wall

She is protected in her far north Queensland bolthole by an intercom system and a 4 metre-high wall

She is protected in her far north Queensland bolthole by an intercom system and a 4 metre-high wall

Ms Roberts says she was used as a teenage sex slave by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein after allegedly being procured by ‘madame’ Maxwell. 

She alleges Maxwell recruited her to train as a masseuse while working as a locker-room attendant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Maxwell has rejected allegations that she has acted as a procurer for Epstein. 

Ms Roberts alleges she was forced by Epstein to take part in orgies with rich and powerful men in exotic locations as a teenager from the age of 16. 

The 36-year-old now lives in Cairns and is a married mother of three. She is protected in her far north Queensland bolthole by an intercom system and a 4 metre-high wall.

The compound near lush bushland is covered by security cameras and floodlights and dotted with palms.  

Ms Roberts pictured running errands with her husband Robert Giuffre in Cairns on November 19

Ms Roberts pictured running errands with her husband Robert Giuffre in Cairns on November 19

Ms Roberts pictured running errands with her husband Robert Giuffre in Cairns on November 19 

Australia has suffered its deadliest day yet in the fight against coronavirus. Seven Australians died of Covid-19 on Tuesday, taking the nation’s death toll to 48, with a total of 5,906 cases. 

The latest casualties included an international traveller in his 70s who caught the deadly respiratory infection on the Arcadia cruise ship, and a woman in the same age bracket who is believed to have contracted the virus overseas. 

The state of Queensland, where Roberts lives, has 934 confirmed cases of the virus.   

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Supermoon 2020: Why is it called the pink moon?

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A Super Moon over St Paul's Catherdral
We’re getting a super moon tonight (Picture: Getty Images)

We might all be stuck in our homes on lockdown, but at least the skies will give us something to look forward to tonight – as the Super ‘Pink Moon’ is due to appear.

It’s set to be the biggest and brightest supermoon of the year so far – and although it will peak at around 3.35am on Wednesday morning we should be able to get a good view of it from around 20.15 tonight.

But just why is it called a ‘pink moon’?

Here’s what you need to know about the phenomenon…

Why is this Supermoon called the ‘pink moon’?

Let’s get one thing out of the way – it doesn’t mean that the moon has suddenly turned pink.

Rather, it’s a full known as the Pink Moon as it’s the first full moon of spring in the northern hemisphere.

A super moon over London
The name doesn’t refer to the colour the moon is turning (Picture: Getty Images)

The name derives from a pink flower called phlox subulata that blooms in spring in North America.

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It’s been referred to by several other names in other countries – who have called it the Fish Moon, the Sprouting Grass Moon and the Egg Moon.

While the moon itself won’t actually be pink, you might notice a slight change in its colour depending on where you are in the country – with the change in shade more noticeable the further north you are.

How to see the Super Moon tonight

Providing the weather is clear you should be able to get a good view of it in the skies as the sun sets tonight at around 20.15.

But don’t worry if you miss it – as there’s another supermoon – the Super Flower Moon – incoming on 7 May.

MORE: Super Worm Moon set to light up the skies above the UK tonight

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Source: Metro News

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