the exterior

St Paul's Church from Boughton

St. Paul's, Boughton

St. Paul's Church is located to the east of Chester city centre.
Link to a map showing the location of the church.
Link to an aerial photo of the parish and its surroundings.

St. Paul's Church

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from the meadows

View across the River Dee

The overwhelming colour and magnificent timber framed ceiling of the interior of St Paul's is an unexpected delight. It is the inspiration of Chester architect John Douglas, who in 1875 redesigned the church. He was influenced by the arts movement of the late 19th century and the interest at this time in the forms of worship, as well as the architecture, of the medieval church. The revival of the traditional and local styles of building, exemplified at St Paul's in the timber framing, and the rise of the Arts and Crafts movement, shown in the charming murals and stained glass, stemmed from the thinking of the circle of artists and writers known as the pre-Raphaelites. Their later members included William Morris and Edward Bume-Jones, with whom Douglas was closely associated.

A Vision of Heaven

picture of the apse ceiling

The vision of the medieval architects in building their great churches was that of the heavenly city, the place where the soul could exist after death in a state of heavenly bliss. The colours thrown by shafts of light through the stained glass had an ethereal quality which was enhanced by rising columns of stone. The Victorians tried to recreate this vision, and it is this same symbolic and spiritual quality that Douglas has produced in St Paul's. Standing in the nave, we are in a shaded forest glade: pillars of pine represent branching trees and are surrounded by earth red (on the walls), in which saplings, in tight bud, show the potential of the world. As we walk the few steps up the aisle and through the finely worked screen, the scene has changed. Now the flowers are open, and we see heaven and light in the colours of pale blue, silver and gold. Finally, just above the altar, the flowers of earth upon the rafters angle with the blue of heaven to represent the incarnation of Christ, with the Greek symbol of Jesus, IHS, boldly placed at the centre.

Recent Changes

New Access Ramp

new ramp
new ramp
In January 2006 a new access ramp was built with the aid of a grant from HCCPT