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The Abbey Church
Where Monks Worshipped

Monk wafting Incense -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • The monks held services here in praise of God.
    • They prayed
    • They held mass
    • They chanted (like singing hymns)
    • They had to stand up most of the time, but had ledges called 'misericords' to rest their bums on.
  • Important people were buried here.
  • Holy relics were kept here.
    • They were kept in big stone 'shrines' or small golden 'reliquaries'
    • Reading Abbey had the hand of St. James. Its reliquary was probably shaped like a hand.
    • Pilgrims came to see the relics in large numbers
  • There were many little chapels here in which to pray to particular saints.
  • Decoration was used to praise God. It could also be used to teach Bible stories.
  • The church did not only have decorative carvings, but they were brightly painted. There were big wall-paintings too. All churches were like this in medieval times, but the paint has now worn away.


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