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The battle of the churches

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Jun, 2020 02:32 PM

Award-winning performance poet Jay Hulme posted a light-hearted Twitter competition to find "the finest non-cathedral Church of England church" last week, featuring 2 of our churches.

The battle of the churches

Wimborne Minster

Sherborne Abbey and Wimborne Minster featured in the national competition, which attracted 1000s of votes in each of the 5 rounds.

Each church had exterior and interior photos, and fun facts to inform and spark imagination.

Sherborne Abbey's fun facts were: "In its time it has been a cathedral, abbey, and now, a parish church", and "In 1437 an argument between the town and the Monks led to a riot. A flaming arrow was shot into the church which was filled with wooden scaffolding. The resulting fire permanently reddened the stonework."

The battle of the churches- Sherborne Abbey Sherborne Abbey

Wimborne Minster's were: "The chained library was one of the UK’s first public libraries (and remains open to the public)", and "Dedicated to St Cuthburga, it was a place of learning for centuries. Two female saints were educated here in the 700’s. King Æthelred of Wessex was buried here upon his death in 871."

Sherborne Abbey won in Round 1 on the 17th May with two-thirds of the vote against St Laurence's Church Ludlow, and Wimborne Minster won similarly against St Mary Magdalene Taunton.

2 days later in Round 2, Sherborne won convincingly against Rotherham Minster. Wimborne won against Pershore Abbey, but lost the next round to St Wulfram's Church, Grantham.

On the 21st of May, Sherborne Abbey trounced Leeds Minster in Round 3, again garnering nearly two-thirds of the vote.

The quarter-finals saw a race to the finish on the 22nd, with Beverley Minster pulling well ahead before Sherborne Abbey started coming back with hours to go, but it was not to be. By the end, the vote was 56% in favour of Beverley Minster.

St Wulfram's got to the final, but lost to Tewkesbury Abbey on the 25th, and Beverley Minster was runner-up.

How our churches fared, round by round:

Round 1:
Sherborne Abbey vs St Laurence's Church, Ludlow
Won with 69.4% of 832 votes

Wimborne Minster vs St Mary Magdalene, Taunton
Won with 69.3% of 800 votes

Round 2: 
Sherborne Abbey vs Rotherham Minster
Won with 56.9% of 580 votes

Wimborne Minster vs Pershore Abbey
Won with 56.8% of 593 votes

Round 3:
Sherborne Abbey vs Leeds Minster
Won with 61.8% of 584 votes

Wimborne Minster vs St Wulfram's Church, Grantham
30.2% of 689 votes

Round 4 (Quarter Finals):
Sherborne Abbey vs Beverley Minster
44% of 523 votes

The final 2

The runners-up

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