Skip to content ↓
The church in Drax has a long and historic connection to Read School. The first headmaster of the school was also the vicar of the church, and if you visit the church building you will see many headmasters’ lives commemorated on wall plaques.

The history of the church is fascinating in other ways though, as it was established over 1,000 years ago, even before Charles Read built the school, and is Grade 1 listed. The building features Norman and Saxon architecture, as well as mediaeval pew ends, and wall paintings. We think it was built in around 1020 along with a monastery in Long Drax. The area was important because it was part of a network of river crossings. The word Drax comes from the Viking word to ‘drag’ indicating that sailors stopped in Drax to ‘drag’ their boats across the tidal beaches formed at low tide, between the Rivers Aire, Wharfe and Ouse. All three rivers meet here just outside the parish making the area of strategic importance when trade was conducted by river.

The river from Drax to Selby was routinely used for trade until the 1960s, and the river crossing was an important part of the local infrastructure. A railway bridge was later built to support the development of the local area. Many Old Draxonians also remember getting to school by train. Many remember the long trek from the old station, which is now on the road to Goole, through the village and up to school each day. 

The church still plays a part in the school today. We host regular school assemblies and end of term gatherings. These include Harvest, Remembrance, Christmas, and Easter Services, as well as a special Commemoration Day gathering. When we can, local clergy offer chaplaincy and teaching on Christianity to the children. The history of the school is rooted in the Christian faith, and we hope to maintain these links for the future, adapting to suit the needs of the school and linking the school into the local community too. The church family welcomes school whenever we can to Sunday worship which takes place at 9.15 on Sundays. In addition to our regular worship we also offer family friendly services and events for the local community and are delighted to welcome Read pupils and families.