Sunday, 9 September 2007

My local church

Miche & I were married in this church. At the time we didn't live in the village, though aspired to. We now have a little house no more than three hundred yards up the road from it. We can hear the bells ring clearly on a Sunday morning. Unlike for John Donne though, they do not toll for us. I told you why a pair of atheists would choose to have a church wedding in number one of my top ten.

Christy asked to see more of it having watched my blurry scarper through the graveyard yesterday morning. She has my admiration for lasting the whole 10 minutes through to the end of that most dullest of videos. So, always one to oblige, I took Meg along to explore the place for half an hour before tea tonight.

There's been a church on this site since before the time of William the Conqueror (1066). The old Anglo-Saxon building is no longer visible unfortunately as the current church was built on its site in the 11th century. For the next two hundred years, the church was extended into what it is today.

There used to be a castle next to the church, however it was destroyed during a Scottish raid in 1388. A manor house was built soon after, which is now our local pub. There's a persistent rumour that a tunnel still exists connecting the church to the pub. Micheal the vicar, has been known to turn up unexpectedly at the bar.

We should allow, nay, celebrate the withering of our congregation. However, places like these should be preserved. If I could donate without the underwritten theological clauses, I would gladly do so to help keep this treasure in good order.

There are at least five gravestones bearing this insignia in the grounds. I've no idea what they signify. Perhaps someone can help?

The power of the elements...

This was the oldest gravestone we could find from 1769. I'm sure there's older, though their inscriptions will no doubt be eroded away. They sure knew how to do Gothic back then.

The inscription on the elderly stone.


Holly said...

IHS are Jesus' Latin initials, but I don't know what particular group used that pointed rose. Rounded roses were used in the 17th/18th centuries - it symbolized the mortal (rose) intertwined with the immortal soul (Jesus's domain). How old is the cross? Does it pre-date Anglicanism?

Holly said...

Now I seem to think IHS is the Greek spelling of Jesus... I will ask someone who's field isn't Judaism. That might help, eh?

Holly said...

My friend does not know what the pointed flower means - it might be a local lodge tradition or something from the time. But, I was right on both accounts.

IHS is both the Greek name for Jesus and his Latin initials: "Iesus Hominum Salvator" (Jesus -Man- Savior ergo "the saver of men.")

It also means "In Hac Salus" = "In This Safety" and "In Hoc Signo" "In This Sign" (saying that victory is to be had in the sign of the name and cross).

Also, in the English speaking world, it commonly was mistaken for "In His Service."

I would like to know more about the flower, though. Is it particular to that area at all?

FlAmE$hOt said...

i swear... those pictures are awesome, you are really lucky to have been married at such a beautiful place !

jamon said...

Thanks Holly! I'll have a root around myself to find out about the pointed rose. Actually, I'll go and give Micheal a knock. He must know.

And yes flameshot - we do count our blessings ;)

Christy Lenzi said...

Thanks for posting these. The blue and green growth on the stone with the skull is strangely beautiful.

jamon said...

You're welcome Christy.

I think the blue growth is paint - probably graffiti that's worn and rotted over the years. Certainly eerie.

Christy Lenzi said...

>>I think the blue growth is paint - probably graffiti that's worn and rotted over the years.<<

Ha--well, it doesn't sound quite as pretty, now, but I really like the photo.

uk said...

What a beautifully spooky church.