Sunday 31 December 2017

Winter Trees herald a new year

We are hours away from a new year,
A full moon hidden by clouds,
Trees with all there leaves taken by a year just ending,
Are totally open for us to appreciate their shapes.
Every branch and leaf and shoot,
Announce a new year.
Happy new year.

Drawing in Church 3 - Hail Mary. Hail Mary, full of grace.

Day three

A Lady Chapel is a traditional term for a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. They always seem special in any Church I visit. It was in lady chapels, towards the close of the Middle Ages, that innovations in church music were allowed, as only the strict chant was heard in the Choir.

For me, most Sunday mornings at 8am, I come to the Lady Chapel here for Said Holy Communion. We are not a large congregation, however I always feel we are an appreciative one. The 8am service is so typically ‘purposeful’ of the Anglican rite. Short, sharp and to the point.

Hail Mary. Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

A traditional Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday 30 December 2017

Drawing in Church 2 - The Nave with candy-twist columns

Day two

The nave and aisles were part of the original church, built between 1914-1916 in the Decorated style by architect George Halford Fellowes Prynne (1853–1927).

Prynne designed many parish churches mostly in the southeast and southwest, and almost always on a grand scale of high church Gothic Revival. 

His plans here, for a spire and Sanctuary, never came to full realisation because of the First World War. We can though enjoy most of his vision for St Michael including the candy-twist columns that ‘process’ up towards a Sanctuary eventually built between 1954-55.

Proud stand the Advent Candles in their wreath of evergreen!

The wreath is shaped in a circle to symbolise the eternity of God. Four candles, one for each week in Advent, and one larger white candle in the middle as the Christ candle. This is traditionally a Lutheran practice; appropriate this year, 2017, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 theses on the door of the castle chapel in Wittenberg.

Friday 29 December 2017

Drawing in Church 1 - I have the place to myself for a week

Not a sound, this lovely place is impervious to the noise of traffic. I have the whole place to myself, for a week. For this week I was on opening the church duty. Each morning I am to open and each evening lock up St Michael and All Angels Beaconsfield.

For some time I had been promising myself a series of drawings in the church; this week seemed an ideas opportunity.

The first drawing, of the pulpit, the origin of the word is the Latin pulpitum (platform or staging) it is raised well above the floor so we see and hear everything. Like all the furnishing in the church its lines are sparse, I keep thinking of Edward Lutyens.

I have not yet found out the lighting in the church so a draw the Font by the light of the torch on my phone.

Twenty-six years this coming February my daughter Bron was christened in this Font. The font placed at or near the entrance to a church's nave to remind us of our baptism and entry into the Church.

This font, like the pulpit, is so delightfully simple. It was made in 1955 by Faith Craft a company in London.

Monday 25 December 2017

Ewe-tide Greetings

Sheep seem to be all the rage on Christmas Cards this year. So this is my effort to be on-trend.

Sunday 24 December 2017

The Allotment: The gift that keeps on giving

Late yesterday afternoon I cycled up to the allotment and harvested some yummies for Christmas, flower sprouts, black kale and curly kale and beetroot. The flower sprouts, black kale and curly kale plunged into boiling water with a drop of white wine vinegar and salt, drained and ready to eat whenever!

Friday 22 December 2017

Bisham All Saints sadly shut

Bisham All Saints sadly shut

“Whether you’re visiting Bisham and just passing through, or you are new to the area and are looking to find a new church, perhaps you are just starting to explore the Christian faith, we want you to feel welcome in All Saints and come to think of it as home.” A notice declares on the door

Sadly the church was locked so the interior, including the Hoby Chapel “one part of Bisham left alone by the Victorians” (Simon Jenkins 1000 Best Churches) will have to wait until another day.

A small stone's throw to the Thames
This delightful church is right on the bank of the River Thames, about one mile south of Marlow. A peaceful spot and the Saturday silence was only broken by a pair of single skulls purposefully going up stream and an people walking dogs on the Buckinghamshire Bank.

(Subsequently I have made contact with the church office and will be going back in early January.)

Wednesday 20 December 2017

A Dragon in Worcester

A nice drop of Worcester sauce, The Dragon Inn

Situated moments away from Georgian Britannia Square, our friends Chris and Liz to us this great pub, roaring fire, cheerful conversations, and festive cheer.

Refurbished, revamped Church End Brewery now runs it. My pint was great. And there is plenty of choice in beers with imaginative names . . . Church End Fallen Angel, Church End Goats Milk, Church End What the Fox's Hat

and my favourite, Vicar’s Ruin.

Festive Warm in the Dragon Inn Worcester