St Andrews Church, Wickmere: Framed by a startlingly blue sky, this lovely church gave me (both, literal and metaphorical) butterflies. The ancient round tower, generously sprinkled with 'ginger-bread' stone in it's lower courses - a stoic stone sentinel. A smattering of warm russet tiles in the nave roof, together with the alternating circular and two-light clerestory windows - a visual delight. Even the jaunty angle of the pathway draws one towards the church, enticing and inviting expectant Ragged Ramblers to explore therein... and so we did.
Close observers of the Tweeder-Harris physiognomy have noted that my nostrils have a tendency to flare when I am excited. How my dilator naris muscles flexed on this occasion! Generous splashes of early September sunlight filled the interior. The rough-hewn 'rustic' benches of silvery oak; every grain a witness to long gone summer growing seasons, time out of mind. On the aisle wall, a solitary consecration cross; one of twelve painted during the medieval period, and symbolising Christ's apostles (disciples sent into the world, becoming emissaries).
Having mentioned nostrils, let me talk a little about the smell of this church; an evocative slightly beetle-infused dampness pervaded, punctuated with the faintest notes of wood polish. Heaven scent combined with sun-strung flecks of dust wafting lazily, perhaps disturbed by the butterfly wing of our presence. Here, in the midst of so much that was hand-crafted, I recognise the art and wonder of a special place.
"Are you having a moment?"
Enquired one of my fellow travellers, gently.
Yes, indeed I was!
|South aisle, sun & shadow|
|Carved & coloured bench-end|
|A left-handed minstrel|