Showing posts with label Churches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Churches. Show all posts

Monday, 13 February 2017

Sussex and Silence

Silence.  Not always golden, but sometimes there seems nothing much to say.  

2017 did not get off to the best start for me, with the sad news that an old friend had died after three years on the rollercoaster that is cancer.  Someone very special to us as it was through his family that I met my husband, and someone whose life has threaded through mine for well over a decade now.  At 64, he was too young to die and had so much to live for.  A beautiful, loving wife and four children in their 20s. Children whose weddings he will never attend, grandchildren he will never hold and cherish, although his very close family will always hold him in their hearts.

Then there have been the usual winter bugs which strike and refuse to move on for weeks and which are still lingering now, but with the longer days and brighter sunshine (on the days we emerge from under the grey umbrella which dominates here in winter), I too am feeling brighter and hopefully recovering some of my lost energy.  But I feel I have lost the last few weeks and have spent most of them hibernating (and comforting myself with lots of Hygge and box sets) with only essential exeats. 

We did manage a trip to Sussex for the funeral, and we stayed on for a couple of days in sub-zero temperatures, enjoying an invigorating walk on Camber Sands watching the light bounce off the cold, clear water, followed by a whistle-stop tour of the ancient Cinque Port town of Rye, taking time to admire the beautiful 12th century Church of St Mary the Virgin, before driving home through the frost-bound countryside. 

How has 2017 been for you so far?  What do you have planned this year and are you longing, like me, for Spring to arrive?


Camber Sands


Beach houses, Camber Sands

Mermaid Street, Rye

St Mary the Virgin, Rye




Stained glass, St Mary the Virgin, Rye

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Chagall Stained Glass at All Saints Church, Tudeley






















As I opened the door of the small, unassuming, 12th century Kent country church and stepped out of the bright June sunshine into the quiet peace of the interior, I gasped with pleasure at the sight that met my eyes! It was like stepping into a box of jewels.

Although I had been aware for many years that there was a stained glass window painted by Marc Chagall at All Saints Church in Tudeley, Kent and had meant to visit one day, bizarrely it took a move to Suffolk and a random diversion on our way home after a family wedding, which brought us here. Knowing the lie of the land, we had diverted into the network of country lanes, trying to avoid the traffic jams on the A21, and it was pure serendipity that I spotted the signpost to Tudeley as we flashed past.  

What I hadn't realised was that there was not only one Chagall stained glass window here but 12! The entire church has been re-glazed with his painting and the effect is simply stunning.  The only other building in the world which is completely glazed with Chagall's work is a synagogue in Jerusalem.  

Chagall was commissioned by the parents of Sarah d'Avigdor Goldsmid who sadly drowned off the coast of Sussex when she was only 21 years old.  Her grieving parents, a local family, knowing she loved his work, asked Chagall initially to paint the window above the altar, which symbolises death and resurrection, in 1967.  He was so pleased with this work (the first photo) that he asked if he could paint all the other stained glass windows in the church.  Despite local opposition to replacing the existing Victorian stained glass, permission was eventually granted and he completed the work in 1985.  All the paintings are biblical and follow the theme of creation, the fall and redemption, and the promise that God gives us of restoration and recreation.  

I find some comfort in that thought today in the midst of the turmoil we are currently experiencing here in the UK.  

Sunday, 16 August 2015

A Taste of Sweden - Churches & Chandeliers













 When we are not on the water, we enjoy the usual tourist occupations of exploring new places, sampling the local food (and drink) and visiting the beautiful Lutheran churches that are found in every town in Sweden.  

The interiors are gorgeous with elaborate decorations and vivid religious paintings.  I was particularly drawn to the exquisite chandeliers.  My favourite is the one with the deep blue crystal at its centre.  The atmosphere is very different to English churches and they are a very useful source of Swedish history.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A Taste of Sweden - Stockholm

As soon as the stitches were out and life began to return, I booked my ticket to Sweden to join my partner in Stockholm.  I knew that all I needed to do was get myself there and he would do the rest.  It was extraordinary how quickly all the difficulties of the past weeks and months vanished the moment he met me at Arlanda with a big hug and an unexpected beard!


Stockholm dazzled in the bright sunshine, city of water and light. Beautiful old buildings in muted shades of paprika, vanilla, saffron and pistachio line the waterways of the old town, Gamla Stan, the buildings packed together along the narrow streets and alleyways, with bars, cafes, shops and restaurants vying for trade, as we set off to explore.



We soon left the teeming crowds for the peace and quiet of the old Lutheran Cathedral, Storkyrkan.











The rest of the day was spent exploring the city on foot, the weather far too glorious for serious museum and church visiting.  We wandered from one island to another, crossing the bridges that link the islands of central Stockholm, each with its own particular charm and character.

Sodermalm lies directly to the south of the old town and is the residential, bohemian area.  Quieter and more low key than Gamla Stan, this is where young Swedes live and play and raise their families.


























Then back to central Stockholm for some serious window shopping and sightseeing.  



The windows of the Music Museum 




A quick look at Riddarholmen, the most ancient part of Stockholm


Before a wonderful Swedish meal back in Gamla Stan.