Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How The Hell...

... Am I supposed to know where north is? I'm not a migratory bird!

'Turn North onto Ladymeade Lane' instructs the Google Map App. Well it was going to be 50/50, and the odds let me down. They do, half the time.

So I was a bit late arriving at Silver Lane which was definitely the right turning for the Cheddar Valley Railway Walk, I checked. The lane became a track, the track a farm yard... No sign nor sight. I enquire of two women nattering near a horse box. It IS down there, but there's nowhere to park, and the track was mostly potholes. I gave up. I can walk anywhere!

Driving out, I'd noticed a sign reading Paxton 13th Century Church, so abandoning Plan B ( Day Trip To Weston -Super-Mare: Too Cold.) I set off down the narrow winding lanes to find the Church. Naturally, I nearly missed it, but after a neat 40 point turn, narrowly avoiding a drainage ditch, I made it.

The church looks depressed. Grey, uncared for, unloved. Stubby tower, which is sinking into the peat, and leaning oddly, though not sufficient to make it famous. It is unremarkable in a very dull way.

The interior features seventeenth century woodwork, 'axe-carved oak,' I read with interest. It looked it. The few memorials in the floor were cracked, the King James Bible was split.... I picked it up, reverently and climbed into the lesser pulpit ( There were two ... . One more of an elevated box, with setting for four. Some Puritan thing, I expect? ). Laying  the Book on the reading ledge, I opened it and read aloud a treatise on love. Then I left the church in peace.

The building stands, and is preserved in it's unkempt state, but The Church has gone.

I recall Phillip Larkin's superb poem, 'Church Going' which says it all for me.

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