An early autumn spin into Essex to see the splendid Anglo-Saxon chancel arch at Strethall
This morning I set off on the Pashley Guv'nor to visit the church of St Mary the Virgin in Strethall, Essex. It's a delightful place to visit for many, many reasons. The first is that the approach to the church takes you on a wonderful road up and over Coploe Hill. The first four photos below show something of that; my bike by Copeloe Hill Chalk Pit; wild flowers by the wayside; the winding road descending towards Strethall; and my bike leaning against a finger post at the junction just before Strethall. Oooh, the joy of riding this open road is beyond description! The second delight is, of course the church itself and its setting, and the next eight photos show something of that. As a visit to the church website will reveal the chief highlight in the church is the chancel arch which has been described as "one of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon workmanship in smaller parish churches". Beautiful, quite beautiful. In the solitude and peace of the church I knelt and said the variation on the Lord's Prayer by Jacob Trapp that I have recently taken to using:
O Thou, whose kingdom is within, may all thy names be hallowed. May no one of them be turned against the others to divide those who address thee.
May thy presence be made known to us in mercy, beauty, love and justice. May thy kingdom come to be in the life of all humankind. May it come with peace, with sharing, and in a near time.
Give us this day our daily bread, free from all envy and alienation, broken and blessed in the sharing.
Keep us from trespass against others, and from the feeling that others are trespassing against us. Forgive us more than we have forgiven.
Deliver us from being tempted by lesser things to be heedless of the one great thing: the gift of thyself in us.
It formed an important counterpoint to the text from Job that was open on the lectern: "Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble" (Job 14:1) [see below].
Leaving the church I took some time to enjoy a ham and cheese sandwich, a flask of tea and a crisp apple and then wended my way back via Duxford. The last three photos give some impression of that part of the ride.
All the photos except the final one were taken with my Ricoh GR. The last photo was taken with my iPhone 6+ and the Blackie App. As always, just click on a photo to enlarge it. Enjoy.