A plea to you all to support the National Health Service and a few pictures of a ride to Strethall to see the Anglo-Saxon chancel arch to cheer you (and me) up

The Guv'nor and a finger-post
Apologies to regular readers of this blog but there's no address this week. A member of the congregation and friend, Irish Sirmons, very kindly took the service this Sunday (at very short notice) as I have had to take some time off to be with Susanna, my wife, who had a couple of emergency admissions (i.e. 999 calls) to hospital for pain relief because of a chronic knee condition.

Profuse thanks come from both of us to the two excellent ambulance crews who got her to hospital in a timely, efficient and compassionate manner, the Accident and Emergency ward staff at Addenbrooks Hospital and the various specialist doctors who came to see her. Thank God for the National Health Service. Whatever else you take from this post please remember the current British Government MUST be stopped from their continuing attempts to privatise health care. I'm a member of the Faith Workers section of the union Unite and I'd encourage you to take a look at the following union campaign web-page:


Thanks, too, to Ryan and Irish for their help, particularly on day of the first admission, and also to members of the Memorial Church for their expressions of love and concern and for organising everything to do with the monthly congregational bring and share lunch which was held today.

The day before Susanna's first admission I went on a lovely ride out to Whittlesford, Duxford, Hinxton, Ickleton, Stethall and back to Cambridge on the Guv'nor. Remembering these lovely landscapes whilst in A&E was a great help - a reminder (if any were needed) of the healing power of nature. They are not in chronological order.

Hinxton - Red Lion pub
Looking west towards Ickleton Granges

Looking north west from the top of Coploe Hill

Looking east towards Littlebury - the open road beckons . . .
Looking north near Duxford Grange House
Looking north near Duxford Grange House - with a forties-esque filter. There was (I think) a P-51 Mustang flying around and it put me in mind of that very distinctive 40s colour film stock. This isn't quite right but, you get the idea.

Looking north-east towards Chishall

Looking north-east towards Chishall (again with the same filter)
Looking south from Coploe Hill towards Strethall - the open road beckons some more . . .
Looking south near Barkers Farm Duxford
The Anglo-Saxon arch in Strethall Church - said to be "one of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon workmanship in smaller parish churches."

Inscription in Strethall Church
 The translation, after a fashion, of this is:

Whoe'er ye be who think on Margaret Siday's fame, 
food now for worms, though once a buxom and religious dame. 
Pray to God as I pray thee, he may give me sanctuary.

On the bench you'll see below, by the church's south door, I sat down and ate my lunch in the very warm sun. It was such a lovely moment of emergence from the dark of the winter months that there and then I wrote a good part of an Easter Sunday address. It's too early to say whether I'll actually give it but with the intimations of mortality that this inscription brought upon me coupled with the fact that this was spring rising and I was in graveyard attuned me to Easter themes. The two nights in A&E which followed also, naturally, brought further intimations of mortality.

Strethall Church and farm

Strethall Church window in south wall of nave
Strethall Church
Whittlesford Pit 
Whittlesford Pit 
Whittlesford Guildhall