Monday, July 21, 2008

Ancient things

Wales - the bit near us anyway - is full of tiny, ancient churches. This one is St Bilo's Church, Llanfilo, and is obviously very much loved and cared for. The mediaeval rood screen inside sags to the right; we learned that recent subsidence meant that the north-east wall had to be pinned, but didn't know if the two were related. Prince Charles seems to have paid a flying visit last month, presumably in his Prince of Wales mode.
Earlier in the day, when the sun had still to reappear and the wind was discouraging, we ate our picnic in the porch of another tiny, mediaeval church : the Church of St Ellwye, Llandieu, Telgarth, at the foot of the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons national park. This church was a sad contrast to St Bilo's, looked after only by the Friends of Friendless Churches and used only once a year. Sheep wandered among the toppled gravestones, and bat droppings littered the porch floor. There were remarkable traces of mediaeval painting on the walls, including one of Adam and Eve and The Tree of Life of which only their feet and legs remained; I'll post more photos when I'm back at my own computer. I even forgot my camera on this trip - the pics are from my phone.
Having bodyswerved Matins as our Sunday worship, we said some prayers and sang "Come Holy Ghost" in St Ellwye's - so perhaps we doubled the worship in this place for this year. It was another of these Celtic thin places - a special place on a grey, quiet morning.
And then the sun came out.


  1. Anonymous9:54 AM

    More Larkin moments?

  2. Yes - but no hectoring large-scale verses or sniggering echoes!