Poem: The Empty Naves

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The voice and song remind me
of why I don’t come.
The words and the platitudes wash over me,
echo and reverberate around this sacred space,
crying for heaven
though never finding any home.
The bats are nearer but unaware
of their advantage,
leaving me staring high into this perpendicular sky.
Is this all that is left?
Listening to Betjeman and Vaughan Williams
to stir us up,
to remind us of what once was.
This is me and you coming here,
cultural appreciators
though never spiritual partakers
in a creed we can’t believe.
Give me the fire and brimstone,
a faith which disturbs me
into knowing I’m not already saved.
It is better than this – looking up in awe
into a world that is lost.

words and photographs copyright Francis Barker 2019

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England’s Heritage in Photos: Pinchbeck Church of Saint Mary, Lincolnshire

Pinchbeck is a large village in the south of Lincolnshire, which has a very impressive church.

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Pinchbeck church lychgate.

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Older gravestones moved to the side of the graveyard.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

 

England’s Heritage in Photos: Crowland Abbey Flower Festival, Lincolnshire

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Recently, there was a flower festival in Crowland Abbey church in the extreme south of the county of Lincolnshire. The theme was decades over the past one hundred years.

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Poppies are a special symbol for the British losses during World War One.

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World Cup 1966 – England 4 West Germany 2.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

 

England’s Heritage in Photos: Castle Bytham church of Saint James, Lincolnshire.

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copyright pictures Francis Barker 2019

 

England’s Heritage in Photos: Swinstead Church of Saint Mary, Lincolnshire – More Medieval Wall Art

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Swinstead lies in the beautiful south west Lincolnshire in the east of England.

Interestingly, in Shakespeare’s play King John, Swinstead is mentioned several times, maybe in mistake for Swineshead, where King John is thought to have visited on his last journey, before he died at Newark in Nottinghamshire.

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Like nearby Corby Glen church, there are some examples of medieval wall art.

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There is an explanation for the symbols incorporated into the wall art.

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copyright words and photos Francis Barker 2019

England’s Heritage in Photos: Edenham Church, Lincolnshire – Wonderful Tombs

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The village of Edenham in south west Lincolnshire has a beautiful church dedicated to Saint Michael and All Angels.

My grandfather was born and brought up in a nearby hamlet.

Within the grounds are some wonderful tombs of local aristocratic families.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

England’s Heritage in Photos: Corby Glen Church, Lincolnshire – Medieval Wall Paintings

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Lincolnshire in the east of England has some wonderful, often underrated medieval churches.

One such is in the south west of the county, in the lovely village of Corby Glen. Here on many of the walls of the church you can see paintings and illustrations of religious and spiritual imagery, representing stories from the Bible and the faith and beliefs in general of the later medieval period.

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If you look carefully, you can make out several layers of art, where older ones have been superseded with new work.

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During the Reformation in the 1500s, all of this art was whitewashed over, part of the process of removing all imagery, which also meant stripping out idols and even rood screens which separated the nave from the chancel.

It was only in more recent times that this treasure trove of art was rediscovered through church restoration.

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Today this art represents some of the most important medieval imagery not only in the county of Lincolnshire, but also in the whole of England.

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Devil in the detail.

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Explanation of the imagery inside the church.

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The beautiful setting of the church of Saint John the Evangelist, Corby Glen, Lincolnshire.

copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019