Saturday and Sunday, written Monday

Monday already. My day off :-)

Saturday, was my mums turn to come down to Hereford, and rather than wander round the shops in town and spending money, we yet again went on a wander of some of the local churches. Today we visited Much Marcle, Little Marcle and Putley churches. We also went to Woolhope church, but couldn't look around as it was closed.

 The first we visited was Little Marcle, which is a sweet little church on the side of the main Gloucester road. From the side there is a wonderful view across to the Malvern hills in the distance past Ledbury. It is very plain inside, but with a lovely air. I don't think that it is used very often though. Although from what I saw, parking would be something of a problem on the side of the main road. Not the best of places to stop.

Next we went on to go to Putley church. Years ago when I first came to Herefordshire, this was the local church, and was where we all went to the main services for the year, like Easter and Christmas etc. It was so long since I had been here, I had forgotten just how lovely and beautiful it really is inside. Outside is the village pond where witches were supposedly dunked, so I was told anyway. It is surrounded by orchards on 3 sides, and an old farm, and the pond on the other. Inside it is a riot of colour and beauty. It is so long since I had been there. When we arrived there we were sure that we heard someone else inside,  but when we went in there was no-one to be seen, but the floor was still wet on the tiles from being cleaned, and there were dust sheets on the floor. Whoever was doing the cleaning didn't show their face, and we had to creep around the edges trying not to leave footprints on the floor, as it refused to dry. Inside it was clean and spotless, usually when we visit churches the cleaner they seem to be usually reflects the fact that they are used more frequently, although not always. Putley church is used weekly, each Sunday, plus extra services and events too. One that we decided would be extremely interesting to go and see, in a couple of Sundays time, was a choral evensong "Culminating in the beheading of John the Baptist", put quite an interesting image in our heads as to who would be playing John the Baptist, and how realistic the beheading would be! Another service there soon is a blessing of animals, which is a lovely idea, and reminded me of the Vicar of Dibley and an episode where she held a service for animals.

The second and third parts are here and here. Very funny.

Back to our day out, the windows at Putley church are also very lovely, and as the interior of the church is quite dark, they seemed to glow. 

My mum spent absolutely ages taking pictures both inside and out, she must have taken at least 200 or more, thank goodness for digital cameras is all I can say, how did we ever manage without them?  I myself took a pile on my mobile phone, some of which I have put up on here, you will have to excuse the quality, but being from a mobile, the quality isn't all that great.

From Putley we travelled the few miles to Much Marcle, infamous as being the birthplace of a certain Mr West. The village however is lovely, with two large houses Hellens and  Homme House, almost opposite each other, with the church inbetween. The other thing that the village of Much Marcle is famous for, locally if not nationally, is its ancient yew tree which sits in the churchyard just outside the porch. (I have put an image of it with my mum sat inside, so you can guage just how big it is from her). An utterly enormous specimen that is believed to be over 1,500 years old. This magnificient tree predates the current church which dates from the 13th C, although there was a church here prior to that, a norman church dating from the 12th C. The only thing remaining is the font which itself dates from the 12th C, and is thought to be a stone copy of an earlier wooden font that was used at that time.

The church itself is certainly imposing, and is one heck of a size for a village church. Outside is also, a large graveyard, and a weather eaten 15thC preaching cross. Inside, the space is enormous, and is filled with all sorts of interesting memorials and monuments. One for a Walter de Helyon dating from the 14th C is carved from oak, and quite rare. Another which is very lovely is for Blanche, the daughter of Roger Mortimer, the 1st Earl of March. The glass in this church is also very lovely with a very interesting window at the top end in a side chapel. I didn't take so many pictures here as at Putley, but to see some more pictures of the church, exterior and exterior click here. (Not ones I took)

Finally, we went to visit Woolhope church but unfortunately it was closed, so we couldn't go in. Mum went for a wander outside while MLO and I watched the cricketers on the green for a while. From there we went for a quick stop at a local pub which had just been renovated, and had a drink and a loo break.  I took a picture of MLO enjoying a pint, and doing a spot of shameless advertising for the local brewery, who make delicious beers. 

We didn't do very much after that, we went into Hereford for a bit of a mooch, but nothing in particular, and mum caught the eight o clock train back to Birmingham.
Onto Sunday, and MLO and I decided to brave it and go to the 10 am service at the town church. We had no idea what it would be like, well actually we thought we did, but our idea turned out quite wide of the mark. We thought it was going to be all arm waving and happy clappy, instead there was a great mix of old and young there, with two modern hymn and two older ones. There were two baptisms during the service, which was lovely. All the while there were children running everywhere, plus a few adults constantly on the wander, manic at times. but as we were sat right by the main entrance and exit that probably had something to do with it. We decided we would be going again in two weeks time when it is my next weekend off, but this time will be sat on the opposite side of the church, where it should be a little less manic. We also went to the evening service, simply because we enjoy going to that one at the country church. He asked us what we thought of the morning service, we said we thought it was a bit manic, and he thought that amusing. Had similar sermons at each service, but the evening one was a lot deeper -if thats the right word for it, and certainly made me think a lot more about what was said than did the morning one. Anyway, must go have a bed that needs to be slept in. So night night.


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Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Born in 1975 in Brixham, in glorious Devon. Spent most of my youth in grimy birmingham. As soon as i was able at 18 I moved to beautiful Herefordshire. Where i remain to this day. Work at Locks Garage, famous for our ice creams. Generally wonderful place.
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