Silent Sunday….. A Church Visit


 Marienkirche, Rostock, Germany

For such a large Church, Marienkirche (St. Marys) is well hidden in the side streets of the Hanseatic City of Rostock.

It is indeed an enormous Gothic Brick construction dating back to the 13th century (it was further enlarged during the 14th century).  I say enormous, it is and larger than many Cathedrals I have visited.

The Brick Tower with its many glazed windows is only matched by the interior height of the nave.

Reflecting Rostock’s maritime importance as a member of the Hanseatic League, there hang various models of sailing ships upon which the City built its wealth.  These are overshadowed by the famous Astronomical Clock.  Dating back to 1472 this masterpiece is till operating today…. and worth a visit in its own right

Disaster nearly befell Marienkirche during 3 nights of Air Raids in 1942.  Thankfully swift actions prevented widespread fire damage. 


Well worth a detour on any visit to Rostock… when you find Marienkirche you will be surprised at its size and yet intermit atmosphere

Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

2nd May

(C) David Oakes 2021


Silent Sunday…… Three Spires


Litchfield Cathedral, Staffordshire

The threes Spires of Litchfield Cathedral make for a dominant landmark on the horizon.  The central Spire is 253ft high whilst the twin spires are a mere 190ft .

The full name for this medieval Cathedral is Saint Chad and Saint Mary.  Its history dates back to 669AD when Saint Chad founded the first building.  It was a wooden structure.  This was replaced by a Norman style building in 1085, and then again 1in 1195 in the Gothic style.

Inside the Cathedral you do enter a peaceful world…..  but history also tells us that this was not always so.  The Cathedral took the full force of aggression against it in the English Civil Wars. 

Today it is once again a very different world that surrounds this dramatic building.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

25th April

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday….. An Abbey in the Borders


Dryburgh Abbey, nr. Melrose in the Scottish Borders

Long before it became a ruin, Dryburgh Abbey was described as the most beautiful of the Border Abbey’s.  Maybe it has something to do with its woodland setting, in a bow in the River Tweed.  Or, it could be the creative use of the red tinged stone in which it is built.

Today there is very little left.  Not surprising as it has had a violent history.  Built in 1150 all started well for this Premonstratensian Order.  Being located in the Scottish Borders it later attracted unwanted attention from various English Arm aggressions.  Burnt down in 1322 then again in 1385.  Restored in the 1400’s it was subsequently destroyed in the 1560 Reformations. 

As you walk through the ruins you still gain an impression on just how impressive the Abbey must have been.  The stone carving is indeed intricate….. and that previous mentioned woodland setting just adds to the atmosphere that still exists in this fine Abbey.


Dryburgh Abbey may well have been destroyed,  since then,  it has been the chosen location for interment of several noteable Scots.   David Erskine the 11th Earl of Buchan, The Writer Sir Walter Scott and later Field Marshal Earl Douglas Haig……  a peaceful place to rest.

As on every Sunday and indeed everyday….

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

21st March

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday….. Gothic Style


The Gothic splendour of the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Schleswig is still as impressive as when first built (or maybe that should be rebuilt).  Dating back to 1134 this giant of a Cathedral, but also needing reconstruction of the high nave after a collapse in 1276, but still a construction achievement.

In contrast to the interior, the exterior is rather austere. The sturdy walls from local red brick or mostly unadorned, the dramatic element being the tall Spires. The Cathedral has long been surrounded by the community it serves.  Unlike many Cathedrals, that stand in grand isolation, best to show of their importance, Saint Peters of Schleswig, despite its size, seems to be hidden away….the only sign posts being those Spires..


Step inside and you suddenly become aware of the shear size of the Cathedral.  Mosaic tiled pillars, richly carved Alter and Choir Stalls, dominant Wooden Pulpit, whilst various Ecclesiastical works of art adorn quiet corners.  It is also,only once you are within the walls of Saint Peters, that the ‘spirituality’ of the Cathedral surrounds you.


Exterior utility style of construction, punctuated by large windows, gives way to the colourful craftsmanship of the interior…..  a contrast that creates lasting memories of Schleswig Holstein. Germany and its majestic Cathedral

Wherever you are this Sunday…….

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

14th March

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday…. a Hall with a Chapel


Haddon Hall, Derbyshire……  standing high above the River Wye

Over 900 years Haddon Hall has towered over the River Wye.  It has withstood all the turmoil and dangers that time and English history has endured over the intervening centuries. 

It is also one of the oldest  Houses in the country.  Surprisingly Haddon Hall is still owned by the Manners Family over all those years….  it has also remained very much as it was built, avoiding all the fashionable Georgian and Victorian restyling that many other old houses have undergone.

Stand in the Lower Courtyard, you can literally drink in the historical atmosphere created by the passage of time…


Like so many Castles and Country Houses, Haddon has its own Chapel.

The Chapel may well be small… but it is well worth a visit in its own right.  It is an intriguing Medieval Chapel.  Wooden  Box Pews and Carved Screen, Flagged Stone Floor, Exposed Timbered ceiling, Coloured Glass window, and even more stimulating the rather stylish 15th century fresco wall paintings.  A design ,that would not be out of place, on a designer wall covering in the 2021’s

If your visit is a summer visit, then you can also enjoy the bonus of a walk arround the Terraced Rose Gardens…..  a treat in their own right.


Haddon Hall is a worth inclusion on any tour….but until we can all start planning such trips…

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

7th March

(C) David Oakes 2021