Silent Sunday….. Off to Church


All Saints Church, Little Stretton, Shropshire

When I first came across this little country church I was intrigued to find out how old it must be…after all  surrounded by gardens in this Shropshire village it must have been there for many centuries.

But not so.   In fact, as I was to discover, this is in fact a mass produced “Flat Packed Church”  …. No, not an Ikea Special, but manufactured in Manchester.  The construction pack was erected  in 1903, so at least it is now over one century since it was built.  The Tudor style and Thatched roof  were a crafty design addition that certainly adds character, matching its rural surroundings, whilst deceived your perception of its real age.

When we visited, All Saints still held Sunday Services.  But as other places of worship in these Covid Restricted times, that will not now be possible.

Little Stretton is best described as a hamlet, of the much larger village of Church Stretton, both lie in the shadow of the Shropshire’s Hills known as the Long Mynd.  The Hills, Valleys and Villages of this corner of Shropshire, make for a great vacation location…… one more for that list for when some normality returns to our lives.  Till then…….

Please Remember ….

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

17th January

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday (2)…… Boring!


When are we going Walkies

Trying to have a relaxing quiet Sunday…. and that doesn’t meet with Buster approval one little bit.

If I lie here long enough, give the occasional sigh and a soulful whimper, may be the boss will  remember its Walkies Time… ”    

I always remind him to…..

Please Remember ….

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

10th January

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday….. Peace and Reflection

Upper Derwent Valley, Derbyshire

A Lone Silver Birch, no doubt self seeded, has survived sever winters, snow, heavy rains, gales and also summer droughts…..  yet still flourishes, despite all that nature can throw at it, perhaps it should feel insecure, here up high in a moorland valley…..  It must be doing something right drawing upon an inner strength.

Please Remember ….

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

10th January

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday…… and a New Year


The Old Man of Calke

The Old Man of Calke, a venerable Oak.  Bruised and battered, the weather has taken its toll.  Yet, the Oak is still standing after well over 1000 years.  His winter skeleton looks bleak and lifeless, but come the spring, he will sprout a new head of bright green Oak leaves, and celebrate another year.  The Old Man has been witness to much in his long life and with good fortune will see much more.    

 We all know that the past year has been both strange and tough.  This though is the first Sunday of our New Year a time to look forward. 

As for what the future holds for all of us this New Year, is still unknown.  What we must do is have hope that some form of normality will return.  

Just like the Oak we need to cling to our roots, our foundations, as best we can.

We can also help ourselves and others ….

Please Remember ….

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

3rd January

(C) David Oakes 2021


Silent Sunday…….The Last Sunday of 2020


The Church of Saint Lawrence, Eyam, Derbyshire

This is the last Sunday of 2020….. no matter where you live in this world, it has been a strange and dangerous year.  We have all experienced restrictions and carried worries for ourselves, friends and family. 

With that very much in mind I thought it appropriate to revisit some images of St. Lawrence, the village Church of Eyam, Derbyshire.

The significance is that back 1665, the village of Eyam, placed itself in quarantine…..  in 2020 language that translates to ‘Lockdown’.  A outbreak of The Plague was discovered. Knowing just how deadly the Plague would be the village cut itself off from all its neighbouring villages.  

The Church, and in particular the Minister, the Rev. William Mompesson became the focus for the village.

In brief.  The village set up locations on the outskirts where food could be left for the village.  Contact was restricted. The dead were buried in adjacent fields or even gardens.  Sunday Church Services were held outdoors in a nearby valley.

Of the village population of 350, only 83 survived.  Since then Eyam has always been known as the Plague Village.


The Church remains at the heart of the village and those days of the Plague are commemorated each year, with of course,,this year 2020 being particularly poignant.

Round this beautiful, and now peaceful,  village there are reminders of those days when the people of Eyam made such a sacrifice.  Many of the cottages have a plaque on the wall listing the names of those who died.  A sad story, but one if given the opportunity, is worth pursuing should you be in the Derbyshire area.  

Just a little about the Church.   St. Lawrence’s dates back to 13th century.  There is a large Saxon Cross in the Graveyard and medieval Wall Paintings high on the walls within.  A modern Stained Glass window has a memorial in pictures of the village.  A rather charming Church and worth a visit even without the knowledge of its key role in 1665 Plague


Soon we say ‘goodbye’ to 2020… but the memories and consequences will live on. Like Eyam, our actions will be talked about in centuries to come.  

It is just as important today as then to think of others

Please Remember ….

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

27th December

(C) David Oakes 2020