Silent Sunday…. When is a Church, Not a Church

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St. Cynog Church, Llangynog, Wales

St. Cynog can be found in the Tanat Valley in the Berwyn Mountains, Powys, Wales.  The village of Llangynog is at the point where the rivers Eirth and Tanat meet.

Today Llangynog is a quiet community, a small village surrounded by Hill Farms.  It is also surrounded by the ghosts of once very busy Slate Mines and Quarries.  Remains of this industrial heritage can still be seen on the surround hill sides and along the neighbouring valley’s.

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St. Cynog dates back to 1254, with rebuilds at various times between then, and the last refurbishment in 1894.  Carved stone windows and a porch entrance and its carved stone pillars, add character to what could have been a plain stone building. Carved wood beams support the roof, but also add something special to an otherwise simple interior. Outside the Graveyard with its many slate headstones confirms its links to the local heritage…. and no doubt the Bell Tower will have sounded both solemn events as well as happier times for the village

As with so many Welsh villages, the church was once the centre of the community, Sunday Service a must, in fact considered a duty by many.  Today with the community shrinking in size St. Cynog is no longer the ‘Parish’ Church’.  It is though kept open, kept alive, as what is known as a Pilgrims Church available for travellers.  It still has an important religious role.  A programme of services is held at various intervals through the year, it is still used for weddings and funerals. Perhaps what is equally important , that as a Pilgrim Church, it is still a centre point for the community… far better than closure and standing empty.

Please Remember ….

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

30th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday…… Three Spires

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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……. Spring comes to a Church at Ilam

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Church of the Holy Cross, Ilam, Staffordshire

The village Church at Ilam hides behind the village of the same name, in the valley below Bunster Hill and Dove Dale.  Its distinctive ‘Saddleback’ Bell Tower, whilst not unique  in church architecture, still adds a touch of style to this 17th century church.  It is, as with many old religious buildings, believed that is was built on an religious location used as early as the Saxon times.  Restoration and additions where made in the 1800’s. 

My best description would be ‘small but beautiful’ both inside and out.  So pop in and take a look…

Holy Cross, Ilam, is perhaps at it’s best, on a sunny spring morning, just as the early mist and dew rises to reveal it nestling behind a ring of trees with Bunster Hill as its backdrop.

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Wherever you are this Spring Sunday…..

Please Remember ….

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

18th April

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday…. a Hall with a Chapel

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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…

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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.

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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