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Churches & Pubs in 2010
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Church and Pub next door

The Churches & Pub Group meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month,
10am at the village hall, unless stated otherwise.


Please inform Paul Kenneth beforehand if you wish to come on any visit.  We need to provide both church & pub with an indication of numbers.

5th May          All Saints Parish Church, Youlgrave near Bakewell and The George Hotel opposite the                               church.

2nd June         St.Marys Church, Astbury near Congleton and The Egerton Arms opposite the                                 church.
Report on the trip
The second of our trips this year took us to St. Mary’s church at Astbury where we were welcomed by one of the church wardens, William Bell.  He gave us an excellent slide show and talk on this historic church.

St. Mary’s church at Astbury has stood on this site, in one form or another, for many centuries.  It has been described as one of the most beautiful churches in the county.  Its exterior, dominated by the detached tower and lofty spire, evokes the admiration of the beholder and this is increased when the majesty of the interior is surveyed.  The earliest parts of the church go back to Saxon times.  The church is eight feet wider at the west end than at the east giving it an added vision of perspective as you enter.  The Astbury Devil nestles in the north-west corner of the west porch.  In the north aisle, by the north door, is a notable roof boss depicting the Green Man or Jack-in-the-Green, a pagan fertility symbol adopted by the church to represent new life.  The font and cover, which were part of the furnishings installed at the restoration of 1610, is placed so that the congregation can share in the ceremony when a soul is received into Christ’s flock.  The north aisle roof is not the original of this early English church.  From the way it fits it appears to have been brought to Astbury from some other church.  The communion vessels and pewter date from the Elizabethan period and are therefore rather fragile.  An eagle in black oak serves as the lectern and dates from the early seventeenth century.  The carving of the eagle is rather stiff and formal and is one of the few wooden eagle lecterns in existence.  There are too many different windows in the church to describe but the church is well worth a visit.  It is open to the public on Sundays from Easterday to the last Sunday in September between 12noon and 6-00pm.  Light refreshments are available between 2-5pm.

The trip was concluded with an excellent meal opposite the church at the Egerton Arms.

7th July      
      St. Wilfrid’s, Ribchester and then St. Saviour, Stydd.  Lunch at the Ribchester Arms.
                               Meet at 9.15am

1st September    St John the Baptist, Tideswell.
Report on the trip
This month took us to the town of Tideswell.  Tideswell calls itself the ‘Cathedral of the Peak’.  The tower undoubtedly dominates this small town.  The nearer we approach, the smaller the town seems and the larger the church.  The first impression is of Decorated grandeur especially the curvilinear tracery of the south transept.  The tower has a heavy base, undistinguished belfry and, as if to compensate, massive polygonal turrets and pinnacles forming the crown.

We were met by our guide for the morning, Dennis, who turned out to be excellent.  He explained that the interior came close to justifying the cathedral epithet.  Nave, crossing, transepts and chancel are the 14th century at its most ambitious, flirting with Continental flamboyance before settling back into English Perpendicular.  This is a church of generous proportions.  The chancel was rebuilt in the late 14th century and although the side windows still have Decorated tracery with quatrefoils, they have the square heads of the Perpendicular period.  The church’s glory is its woodwork, which dates from all periods.  There are medieval misericords in the north transept and, elsewhere, Victorian and 20th-century carvings of the highest quality.  The chancel contains Victorian stalls by Tooley of Bury St Edmunds, the ends carved with saints performing deeds associated with their legends.  This tradition was continued in the 20th century, with work by local craftsmen named Advent and William Huntstone.  They contributed stalls, bench-ends and an organ case of astonishing virtuosity.  Their bench-ends include representations of baptism, ordination, confirmation and visiting the sick.  Complex tableaux are executed with none of the stagy piety of much modern religious work

Tideswell is rich in monuments, some more successful than others.  In the centre of the chancel is a tomb chest with a brass on top, a rare portrayal in this form of the Holy Trinity.  A skeleton lurks beneath.  The east end has four large statues, installed in the 1950s.  They were not carved by the Huntstones, more is the pity.

After an enjoyable morning we all headed four miles up the road to the lovely village of Foolow and into the Bulls Head for an excellent lunch.  As it was a bright and sunny day, after lunch most of us wandered round the village to the duck pond and then into the little church of St Hughs.

6th October       St.Boniface at Bunbury. Meal to be at Dysart Arms next to the Church.  Meet at                               09:10am.

Paul Kenneth

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