Sunday 8 January 2012

Expectations fulfilled

FAIRFIELD. St Thomas of Canterbury.
By itself on the Marsh, and mellowed with yellow lichen.
The illustration in Oyler's Churches of the Diocese of Canterbury 
(1912) shows a tottering ruin by the dyke, mostly of timber.
W.D.Caröe rebuilt it from the ground in 1913,
with great care and sensibility.
Some of the old materials were re-used.

The box pews, pulpit and reading desk are painted white
picked out in black.

The oval text boards add character.

So wrote John Piper when he was sent by King Penguin books
to stay for a time in Romney Marsh, Kent.
Long before I knew of the BBC 's intention to film
Great Expectations, I had formulated a plan 
 to visit the churches of the Marsh
which he painted.

All we had to do was collect the key
 hanging by the back door of a nearby farm,

and let ourselves in.

It was great.


  1. Such a clever post.........

    I gasped with delight when I read it and saw your photos!

  2. What a calm and peaceful ambience there. The interior looks a lot older than 100 years.

  3. oh wow what a great place, I would love to go and visit it, it will go on my 'to do' list.

  4. So beautiful. But is that key unguarded? I felt a pang of anxiety for it there.....

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  6. The sign says, 'Please help yourself to the key, there is no need to ask for it.' We couldn't believe it either. No CCTV, no box, no deposit, no signature, no stern warnings of prosecution. That old key was just hanging there and we put it straight back. Complete trust.

  7. So lovely. As are the photos of you and your (?) twin in the short dresses. Ah, one's lost youth...

  8. That is fabulous. So stark and beautiful.

  9. How delightful to discover such trust, so many churches are locked and it's impossible to find a key holder, trying to peer in through dusty windows doesn't really work!

  10. This is one of those, "Oh, my" photo journeys that you do so well.

  11. Oh, how truly lovely, Lucille! Thank you for this post.

  12. How wonderful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!