Gareth the engine driver was fed (if you haven’t read the last blog, we’re on the South Tynedale Railway). Duncan, the engine driver’s supervisor, is my church secretary at Milbourne. Kieran in the signal box is a church musician. Richard on the engineering train is churchwarden at Kirkhaugh – he told me it is open and just a short walk from Kirkhaugh station.
I watched the first train of the afternoon return south to Alston, and went for a walk.
A gorgeous bridge across the South Tyne – some details at
http://www.bridgesonthetyne.co.uk/kirk.html. The church guidebook (written by Richard) says it is built of concrete supported by redundant tram lines – I must go back and check. Could we source the tram rails?
The medieval church was demolished and this church built in 1869. It was designed, without the help of an architect, by the Rector Octavius James. He had been on holiday in the Black Forest, and built a similar church here. He did a good job – who needs an architect? The fleche spire (to quote the guidebook), the “absurdly thin needle-spire” (Pevsner), is unique and quite special. The church is dedicated to the Holy Paraclete and stands on a minor road at NY699494.
It is lovely inside, with no fixed pews, harvest flowers now past their best, and lots of display board space at the west end. There was a lovely photo of a recent wedding when they arrived by train and walked down across the field and footbridge as I did. This bible is dated 1842.
This west window (1911) has angels and St Cecilia.
The east window shows the Passion from John’s gospel.
I like the little window in the vestry which is a useful dumping ground.
Memorials are marvellous too – 19 Great War deaths in a parish this small. Unbelievable.
Having had a wander I settled down with a BCP to say Evensong. I had just finished the Nunc when seven people walked in – the family of a lass getting married next summer. We had a lovely chat, and then I had to speed back up the hill so as not to miss the last train home to Alston. I knew the engine driver would not wait for me. It was a brilliant day.
My apologies for the layout of this blog. I am getting very frustrated with wordpress. What you type is never what you get!