Mudcat Café message #222496 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20846   Message #222496
Posted By: Penny S.
03-May-00 - 05:26 PM
Thread Name: BS: More pagan stuff
Subject: RE: BS: More pagan stuff
Okiemockbird - I may use the word dedicate loosely, but I'd been talking with the vicar and church wardens, and it's such a general usage I'm pretty sure I heard it used there as it came so quickly to my fingers. I've come across a very personal sense of association with the saint in churches. Especially in the case of St. Eanswyth at Folkestone, where her bones are still in the church she founded. I'm sure you are technically right, but that isn't the way people may feel. Perhaps they should all be Christchurch or Holy Trinity.

In my wanderings around old churches, looking at sometimes older yew trees, I find the church guide books full of interesting thoughts on the subject of paganism. Some will point out local features like holy wells or the round churchyard, and state with interest that the church is probably, or certainly, on the site of an earlier, pre-christian, holy site. These do not seem triumphalist, but may even have an implicit sense that earlier hallowing was added to, not cancelled, by christian sanctification. One, though, reading like a Victorian antiquarian piece, though written in the last decade, postulated that the nearby pond was the site of Jutish human sacrifices (evidence not given, you'd think there would be bones, if not a Tollund man lying in the anaerobic mud), and the church nave covered the beaten earth of the pagan dancing floor, with a curious attitude akin to voyeurism.

If I do find how to post the photos, would anyone like yews, too? I haven't any interiors - some churches ban it, some want visitors to obtain permission and pay a fee, but the process involves someone elsewhere who is out, and at Greensted, people were praying, so I couldn't use flash. A time exposure wouldn't have worked well (the window light would have flared). The paintings, at Burstead and other places, would need equipment I don't have. Quite late, 14th century, people were still painting outline figures like those in Early English manuscripts, in ochre. They are curiously endearing.

Penny