Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Medieval wailing and gnashing of teeth

What did medieval people make of their church experience? Much the same as we do, it seems, from yawns, to a holy disconnected stare, to the gritting of teeth! These utterly wonderful late medieval carvings are to be found hidden away in what’s now the vestry of St Faith’s Church Newton Longville. They seem to have been supporters hidden under the floor of a gallery structure, perhaps a medieval guild chapel, but now exposed to public view.

I was in St Faith’s, to licence Canon John Saunders last night. John brings us a missionary and pastoral heart, big experience, and great hope. Newton Longville itself is a very positive and engaged village, where people seem to get on, everybody is somebody, and there’s a clear sense of mission and purpose. It was good to feel all this last night... no call for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth they went in for round here 500 years ago.

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