A day with wings…

I was up long before dawn…yesterday was going to be another busy day on the back of several busy weeks interspersed with illness. I have scarcely known whether I was coming or going and the bags have seldom been unpacked for long. Not that I am complaining…I wouldn’t change it for the world… but I am looking forward to a little of what passes for normality for a while.

There were kites crying as the sun rose and I went out to watch, in spite of the small dog’s continued absence. It had been too late to bring her home when I had finally arrived the night before. I had come home to mayhem… a couple of hundred miles commute to work was followed by finding myself locked out of email. The account had been compromised, emails deleted, strange contacts added and the whole thing left me with a series of hoops to jump through before I could get it finally sorted out Sunday morning before work.

Just time to reinstate and console an injured small dog, who has somehow managed to rip a hole in her rump, then shower, change and drive to the church where my youngest granddaughter was to be baptised. There were low-flying kites all along the route, though I had no time to stop and watch, but the great sun birds seemed a good omen for the day.

Imogen Lucie, whose name means maiden of light, was baptised in a rather unusual church dedicated to Our Lady of Light. This time, I actually went to the right one. From outside, it is an unprepossessing building, but like the more ancient church, it too has a story to tell. The twelve sided structure was built under the aegis of Father Wilbur Boswell who was appointed to the parish in 1963 . There was an Anglican, but no Catholic church in the village of Long Crendon and the determined priest set about changing that.

First, an old farm cottage with a little land was acquired where he could perform services. One of the building committee members, John Butler,  happened to work for the Crendon Concrete Company. He managed to persuade the company to let him have the concrete moulds for an exhibition building they had just erected and in 1965, for the sum of just two thousand pounds, the twelve sided body of the church was built, largely by volunteers.

The interior is simple, the furnishings mostly recycled from other churches and places of worship. The altar stands beneath the central oculus of the roof and its reredos is a simple wall of stones with a central round boulder placed as if rolling away from the tomb. The font itself is nineteenth century and was brought from Pugin’s church in Marlow.

The most remarkable thing about the church is the glass. Under the edge of the roof, clear glass allows the waving branches of living trees to be part of the inner landscape of the church.  Below them are panels of dalle de verre stained glass by Goddard and Gibbs. Made by laying antique French glass in resin, the walls seem made of light; their colours echo the passing of the day from sunrise to sunset or of a life from birth to death and beyond. The glass cost rather more than the church… five thousand pounds… and was a gift from Father Boswell’s mother.

The young children played and Imogen Lucie, clothed in her mother’s family christening gown, behaved beautifully. The priest once again delivered a gentle and very human service, that managed to stay within the tenets of his own branch of faith but with an openness that allowed those of us not Catholic to be included with love and humour and to bring our own silent blessings on a new life.

My son’s home was bursting at the seams with family, laughter and warmth as we gathered there later to celebrate. Sneaking a few moments’ peace in the garden, we watched the kites flying low overhead. The day too had flown, the light was fading and there was no way I was going to catch up on all the work that was waiting…but there are days when that doesn’t matter. Work will always be there waiting… but there will not always be small granddaughters to cuddle.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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39 Responses to A day with wings…

  1. Cool church, they’ve even reinstated the ‘smoke-hole’…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s quite some place.

    Like

  3. barbtaub says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the light of this beautiful, beautiful day!

    Like

  4. fransiweinstein says:

    What a sweet granddaughter you have. And what a cool church.

    Like

  5. Running Elk says:

    All houses should be built, just like that… ❤
    Did they go for one of these? 😉

    Like

  6. What a special place for a baptism. Those windows are so beautiful.

    Like

  7. Pingback: A day with wings… – The Militant Negro™

  8. It’s the meaning and the commitment behind the ceremony that counts, not the grandeur of the walls and aisles in which the words are spoken. A day to remember I’m sure.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I agree, and loved the priest’s interpretation of the rite that brought a truly spiritual, rather than simply dogmatic, commitment to the Light that has a real place in everyday life, regardless of a chosen faith or path.

      Like

  9. Thank you, Sue, for taking us along.

    Like

  10. ĽAdelaide says:

    Such a lovely church and family. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  11. Aw. Yes, the world can just wait while we enjoy our families. 😀

    Like

  12. dgkaye says:

    A most beautiful church for a beautiful day Sue ❤

    Like

  13. Widdershins says:

    A wonderful choice of priorities. 😀

    Like

  14. Congratulations! Welcome to the new human in your tribe 🙂

    Like

  15. It sounds like it was a wonderful day. I’m glad you were able to be a part of it and enjoy both nature and your Grandaughter amid the chaos that is daily life these days.

    Like

  16. Beautiful pictures! flightministries.com

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