Under the altar…

I am not even sure how we saw them hidden there in the shadows beneath the altar. I do know we would never have seen them had we not been looking at the unusual cross-fleury on the floor. The mosaic had already intrigued us with its scattering of roses and fleur de lys, before we realised that the altar table had been moved from its original position against the east wall of the church. It now stood a few feet away from the wall, effectively hiding the vine-wreathed cross.

Now, we may have been known to lift the skirts of the altar from time to time, but we draw the line at moving the altars themselves, just to get a better shot. So we did the best we could… and it was then that we saw the stones.

I have no idea who they belong to…apart from the church itself… nor who the artist may be, but I fell in love with them there and then.

We see faces in standing stones and the great boulders that strew the prehistoric landscape and have written often enough of our conviction that what we can see through modern eyes, our ancestors, closer to the land than we, would have seen even more readily. Whoever worked with these two small stones can  obviously see the life in the stone too.

The stones in question are just two bits of rough local sandstone. The contours and natural colouration of the stones have been carefully enhanced… partly by scratching the surface and partly …well, I’m not even sure how they’ve done it. One is a work in progress, the other is a work of art.

It shows the Nativity, complete with a watchful sheep. So carefully has the worn stone been worked that it is almost impossible to say what is the handiwork of the craftsman and what is the work of the Artist. Holding that stone in my hand, I was reminded of the kinship of the act of loving creation that brings man and divinity very close.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. 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.
This entry was posted in Art, Churches, Don and Wen, Love and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Under the altar…

  1. Michael says:

    Wow they’re amazing…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jenanita01 says:

    What a stunning discovery, Sue!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, they’re beautiful! I particularly like the one in the first photo, which I assume you referred to as being ‘work in progress’ – the art and the stone’s natural form are so deeply intermingled. Indeed – loving creation, particularly when using natural materials I think, is a potential bridge, a threshold to divinity. Thanks for sharing, and so glad you found them! Blessings, Harula x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    Oh my, what an amazing find. I just love these stones and to think they were hidden from most people´s view. They are meant for the inquisitive I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Smith says:

    They are amazing, Sue. Really beautiful. Is there someone connected to the church who might know the history of them? And why they are hidden away?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Staci Troilo says:

    WordPress needs a “love” button. These are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, they are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. willowdot21 says:

    Really beautiful, why hidden though? 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Under the altar… – The Militant Negro™

  10. Tom Gould says:

    Those artefacts look amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. They’ve ‘come out’ really well…


  12. That nativity in the stone is amazing, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jennie says:

    Lovely stone. You held it? I held the moon rock on display at the Smithsonian back in the early 70’s. I returned a few years ago with my grandchildren to see the rock. Sadly, it was no more than a small stone, a mere sliver of its former self. I do hope your sandstone carved stone survives intact.

    Liked by 1 person

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