Wednesday, 26 May 2010

St. Nicolas Church, Old Shoreham

We wandered aimlessly from the train station and through the churchyard on our way to the pub and miracle of miracles the church was open. Not only is it an extremely beautiful Norman church but the vicar found us there. With our eyes wide open in wonder, he regaled us with the history of his church.

Built by Phil de Braose after his return from The Crusades in the 12th century. One assumes (and this is the story told to us) his sins and horror were so great that he built this massive church to soothe his soul and his God. Sadly, only half of the church is still standing~ the Western half being in ruins ... charming ruins. I say ruins; there is only part of a single wall overgrown with ivy left. However, it still functions as a church and is indeed a place full of spirit, grace and calm. A place where time stands still.

Although, this may sound a bit far-fetched. It was as if after spending our time praising the beauty and miracle of the place we were blessed with some sort of 'state of grace', as everywhere we went people seemed attracted to us in a wonderfully positive way - or were we merely more receptive?

On our way home, with the bell ringers practicing in the background a very lovely lady invited us into her beautiful walled garden in the old priest's house, built in 1103, where the wall was 300 years old with gorgeous white wisteria blooming over her door like a floral waterfall.

I did not have the courage to ask to take a photo of her garden. My photo of the churchyard cannot begin to convey the beauty of the place or the hour, but I humbly submit it in honour of a lovely evening well spent...

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