Yesterday I managed to take a half-decent photograph of a bluebell (that’s it above, I was quite pleased with it), explored two 12th century churches, visited a cathedral and witnessed four colleagues throw themselves off the top of it, tracked down three more First World War Memorials, conned my way into the Military Garrison Church and visited a rural life centre, where I became a bludger … and I was still home in time for tea.
It was a pretty full on day, so let’s break it down into bite-sized chunks.
The weather report on Friday told me it was going to rain all weekend. It lied. When I sat in the garden with my coffee when I got up there were distinct signs of blue above so I grabbed the camera and headed out. First stop was an old church (more on that later) and then heading back through Guildford, I realised I was in time to see four of our reporters abseil off the cathedral tower in aid of the fund to repair the building. As I’d sponsored them, I thought I’d go and make sure they got the job done.
Now poor James here was first over the edge and it was chucking it down with rain when he made his descent.
It had brightened up by the time Matt came down. And all four actually completed the challenge so I had to cough up the cash.
They were helped by a bit of patriotic cheerleading on the ground :)
Having never visited Guildford Cathedral, I thought I’d take the opportunity to go and explore.
It’s made of brick, featured in The Omen and was begun in the 1930s only for work to stop during the Second World War. When building restrictions were lifted, work recommenced and services were held there from 1947, although it wasn’t consecrated until 1961.
It’s imposing with its stark red brick sitting at the top of Stag Hill overlooking the town. Inside, it is beautiful in an austere sort of way and it has lovely lines, which I quite enjoyed.
But I have to confess, I don’t really like it.
It’s peaceful and it has an air of serenity.
And everyone there was very lovely and welcoming. And for a while I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it.
And then I realised … it has no history.
You see, I don’t visit churches to be spiritual, I go because they tell stories. And this cathedral has no stories to tell, no quirkiness to uncover, no gargoyles insolently mooning at me from on high. It’s just too new. It can’t help it, it’s not its fault … it just really isn’t my cup of tea.
It was fun watching the guys jump off the roof though.
And I did love the view across Guildford from the top of Stag Hill.
So, wanting to step back in time a little, I headed to a couple of small villages further south in the county. And by accident stumbled across the Rural Life Centre at Tilford, so I thought I’d take a look. It was woodworking day but there weren’t many people there.
I did, however, meet a lovely man who was turning wood on a foot-powered lathe. He reckoned humans had been working wood in this way for millennia. He let me have a go and it was loads of fun. Apparently this officially makes me a Bludger. I shall be adding this to my CV. In fact, we are having our annual reviews at work at the moment and under the ‘do you have any skills not utilised in your current role?’ box, I shall now be able to write Bludging.
I shall fill you in on conning my way into the Garrison Church, the First World Ward Memorials and the two 12th century churches I found in another post.