Do you know what I did yesterday?
You’re never going to guess.
I sat down and wrote out a list of all the churches on the Churches Conservation Trust list with keyholder information and post codes and opening times where they were specified so I can print it out and keep it in my car.
Yes, I know, I’m getting a little obsessed.
I also found some pictures of the church that started it all.
Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. Years ago I was the editor of a local paper in a town called Esher and I was invited to an event at St George’s Church. That was looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust but I didn’t think much more about it.
Then Man and I were in York for a day or two and we were wandering through the shopping area of Goodramgate when we came across a little alley way. Now I like arches, alleyways, doors and I’m always curious to know what’s behind them.
There was a sign on this one saying Historic Church. So I walked down between Poundland and whatever was the other side and found this.
Modern buildings either side, artisan workshops from the 14th century, an 18th century archway and then the medieval church of Holy Trinity tucked into this quiet little oasis of a churchyard that seems a million miles from the town centre.
I went inside for a closer look and discovered that this little gem of a building was also cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust and it sparked my interest.
This was also the first place I came across box pews and, although I have seen them many times now, I still think they are weird. I really think the congregation ought to have been looking towards the altar and the preacher and not facing the opposite direction. They could have been smirking when he was preaching hellfire and damnation for all he knew.
Inside, the floors are all uneven and there are steps here and there.
Now these photos were taking in July this year on Man and my last trip to York. This was before I had invented my Fifty before Fifty Challenge and therefore before I had made a decision to go and see all these churches.
I am finding already that my visits have a different intent now. When I visited Holy Trinity in July, I went because it’s a pretty church, tucked away from the crowds and I have always liked religious buildings.
Now, when I visit one of the Churches Conservation Trust Churches I want to know the history, I want to track down a quirky fact, I want to know why this building is different and what made it worth saving. I want to know who used it, who preached in it, and I want photographs that aren’t going to be the same as the photographs I took at the last 25 churches I visited. I want history, I want art and I want story-telling.
Holy Trinity has this to make it stand out.
The windows are beautiful. And the thing I like best about this church is that you sort of get the feeling that you have discovered a secret treasure that no one else knows about.
Anyway, despite the face that I went to visit it before I started my Fifty before Fifty Challenge, I intend to count it. Firstly because I have been there, and I have photographic evidence that I have been there, and secondly because in writing out my list of churches yesterday I discovered that there are now 343 on the list and not 342.
When did that happen?
I must pay close attention to this because if, during the next 2.8 years, there are more added I could think I have completed my task when actually I haven’t.
I didn’t even consider new ones may be added :). I am now racing against time and additions lol.