Sunday, 12 September 2010

Church Micros

Andy and I took part in a Ride and Stride event yesterday. This is about visiting churches and trying to raise money towards the upkeep of those churches. Andy and I were out all day. Of course it was the perfect excuse to get some church micros to notch up some more caches. We came across some truly amazing places of worship. It is such a shame that not so many people use them anymore, but we were pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm of some of the people 'manning' the church open days. Of the 11 churches we visited we only went inside four of them.
This is the first one we visited for a quick 'cache and dash' church micro. It was only 9.30am so no-one was around, but it is not used for regular worship anymore so there are no seats inside - we peeked through the windows! Being perched high above a hill it can be seen from the main road and also has magnificent views across the Essex countryside.

The next church looked quite plain on the outside but inside it had some marvellous decoration from early 20th century artists with some very lovely aluminium panels.

Our next stop was at St Andrews Church. Here is the litch gate. The church is over 800 years old, with people worshipping in this spot for generations, including Andy's family. We spent some time here and went to find Andy's nan's grave.

Next on our list was North Ockendon's St Mary Magdalene Church. This is thought to date back t before 1075AD. However it may date as far as 630AD ast St Cedd, Bishop of the East Saxons, is thought to have carried out baptisms at the adjacent St Cedd's Well. I loved these memorials of the Poynts family.

We were warmly greeted by some people who were manning the open day at the church. They told us all about the history of the church and we had a good look at everything. There were these lovely alabaster memorials on the wall to the Poynts family who figured highly in the history of the church. The one on the left is one of two, one of them Sir James Poynts. There are about eight of the white ones on the left that were put up between 1603 and 1607 which apparenlty were an attempt to cover previous family history by recording eight more Poynts from 1307 to 1603. The first attempt at family tree!
All in all we had a great day and I got 12 more caches to add to my 800 finds. All good.