Last time we visited Heckington church was 4 years ago – read my blog. When we called in then there was a good bookstall, so my wife was happy. This time (Saturday 7 July 2018) Julie stayed in the car while I went to check – but they were preparing for a concert, so the books were packed away. I had a quick visit round the church – didn’t spend too long (one should not leave pets (or wives) in hot cars).
Last I time I commented they needed a new guidebook – they have a new guidebook. Rather than a tatty piece of A4 paper, they also have a colour A4 leaflet – I must do a new one for Allestree this summer. It felt like a church with a new lease of life – nice prayer corner in the North Transept, but who made the statue?
My only complaint is that the tatty leaflet told me there was a polar bear in the East Window – the new guide doesn’t. I found the polar bear! Top left of the Alpha and Omega, and note the Whale below him.
The window shows the Te Deum – “We praise thee, O God : we acknowledge thee to be the Lord. All the earth doth worship thee : the Father everlasting” – and the Benedicite – “O all ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.” In case you are wondering where polar bears and whales come in:
O ye Ice and Snow, bless ye the Lord …
O ye Whales, and all that move in the Waters, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
Lots of lovely settings can be listened to on youtube. James Thomas’ Benedicite has been recorded by St Edmundsbury Cathedral choir on their CD This Holy Temple – details here.
Here are details from two other windows – The War Memorial Window, and the window in the South Transept which depicts the building of the church (you can see the complete windows on the previous blog). One job for this summer is to get Rob to teach me how to photo stained glass windows properly.
The church builders include Richard de Potesgrave (in purple robes). He was court cleric and Confessor to Kings Edward II and III, and came here as Rector in 1308. He probably built the chancel and sacristy at his own expense. He is explaining his plans to Henry Lord Beaumont (the gent with the Edwardian moustache), who was Lord of the Manor, and Henry’s sister Isabella de Vesei has the yellow headdress. Henry and Isabella were cousins of Edward II, she had been a Lady in Waiting to Queen Eleanor of Castile and Queen Isabella. The three of them were involved in building some of the nave and south transept. Edward III visited in 1330 – and would have seen something very similar to the church we see now.
I won’t describe the church again – but feast your eyes on the South Porch and the Easter Sepulchre – note the sleeping soldiers.
Now get ready for a trip to a disabled-accessible windmill. Julie, still reading in the car, did not realise the excitement in store.