We have a friend, Gaenor, in Bugthorpe (east of York) – a friend we haven’t seen for years. We went down for lunch, and afterwards wandered across to the church. It is in the centre of the village, SE772579 – the key is available from the Post Office. Later I went onto the Diocese of York website. Unlike that of the Diocese of Newcastle you cannot click a simple “Find a church” button to find location, Vicar, website etc.
No glorious guidebook for this Grade 1 church – but it’s nice that the sheet of A4 tells us a little about St Andrew. I won’t ask why the banner is of St Paul. I like the line “There is some speculation that parts of a Saxon church are still here at the base of the tower.” The present tower is C15. I missed the Mass Dials, primitive form of sundial, on the SE corner.
The font is C11, large enough to dunk the complete baby – we tend to forget that. The body of the church dates from the C11 and C12, as does the Chancel Arch. It is the carvings around this arch which lift the church into the “wow” bracket. Sadly they have been plastered over at some point, so are not as clear as they should be – and my photos are not as good as they should be. Can you spot the Fall of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from Paradise? Christ is Majesty, raising his hand to give a blessing, holding the Gospels. Peter holds his epistle as a book (surely a scroll – remember Ernie Wise and Eric Morecambe “Have you got the scrolls?” “No, I always walk like this”). A man is tempted by a snake, and resists with the sword of the spirit. A Green Man wrestling with a snake. A Lamb and Dove. A Sheela-na-gig – according to Wikipedia “figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva”. According to the church leaflet “partly covered with plaster for decency”.
The parish had celebrated Harvest this morning. The school had come to church and then there was a village tea afternoon. The East end of the church was built in the C14, the Lady Chapel was demolished in the C18 (the stones were used to build a bridge), and the whole church rebuilt in the C19. In 1905 the Reverend Appleford demolished the bridge and rebuilt his chapel! The High Altar dates to 1927. Ten years later Viscount Halifax paid for a further re-ordering in memory of his father, adding the central altar and the tester which hangs above. The East Window is by Edward Moore, and depicts Our Lady with the Holy Child with St Andrew and St Charles Borromeo, a C16 Archbishop of Milan. The Catholic church in Gosforth, Newcastle, is dedicated to him, their website tells us more. The rood with the Virgin and St John is by Edmund Burton.
Some nice memorials to finish with (but why didn’t I move the chair out of the way?), and the man on the porch arch. So, that’s two in Cumbria and one in Yorkshire – back North for the next post. (Having come from Cambridgeshire, I cannot get used to Yorkshire being South. And when I’m driving back from daughter in London I can’t help thinking how much easier my journey would be if we got rid of Yorkshire …).