Hands up those of you who have heard of Margaret Llewelyn Davies (1861 – 1944) or the Women’s Co-operative Guild (WCG). Anyone? I am sure that there are some of you who know all about this lady and the WCG. But I knew nothing about either (neither?). It is amazing what you learn in churchyards.
As you can see I have returned from my travels with a continued yen to visit churches! In this case St Mary’s Church was a wee bit of serendipity as I needed to pop over to Kirby Lonsdale to buy a friend’s birthday present. You know that niggle you get when you have something particular in mind.
The niggle was very useful as I had never travelled to Kirby L by bus and before I continue here is how I got there:
My local 46 bus took me to Kendal Bus Station then I boarded the Stagecoach 567 at 10.20am from Stand E. And off we roared …. pootled.
Back to the quaint loveliness that is Kirby Lonsdale a small market town in Cumbria within spitting distance of the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. I arrived along with the usual Cumbrian mizzle and having made a bee line for the birthday gift emporium (pressie not opened yet so I can say no more) I was ready for a warming drink and a bite to eat. I have often passed the Lunesdale Bakery and scooted past lest I be tempted by all the delicious goodies inside, I had not realised that behind the fabulous bakery shop is an equally fabulous cafe complete with an open fire, beamed ceilings and mullioned windows.
All this cosiness together with hearty local fayre. I enjoyed a pot of tea and devoured scrambled eggs on toasted croissants. Buttery yummy-ness.
With a wait between buses I then went for a wander. I have been to Kirby Lonsdale many times and love its small indie shops and beautiful buildings. Infact I always wonder why I never see a film crew there making a Austin-esque Sunday night drama or three. Perhaps the good burghers of Kirby have more sense than to let them in. But in my wandering I have never noticed the …erm … notice about Margaret Davies. Who knew that Kirby Lonsdale was such a hot-bed of socialist zeal.
Having seen more than my fair share of Europe’s magnificent Cathedrals in the last few weeks St Mary’s Church was refreshing for its beautiful simplicity and obvious importance to the local community. Surrounded by a higgledy piggledy grave yard where the ‘old’ font has been used as a cheery reminder of the children baptised by it before it was replaced in the church by an older font!
St Mary’s setting is traditional yet welcoming.
I love the modern ever-present health and safety reminder. Without slipping – I am actually a walking trip hazard as my friends know so we are lucky I am not writing this post from Accident and Emergency – I made my way into the ‘time-machine’ of St Mary’s.
St Mary’s is the product of centuries of building and renovation. It’s construction spans in age from the early 12th century to the 19th century but it is obviously very much a living church well used by both congregation and community. On my visit there were beautiful floral displays made ready – sadly – for a funeral. As I walked past these displays I wondered at the skill of the flower arranger. Certainly a lot of love, thought and care had gone into these wonderful creations.
Churches often house the most amazing and painstakingly made crafts. The kneelers are always fascinating to me.
Meticulous canvas work of great design made for daily use. Wonderful.
Harbingers of an even older time are also hidden there. Like this Green Man
A 12th century (so 1100 and something) reminder of earlier beliefs sitting atop one of the older pillars. He doesn’t look very happy about it does he? But I was pleased to see him as I enjoy the hints of our pagan past that are so often intertwined with ‘modern’ religious symbolism.
One thing I had never heard of before was a ‘Piscina’. No! Not what it sounds like but rather a sort of sink once used for the washing of the vessels used in Communion.
Perambulating certainly increases your learning. And that includes knowledge of bus timetables. Time to go. Ruskin’s View and the other delights of Kirby Lonsdale will have to await another visit.
I am sure it will not be long until I return, perhaps with family and dogs. So this offer may prove useful.
Last thing lest we forget Remembrance Sunday is coming up (12 November) so a little time has been spent on making up a few poppies and digging out patterns.
Thanks to Kendal Wool Gathering all such donations were collected to become part of a ‘Curtain of Poppies 2018’ with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.
Until next we meet,