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Friday, 6 February 2015

All Saints, Stamford

'Lincolnshire churches cannot be bettered...above all they are a pleasure to visit'
Simon Jenkins

In the centre of Stamford, overlooking  Red Lion Square, rises the parish church of All Saints. It's an imposing sight.

Again I had spent the morning writing in the library and set off, in a chill wind, to stretch my legs. I've always loved churches and churchyards. In the U.K. these days churches are often not open during the week, but All Saints was. I stepped away from the traffic, through the doors and inside into a space brimming with Faith.

This church was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and is one of Stamford's oldest. By the thirteenth century Stamford was one of the ten largest towns in England, having prospered under the Normans with a trade mainly based on wool. The town was particularly known for its woven cloth called haberget. The main wool trade relocated to East Anglia in the fifteenth century, the remaining trade being with a few merchants such as William and John Browne who were responsible for the re-building of the crocketed spire and the windows. Between 1730 and 1747 the antiquarian William Stukeley was the vicar of this church. It was during his time in Stamford that he published some of his most famous work including his book on the origins of Stonehenge.

The atmosphere inside All Saints is beautiful, so peaceful. The pews possess little doors so you are cocooned in your own private space. For a brief time I was all alone, a whole church to myself, sun shining through the stained glass...

...gentle music floating in the air and a sense of timelessness. Bliss. I could have stayed there for ages but I had to be content with a few minutes.

It was as I was leaving that I spotted this lovely message, just inside the doors;-

If you are curious and have come to see,
If you are weary and have come to rest,
If you are grateful and have come to share,
If you are hurt and have come for solace,
If you are listening and have come to pray,
If you are seeking and have come for answers,


If you get the chance to visit Stamford and this beautiful church, please do. You will not be disappointed.

Thank-you so much for joining me this week and take care.

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