|Berwick, East Sussex
||[Jan. 29th, 2016|11:59 am]
I've got shepherds on the mind because we were out among the South Downs yesterday and that's sheep country. To quote another verse of the Kipling poem I glanced at a week ago (with reference to Romney Marsh).|
I've given my soul to the Southdown grass,
And sheep-bells tinkled where you pass,
Oh, Firle and Ditchling an' ships at sea,
I reckon you keep my soul for me.
Anyway, more pictures,
Here's the little church at Berwick. Notice the snowdrops. It sits alongside a big barrow and the interior has been muralised by several artists of the Bloomsbury group- most notably Duncan Grant. Grant wasn't a wonderful painter and his murals aren't wonderful either- but they have a certain charm and they bring colour and liveliness to what would otherwise be a very plain interior. The second picture shows the pulpit- with delightful flower paintings by Grant after designs by Vanessa Bell who was Grant's lover and Virginia Woolf's sister. Grant and Bell lived just down the road at Charleston farmhouse- and all the Bloomsberries foregathered there and did art and swapped partners and made babies. Grant was a beautiful young man. Remember the photographer I memorialised a few days ago, Alvin Langdon Coburn? Well, scan down his Google page and sooner or later you'll come across images of the most beautiful, girlish young man you've ever seen- and that's Grant. The murals were executed during the war- when Grant no longer looked like that- at the instigation of George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, the most inspirational Anglican churchman of the 20th century- who- we now learn- may also have been a child abuser. The diocese of Chichester has got a lot of stick for outing and shaming Bell without providing any of the evidence for his crimes- and I think it has deserved it; Bell was a saint and hero to many- including myself- and we, his admirers, feel we should be given the facts.
This last picture shows the view from the churchyard gate.