Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Church Crawling

I was church-crawling through deepest, darkest North Surrey earlier in the week. It was largely unproductive. The nearer you get to the heart of a great city (in this case London) the more likely it is that you'll find the churches locked. St Mary, Stoke d'Abernon contains what's said to be the earliest memorial brass in England- but I'll have to take it on trust.

According to those who've crunched the numbers a locked church is more likely to be robbed or vandalised than one that's left open. This isn't really counterintuitive: an open church is friendly and a locked one is hostile; also an open door implies there are people around. One of the locked churches I encountered on Tuesday had a notice by the door telling me how welcome I was- which was adding salt to the wound. If I'd been a bored, disrespected youngster I'd have looked round, checked no-one was watching and shied a stone at a window or tagged the stonework with my initials.

The last church we rocked up at was All Saints, Banstead. It's situated much like the ones that were locked- just off the High Street with footpaths running through the church yard- but not only was the door open, but the lights were on and there was music playing. This cheered me up considerably.

And if churches aren't about cheering people up (at the very least) I can't think what the point of them is.

All Saints, Banstead
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