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Tony Grist

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Winterbourne Monkton [Jul. 23rd, 2008|09:48 am]
Tony Grist
We had discussed the possibility of stopping off somewhere on the way home-  maybe spending another night away- so when I saw that our route took us close to Marlborough and Marlborough is only six miles from Avebury I suggested a sharp left turn.

This is the second time we've visited Avebury this year. 

We stayed in Winterbourne Monkton, at a country inn, down a road only wide enough for a single car, tractor or waggon to pass. The inn used to be labourers' cottages, but then the Victorians put a brave face upon it- and now, as the landlady said sadly, there aren't any labourers and the farmers have to bring in seasonal workers. There were photographs on the wall showing the Inn around 1900, with the old lady who presumably owned it and her children and grandchildren- and I thought, it''s only an eyelid's blink since these were taken but everyone in them is dead now, even the grandchildren.

Winterbourne is the name of the local stream- which turns into the Kennet when it reaches Avebury. The village belonged to the monks of Glastonbury (which makes a link between my two favourite places on the planet)- hence the appendage Monkton (monks'  town). The church of St Mary Magdalene is pretty-plain. Last time we were here- in 1991- it was redundant but now- in a wonderful reversal of the normal trends- they're holding services again.

Also it has an amazing font.
To be continued....

[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2008-07-23 10:38 am (UTC)
The separation of the congregation from chancel and sanctuary is so different from today, when the table's pulled out from the wall and the priest is facing outwards--this wall between really shuts off the holy from the people.

Aren't you glad to have a car in your life, and a country filled with beautiful architecture!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-23 10:49 am (UTC)
The mass used to be a mystery. Now it's not. I think we've lost something there.

Maybe that's what's wrong with modern Christianity: it's been so eager to make itself accessible it's thrown mystery out the window. But people aren't fooled; they know God is a mystery- and they reject modern Christianity as shallow.

Yes, having a car has made a huge difference.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2008-07-23 12:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, when the RC church changed its whole format, threw out the Latin ("prayers in tongues?") and removed the mystery I said then that they threw out the baby with the bath water. Modernization could have been better done, I think.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-23 12:16 pm (UTC)
I think modernisation was needed to keep pace with developments in theology- but the new liturgies are pedestrian.

I was as guilty as anyone (back in the day) of pushing the new Anglican prayerbook.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2008-07-23 03:04 pm (UTC)
I love the little inn!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-23 04:58 pm (UTC)
I'd thoroughly recommend it- both for the hospitality and the beer!
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[User Picture]From: oakmouse
2008-07-23 05:00 pm (UTC)
My, how lovely --- both the inn and the little church. If we ever get back to Avebury I'll try to get there.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-23 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'd recommend the inn as a great place to stay.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-07-23 11:03 pm (UTC)
The inn looks delightful. Good beer you say?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-24 09:08 am (UTC)
Good local beer and- because this is apple country- good local cider too.
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