As part of our work on the Mayflower 400 project we have been meeting and audio interviewing a number of subject matter experts on various topics. These range from the role of Cambridge University in the development of Puritanical thinking, to Mayflower passenger John Howland of Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire and the origins of the Separatists in Retford and Scooby.
At the heart of the Mayflower story is the Reformation and the impact on Church worship and Church buildings and their interiors. These changes have continued ever since.
Roger Wilson has been interested in Churches for many years and how they have constantly changed and adapted as ways of worship have altered. Churches are very much a living community resource that have adapted over the centuries.
We spent a day with Roger visiting 6 churches he knows very well and which were within a few miles of Loughborough, Leicestershire (see map below to see the location of the churches)
At each church Roger told us about the key features that illustrated the constant change that the churches and congregations have experienced since the 16th Century.
The Churches we visited were (click on the names to find out more and listen to Roger):
- St Andrews in Stoke Dry, Rutland
- St Peter, Brooke, Leicestershire
- St Andrew, Lyddington, Rutland
- St John the Baptist, Kings Norton, Leicestershire
- St Mary the Virgin, Ashley, Northamptonshire
- Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, Leicestershire
Pictures of the Churches can be seen below:
While all the Churches were fascinating places to visit our own personal favourites were St John the Baptist in Kings Norton and Emmanuel Church in Loughborough for very different reasons.
St John the Baptist was awe inspiring in terms of its early Gothic architecture and yet at the same time very balanced between the level of detail and fine craftwork. Inside the simple lines, the colour of the beautiful wood carving contrasting with the white walls and the absence of masses of decoration gave it very peaceful feeling.
Our other favourite was Emmanuel. Re-ordered a number of times it felt a very active and energised Church with lots of flexible space being effectively used by different groups within the local community.