What is it about these big Norfolk churches in the middle of nowhere? If in the very unlikely event you ever drive between Tilney All Saints and Tilney-cum-Islington in West Norfolk you will see Wiggenhall St.Mary the Virgin across the fields. It stands out against a backdrop of trees surrounding the Hall and a towering cedar black against the sky. You'll find it on a cul-de-sac lane that leads out of the village, and then down a footpath that's also someone's driveway. You expect any minute that a dog will remove the seat from your trousers. The church is basically Perpendicular of around 1400 in rubble and plastered brick, and is sadly and forlornly closed and unused. But that remarkable institution The Churches Conservation Trust does care for it, and everything they do should be vigorously supported. The all-pervading atmosphere here is one of deep melancholy. It's very easy to conjure up past congregations walking up the tree-lined road from the village to their beloved church, all of them finally finding rest as the long grasses slowly cover their graves.
Summer ends and the Autumn term begins: Part 2
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