Monday, 13 December 2010
I owe all those of you who donated so generously to our Norfolk Churches Trust walk a final figure, which in the face of bad weather has been sent by our tour leader express delivery to Mary Heather of Burnham Thorpe. Between the four of us, we raised £1003.94.
That's not quite our record, but it's been less of a giving year. And much as we love to honour the memory of Jill's mother, one-time stalwart warden of 'the Nelson Church', by doing a different route every year - and we're well past the hundred mark in the number of churches we've 'collected' - it is a bit of a drag on friends and acquaintances to be chugged* at the same time for the same thing every year. But thank you: the restoration of deserving, sometimes deconsecrated causes in this delightfully over-churched county is much needed.
I've duly posted church pics throughout the year, but a few worthy edifices much further from the Norfolk epicentre got through the net, so I thought we'd stick to the angelic theme. The voluptuously winged Gabriel above and below is one of Henry Holliday's pre-Raphaelite windows for Oxford's Worcester College Chapel (Millais's original designs were rejected).
The chapel, lavishly restored in 2001, makes an interesting ensemble: Wyatt's original 1791 interior was redecorated, and not entirely obliterated, by William Burges in 1864-6. The ceiling is very much his.
Of course no handsome winged thing could quite outstrip the Vidal Sassooned St Michael of Eastbourne - he attracted some attention way back, so let's have another look at him here.
Among the casualties of excessive impressions was an account I wanted to post of our several hours in Udine on the way between Trieste and Tarvisio in June. The splendid ensemble of the central piazza will have to wait for another time, but above all Udine is Tiepolo Central, and though I was thwarted in my attempts to see the big Tiepolo exhibition there and the selectively open Oratorio della Purita, I did get to see inside the Duomo. Its hotchpotch of styles includes quite a few treasures, not least the painted organ shutters and the south chapel so elaborately frescoed by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Urbani. The guide is hopelessly confusing on who did what, but I'm assuming GBT was responsible for the angels.
The trompe-l'oeil winged chap who looks out so beguilingly is part of this ensemble.
Up the hill on which the castle is situated, there's a bronze angel atop the church of Santa Maria di Castello which spins in the direction of the wind. We stopped off on the way north in baking heat
and returned between violent storms, when he was more inclined to swivel.
Last but not least, let's return to St Nicholas's Chapel King's Lynn and one of the finest of all angel roofs.
This I've covered before, but since the chapel of ease is run by the Churches Conservation Trust, it's a perfect example of the first-rate treasures we're walking to help finance.
*that necessary footnote again: 'chugging' = 'charity mugging'. Though since we do it by email rather than putting the poor unfortunate on the spot, I think ours is more in the manner of a friendly suggestion.