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Inspired Sunday

I haven’t been to church as often since I left the Convent in 1979.
There I knew that would grab your attention...

  You a convent girl? 
I hear you chortle, Yes moi! 

Although I have to confess Sister Mary Clare, our Headmistress, 
and I were never that close. 

She probably let out a long sigh of relief the day I left 
to further my education elsewhere.
Her faith, hope and charity having been tested to the max!

The ensuing years saw my church attendance limited 
to three brief periods in which I returned to the fold,
although I must admit, blink and mere mortals may have missed it...
Mr Wren calls these my hormonal days... 
All co-inciding with being pregnant in the 80's. 

I suppose I was searching for some inner calm, 
an impossible ask really
 for 'him upstairs' with three kids under five.... 

My twenties and thirties became a blur of moving around the world.
Church attendence was restricted to increasingly infrequent
 weddings, with occasional christenings and funerals thrown in 
you know... as and when. 

So I have been absent without leave.
Although I'm sure the door was always left open.
Ermm, or maybe not.

Well since I’ve returned to the United Kingdom, 
I’ve found myself in back in several churches with increasing regularity. 
First there was a visit to my Grandfather's grave 
and then my Great Aunt's funeral.

Where they announced the magnolia tree, outside 
was planted by our family way back (see below)

But perhaps of greater note are several recent visits to the 
Church of England, church of my youth,
before I went to the Catholic convent.

I know, don't ask.

It's got something to do with 
'the Nun's were the only decent school that would take you'
Not that we say that in public!

Here is the St Mary's the Virgin church (above) 
where my friends and I once danced up the aisle... 
aged 10 years and 3/4 years old, 
in a pink ballet tutu 
with black ballet shoes with satin ribbons.

Quite what the occasion was I don't remember.
Surely it wasn’t for Harvest Festival?! 

I’m suppose this would somehow be deemed highly inappropriate these days, 
but those were the years in which we lived life on the edge,
 and sat in cars without seat belts you know.

And so when we were all lined up in front of Sister Mary Clare,
for the statutory:
 'Is your daughter of the faith?' admission interview,
my father with his polished Armed Forces officers uniform on,
we could all nod enthusiastically with a 
'yes of course, she's regular in church

Look, I'd best not fib, so when I say I‘m back, 
I mean I’m joining in the family church rota. 
The village divvy up the year, month by month, amongst themselves for 
Church Cleaning, Church Flowers, and Church Gardening. 

You'll have of course already noted my Flower Arranging talents,
if somewhat fledgling, from my previous posts.
What I may not have told you was the fun I had, 
 teamed up with our old primary school caretaker.

In hindsight this probably smacked of favouritism, 
or a last ditch attempt by my Mother, Festival Co-ordinator
to ensure the gates of heaven are always open for me,
by allocating us the altar!

My parents have been on the church rota for years, 
they never attend church for any other purpose 
that to assist with the above, 
never have done. 
They no longer even live in the village…

That’s what I call being wonderfully community minded.

So whilst I've been back
I hope you have enjoyed these photos
from what we would call Down Under, our Church 'Working Bee'!

The Church garden is really interesting to me
because whilst there are some gorgeous flower beds
some of the Churchyard has been left as a wildlife garden.

It's a beautiful English Country church garden
I hope you have enjoyed your visit!

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