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St Michael, Sidestrand
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Scott's church must already have been ruinous, because much of the old fabric was brought here to be built into the new church. It is, apparently, to exactly the same design, with a round tower topped by a tall octagonal stage, a wide aisle-less nave, and a tall chancel. It is done remarkably well. You would not guess, if you did not already know, that this is a 19th century church.
Scott might have been surprised by the traffic rushing past this church. It is a busy road, and there is nowhere to park - we had to go off elsewhere and then walk back. However, the tiny graveyard still feels like an oasis beside it.
This church is part of the welcoming Trunch Team Ministry group, and is therefore open to strangers and pilgrims every day. In a niche in the porch is what appears to be a medieval angel holding a chalice, probably once a pinnacle on a tower or wall. You step into a delightful space beyond, crisp and fresh and yet homely and rustic. The font is set in a baptistry beneath the tower, the floor an elaborate greeny-blue mosaic, presumably intended to represent water. Above, a brass candelabra dripping in poppies bears a quote from Romeo and Juliet: My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep...
Simon Knott, August 2006
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