home I index I latest I glossary I introductions I e-mail I about this site
St Helen and All Saints, West Beckham
the captions by hovering over the images, and click on them to
see them enlarged.
and All Saints, West Beckham
The church is possibly unique in one respect noted by Pevsner, because it is not only shingled on the outside, it is shingled on the inside as well. It is said that building materials were brought from the old churches, but in all honesty this is hard to see. Only the lower part of the chancel arch appears to be old here, although I did wonder about the tracery in the east window.
At the west end is a clear rose window, and below it the font is like a crisp little wedding cake. The shingle of the walls is banded with red brick in the approved Puginesque style, and the interior is stunningly clean, obviously well-loved and looked after. On the upper banding, evangelical texts now more than a century old are fading, but still a touchstone to the recent past.
In a nave window are parts of a medieval Holy Trinity shield built into modern glass. Trinity shields were designed to enforce Catholic orthodoxy in the second half of the 15th century, consisting of labels representing the three parts of the Trinity, and the relationships between them. However, some of the labels are missing here, those of God the Father and God the Son, as well as the relationship ribbon between the two. This has the unfortunate result of looking like the unusual theological position of some obscure pentecostal sect, although I'm sure that is no reflection on the liturgical tradition of this charming little church.
Simon Knott, April 2008
Amazon commission helps cover the running costs of this site.
home I index I latest I introductions I e-mail I about
this site I glossary
Norwich I ruined churches I desktop backgrounds I round tower churches
links I small print I www.simonknott.co.uk I www.suffolkchurches.co.uk