DAYS OUT: St John the Evangelist, Waterbeach, & St Edmund’s, Downham Market

St John, Waterbeach.

Today was a two-church day. That’s a good day! The first was St John The Evangelist, in Waterbeach. Feast your eyes on my photos. What a lovely church!

What a beautiful porch.
On the floor of the porch.
Good advice! Over the front door.

The three photos this far are just tasters, all from the front porch. When you get inside the church proper? It’s a feast.

Through this door, into the church proper…
More good advice; steady as you go!
So pretty.

Even the quite plain ‘lights’ are fabulous.

Some musical angels…
… are these corbels?
Whatever they are, I like ‘em.
More of these quite modest lights…
… which are really rather lovely.
The writing’s on the wall.

There’s a band of text running around the walls of the church. Filled with Biblical quotes and admonitions.

A general view of the nave.

The pulpit looks what I’d call ‘High Victorian’; i.e. quite fussy and ornate!

An impressive pulpit.
Pretty bling!

Carvings, mosaics, marble pillars… phew!

Wow! Terrific.

The impact of walking towards the altar is very palpably uplifting.

What a pavement.
Gorgeous tiles.
The altar is richness incarnate.
I really love these guys…
… very beautiful.
More richness, in every corner.
More empty stepped niches.

The stepped niches remind me of others I’ve seen, in a few other Anglian churches.

Little details…
… making a big impression.
More saints. Again, very Victorian in vibe.
Truly glorious.
Looking down the church from the high altar end.
More fine flooring.
Weird window.

You sometimes see weirdly abstract stained glass. Often using old or broken fragments in an abstract form, yet still structured within an overall conventional layout (in other words not ‘modernist’ abstraction). Well, there’s one here, pictured above. It’s a bit weird, as some parts are conventionally representative (the coats of arms and emptier areas), whilst most of the more detailed areas are jumbled of stained-glass ‘rubble’.

Rather more conventional.
The font.
Looking altar-wards, over the font.
I like these tall narrow lights.
The main roof.

And so, back out, and off to Ely. In Ely I visited Topping Books. I rather fancy going to their forthcoming author/book talk about the current show at the British museum, about the Roman army, Legion.

Had a cuppa, and browsed numerous books.

And I was massively tempted by the above book, which looks at Picasso’s life and work through his connections with Barcelona. A gorgeous and fascinating book, that nicely reproduces a lot of his earlier work. And the paper ‘wrap’, around the lower half, unfolds to create a print or poster.

St Edmunds, Downham Market.

Later the same day I was forced – the Welney route being closed, due to flooding – to go home via a longer more circuitous route. And it took me through Downham Market. A nice old town. I decided to take at St Edmunds, the rather dour looking ‘church on the hill’.

Am imposing building.

I had to get the key from the Rectory. The guy there (Vicar? Rev?) was friendly and helpful.

Dark, rainy… rather dour looking!
Is this an umbrella stand?

Once in the main building, this church has unite dark, fusty cosiness to it. Very atmospheric. The stained glass here is terrific.

Another stunning altar.

Another terrifically powerful effect at the altar. Not so much the altar, as the combined effect of everything around it.

A few window, in a corner or wing altar area.

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