As it was a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning (and as churches are usually open on Sundays!), I decided to get myself down to Pool Quay, near Welshpool, where St John the Evangelist's Church is located. Why? Well, one of the scenes in my novel is located here and, even though I've already completed a first draft of this particular section, I wanted to really go and have a look inside the place to make sure that what I was writing is accurate. To be fair, I had some good information from the internet about the layout of churches. It's a long time since I did religious education, and I couldn't for the life of me remember what the various parts are named! Even though the layout of Anglican places of worship is fairly similar, obviously each one is going to be different and have its own unique character. Last time I visited the church when I was in the area was back in March, but that time, unfortunately for me, it was closed. I well remember the days when you used to be able to go into a church because, as a place of God, it was always accessible. Sadly, that just isn't possible anymore. I therefore figured that the best opportunity was today, when they were holding a Holy Communion service.
When I got there (late, of course!), I found that the interior was very much to my liking, especially the stained glass windows. The building itself will be 150 years old in 2012, and apparently it had been built in that location as a response to drunken behaviour by navvies working locally on the Cambrian Railway Line (a nineteenth century equivalent of a Behave or Be Banned Scheme, I suppose. More like 'Behave or Be Judged'!) Despite being relatively new, the church is very much in the Anglican tradition, something which I can relate to having a Church of England upbringing. This is sufficient for my purposes in the book, as the main character takes shelter in this very same place (now deserted) as an alternative to being out in the elements. The redundant church itself becomes a metaphor for the decline and dereliction of traditional English institutions after the collapse, and I hope that the way I have constructed this particular section of prose reflects that. One thing I had done prior to visiting was include a fixture in the interior which isn't actually there – at least, not at present. After reviewing the relevant section, I decided that I would keep this feature because it added body to the text, as well adding something in which I observed when I finally visited there this morning – namely, a stained glass window.
Anyway, I would like to warmly extend my thanks to the parishioners who welcomed me to join their service this morning. I made sure that I left something in the collection as a contribution to the upkeep of the church – apparently, it costs about £350 a week, if I rightly remember! I indeed hope they will have many more years of happy worship here (and, hopefully, nothing like what is described in my book ever actually happens, it is only fiction after all!)
For those interested, here is a link to an article about the 100 anniversary, celebrated back in 1962:
Until the next blog……