Showing posts from July, 2021

Tempers flare at the graveside!

Now for a story of the strange going-on in Akenham churchyard, near Claydon. This strange incident from a sleepy Suffolk parish had a far reaching impact in that it is considered that it led directly to the passing of the Burial Laws Amendment Act of 1880. Peace in the parish was initially disturbed following the appointment of Rev George Drury as rector of Claydon and Akenham in 1846. He was of the High Church, or what today would be called Anglo-Catholic, and introduced candles, a cross on the altar at Claydon, vestments, daily communion and incense none of which went down well with the local Protestant parishioners and resulted in the Bishop of Norwich intervening. All the items he introduced were actually illegal at the time and other priests had been prosecuted, and some imprisoned, for similar actions. Tensions in the village continued to rise when the parishioners elected as churchwarden Mr Smith of Rise Hall, a local landowner and a nonconformist. Rev Drury obviously refused

Badley - a church frozen in time

St Mary's in Badley, is one of Suffolk's most remarkable medieval churches - its setting and unmodernised interior give an atmosphere of great peace and stillness. To discover its charm, you must begin with a journey - a mile's walk or drive down a rutted track across Suffolk farmland, to a small valley of trees and birdsong. The flint-and-brick church has nothing for company but a sixteenth-century farmhouse and the wildlife of its pretty churchyard. Passing through the sturdy medieval door with its iron grille, you step into a time capsule - a church scarcely changed for 300 years with plain walls and a brick floor set with memorials to the Poleys, once owners of the house nearby. The seventeenth/eighteenth-century arrangement of the pews, which incorporates Medieval benches, combined with fragments of a screen with seventeenth-century panelling, where the oak is silvery-grey with age, make an extraordinary ensemble. The day I chose to visit was rather dull and damp so th