Christmas Glasses

What to do with photos taken for a purpose, and then not used? I took these photos with intent to use in the Saxlingham history, recently posted. But somehow, they never made it in.

The church of St Mary the Virgin at Saxlingham Nethergate contains some of the most important stained glass in Norfolk. But this first one is what’s described as ‘modern’. It seems most apt for this season.

Edmund Mary St Withburga Saxlingham Nethergate

This next window, though English perpendicular, contains the earliest figurative stained glass in the county (the roundels); they date to before 1250.

Saxlingham church stained glass 1250

The decorative motifs along the top register show the Yorkist rose, which dates them to around the same period as the window, immediately pre-Tudor

And  a resetting of a hodge-podge of stained glass thought to have come from the ruined church at Saxlingham Thorpe. The bright yellow is achieved by use of silver. Amongst the earliest stained glasses in the church.

Early glass at Saxlingham church

That these early glasses still exist is, in itself, a miracle. Although Henry VIII’s withdrawal from Rome, with accompanying Dissolution of Monasteries, had little effect on parish churches, the later Reformation, and particularly the Puritan movement, was thoroughly  destructive of any decoration that might be deemed Popist Idolatry. Many of the richly painted rood screens were smashed, along with the windows, and the walls were painted ‘purest’ white. It’s only been during the past century that the whitewash has been carefully flaked away to reveal those hidden images. Perhaps not so much in reclaiming an older religion at a time when the churches have seen a massive decline in attendances, as in burgeoning respect for our heritage.


Photos taken 16th October 2017

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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28 Responses to Christmas Glasses

  1. Brian Bixby says:

    Sympathize though I will with the Puritans’ desire to purify their religion, the destruction of religious art was wanton and even counterproductive. Coincidentally, I’ve just been reading James Hogg’s “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner,” which pokes fun at the more extreme versions of predestination thrown up by Calvinism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      Good old Calvinists, yeh. I have a few of those in the ancestral tapestry. Norfolk was for long the favoured destination of Netherlanders and French Huguenots, the North Sea being less of a barrier than the Atlantic. And it’s all there in my DNA, as I recently discovered.
      These were such a small sample of the photos taken this past year of church interiors. The rood screens that are now being revealed, the murals, though often patchy, are beautiful treasures for the nation. I’d liked to show more of them, but . . . they don’t mix so well with fungi and flowers, and I’d hate for people to mistake my motifs and think me a devout Christian when I’m more what I’d describe as a quantum spiritualist. I think that’s what used to be called a pantheist. Merry Christmas. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Judy says:

    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    Love hearing more background for the windows- makes them even more beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      Thank you. I kept it very brief. I could have rambled for hours about St Edmund and St Withburga but . . . it’s Christmas. And it looks like you’re as much a workaholic as me. So, Merry Christmas to writers who are permanently chained to our laptops or tablets. 🙂

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      • Joy Pixley says:

        I am just taking breaks from cooking and cooking and cleaning and cooking… 🙂

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      • crimsonprose says:

        Ah, that sounds heavy-Christmas. My daughter & I celebrate Solstice, then on Christmas Day (cos everywhere is closed) she comes to me for a meal, but it’s no different really to any other time she comes share a meal with me. Then we’ll watch a movie or play Scrabble or Upwords and she toddles off home before it gets dark (she walks it, to other side of river and beyond), leaving me to . . .get back on with writing! Happy New Year!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        That sounds a lot more relaxing than my holiday, but I do enjoy seeing my parents and sister — for short doses, at least. I will also be happy to go home afterward and not cook for a while! I do love to cook in mu sister’s huge kitchen, and to have lots of people to cook for, two things I don’t normally have. But I also love that they’re treating us to a fancy dinner in the city tonight, followed by seeing the Aladdin musical — what a treat!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Ah, the musical sounds good. I must admit, I miss the theatre. And I must have music 24/7. From the time I get up, to now . . . I’m about to turn it off, and toddle off to bed. Snow, again, forecast for tomorrow. Oh for a return of the spring

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      • Joy Pixley says:

        The musical was *amazing*! Such a wonderful production — they even did a good job with the lying carpet! And the fancy dinner beforehand was delicious (except now I’d have to walk all the way home to southern California to make up for all those calories, lol!). I am so lucky to have a sister who has the funds and the generosity to treat the whole family to such a magical evening. Being reminded how thrilling it is makes me want to splurge a little more often back home on theater. I normally restrain myself to free shows in the park and two shows by my favorite Shakespeare company every summer, but you know, life is short, I should feel freer to give myself a treat sometimes, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        That would make a wonderful basis for a post. I envy you the experience. I can almost hear your amazingly deep breaths pf satisfaction. Meanwhile, I’ve been tidying up my Google+ pages, preparatory to making them part of the big ‘promotion’. Who knows, that might happen in the coming year. Though unlikely since I want to publish all parts of the trilogy together.
        But it is good to your enthusiasm. I think only the theatre is able to do that. The colour, the music; it’s never the same on film. Heck, even out local Am.Dram. could inspire a gasp.

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      • Joy Pixley says:

        There were a lot of gasps and giggles and cheering, that’s for certain! I agree — seeing performances live is a gigantic level above seeing it on film. Especially for a play like this, where one of the characters talks directly to the audience, and where there’s so much humor, so you hear everyone else laughing and cheering and gasping too. Plus all the big special effects, wow! At one point there were “fireworks” with a light-bang and colorful streamers exploding out over into the audience. (Although having said that, now I wish this were on film, so I could watch it over and over, to catch all the bits I missed.)

        We’ve got another week of celebrating here, and by that point I’ll be looking forward to doing what you’re doing: being home, getting things in order, writing and revising and organizing for the new year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I’m sure the transience of a theatre performance is part of its allure. Think how we sigh, almost lost into love, at a rainbow, or magnificent sunset. Or a kiss. Why we coo over babies (well some of us do). Why that moment of sexual climate is so all . . . all everything. The transient.
        Add that to the ‘no walls’ effect of a cast on stage TALKING to the audience. Even if there’s a narrator in a movie, or a character does an aside, there’s still that screen between you. Isn’t that the reason we writers strive for the deepest possible POV, to get inside the character, to remover the wall, or the screen.
        And now you’re going to start me enthusing too. Enjoy it while you can. I’m so glad I have rich memories of my life in the theatre. Being there for every performance, while not actually performing. Though it might be said that in a way I sometimes did.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Yes exactly — the interaction between the performers and the audience and the “here and now” quality of it adds so much to the experience. Now you have me curious — how were you involved in the theater? I did plays in high school but that’s it. I wish I had the time to do community theater or choir, but I can barely manage the activities I already have.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Well, I began in event organisation, which led to a local leisure venue where, apart from much else, I ‘dabbled’ in a kid’s summer season entertainment programme . . . for the management angle. Said leisure venue was run by same company as the local pier, upon which was a theatre. This was First Leisure, then the 2nd largest leisure company in UK, with its major holdings at Blackpool e.g. Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Pier, Blackpool Ballroom, but they also had a string of nightclubs. A vacancy arose at the pier, and I was head-hunted to there. First Leisure then trained me into their ways. However, the pier was shortly to change hands. The incoming owners knew zilch about theatre management. Enter a wizard career. Despite it being a ‘resort’ facility, we hosted shows of various sorts throughout the year. Ballet, Am.Dram. Rock shows. Musicals. Comedies. Not so much straight theatre; we’d not the audience base. And I can say with some degree of pride that during my time as theatre manager that theatre, with no Arts Council funding (or any other public funding) remained one of the 5% of British theatres, self-supporting, that were making a profit. Though I’d say we were only breaking even. We were not a producing theatre. I have to stress that. We hosted shows. They came to us already rehearsed and complete, often as part of a tour. But it was great fun, and really made a big mistake when I left there. But, things were changing. The owners had got their heads around the theatre, and wanted to make some changes, with which I didn’t agree. It was time to move on.

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      • Joy Pixley says:

        That sounds like so much stress and responsibility, but also such an exciting and interesting career to have! And dealing with so many different kinds of productions, too, that’s even more complicated. I can see why you miss the theater, especially having experienced so much of the thrill/craziness/stress of being in the back making it all happen. Might you have any opportunities to get involved in local community theater or volunteer at children’s school productions or something like that? I’m sure there are plenty of struggling artists out there who’d appreciate your expert help.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Nice thought. But sometimes the nice things about missing something is that you do miss it. To return to what you’ve rightly said was often stressful would destroy those memories. Or at least taint them. It’s like going back with an ex-boyfriend. You had such wonderful times together. And you never wanted to break it. But, misunderstandings, whatever. But it’s never the same going back. You realise the mistake. The same as going back to childhood haunts. Which I admit I do all the time, taking the camera. But to live there? No. We change. Places changes. Times change. No good going back. And I’m now so far out of it, lost the contacts etc. I’m happy cruising, writing, walking, enjoying the sunshine, the flowers, the trees, the rivers and streams. But mostly the writing. This is what I’ve wanted to do since . . . well, at least since 9 yrs old. And since I no longer care for the financial aspects, I’m in the enviable position of being able to indulge my desire. Not that I have a great and unending store of dosh. I have a small but steady income. And as long as catastrophe doesn’t happen, I’m happy to get along. Of course, that does mean no US holidays. Hell, very seldom a UK one. And forget about the latest technologies. And who cares about fashion. And I walk everywhere, else hop a bus. But that suits me fine. Gosh, I sound like my one-time hippy-Bohemian self. Don’t say I’ve come full circle?

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      • Joy Pixley says:

        Full circle is often a lovely path to take, and can be a very comforting one. 🙂 I know what you mean, you can never step in the same river twice, and all that. My mantra in the last year or so has been that I can do “anything” but I can’t do “everything” — at least, not at the same time. Only so many hours in the day, and days in the week. So there will always be something I’m missing, that I might not ever get back to, but the happy memories are still there.

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      • crimsonprose says:

        Bang on. But, please, don’t get me started on ‘not enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the year’. I swear someone is purloining at least 10% of my allotted share!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I have finally accepted the fact that I lose a lot of hours in the week to being less go-go-go dedicated than more organized, successful people. I like to go slow sometimes, and relax, and not jump up to do the next thing. That’s a priority too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I remember years upon years ago, I had a line manager who would insist on allocating one job, then before I was done, telling me to stop and do this job instead. I complained of these ‘nested’ jobs. Seemed to me nothing was getting done. But it was. As my line manager pointed out, that of the highest priority saw completion (usually within the day), thereafter I could attack the item with the next highest priority tag. Despite my teeth-grinding, and growling at her, I did learn a valuable lesson. To prioritise. And sometimes it’s relaxation that has the highest priority rating. If we’re overworked, tired, stressed, not sleeping properly etc, then we’re not able to work at out best. It would be very easy for me to keep writing from 6:00 am till 10:00 pm , at least. But then my head would be buzzing, and I wouldn’t sleep. So therefore (because my situation allows it), I tend to write through to mid or late afternoon, then take the rest of the day for relaxation. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way. So don’t beat yourself up cos you’re not hyper-organised. And you might care to watch as these others fall prey to stress-related maladies, while you do not!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        You put it very well! I used to think of prioritizing my relaxation/health as being more episodic; like scheduling two hours on Saturday to do something leisurely. But really, it works best to be a little more leisurely all the way through the day. And yes, I’m hoping that I’ll be at less risk for stress-related maladies down the line because of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I learned the hard way. Now I’m quite vocal at passing on lessons, and encouraging others. I don’t want others to go through what I went through, not if it’s preventable. We live in a world gone mad on making money, on gaining status, on getting ahead of the competition, on winning. I got carried away in that mania, despite I had bathed in the Zen & Tao teachings during my youth. Well now I’m back in that calm Taoist river. And getting further than I ever did with hurrying. I also seem to be obscenely content! Which does not take away aims and ambition. My advice to you? Keep it mellow. You’ll arrive at your targets just the same, but without the pain that comes from keeping it tight.

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      • Joy Pixley says:

        I find that trying to pass on the lessons I’ve learned is almost as frustrating as learning them in the first place, since only the people who already agree with the lesson are ready to hear it. But that doesn’t stop me from trying; never hurts to try to be a voice of reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Strange you should say that, I was going to add something similar to my last comment. Something about talking until blue in the face, but ears don’t hear that aren’t prepared. A slight twist to the ‘you can’t help anyone who won’t help themselves.’ The person has to be ready, and has to be actively looking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Right you are! But then, I suppose I’m saying that because I already agree. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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