The things you don’t notice and the people so easy to forget

Why do people go to church? Why do I go to church? Pray to God? Worship? Possibly – some of the time. But for many of us there are other motives as well. I’ll let you do the filling in of details on that one.

One of the things I have missed during the past few months is the objects within the church. The colourful windows, the inspiring pictures, indeed the very stones themselves.

Much of the time I don’t really look at the stonework and even more rarely do I find myself wondering how those intricate carvings got there and who was responsible for designing them.  Most are works of art in themselves.

Look at Alastair here carving this stone.

Gaze around even the outside of the buildings and notice those gargoyles. Some inspiring, some purely functional, some jokes and usually one or two down right wicked.

Who were these people who created them? Very rarely do we find their names. People cleverer than I tell me that each mason had his own mark and that they are able to recognise the work of some of them by these marks. But in reality – only some of them.

I wonder who the mason was who carved a bird sitting on a nest on the roof of Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire. The work, now sadly badly eroded by the weather, has always been hidden from view when one stands on the ground. To see it, it is necessary to clamber across a dangerous bit of roof to find it.

More elegant I suppose are these bosses inside the roof of Norwich Cathedral.

Modern stone-masons still clamber about the buildings, creating and preserving for future generations works of stone. It is still a hazardous job – despite health and safety laws. Much of it is out of doors and exposed to the weather.

My blog this week pays tribute to the work of the stone-masons and to their continuing efforts to secure and adorn all those buildings on which they work.