On Friday we went down to Suffolk for the wedding of J, elder son of Our Friends From The North.
This part of the world was new to us so the w/end proved particularly interesting.
In the snap, our said friends await the arrival in church of E, J's glamorous bride.....and as you see, they're using the time by turning round to check out the congregation!
The service was held at the six century old church of St James in the village of Nayland. This village was built originally in a loop of the river Stour, close to the Essex borders and the name comes from the Saxon "Eilanda" meaning island.
Nayland was a former wool town, made rich in mid 16th Century by Flemish weavers. And amongst a variety of lovely buildings spanning many centuries (including elegant stone, tall Georgian, tiny pastel-painted houses, black and white timber cottages) there are buildings which echo this story...
BUT I SO WISH that the lady vicar had explained more to the visiting congregation about the contents of this very special church!
On entering, we saw its lofty heights, the glitter of its stained glass, its carvings, its numerous statues. And yes, we felt its dignity, saw its ultimate beauty... and we also recognised lots of its timeless history.
BUT not until we left, did we realise how Nayland and its church are central to the paintings of John Constable:
WE didn't realise that over the altar was his 1809 painting: " Christ Blessing The Elements" (one of his only 3 religious paintings.) This was commisioned by Constable's aunt (who lived in Nayland) and his brother, Golding, ...what a great name!....was Constable's model for Christ.
BUT NEEEDLESS TO SAY: the whole wedding day and the fun in the evening was SHEER delight.....the marriage of J, a handsome Northern guy with E, a pretty Southern lady!