Fenny Drayton

St Michael's Church Fenny Drayton from the south west

Pilgrimage with Quakers to Fenny Drayton, where George Fox was born. There is a pretty church, with 13th century bits and some additions.

Some Purefoy or other

There is this huge monument to some local bigwig or other who died in the 16th century, so the spectacle of his wives and children praying round him is subversive for the time. Here he is, either looking up his wife’s skirts or contemplating the family crest:

Fenny Drayton, a view of the family crest

East of the rood screen, there is another Purefoy monument, from the early 17th century, in Latin. I can’t remember whether it is East of the altar rail or not. The other arch contains a Hagioscope, or Leper-window, partly sealed up, where undesirables could have seen the celebration of the Eucharist from a concealed place, so that they would not disturb the decent worshippers.

Fenny Drayton, two arches

The effect is to turn a place of worship into a memorial for the Purefoy family. Paul did not object, seeing it as a historical accident. I find it disturbing centuries later. George Fox was christened here and would have known these huge monuments. Perhaps this church helped form our testimony to Equality.

6 thoughts on “Fenny Drayton

  1. After all said – it all looks rather nice and intriguing – perhaps a perfect place communists can come to be seen as praying amidst – God forbid conversion or return to faith, when if fact their eyes are peering and staring at all the figures and artwork around them, trying to imagine stories of life that was once… 🙂

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    • Ina, I am sorry for using that word.

      In Croatia, and even in Serbia, the Communists were the Oppressors. At times, Christians have been the Oppressors, as in witch-trials, Catholic-Protestant conflict, the Inquisition, the Crusades.

      What I want is a way for people to live in peace, working together without any exploitation, and Jesus offered a Way towards that which, in my view, those Purefoy monuments blaspheme. And at some times, though never in practice, Communism has offered a way towards that peace too. We have so few ways even of naming it!

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      • Oh don’t be sorry, Clare – communists are people too and to rub it in: most arose from the practicing Christians too 🙂 perhaps that’s why they chose to abandon the church but still remained oppressors? Just like: boast that they fought for freedom from fascism and then installed a different name for same fascism/oppression – communism. All sound too familiar…I want peace too, perhaps that’s why people like us try so hard to work at it, write, show the bad and the ridiculous and the hypocrisy…

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