Everton isn't just an area of Liverpool famous for mints and a blue and white football team, it's also a lovely village in North Nottinghamshire. To me it's got everything: two pubs, a shop, a village school, a sports field, a variety of houses of different ages and an old church with history stretching back to Saxon times. It's called Holy Trinity.
Whenever I find a church unlocked, I go inside to soak up the atmosphere and to admire the building's craftsmanship and masonry. It may also reveal many secrets about the community it has served - from the burials of noteworthy local residents to the names of those who died in wars. An old church is like a book you can read. Very rarely will you ever find an old English church that was never altered, improved or repaired. They seem to have evolved with time, warts and all. And I find it interesting that so many old churches were first erected upon sites that had pagan significance, before Christianity was harnessed by the gentry as a means of subduing the peasantry.
Today I turned the big iron handle and pushed open the gnarled oak door of Holy Trinity. Inside, sunlight was streaming in and there were fresh flowers by the pulpit. The beautiful, rounded and simply carved chancel arch suggested a significant Norman input. How clever those people were - to create such a structure almost a thousand years ago - with dressed stone from faraway quarries. If you think about it, for just a little while, your mind tends to boggle. No electricity. No motor vehicles or power tools. No tubular steel scaffolding. No hard hats or DIY stores.
In the southern apse, I saw an open bible on a simple altar and beside it a turned wooden candlestick and a brass cross. Sunlight through imperfect medieval glass produced interesting shadows on the uneven lime-wash wall behind and that is why I took the picture at the top of this post. It seems to capture something of the serenity of that old church in Everton. May she still be standing another thousand years hereafter. Amen.