20 February 2021

Trinity

I like to get out taking pictures with my "Sony" bridge camera every week but this week has been off-putting in weather terms. Quite a lot of greyness and drizzle. This is the best picture I managed to capture all week:-

It was taken in the affluent suburb of Millhouses. During the picture editing process I had to straighten the composition so that the church tower no longer looked like The Leaning Tower of Pisa. The church is under the jurisdiction of The Church of England and it's called Holy Trinity. It has the same name as the village church where I was christened in the spring of 1954.

The Holy Trinity refers of course to Father , Son and Holy Spirit. Confusingly, all three are simply different emanations of God as this helpful diagram explains:-

Holy Trinity Church in Millhouses is not a very old church when you consider that there are countless churches in England that are  a thousand or several hundred years old. Its construction was completed in 1937 in what is known as the "arts and crafts" style. Of course, the church was locked because of the pandemic that God has sent down upon us in his gracious wisdom so I did not get to see the internal architecture, carpentry, memorials and religious artefacts within. 

Though I have been a lifelong atheist, I would list visiting churches as one of my favourite hobbies. An old church speaks of the community in which it was built - like a mirror of past times. So many funerals, weddings and christenings, so many dull sermons delivered from lofty pulpits as choirboys like me fidgeted in the pews wondering why time seemed to be standing still. Would that sermon never end?

Even Holy Trinity, Millhouses would have things to say about pre-war days, architectural fashion, craftsmanship, the suburb's affluence and parishioners who still haunt the space within.

I continue to type my father's journal and through his word choices I feel that I am drawn ever closer to him. Three times he has referred to bathing in the icy water of the rivers that churn by their valley camps and I remember him in England's Lake District urging me and my brothers to swim in a mountain stream as he held our towels. He loved to take his family to The Lakes each Whitsuntide where fading echoes of Kashmir must have still hummed in his skull like heavenly music.

30 comments:

  1. I always find churches peaceful and calming. As you say, they can say a lot about the local community. Today the skies are vaguely blue and I have flung all the windows open to gulp in some fresh air. Hopefully warmer days are on the way.

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    1. Flung all the windows open? West London burglars must be rubbing their hands with glee ADDY. Hide the jewellery at least!

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  2. I've thought for a long time that it's quite sexist to assume the god is male but it makes sense because men wrote all religious books. However, that being said, I don't believe god has a gender anymore than the sky or the ocean have a gender.

    I read your dad's writing. He was an excellent writer and what an interesting trip he took.

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    1. Thanks for your last remark Lily. I will post another couple of extracts very soon.

      As for God's gender, many feminists would surely be happy to believe he is male as he screwed up the creation quite a lot. After all, he introduced mosquitoes and The Kardashians as well as COVID-19 and dark chocolate.

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    2. To rank dark chocolate with Kardashians and Covid...YP! That is surely blasphemy.

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    3. Oops! I guess that means that St Peter will be barring my way when I reach the pearly gates. Ah well, eternity never really appealed to me anywy.

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  3. No one has ever been able to truly explain that holy ghost thing to me. I've asked. "It's like..."
    Yeah.
    There is a lot of evidence to indicate that the original deities were female. Makes sense in that women are the bringers of life.
    Churches can be nice though. You are so right about that.
    Did your father ever do any other writing? Seems strange that he would make that one beautiful effort and then stop entirely. Perhaps life got in his way.

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    1. I am not aware of any other significant pieces of writing. Yes - I think life did get in the way.

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  4. I am shocked to learn that you cheat with your photos YP.

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    1. Oh you mean editing? You should give it a try JayCee.

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  5. I like visiting churches too, and I am not particularly religious -- at least not in the conventional Christian sense. I just appreciate the history and architecture.

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    1. Non-religious people should not scorn the long history of churches - woven into national identities and culture.

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  6. Without that holy ghost thing we would not be enjoying Neil's photo of Holy Trinity.
    Without that holy ghost thing England would have embraced the religion of Mithraism.
    Without that holy ghost thing we would not have the Ten Commandments.

    Ancient religions were solar, the exception being Judaism.
    Ancient religions practised infanticide and human sacrifice, the exception being Judaism.
    Ancient religions regarded women as chattel, the exception being Judaism.

    The goddess worshipped by women in Wicca is a postmodern invention, a fantasy.
    Are we all so California that we affect to despise and dishonour Western Civilization?
    *The faith is Europe, Europe is the faith* : Hilaire Belloc who fought with the French artillery in the First World War.

    Haggerty

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    1. Well I don't know what to say about that John. You have lost me.

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    2. We have all been California-ised.
      Every bogus spiritual idea that is current has come out of that sewer.
      Every filthy demon.
      Hitchens, who wrote for a coterie readership when he staffed on The New Statesman, ended up writing for Vanity Fair: A publication not even useful as lavatory paper.
      He pissed and defecated on Christian morality and they applauded him.
      Haggerty

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  7. 1x1x1=1. That's The Trinity explained. There is also The United Trinity statue outside Old Trafford: Best, Law and Charlton.

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    1. In WWII it was Germany, Italy and Japan.

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  8. I like the stillness of a church and the smell.
    Briony
    x

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  9. The church tower looks so much older than 1937. I find most English churches dark, dull and depressing.

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    1. I have visited hundreds of English churches and I find most of them fascinating, filled with stories. Never dark, dull and depressing.

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  10. I didn't see the church tower the first time I looked at the photo. Nice photo with the wall and tower just peaking over the wall.

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    1. For some reason I like this simple composition and I am glad that I spotted it as the sun suddenly spotlighted that wall. Thanks Your Royal Redness.

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  11. Churches there keep records, at least in some cases. My daughter did some genealogy things and tracked her father's family back to a village. She went there. When she visited the church, she saw the signatures of the very people she had researched, weddings, baptisms, deaths. She found it very moving.

    My church is Trinity, as well.

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    1. All English parishes keep records. What a magical discovery by your daughter Debby.

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  12. An Arts & Crafts church would be very interesting to explore. There is a chapel decorated in William Morris‘ style at Castle Howard, if I remember correctly. And St. Mary‘s on the Studley Royal estate is also very much Arts & Crafts.

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    1. You seem to know more about "arts and crafts" churches than I do Meike!

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  13. I'm inclined to agree with Andrew, and found many English churches dull, dark and depressing. After all, in the past they tended to spread the word by fear and oppression, rather than love of fellow man. All that sermonising! The only church I've been into where I felt any "connection" was the Cathedral in Helsinki. It was light, airy and lacking ornamentation of any kind.

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    1. Those darned Finns seem to get everything right!

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  14. I enjoy churches and have visited many hundreds in many countries. Sometimes I have been moved to tears (Rheims Cathedral) for no explainable reason and sometimes I have been left physically and mentally cold. Rarely have I been completely unaffected.

    If you were a 'lifelong' atheist why were you a choirboy? Your love of singing just meant that you crossed your fingers behind your back?

    By the way, when God made man he was only practicing. (so a woman told me).

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