Sacrifice to eternity

ruinous shell of covehithe old churchRaised to cathedralesque proportions, St Andrew’s at Covehithe heralded the wealth of the area in medieval times. As this receded so too did the glory of the church. With the iconoclastic cleansing of Protestantism, it literally became “one of the ruins that Cromwell knocked about a bit”,1 but ultimately it was the ruinous upkeep which was its downfall.

In the 17th century, St Andrew’s was sacrificed to dissolution and a smaller church was raised from, and within, the remains. Neatly thatched, it nestles against the great tower and continues to minister, in this silent hamlet of Suffolk.approaching covehithe church

"An aged man is but a paltry thing, 
A tattered coat upon a stick,unless 
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing 
For every tatter in its mortal dress, 
Nor is there singing school but studying 
Monuments of its own magnificence; 
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come 
To the holy city of Byzantium"

covehithe church interior

"O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity."
Sailing to Byzantium - W.B. Yeats

1. 1920s Musical hall song made famous by Marie LLoyd

see Suffolk Churches: St Andrews, Covehithe for comprehensive info


15 thoughts on “Sacrifice to eternity

  1. I am keen to learn to use the black and white ‘film’ facility I just so love your photos!! And then you go on to make them more ‘alive’ with lovely narrative. Have a good day. xx

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