Sunday, March 11, 2007

Oxnead, St. Michaels and All Angels

From Buxton Station, on the Bure Valley Path and Railway, I crossed the tracks and walked into open fields. A gentle gradient led over the crest of a hill, where my spirit rose as a skylark provided the appropriate sound track! The path fell away to a wooded valley. Here a bridge over River Bure provided the opportunity to play Pooh Sticks. It’s a good occupation if there are things you need to let go of, believe me! I reflected about some of those things, forgiveness and baptism. There were no doves to be seen, but a chorus of birdsong gave me much to consider! Pensively I took the path that led up-stream, through green pastures and beside still(ish) waters! Two mares, each with a foal, lifted their heads as I passed by. At the main road I turned right, crossed the bridge, avoided going to the Haflinger Stud and took the next road on the right. After about a quarter of a mile, I turned right again, just before the out-buildings of Oxnead Hall. No sign announced it but, at the end of a rutted track, lost in the woodland, was Oxnead Church!

An enchanted glade ?! Holy is better than enchanted! There seems to be a presence! Angels?! Go yourself! Taste and see! If walking or cycling are out of the question, then, when the ground is dry, you can drive right up to the church!

The building has a stillness that is almost tangible and provides a history lesson in itself. Some of the brick is Roman, some Stuart and some 19th or 20th century – bricks Ancient and Modern! It is a place “where prayer has been valid”! So bend the knee! Elaborate monuments of the Paston family dominate but a garden seat, against the south wall of the church, is in memory of “Tim Bush a most treasured and wonderful Dad”! I sat in warm spring sunshine and said the Our Father!







The way back? Return to the metalled road and turn right. Pass Oxnead Hall, the large house adjacent to the churchyard, then take the next farm track to the right – there is a way-mark! This leads down to Pooh Stick Bridge, from where you can retrace your steps to Buxton Station. (distance 3.5 k) For a longer walk, go left along the river bank to Buxton Mill (2k extra).

No comments: