At a mid-point of a walk from St. Andrew, Wickhampton towards the Berney Arms and windmill, I stopped to take stock. It is amazing what a little perspective can do! I am so frustrated at the failure of people to see and celebrate the value of our Broads National Park heritage landscape, I could scream! But out here it would be lost on the wind and the limitless sky. Instead I turn my binoculars onto a group of curlew poking in the marshy earth with beautifully curved bills and wonder. "Consider the birds........
There maybe opportunities to celebrate the church in the landscape as part of the up-coming Water, Mills and Marshes Project but I'm not sure how that could be taken forward. It is not that local churches would particularly want to make a claim on the pot of money granted for the scheme. The fact is churches get a good share of HLF grants already, but why on earth would you not shout from the roof tops the heritage value of a church like St. Andrew's Wickhampton. If only for the tombs of Sir William and Lady Gerbygge
Oh and lets not forget the amazing wall paintings. Among them are the acts of mercy, the three living and the three dead and a St.Christopher.
Indistinct but recognisable still, St. Christopher has fishes and crabs beneath his feet - reflecting the historical reality, that in the days when it was painted, before the marsh was reclaimed, Wickhampton was by the sea. A fishing community.
Would it not be good that those with the stewardship of the National Park and those with the stewardship of our ecclesiastical heritage had taken aboard the wisdom to be found in the National Ecosystems Assessment (2011) especially Chapter 16?