Old buildings fascinate me. It sounds a little New Agey, but I swear certain buildings call out to me. I can feel the history radiating from their walls, and the weight of the life-changing events that have taken place inside them. Never-more-so than with churches.
This one in particular felt like it was bursting at the seams. We had passed the Church of All Saints many times before but had always ignored the open gate. This time, something made us wander up the stone path.
The heavy bolt lifted with a thud, a sound that broke through the peaceful silence of the village graveyard outside. My child-like impatience to reveal its interior echoed around the high ceilings as I pushed open the heavy door. I had to shield my eyes from the daylight inside. How often is a British church brighter inside than out?
Specks of dust glistened in the air as they danced through thick beams of sunlight, the only evidence that we had disturbed the peace. I had never seen a church so simple, so empty, yet so beautiful. I felt like I had stepped into a Baz Luhrmann movie.
White plaster covered each wall, the floor was rickety, made of recycled tomb stones, and a thick layer of dust covered every single pew. There was no stained-glass in sight.
As I scanned the barren walls I suddenly noticed two large 12th century murals high up on the wall to my right. They showed haunting depictions of Time and Death.
Time held an hourglass in his hand, while Death stared at you from holes in his skull where eyes should be. This dark imagery felt like such a stark contrast to the light atmosphere of the building, but that only drew me in further.
“We have to do something here,” I said to both Rick and my mum. “This building needs our love.”
“Mission: Leather” was the plan we came up with. And, apologies, it’s not quite as dominatrix-y as it sounds. With mine and Rick’s third wedding anniversary coming up (leather), we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dress the church in beautiful flowers and then dress ourselves equally as fancy.
We wanted to celebrate in this beautiful building in our home county and take some photos full of love. Three-years-of-marriage kind of love, where you still take the bin out afterwards.
We also decided to dress the church on Beltane, a day where it’s traditional to dress homes and altars with greenery and wear flower crowns. Quite fitting, we thought.
This just so happens to be an area that Mum specialises in. And I was very excited to see what she would create. As usual, her problem solving skills came in very handy when we realised that, even with a ladder, we couldn’t reach the top of the arch. I went along with her, to follow her guidance and absorb some of those problem solving skills, and I had a great time!
For any fellow flower geeks out there, here’s what we used:
- Eucalyptus Populus
- Ranunculus Aazur Bordeaux
- Eryngium (Thistle) – Blue Dynamite
- Schinus Molle (Pepper Berries ) – Pink
- Rose – Black Baccara
- Soft Ruscus (Small Leaf)
- David Austin Rose – Juliet
- Rose – Victorian Peach
I mean, what can I even say. I’ve only chosen a few favourites here, with Rick taking the inside shots and Mum taking the outside shots. But head over to Rick’s blog to see more of his stunning work.
Rick filmed most of the day in his spectacular Rick Nunn style. And it’s worth watching to the end because the outro is where we spend most time making fun of each other.
I can’t thank Rick and Mum enough for always listening to my wild ideas AND THEN for making them all come true. I think we did a great job of brightening up an unloved building that I fell instantly in love with. Love you both. Happy Anniversary, Rick. Here’s to the next three (thousand) years.