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Published: June 28th 2022
We found ourselves in town again . We seem to do this often. Today was another trip to the optician . We never would have done this in Chesterfield . There would have been any old excuse to stay at home . The plan thought did end up rather back to front . What we planned to do first was relegated to last. What was last ended up first .
Usual parking spot and the usual walk across St Giles Crescent and down Charles Street . We were early for the appointment so there was the need to find something to do to pass 20 minutes . We knew the optician would not want us there early and it was not quite enough time for a coffee . We did pass Cafe de Galles and put that one down for a visit at some point . There was going to be an exhibition of modern quilts coming to town but that would not be for a week or so .
So Plan A - the optician turned to Plan B. A walk through the lovely metalled gates and into St Giles Churchyard . We knew the church opened for
prayer, quiet contemplation and for visitors at 10. It was 10.10 so plenty of time to go and have a look at the advertised Jubilee Crowns which had been displayed inside the church to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee . Well we are no monarchists but we could not let the opportunity to see the handiwork of the local women associated with the church and the schoolchildrens crowns pass us by . After all monarchist or not the Platinum Jubilee does not come round very often and we certainly will not see one again .
I joined a site called North Wales in Themes were a group of individuals post a topic for the day . Those in the group pick photographs from their collections that fit the brief . The rest of the group vote on their favourite photographs and the winner becomes the banner of the day . Of course tastes are so different and sometimes the choice of topic is an easy one to find a photograph that fits the theme . At other times you can look through your pictures and find nothing that suits . On top of that people vote on the oddest
choice of picture sometimes . Too twee or its children or someones parents knowing that they will tug the heart strings and will get votes by the bucketload . Todays theme was Hidden Gems . Of course the hidden gems most posted were of the North Wales countryside . I was thinking out of the box . The Jubilee Crowns would tick the box of a hidden gem .
We entered the porch and into the main body of the church . It is a lovely building and it does not matter how many times I walk up the nave I always notice something I had never spotted before . Perhaps it is a memorial hidden away in a corner . Or a door open that was always closed . We had the church to ourselves which meant we could look into its nooks and crannies .
The last exhibition here had been the Christmas Angels which hung from the roof and were in every space and corner . Today it was the turn of crowns . Some were displayed on the wood panelling. Made of paper and cardboard and decorated with foil , gold work and patterns
. The local school children had gone to town. Some had copied actual crowns . Others had been left to their wildest imagination and produced what they thought a crown should look like . Each was different and the names of the schools were emblazoned proudly by each . Some children had cut out pictures of the Queen and adorned their crowns with them . Each window ledge had a display of at least four crowns . The colours matched the stained glass through which the sun poured .
The altars were decorated with choir boys and girls all made of card. The crowns were suspended here and there . There probably were not as many crowns as angels but they cheered the church up and made a welcome change . The curate , vicar or whoever he was welcomed us and asked had we been before . He was wondering around doing whatever jobs were necessary . We talked about the Angels display . We walked away from him and headed for the main altar . I had never noticed the gates before . Black and gold they were replicas of the outside gate and cut off the
nave from the sanctuary and high altar . Nor had I stood before the high altar . The reredos was simple stone but extremely effective .
Our last stop was the massive crown hanging from the tower ceiling . Above it the church bells . It was dark in the tiny chapel of the Welch Fusileers with its many flags including the Stars and Stripes . The gold looked subdued . The foil and decorations not bright until the curate , vicar , verger turned up again and switched the lights on . The lights shone through it making it gleam . It picked up the gold and the colours of the stones decorations . They could have been precious jewels but were just paper and foil . The ladies of the church had made it he told us . I mentioned the Jubilee to them and they talked about crowns . Just look at what they produced for me he said . We agreed it was a work of art and worthy of that place in the church .
Sadly it was time for us to go and leave behind all the hard work put in to the display . Had we been abroad and walked into a French or Italian church and seen this we would have been amazed and wowed . This was on our doorstep and I wondered how many passed by without going in . If they had gone in they would have been amazed at the display and any contribution they put in the collection box would have helped the church maintain the fabric for generations to come .
A hidden gem . Most definately .
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