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Friday, 4 March 2016

St Michael's church, Rushmere, Suffolk


This is another favourite church of mine....
As soon as you draw up at the church gates you know this is a well loved church, by it’s lovingly tended churchyard, with a small portion dedicated to wild life and conservation.
I have visited here twice…on the first occasion  I was able to go inside as people were clearing up after a wedding which had taken place there the day previously, but sadly on my second visit I found the church locked, although there is a notice in the porch saying a key can be obtained from the house adjacent to the church - but it’s best to ring first….
A weathered C17 brick porch protects the entrance on the South side of the church, and holds a holy water stoup inside.



The interior of this tiny church is long and narrow with no aisles and hardly any division between nave and chancel

The delightful arched and scissor braced roof is left bare and shows exposed reed thatch

A C15 font stands just through the entrance, it’s panel adorned with shields and roses, and carved lions stand on guard around it’s shaft.
There are still traces of old wall paintings which was a bonus to find.
A banner stave locker is in the South West corner of the nave, and a pair of canvas Decalogue Boards hang on the west wall.
                                                    

 <<   The pulpit is from the Stuart period.



                                                        Lectern  >> 







The simple chancel is charming and has a fine piscina in the sanctuary.




               


The round tower was probably started in Saxon times, with the rest added at a later date.



The chancel  has a C13 priest’s door in it’s South wall, and a scratch dial can be found on it’s SE corner




The North door of the nave dates from the late C13/early C14, as do most of the windows. There are two windows in the nave from a later date ...probably Tudor which have perpendicular tracery
This is a beautiful unpretentious little church. It’s difficult to imagine that it was almost made redundant in the mid 1980s – even a farewell service had been held, but it’s parishioners thought differently! A trust called “Friends of St Michael” was established to care for the building, and by 1994 basic restoration had taken place, including the new roof of Norfolk reed.  There’s been ongoing restoration ever since.
 Congratulations to all concerned for keeping this joyous house of God alive.

                





          Wildlife section of old graveyard









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