Although New Year’s Eve was a bit hectic – breakfast with one friend, a lunch of oysters and Bloody Mary’s and oysters with another, dinner with others and finally champagne and a warm fire with still more – the days after it have been quiet and contemplative. In that spirit, literally, I stopped by a local church, right around the corner from the Book Thing where I hear their bells chiming on the quarter hours. I’d just met the minister at a party over the holidays, and had heard that the church was looking exceptionally beautiful for Christmas.
I knew the church, St. Johns in the Village, also known as St. Johns Huntingdon, was modeled on an English Church, and I read that they were having an Evensong service at 4:00 p.m., so I headed over. That’s such a great time of day to take photographs – the sun’s rays are long and golden, and everything just glows.
and check out some of the details of the building, which dates from the 1850s.As I wandered around, the churchwarden arrived and we went inside. The church was beautiful and as I’d heard, wonderfully decorated, but in a very simple style. Garlands of live greenery criss-crossed the church, beginning in the entry-way.
The churchwarden disappeared to put on his vestments, and I waited for other parishoners to arrive for Evensong, but alas, none did, and it was just the two of us. He lit candles and gave me the prayer-book, and we said the Evensong service together, alternating verses of the 18th Psalm, reciting the Lord’s Prayer in unison and quietly contemplating the new year.
After the service was completed, he asked if I’d like to see the rest of the church, and took me in the back to see the vestments, many of which date back decades,and are kept in special drawers so most of them don’t have the stress of hanging in a closet.
Many thanks to Mr. Bard Bruce Wickkiser, Rector's Churchwarden, for sharing this special afternoon visit with me and for making me feel welcome at St. Johns in the Village.
I hope that your new year is happy, healthy and most of all, fun!