Silent Sunday…..So off to Church



All Saints Church, Dale, Derbyshire

Doesn’t look much like a church but hiding under the low roof to the left of the main building is All Saints Church…possibly the smallest church in England.

It was built in the late 12th century by the Lord of the Manor for a deeply Religious local Hermit as a place of worship an Oratory.  The main building has been adapted and modified over the centuries and has been many things for the village… A Farm House, the Blue Bell Inn, and the top floor an infirmary.  But back to the Church.

Measuring just 26ft x 25ft it is indeed a tiny space for its congregation.  Wooden pews and a gallery are crammed in between these stone walls.


The pulpit was a late addition and clearly ‘squeezed’ in to the available space.  As was the practice of larger churches the interior pews were divided by low screens defining  them as individual family spaces.

Looking down from the even smaller gallery, a true impression of just how small All Saints is, yet you can still identify what one would normally refer to as a aisle and nave….


The windows are in carved stone and today mainly plain glass,  it is suspect that they once were glazed in coloured glass as in this one remaining coloured window. The walls are whitewashed but this it has been discovered to hide early wall paintings….they remain covered for protection but one small section is on view…

All Saints Church is now under the Diocese of Derby Cathedral, is well cared for by local volunteers whilst still offering a programme of services throughout the year

3rd June

(C) David Oakes 2018




Silent Sunday….. So off to Church

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Brecon Cathedral, Powys, Wales

The small but important Welsh Market Town of Brecon (pop approx. 8500), lying in the shadows of the Brecon Beacons, supports a very much wider agricultural community in this part of rural Powys.

Since 1920 it has also been the home of Brecon Cathedral.

The Cathedral is on an enclosed circular hill, so is quite peaceful and secluded in its own grounds.  There has of course been a church on this location for many centuries.  The original church of Saint John, a Norman construction was built in 1093.  It is also thought to have been built on the site of a much earlier Celtic Church.  St. Johns was rebuilt in the gothic style in 1215, also blessed with a new name of Holy Rood (Holy Cross) but for many centuries it suffered troubles.  The Dissolution of the Monasteries was of course the worst.

However despite it many troubles the church was renovated and eventually made the Cathedral we see today.

I described the Cathedral as peaceful and there is no better place to feel that peace than to stand in the centre of the Nave with its stone pillars and arched ceilings

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The Nave, Brecon Cathedral

27th May

(C) David Oakes 2018


Silent Sunday …so off the Church


An early Sunday morning, perfect for a stroll through the Courtyards of Amalienborg Palace, past the statue of King Frederik V and then straight onto the Marmorkirken…the iconic Marble Church also known as Frederik’s Church.

I can remember well that early Sunday morning on our first to Copenhagen.  A perfect start to a perfect day of exploration

20th May

(C) David Oakes 2018

Silent Sunday……So Off to Church


St. Stephens, The Chapel in the Forest, Cheshire

High above Macclesfield Forest and on the very edge of the moors stands this rugged but beautiful little church.  It would appear isolated with only a Manor House, a couple of Farms and an Old School House in close proximity.  It was once one of three Chapels for this rural farming area known as Macclesfield Forest, now St. Stephens is the only one that provides a regular place of worship.

Dating back to 1673 and renovated in 1834, the simple rugged exterior with its saddleback roofed square bell tower is matched by an equally rugged interior…


Simple and practical, a stone flagged floor, solid oak beams are a contrast with a more delicate white wooden pulpit and simple alter behind which a Stained Glass window adds a hint of colour.  Simple though it is there is however a rather magical feel to the building and explains why folk still wish to be married here.

As mentioned St. Stephen is in an isolated location which is probably best illustrated from the graveyard with all its ancient headstones, each telling its own story…


Macclesfield Forest is the area of Rainow and Wildboarclough, that stands on the high ground to the south east of  the Silk Town of Macclesfield.  It is firmly and proudly in the county of Cheshire but is also on the very edge of the Derbyshire Moorlands and is within the Peal District National Park. So any inquisitive visitor will enjoy discovering this little historic gem but also a some beautiful yet vary varied scenery from wooded dales, many streams and then the open moors.

29th April

(C) David Oakes 2018



Silent Sunday….So Off to Church


Saint Anne’s Church, Beeley, Derbyshire

Spring comes to Beeley, a small village on the edge of the Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire. The Church of Saint Anne, with is squat square Norman Tower dates back to around 1150AD.  It’s dark interior is cool on a warm day and an ideal spot for quiet contemplation.

The Gravestones also tell there own stories of the village and worth an exploration on its own all the more fulfilling in spring when the Daffodils are at there best.

22nd April

(C) David Oakes 2018