Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saint Peter's Church, Bournemouth, England, UK

Several years ago, Paul's job sent him over to the UK to do a project. I was lucky enough to tag along. While he worked all day, I explored the city of Bournemouth and the lovely southern coast of England. One of my favorite memories was walking from our hotel to the center of town, where Saint Peter's church towers over the shopping square. I took tea there one morning, sitting at a small card table right in the middle of the church. I was surrounded by elders, who were gabbling on about pipe organs and other such things.

I wandered out into the churchyard and explored the burying grounds that are in a half circle around the church. It was obvious that it was used as city park as well as a cemetery and people were constantly walking along the pathways that criss-crossed the graveyard. Unfortunately, it was also obvious that people didn't care much about this land. I found lots of discarded trash and the occasionally condom or used needle. The ivy and other plants had overgrown much of the older graves and several trees had fallen. There were some city employees clearing away the trees but I could tell it would take a long time for it to be restored completely.

It was an eerie place. Maybe it was just the neglect or the overcast and gloomy weather. I didn't stay long but I did snap a few pictures.

I loved how these markers were lined up. Many of the names were worn off by time and weather.

Many, many Celtic crosses, all in a row.

A row of grave markers of the various ministers who had served at the church over the years.

Many of the markers were broken or hidden beneath layers of ivy and other climbing plants.

As you can see, this the neglect of parts of this burying ground is quite obvious. Someday I'd like to return and see if it's been restored at all.

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