Friday, 21 October 2016

Wednesday 19 October 2016

On Saturday St Mary’s Church, Embsay, held an Open Day  to tell the village all about our Heritage Lottery funded. To packed pews, Rev. Louise provided an outline of the project, including the roof repairs, followed by Sue Stearn, our indefatigable project co-ordinator, who impressed the audience with a whirlwind tour of the churchyard survey and RTI photography.
A really interesting talk was given by the stone mason, David Lamb, who had worked on the cross on the church roof – telling us how he developed his skills as a heritage craftsman. His display of craftsmen’s tools drew quite a bit of interest from people afterwards who went over to chat with him.
After an excellent buffet lunch, David Turner and I ran two churchyard tours which we think went very well. At least everyone stayed to the end!
The occasion also served as a book launch for the revised and updated history of the parish church

Today our weekly Wednesday survey day was a little different to the usual as we were joined for the day by Richard and Melvyn from nearby Long Preston. They had come to spend the day learning about our churchyard survey project at St Mary’s, Embsay. As members of the Long Preston Heritage Group, they are very interested in what we are doing, and so they had come along to find out just what a local churchyard survey involves.
We had a really nice day with them both – Richard missed out on the lunchtime cakes as he nipped home to visit his parents who live in Embsay – but otherwise we had plenty of opportunity to chat about the logistics of a survey like ours, the joys and the pitfalls, and how we hope to develop our current work at St Mary’s. 

They picked up the clipboards and tape measures and mucked right in, under the occasional watchful eye of our friendly robin who popped by a few brief times.
We are looking forward to running a workshop at Long Preston soon at which we hope to encourage the Heritage Group there to undertake a similar survey of their own churchyard.
We also had the pleasure of watching the stone masons at work on the roof, installing the new mounting for the cross which stands on the roof. David Lamb, the stone mason, is highly experienced in heritage work at churches and cathedrals, so St Mary’s is very lucky to have him working on the cross.

Jane Lunnon

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