Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Time and environmental issues, including pollution and high humidity levels, had taken their toll on the marble, and so an extensive (and expensive) renovation project was undertaken. The monuments have been painstakingly cleaned and are now revealed in all their glory.
I joined a group of local writers for a brief introduction to the church and, more particularly, the monuments. Then we were let loose to use them as inspiration for writing, sketching or simply contemplation. It was a lovely atmosphere and we all scribbled away like mad. We could sit in a quiet side room (near the kettle) or in the church, and could come and go as the mood took us. There was no pressure to produce anything, nor any necessity to share. It was great to be given permission (by which I mean, to give ourselves permission) simply to explore and see what happened.
Everyone who took part has been invited to follow up with a 50-word contribution to a new guide book that is under development and/or a longer piece for a spoken word event. I have a couple of ideas that I shall be working up into something.
There's more about the monuments here.