On Friday I was out and about in the Cheshire countryside visiting a couple of interesting local churches.
The first was All Saints church in Siddington
Autumn colour was in full swing in the churchyard
The entrance was decorated with flowers
and inside is the most amazing display of corn dollies
They are made by local man Raymond Rush (who is in his 90s) and decorate the church every October.
I love the corn dolly tradition......when the field was cut the Spirit of Fertility would retreat into the last standing ears. These would then be used to make the corn dolly and the Spirit would take refuge inside. The dolly would then be kept safe and dry over Winter until the following Spring when it would be taken back into the fields and broken open to release the Spirit into the newly sown grain to teach it how to grow!
Next stop was just down the road at St James and St Pauls in Marton.
This church is Grade 1 listed and is one of the oldest wood framed churches in Europe. It has been continually in use snce 1343!
An ancient wooden ladder leads up into the bell tower
In the entryway to the church is a Table of Kindred and Affinity...it says who you can and can't marry!!