Posts Tagged ‘St Mary’s Old Basing’

Trip to Old Basing

October 7, 2011

St Therese’s day mass [Sat 1 October 2011]: priest calls Jesus “Master of Vineyard” (Maitre de la Vigne). Great definition, never heard that before. — Paulo Coelho

On the spur of the moment I decided to take an afternoon trip to Old Basing.

You see Old Basing as the London train pulls into Basingstoke.

I had no idea how to get to Old Basing. I hopped on a train to Basingstoke in the hope that I could catch a bus to Old Basing. I found I could, the No10 bus went to Old Basing, then on to Hook and Camberley. I could have got the train to Hook, then bus, but this I was not to know.

The centre of Old Basing, old houses, thatched cottages.

My reason for a trip to Old Basing, apart from seeing it from the train, was I wished to vist St Mary’s Church and see silks by artist Gill C Sakakini in situ. I had met Gill C Sakakini a couple of days previous at Art @ Costa in Guildford.

Art @ Costa October 2011

I wandered around the village, under a railway bridge, then back through another, eventually finding St Mary’s. A large squat church with a large squat tower.

I wandered all around the church, finding all doors well and truly closed and locked, a wasted journey I thought, until the last door I came upon was open.

Inside I found a lady flower arranging. I asked of the silks and if the church was open, and could I please go in.

Yes, I could go in, but would I please not disturb a lady who was praying and there was a service taking place, an no, she nothing of the silks.

I thought the silks were for the alter, not finding them, I was a little disappointed, then found them hanging down the pillars, I think three on each side of the aisle.

I appologised to the lady who was in the church and hoped that I had not disturbed her. Not at all she said and told me that she was conducting evensong according to the Anglican Office of Evening Prayer from the Book of Common Worship (sadly no one was there bar me) and that today was a special day (Wednesday 6 October 2011) Celebration of the Lesser Festival of William Tyndale.

I expressed surprise that William Tyndale was celebrated as he was forced to flee to Northern Europe, tracked down and strangled and his body burnt. He had committed the sin of heresy.

What was even more surprising was that on Saturday I was at a talk by Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford University, where she talked of William Tyndale!

Medieval translations of the Bible before King James

The lady I was talking to then told me that the previous clergyman at St Mary’s had a Tyndale Bible!

I told the lady I had come to look at the silks, that each one had a story, but I did not know what. She told me they represented vines, that vines were very important in the life of Jesus. I suggested a little card below each silk explaining the story they had to tell.

Even more surprise. On Saturday (1 October 2011) I learnt from Paulo Coelho that it was St Therese’s Day. He learnt from from the priest Jesus called “Master of Vineyard” (Maitre de la Vigne).

The lady I was talking to asked was I ordained!

I left two books in the church: The Shack and The Alchemist. Both books have been registered as BookCrossing books.

I recall from the train watercross beds, but did not find any. Maybe I am confusing with someplace else. From the train can also be seen an old castle. This I did not see either, nor signs to.

Getting back from Old Basing proved problamatic. As I was approaching the bus stop, even though I flagged him down, the bus driver failed to stop. What now? The bus stops did not say where the buses went, let alone a timetable. I wonder why people do not use public transport? Luckily about ten minutes later a bus came by going in the opposite direction, I caught it to Hook, where I was able to pick up the slow London train from Basingstoke.

Old Basing was the site of the Battle of Basing on 22 January 871, when a Danish army defeated Ethelred of Wessex. It is also mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

St Mary’s Old Basing is the Church of England Parish Church serving Old Basing and Lychpit. There is believed to have been a Christian community on this site and serving the Basing area since Saxon times.

Synchronicity: On Saturday I was at a talk about William Tyndale. On my visit to St Mary’s Old Basing I find the evensong is a celebration of William Tyndale. Not only that, I learn the previous clergyman had a Tyndale Bible. On Saturday Paulo Coelho tells me he learnt from the priest Jesus was Master of the Vineyard. The silks I came to see have as their theme vines and the lady who told me this also tells me vines were important in the life of Jesus. It was also she who was conducting the evensong, the celebration of William Tyndale.