Grace Darling's grave

New Light Through Old Windows

Bamburgh CastleI have just been fortunate enough to spend a long weekend in Bamburgh, pottering around this jewel on the Northumberland Coast, wandering along the vast stretch of sand in late afternoon sun with the spectacular backdrop of Bamburgh Castle. An antidote to the continual buzz of modern life, this was the ideal place to rest the mind and be open to creativity.

St Aidan's ChurchOne place I loved visiting was St Aidan’s churchyard, where the grave of tragically short life of heroine Grace Darling overlooks the untamed North Sea.  There has been Christian worship on this site since 635 AD when St Aidan came to Northumbria from Iona at the request of St Oswald and set up the first church.  As you enter the present 12th century building, you find a chronicle of centuries of village worship told through stone, wood, paint, glass and textiles with a sense of great peace and spirituality.

One thing that particularly struck me was a shaft of light hitting one of the stained glass windows at an angle, producing a beautiful kaleidoscope effect upon the stone surround.  I just happened to be in the church at the right moment to witness this and considered how it mirrored being a writer, enabling others to look afresh, see the familar through a different perspective.

Window St Aidans Bamburgh