March 14 – Church microing around Ipswich

Stephen Hawking died today

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

There were a few church micros north of Ipswich that we had not attempted so we decided to go to do them. It was a fine day and the sun was out which makes a change. First, we headed to Kesgrave near to where we helped a guy get the USB working properly on his Mac laptop recently. We could not find a car park for the church so we never actually visited the church. Ground zero was at the end of the cemetery but try as we might we did not find the cache. It was a very tidy cemetery though and very colourful.

Next, we headed to Rushmere St Andrew where there were two church micros, one at the Baptist church which we found easily and the other at St Andrew’s church. At St Andrew’s, there was plenty of parking most of which were taken as there is obviously something on at the church hall. The church was very unusual in that you walk into the old end with a square mock Norman font immediately in front of you. It had the older style wooden pews with beautifully carved intact angels in front of the poppy heads. On the other end of the pew are birds and animals in place of the angels. As you walk down the aisle you come to the modern altar in the middle of the church upon a dais. On the other side is the newer George Pace extension built in 1968 with new seats facing the altar. It is obviously a well loved and cared for church and cemetery. The geocache was out the very back of the churchyard down a nice muddy track. We found the cache quickly and had to replace it just as quickly as we could hear a lady and her dog approaching. The Baptist church cache was a multi and after we had found it and driven away I realised that there were the coordinates of another cache in the box which I forgot to get. We didn’t go back but we did stop for a photo of the lovely village sign causing a small traffic jam as suddenly there were cars going in both directions all trying to get around us even though there was plenty of room.

Then we headed to Castle Hill. At the Ascension church, we collected the numbers but could not find the cache. We found the hint item but the cache was nowhere to be found. At the United Reformed church, we soon collected the numbers and found the cache. These were both modern churches though so we did not go inside.

At Whitton, St Mary and St. Botolph church was in a council housing area and was quite hard to find. The church was old but not open which is a pity as it looks like it had some nice stained glass. We collected the numbers and then walked the long way around the block to find the cache. I think there would have been a much quicker way. This was our 5900th find.

Next, we followed signs to a historic church which took us up an unmade road at the edge of fields. When we finally got there St Mary’s church was not open and had no cache either. It is right out in the middle of nowhere so I guess there used to be a village here. As I was writing this article I realised that this church was at Akenham and had an interesting history so click the link to read a recent article in the East Anglian Daily Times. I am glad I didn’t read that before we went there. Simon Knott‘s article is also interesting. We also went to Whitton Baptist church where we talked to a guy outside for a few minutes before walking a short distance to the cache. Unfortunately, it was indeed 7 feet up and while we could see it and just touch it we could not dislodge it. As it was at a busy intersection near a supermarket we could not try climbing up for it and there was nothing to stand on.

We went to Mary Magdalene church in Ipswich and made a quick collection of the numbers but they took us to a spot between two garages beside two houses and we were not at all comfortable wandering around beside someone’s house in the middle of suburbia so gave up without having a good look for the geocache. St John’s in Ipswich was a similar story, we got to the coordinates and felt very conspicuous looking around a lamppost where the cache would have been over 7 ft high but we couldn’t see it and could not climb it either.

By then, we had had enough geocaching in the city so drove back to Martlesham where we visited St Mary’s church. There was no church micro there but we got there just as the churchwarden was locking up for the night. We asked nicely so he kindly reopened for us and we were so glad he did. It was a lovely little church with hatchments and beautiful windows. St Mary is home to one of the Suffolk’s largest collections of Arts and Crafts glass, by the Manchester-based artist and architect Walter Pearce in 1903, depicting a selection of parables.  The main window over the altar was fantastic, depicting Crucifixion set in rocks and thickets with the sky boiling red behind the city of Jerusalem by Heaton, Butler and Bayne. So many really wonderful windows and a highlight of the day. St Mary’s also had a lovely piece of wall painting opposite the entrance door of St Christopher in very good condition. St Mary’s church had a wonderful collection of hatchments mostly for members of the Goodwin family, one of which dates from the 1660’s. The Charles II coat of arms above the south door is also from this time.

The churchyard was a riot of white snowdrops and purple crocuses and would have been worth going, just to see that ‘Spring is Sprung’.

Der spring is sprung
Der grass is riz
I wonder where dem boidies is?

Der little boids is on der wing,
Ain’t dat absoid?
Der little wings is on de boid!

(Anonymous)