Days of Contrast

Saturday 4.00 pm St Aldhelm's Chapel, Worth


Sunday 4.45 pm St Mary's Church Swanage

The last two evenings have had very contrasting sunsets.  We had a late afternoon walk to St Aldhelm’s Church from the carpark behind the Square and Compass in Worth on Saturday.  It was muddy and wet, and the bushes and winter foliage dripped with beads of moisture from the mist, through which we walked and other ramblers emerged.  Going through the farm, as hay was lifted to feed the cattle, the lights shone brightly against a gloomy December countryside at little after 3.00 p.m.  The walk itself was, it must be said, bracing and very enjoyable, but the weather left something to be desired.  How the people of Australia would just love a few hours of that wet afternoon to cool their fires.  St Aldhelm’s Church is always a little damp, but it hardly mattered as we clattered the heavy door open and glimpsed in at the pale light entering with us, and through the narrow window behind the altar.  A Bible lay open at the story of the birth of Jesus.


Yesterday it was so different.  A clear sky and long view to the hills melted into night as stars and a sliver of moon gave such a different start to the evening.  It was still light enough to see until nearly 5.00 p.m. and came as a reminder of the lengthening of days and the coming of the end of winter, even though that is some way off yet.  We saw daffodils in full bud in Worth on Saturday and snowdrops in bloom in St Nicholas’ Churchyard in Studland.  Unseasonably mild we may say, whether in the mist and gloom of Saturday, or the sunshine and clarity of Sunday.  

John Mann