Ahhh – St Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, the annual love-fest of hearts and flowers and fluffy red things. February 2016 is set to be even more romantic as hopeful marriage proposals are popped all over the place on February’s extra day.
We’re for romance in all its forms here at Champ Towers. Romance can be defined and expressed in so many ways; in ages past poets wandered about, lonely as clouds and writing odes to nightingales, the genius composers penned their various classical masterpieces and in more recent times, the New Romantics had fabulous sartorial style and could certainly hold a tune. So true, funny how it seems…
A dictionary search for romance finds terms such as attachment, enchantment, fascination and captivation. It is of course possible to have a sense of romance with items other than fellow humans. Indeed, I have felt powerful emotions such as those previously described for Tunnocks milk chocolate wafers on occasion, and on meeting me at Heathrow airport after months away, my (now) husband presented me with a single flower in one hand and the aforementioned object of my affection in the other (cruel US Customs had kept us apart). It was a match made in heaven.
Location, location, location
A sense of place plays a very large part in all things romantic; as with many things in life it depends on location. Think pinkly shimmering sunsets on Santorini, the wistful Bridge of Sighs in Venice and almost anywhere in love-struck Paris – ooh la la! It’s no surprise that most marriage proposals are made in special, stunning locations, or simply somewhere that means something significant to both people. The bended knee, the nervous question and the proffered ring that seals the deal are cinematically set against a uniquely special backdrop – and it’s not surprising how many of these once-in-a-lifetime questions are popped in one of our uniquely special church buildings.
A quick flick-through the visitor book at any of our 347 churches might show evidence of just such a special occasion, as you can see from the photograph. It just warms the very cockles of your heart, doesn’t it? Everyone loves a good ole’ wedding (which people can still enjoy in our churches, they’re still consecrated. Just add vicar).
A quiet romance
Of course, old English churches have a quiet romance all of their own; the grassy church yard, the cool, tranquil interior with sunlight filtering through jewel-coloured glass, the evidence of centuries-old craftsmanship which shaped the timeless space with intricate stonework and timber carvings. It’s the romance of always feeling welcome, and at home.
The humble parish church building retains the romanticism of all human endeavours in ages past and we feel these echoes in the present. People from previous centuries weren’t so very different to us; they married their loved ones within these walls, christened their children and honoured their cherished departed exactly as we do now.
Truly yours, forever (and ever, amen)
These beautiful buildings are public spaces that have been saved for everyone, for ever. What could be more romantic than visiting one or more of these ancient spaces in 2016 and making it a truly special experience for you and your loved ones?
Who knows, you might even live Happily Ever After.