Tales from a vestry

Churches are closing and many are falling into ruin. I love visiting old church buildings. Everyone will miss them when they are gone.

I haven’t attended a communion  for years, but I will do again one day. I go on my own, or very occasionally with a friend or friends. What I feel more than anything else, in almost all of them, is the centuries of love and devotion that infuses the ancient stones…and a sadness too, in many.  Mostly it is feminine energy, probably because it has almost always been women who have tended them.

Because it has always intrigued me when I have passed it on previous occasions, on the way back from Repcon, in Bury, I stopped at the little 13th Century church of St Llonio’s in Llandinam, Montgomeryshire, on the banks of the upper River Severn.

In the church vestry I came across this reredos, tucked away in the sombre vestry, that looks like it was acquired from the former (12th Century) St. Michael’s at Trefeglwys, when it was demolished (rebuilt in 1863-5). It looks older to me but the website mentions 17th Century wood panels in St. Llonio’s.

Unfortunately the vestry was quite dark. I’ve done my best with improving the photo,


St Llonlo church reredos


I can’t find what his name means at the moment. If anyone does please let me know. It does look similar to ‘Lion’, so maybe. If so it connects to ‘Mark’ and ‘Mars’. The legend of Llonio describes him as a martial character originally.

About Llonio in ‘The Lives of British Saints’.

Other Celtic saints


7th June 2016



Speak to me softly

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